A Michigan priest has inspired thousands of Catholics to fight a radical pro-abortion amendment with prayer this fall, believing God can stop the state from legalizing the killing of unborn babies up to birth.
Thousands of people have signed up to participate in the 54-day pro-life rosary novena – an idea from the Rev. Gordon Reigle, of St. Thomas Aquinas parish in East Lansing, according to the Catholic News Agency.
Reigle said the idea came to him while he was praying about the proposed state constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in November.
If it passes, Proposal 3 would allow the killing of unborn babies in abortions through all nine months of pregnancy and allow anyone, including people without medical training, to “assist” with an abortion, according to the Citizens to Support Michigan Women and Children, a coalition of state pro-life organizations.
“So, I asked God what can be done to overcome such powerful and well-financed lobby groups as Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union? Within a matter of minutes, the idea of a 54-day rosary novena popped into my head,” Reigle said.
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He said he approached Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea with the idea, and the bishop approved it. The rosary novena starts Thursday and runs up until the day before the election. To sign up or learn more, visit the Catholic Diocese of Lansing website.
“To be honest, I’ve never prayed a 54-day rosary novena before,” Reigle said. “I knew that it exists and that it is very powerful but, I have to tell you, the insight in prayer came as a surprise.”
Thousands of people have signed up through the Diocese of Lansing, and Reigle said other Michigan Catholic dioceses may participate, too.
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Already thousands have signed up to receive a daily text reminder for each day of the novena. Reigle believes that victory in November’s election is only possible through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary as “the patroness of the Gospel of Life.”
“Mary’s sorrowful heart grieves over the sufferings of her children, especially when our most innocent and vulnerable are threatened,” Reigle said. “May Our Lady protect us and save our children!”
In a pastoral letter last week, Boyea also promoted the prayer campaign, asking Catholics to “fight like heaven” through prayer and fasting for unborn babies and mothers. He said the proposed amendment is “the most extreme abortion proposal this country has ever witnessed.”
State pro-life advocates nicknamed the proposal The Anything Goes Abortion Amendment because it would allow abortions through all nine months of pregnancy and get rid of abortion facility safety requirements, parental consent and more, according to the Citizens to Support Michigan Women and Children.
Currently, Michigan law requires parents to consent for their underage child to have basically any medical procedure. However, the amendment would create an exception for abortion, making it so a girl as young as 12 can have an abortion without her parents’ knowledge or consent.
One of the problems is the implications of the amendment are not immediately apparent to voters. The pro-life coalition described the 400-word measure as “poorly worded” and “too confusing.” It released a new ad this week to help voters understand just how extreme it is.
Michigan is a major abortion battleground state. Pro-life Republicans control the state legislature, but pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer repeatedly has vetoed life-saving legislation. In July, Whitmer vetoed $21.4 million in funding to support pregnant and parenting mothers who choose life for their babies.
Michigan has a pre-Roe v. Wade law that protects unborn babies by banning abortions, but a judge recently blocked the law at the request of pro-abortion groups. The amendment could invalidate the law completely if it passes.
Nearly 30,000 unborn babies are aborted in Michigan every year.