Shortly after being elected to the papacy, St. John Paul II made his first apostolic visit to the United States in 1979. While in Washington, DC, the Polish pontiff quoted Thomas Jefferson in a homily that focused on the defense of all human life.
His address was full of vigor, aimed squarely at American politicians, explaining how he affirms the dignity of all human life.
I do not hesitate to proclaim before you and before the world that all human life—from the moment of conception and through all subsequent stages—is sacred, because human life is created in the image and likeness of God. Nothing surpasses the greatness or dignity of a human person. Human life is not just an idea or an abstraction; human life is the concrete reality of a being that lives, that acts, that grows and develops; human life is the concrete reality of a being that is capable of love, and of service to humanity.
St. John Paul II then said later on in his homily, “A distinguished American, Thomas Jefferson, once stated:
The entire homily is filled with a defense of the unborn, stirring up the hearts of his listeners to defend human life, no matter what the world says.
And so, we will stand up every time that human life is threatened. When the sacredness of life before birth is attacked, we will stand up and proclaim that no one ever has the authority to destroy unborn life. When a child is described as a burden or is looked upon only as a means to satisfy an emotional need, we will stand up and insist that every child is a unique and unrepeatable gift of God, with the right to a loving and united family.
If you need some added courage in the defense of human life, read his homily.