Politicians and activists often see themselves as the heroes of the pro-life movement. But the real heroes are the parents who choose life, even in difficult circumstances. Sometimes these circumstances are the result of our society’s failure to support families and ensure that they have all of their needs met. Sometimes they result from decisions made by one or both of the parents that they later regret. Other times, the child has a serious illness or disability. An obscene number of these children are killed, inextricably linking the pro-life cause with the fight for disability rights. These parents who choose life know the road ahead will not always be easy, but refuse to cast aside their precious children. Instead they affirm the value and worth of their children against a culture that too often estimates a person’s worth using a brutal utilitarian calculation that finds little value in the weak and vulnerable. Pope Francis has rightly labeled such parents heroes:
Francis met for nearly an hour with a group of severely ill children and their parents Friday…
The Vatican said Francis spent time with each child, who ranged in age from two to 14. The father of one child, Andrea Maria, told Francis how doctors had advised his wife to have an abortion because of a difficult pregnancy and the child’s ailments but that they refused.
A Vatican statement of the closed meeting said Francis expressed his admiration for their courage, saying abortion is a false solution and that such parents show “heroism.”
These are the heroes of everyday life. It is good to see the pope recognize some of these “saints of daily life” that are helping to build the kingdom of God right now.