At the National Prayer Breakfast in 1994, Mother Teresa noted that every "unborn child has been carved in the hand of God from conception, and is called by God to love and to be loved, not only now in this life, but forever." She also noted that "the child is God’s gift to the family. Each child is created in the special image and likeness of God for greater things — to love and to be loved. This is the only way that our children are the only hope for the future."
Mother Teresa made these points to explain that with abortion, "the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world."
More recently, after the release of statistics showing that 39 percent of all pregnancies in New York City ended in abortion in 2009, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan called on fellow religious leaders to help make abortions in New York City "rare." Archbishop Dolan reaffirmed Cardinal John O’Connor’s promise to provide every woman facing a difficult pregnancy with free, confidential help of the highest quality from the New York Archdiocese.
On Jan. 22, 1973, with its Roe v. Wade decision, the Supreme Court legalized U.S. abortions for all nine months of pregnancy. In response, the U.S. bishops have designated Jan. 22 as a day of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.
Especially on Jan. 22, the bishops are encouraging families to pray for all those who bear the scars of abortion. Parents also can remind children of the church’s teaching that all human life is sacred, and worthy of protection, from conception to natural death.