How many little boys were killed by the henchmen of King Herod in and around Bethlehem in the attempt to destroy the infant Jesus? It is thought that about twenty of those babies were slaughtered, given the size of the town and the birthrate of those days as far as we can calculate it.
Since the crime of abortion has been okayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, we hear that about 1.3 million babies are aborted in our country alone every year. This always reminds me of a moment that I will not forget. Back in the early '70's, I was hearing confessions when a young woman came into my confessional and told me that she was planning to have an abortion. I begged her not to kill the baby in her womb, reminded her that abortion was a very grave sin, and warned her that even though abortion seemed to her at that moment to be a desirable thing to do, one day she would regret having done that.
She said to me, “Father, I am not married. I simply cannot disgrace my family by letting it be known that I am pregnant. I have no choice.” “Oh, yes, you DO have a choice, I told her. And not only a choice, but a most serious obligation. 'Thou shall not kill' are the words of the Almighty God and apply to that case.” We talked a bit more, but I couldn't convince her, and so she left my confessional, evidently still resolved to kill the baby she was carrying. That tragic situation impressed me. I have often thought about that young woman and wondered how that situation played out. Did she actually have “her pregnancy terminated” as the pro-abortion people call it? Was that her first abortion? Her last one? Is she still living today? Has she suffered greatly from remorse if she did actually have the child of her womb killed? I hope that whatever the details, she profited spiritually from the whole event and never again committed the sin of fornication or adultery and especially the sin and crime of abortion.
The twenty or so baby boys killed in Bethlehem and celebrated in our religious calendar as “the Holy Innocents” are appropriate heavenly intercessors whom we can invoke to touch the hearts of people who either perform abortions or believe it to be permissible to do so. Let us pray for our parents today, to thank them for giving us the gift of life, for all those involved in the Right-to-Life and Pro-Life movements today. They speak for all of us in bearing witness to the value and sacredness of human life and the hideous crime of the killing of the unborn.
–Fr. Victor Brown