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Today, when human rights are proudly proclaimed and the value of life itself given public affirmation, the most basic of all human rights, “the very right to life,” “is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death” (The Gospel of Life, no. 18). Sometimes very difficult or even tragic situations can be the basis for decisions made against life, circumstances that can diminish the personal culpability of those who make choices that in themselves are evil. But as Pope John Paul II points out, today the problem goes further: “It is a problem which exists at the cultural, social and political level, where it reveals its more sinister and disturbing aspect in the tendency, ever more widely shared, to interpret . . . crimes against life as legitimate expressions of individual freedom, to be acknowledged and protected as actual rights” (The Gospel of Life, no. 18).

The question “Where does one begin?” is easy to answer: “We must begin with a commitment never to intentionally kill, or collude in the killing, of any innocent human life, no matter how broken, unformed, disabled or desperate that life may seem” (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 21).

4Life is the official prolife ministry of St. Thomas SyroMalabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago and SyroMalankara Catholic Apostolic Exarchate in the USA. Through its initiatives, the ministry aims to reach out to the families and youth and prepare them to defend the sanctity of life at all stages. The ministry is also determined to coordinate the efforts to protect, sustain, and nurture human life, especially the most vulnerable—at its beginning and at its end and provide leadership for pro-life education within the Catholic community and within society as a whole.