On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court legalized abortion throughout the United States in its companion decisions Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Since that time, millions of children have lost their live,s and millions of women and families have been wounded by abortion.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM), no. 373, designates January 22 as a particular day of prayer and penance, called the "Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children." The Church directs:
In all the Dioceses of the United States of America, January 22 (or January 23, when January 22 falls on a Sunday) shall be observed as a particular day of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life and of penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion.
As individuals, we are called to observe this day through the penitential practices of prayer, fasting and/or almsgiving. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops provides resources to help parishes, schools, families, ministries and individual Catholics participate in this important day of prayer and penance.
In addition, the USCCB also sponsors an annual, nationwide novena called "9 Days for Life" which surrounds the liturgical observance of the Day of Prayer. Each day for nine days, a different intention is featured, accompanied by a short reflection, suggested actions, and related information as we pray for the respect and protection of every human life. In 2020, the novena will take place Tuesday, January 21 - Wednesday, January 29.
Information and sign-up for daily email reminders can be found here.
Reprinted from Respect Life Program, copyright ©2019, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.