Guest commentary: A life-affirming opportunity

Not too long after our arrival in Naples, we were asked by a local TV news anchor for a reaction to the impending resumption of abortions at the local Planned Parenthood clinic on Creech Road, off Goodlette-Frank Road.

Naturally, the only reaction possible was one of shock and sadness, because the resumption of this horrible practice in Naples was and is a crisis.

It is worth noting, however, that the word crisis comes from the Greek “krisis,” which, loosely translated, means a time of opportunity. For us it is an opportunity to speak up and speak out — by word and by action — for the dignity of all human life, including those persons who have not yet been born.

At Ave Maria School of Law, we impart a rich appreciation for the natural law (which is understandable through reason) and the divine law (which is revealed by God). It is a complementary and comprehensive approach to legal education, which enables our graduates to grasp the full truth about the sanctity of life and understand their obligation to defend it at all stages, from the womb to natural death. Our goal is to produce lawyers, judges and legislators who will help change the culture so that each person is protected and respected and the common good is promoted. Our approach provides guideposts and insights for reforming the law in order to obtain a more just and humane society.

It is a real blessing for us to be here in Naples. This is an area that fairly bubbles with life, in its colorful flora and fauna, and in the people of all religious stripes who make up this vibrant community. The presence of Planned Parenthood — that most visible and efficient mechanism of planned death and abortion in our neighborhood — is a contradiction of the first order.

As good citizens and staunch advocates of life, many in our law school community have committed themselves to prayerful protest. Each Saturday members of our school’s Lex Vitae (Law of Life) Society gather outside Planned Parenthood to pray the rosary for the unborn, their parents and even for the escorts and abortion providers inside the building.

Fortunately, we are not alone in this life-saving endeavor. It is a joy to report that over the past months, we have come to know many other outstanding groups committed to life. Last Saturday, we all joined together on the picket line for a live, remote broadcast of the law school’s weekly radio program, “The Advocate.”

Many people spoke of the special work they do on behalf of children, born and unborn, their mothers and women who have been damaged by abortion. It was inspirational to learn about the wonderful work performed by these pro-life organizations. To join hands and hearts with such loving people was a true source of consolation for us.

Our law school came to Naples with a sincere desire to serve Southwest Florida and our country as a whole. We are grateful for the warm reception we have received. We offer a special thanks to Collier County Sheriff’s Office officials for their concern and care for the safety of everyone participating in our gatherings. And we look forward to engaging in a candid dialogue about human life and dignity with all members of our community, regardless of their beliefs.

We have no doubt that our prayers and love of life will enrich all Neapolitans, just as we have been enriched by so many of our new neighbors.

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