Monday, May 30, 2022
Rebecca Marrie Brady MSW
As we prayerfully await the U.S. Supreme Court’s final decision in the Dobbs case with hopeful expectation, let’s talk about our post-Roe plan here in the Archdiocese of Miami. Our response is not only to keep doing what we’re doing, which is already unique among dioceses in the United States. We intend to improve upon our existing programs and expand our reach. That’s why we need the help of all the faithful — including you!
Our pastoral efforts related to abortion all aim to save lives and souls and create a culture of life and love. How do we do this? Respect Life ministry accomplishes its mission through programs such as:
- Sidewalk Advocates for Life: South Florida, which we launched to train the faithful for loving, peaceful, and effective outreach outside all 24 abortion sites within the archdiocese. These advocates will empower the abortion-vulnerable to choose life by offering life-affirming alternatives outside abortion sites.
- Directly operating Pregnancy Help Centers and strategically placing them in high-access areas to reach those most vulnerable to abortion, such as our newly opened Pregnancy Help Center next to an abortion site in Fort Lauderdale. These Pregnancy Help Centers support mothers and fathers by providing free and non-judgmental services through the second year of their child’s life.
- Expanding our Project Rachel post-abortion ministry to include the Entering Canaan Ministry, which involves days of prayer and healing, monthly group gatherings, and weekend retreats — all starting this fall. These programs extend the mercy and forgiveness of Christ by accompanying those wounded by abortion on their journey of hope and healing.
We’re an outlier in being able to provide these direct services out of our Office of Respect Life, and we’re able to do so because of the network of collaboration and support from our parishes and schools.
In the past year we’ve achieved 90% parish participation in Respect Life Ministry with pastor-appointed Respect Life Ministry representatives. We also launched our first annual archdiocesan-wide Catholic Schools Respect Life Month Campaign facilitated by principal-appointed Respect Life school representatives, raising awareness and over $220,000 for our Pregnancy Help Centers.
Our loving Respect Life staff and volunteers saw over 2,600 men and women and saved 29 babies from abortion when their parents changed their mind and chose life at our Pregnancy Help Centers. Our efforts are working, but more is needed.
While abortion rates are decreasing nationwide, our numbers here in Florida continue to rise, with nearly 80,000 abortions last year. Every year, over 25,000 abortions are performed at 24 abortion sites located in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties — the area encompassed by the Archdiocese of Miami. With a favorable decision in the Dobbs case, our laws will start to make a dent in that number. Starting July 1, Florida will provide legal protection to prenatal children after 15-weeks gestation. Additionally, a 24-hour waiting period prior to abortion that had previously been enjoined in court will now go into effect, giving mothers time to adequately reflect on the gravity of their situation, and our Sidewalk Advocates additional opportunities to provide information about life-affirming alternatives.
When Roe v. Wade is overturned, God willing, we will rejoice with prayers of thanksgiving. At the same time, we will roll up our sleeves, and double down our efforts to support families with love and real assistance. With a scaled-up continuum of care from the Church, the legality of abortion will become a moot point, because abortion will be rendered unthinkable.
Our pro-life efforts are so much more than a mere political issue. For Catholics, it’s the promise and hope of eternal life that gives unique shape to our defense of human life, and the love of Christ that impels us to serve and accompany our brothers and sisters in need. It’s both our duty and our joy to proclaim the good news about the abundant life offered in and through Christ, the mysterious power of redemptive suffering, and the path to true happiness.
Everyone has a role to play: What will be yours?
To learn more and join us in this mission to save lives and souls and create a culture of life and love, visit respectlifemiami.org.