This past weekend I was invited to give a talk about pro-life issues to a group of 17 teenagers at a youth retreat at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hales Corners, WI. My talk was to be on pro-life issues, specifically abortion. This has been an extremely important topic ever since it was made legal in the 1973 Roe V. Wade Supreme Court ruling. My talk highlighted facts about abortion, the Catholic Church's teaching on it as well as personal experiences that I have had with pregnant classmates who were contemplating abortion, and personal stories about my time spent praying outside of a local abortion clinic. The main thing that I wanted to incorporate in my talk however was how important it is for the youth of our church to stand up and fight for the pro-life cause. After all, we are the future of the church aren't we? We need to show the rest of the world that we can make a difference in the way that it is run. This includes fighting to end abortion and all attacks on human life. We need to show the world that we will not stand by and let organizations such as Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics influence us and our decisions. A copy of my talk is below in italics.
One of the biggest ways that we can make an impact on the world is by doing one very simple but equally powerful action, voting. Yesterday marked the Recall Primary Election for Governor in Wisconsin. As you may know, Governor Scott Walker is being recalled and will, as of yesterday's primary election, face Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a Recall Election on June 5th. One of the things that Mayor Tom Barrett is in support of is abortion. As young people and young adult voters of this great state, we need to stand up and vote in support of pro-life candidates, namely, Governor Scott Walker. Walker is extremely pro-life and that is why he is getting my vote this election. Not only is he unjustly being recalled after doing a great job moving Wisconsin forward and out of debt, but it is also appalling that his opposition is one who is so evil that he is in support of killing innocent children and then trying to receive communion at a Catholic Church. It is time for us to stand strong as the young people of this state and vote for what is right. Please join me in voting for Governor Scott Walker on June 5th to not only to continue to move the state forward, but also save lives doing it.
Respect Life Committee Talk May 5th 2012
• My name is John Bender. I’m a senior at Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, a parishioner at St. Matthias Catholic Church in Milwaukee and am a member of the Respect Life Committee there.
• So when Eva Melenchuk, the president and founder of the Respect Life Committee here at St. Mary’s invited me to come talk about pro-life issues, I thought it was a great honor and a great chance to talk to kids around my own age about how important it is to make an impact in the world, by stopping one of the biggest things that harm it, abortion.
• So I’m going to begin by starting with the church teaching on human life taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church- “All life is sacred from conception to natural death.”
• People’s Exceptions- “ I’m only in favor of abortion in cases of rape and incest. When it comes to saving innocent life however, there are exceptions.
• There is nothing more important than the life of each and every human being.
Facts about Abortion
• Legal since the Supreme Court ruling of 1973.
• Since then, over 42 million abortions are performed in the US each year.
• 52% of these women receiving these abortions are younger than 25.
• 64.4% of all abortions are performed on un-married women.
• Teenagers obtain for 20% as well as 1.2% for children 15 and under.
Why is abortion still utilized?
• 1% of all abortions occur due to rape, 6% due to health problems regarding either the mother or child. 93% of all abortions occur because of social reason. Simply put, 93% of children are aborted due to inconvenience.
• Meaning that when a mother or family member feels like it is convenient for them to have a child, they will have one. Which leads to the question, “ when is it ever convenient to abort or end innocent human life?”
The Question is?
• How can we stop these horrible attacks on life from being performed, the biggest and best answer is abstinence.
• After all, the more couples that practice abstaining from sex reduces the number of women becoming pregnant, stops the transfer of sexually transmitted diseases and of course, without a pregnancy, there is no abortion.
• Sex between a married couple is seen as beautiful. It not only unites the couple but it also creates the possibility of creating new life.
• It is outside of this marriage bond that sex is considered morally wrong. First, because it is not commonly used as a way to pro-create, and second because a large number of pregnancies for unmarried couples are often result to abortion. This is the challenge for us young people. We need not only be physically strong, but also mentally and morally strong.
Call to be proactive
• As young people we have to be proactive in terms of our faith. We have to be advocates for one another. This requires getting out of our comfort zones and getting involved.
• There are many ways to get involved in the pro-life effort.
• This past March the Archdiocese had a Pro-life rally at the Cousin Center bringing huge amounts of teens and young adults to pray for an end to abortion.
• Each October is dedicated as Pro-Life Month, dedicating everything during that month towards praying for the pro-life cause.
• There are also opportunities to make a true impact in the pro-life movement. 40 Days for Life asks people of all ages to make a trip down to Affiliated Medical Services on Farwell Ave. in Milwaukee to pray for the end to all abortions that continue to occur at this last abortion clinic in the Milwaukee area.
• I have known a few classmates and old friends who have been pregnant and currently pregnant. When I have talked to these girls many of them felt strongly about keeping their baby, but also others have been influenced by their parents to try to make them give up their baby by aborting it. It is very sad for me to see how much their life will eventually change with or without the baby.
• The time that I have spent praying out in front of abortion clinics have definitely been life changing. I remember standing out in front the building watching countless women walk out of the clinic, heads down in shame, emotionally and mentally drained, feeling totally wiped out. I remember hearing the clinics employees ridiculing us for trying to deprive women of their right to abort their children. They seem so full of anger and hate, constantly calling us name, occasionally calling the police on us. It is very sad, but we understand that the only reason that they are angry is because somewhere inside of themselves; they know that what we are doing is honorable and right. Their reactions give away their true feelings.
• I can count the times that I have been to the abortion clinic on one hand, and sometimes I feel like I’m not really doing anything to fight abortion. In reality, just my being there, standing there, praying there; I am making a difference in someone else life. Maybe God is calling each of you to work in the pro-life movement. You will never know until you try. Just by going a few times will not only change your life, but it will change the lives of the people around you walking past and seeing your bravery and cheerful spirit. We need to bring a little light and happiness to fight the darkness. I encourage each of you to listen intently to what God is calling you to do. I promise that he will never disappoint you.