Vocations Corner: Human Life Matters

Martin Aviles-Vazquez (far left) with Hispanic youth group.

Last year the apostolic committee at St. Joseph Seminary in Covington, LA organized a pro-life rosary outside an abortion clinic in New Orleans and a visit to the Woman’s New Life Center, a pro-life center that helps women in moments of pregnancy crisis, located next to the abortion clinic. After the tour, they gave a talk that made me realize that as a Catholic I was not doing enough to defend human life and that abortion not only destroys the life of the baby, but also causes great physical and psychological pain to the abortive parents. After this experience and others, I became an activist for the pro-life movement.

I feel called to do as much as possible to defend the right to life for the unborn. I shared with Marcos Villalba, diocesan Coordinator of Hispanic Youth and Young Adults, my wish to educate young people about pro-life culture. A few days later he invited me to join him in giving a talk to a Hispanic young adult group at Christ the King Parish. We had a very good response especially because God sent us a man who gave his testimony that night. He reaffirmed what I heard at the pro-life center in New Orleans: that abortion affects both women and men. The pro-life movement is supportive and compassionate, following the example of Jesus. There are centers that offer help to both female and male victims of abortion. As Christians we have to remember God loves us so much and there is no sin He will not forgive.

The National Pro-Life movement “Priests for Life,” says on their website, “abortions are based in a double lie, denying that the ‘fetus’ is a human being, just as we are and saying that ‘abortion helps women’.” The truth is abortion hurts women, physically and psychologically. Many women harden their hearts against their baby, worrying only about themselves. Being a pro-life person means being pro-woman. The pro-life message is not about “love the baby and forget the woman.”

Finally, I want to motivate all people reading this article, to join in the pro-life movement and work together to defend human life. Statistics show that for every 50 hours a person works in pro-life activities, one life is saved. I am convinced that the pro-life movement will win out. More and more young adults are asserting that they are pro-life, as evidenced by the March for Life in Washington that takes place each January and has more and more participation of young people each year.

Martin Aviles-Vazquez is a seminarian for the Diocese of Shreveport in second year college at St. Joseph Seminary in St. Benedict, LA.

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