Illinois March For Life
Protecting Illinois babies
Photo file/Bishop Thomas Paprocki (2022)
March 28, 2023
From Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki’s speech to last week’s Illinois March for Life…
We have gathered here from all across the Land of Lincoln because the lives of unborn babies in our state of Illinois are threatened as never before. Since the United States Supreme Court decision last year in Dobbs v. Jackson overturned the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade and rightfully returned the question of the legality of abortion back to the states, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, Attorney General Kwame Raoul, Speaker of the House Emanuel “Chris” Welch, and Senate President Don Harmon, along with many others in Illinois state government, have unequivocally expressed their unabashed desire to expand abortion rights and make Illinois an abortion-friendly haven. Every year, over 10,000 out-of-state residents come to Illinois for abortions, often at taxpayer expense, and that number has been increasing dramatically since June of 2022. In states such as ours, we cannot relax our pro-life efforts now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. On the contrary, we must step up our struggles to counter the evil forces of death.
Our nation is divided today over the question of abortion as it was in the 19th century over the question of slavery. On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln, before whose statue we gather, gave his famous “House Divided” speech in the Hall of Representatives of the Old State Capitol here in Springfield, Illinois. He started by quoting our Lord Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 12, verse 25: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Mr. Lincoln explained, “I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”
Similarly, echoing Mr. Lincoln, we should all say, “I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half pro-abortion and half pro-life. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”
As people of faith, we come here in peace, prayerful asking the members of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of our Illinois state government to “harden not your hearts,” as we read in Psalm 95:8. May you find compassion for the lives of the most vulnerable among us, the sacred human lives of unborn babies.