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The most important issue

By Most Rev. Eusebius J. Beltran Published: October 5, 2008

l citizens should be challenged to recognize the absolute need we all have to protect, to nurture and to assist human life. We do this every time there is a catastrophe. When storms or floods or fires threaten human lives, rightly do we expend great efforts and amounts of money to evacuate, to resettle, to help and save human lives. The only tragedy that does not receive a priority for life is the tragedy of abortion.

Abortion kills a living child in the womb. It is a violent action against both the mother and the child. It is a serious failure of a father to protect his own child. Those performing the abortion act unjustly and with violence. How then can any politician support the evil of abortion? How can any citizen vote for a politician who is pro-abortion?

I pray that we and our fellow citizens will uphold the first and most fundamental human right, the right to life itself. There is no other issue more important. All other issues are moot if the right to life is not respected and protected.

Beltran is archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops designated today as Respect Life Sunday.