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Any person with a modicum of moral conscience, human decency and basic common sense is reacting with outrage and horror to the recent state legislative initiatives in New York, and those now proposed in Virginia, which allow abortion right up to birth without the requirement of a doctor's presence.

The governor of Virginia has stated that if a baby intended for abortion was accidentally born alive, the mother could still decide to kill the child.

These proposals represent a new low in the inhumane evil which the abortion culture in this country has embraced.

The "pro-choice" mantra has always been that abortion should be "safe, legal and rare." In actuality, it is dangerous, immoral and common. The constant refrain that a woman should have control of her own body will now include the right to take a life that has actually left her body.

Abortion and infanticide are not evil and wrong because the Catholic Church and many others say that they are. These attacks on human life in its most tender and vulnerable stage violate the moral law inscribed in every heart. One can be an atheist and still conclude that it is wrong to kill another.

What law is more fundamental to society than "Thou shall not kill"? Any society hoping to flourish welcomes, nurtures and supports marriage, family and children. Legalized abortion and infanticide speak of a culture which has not only lost its moral compass completely, but has also become closed to its own future in a form of demographic suicide.

Every person must resist this culture of death and stand up for the dignity of the human person. I pray that our political leaders discover that the purpose of government is to protect and help our citizens, not facilitate their murder.

Most Reverend Donald J. Hying is bishop of the Diocese of Gary. The opinions are the writer's.

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Porter County Government Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.