17 years ago, Consuela Cordoba was severely disfigured after her ex-boyfriend, Dagoberto Esuncho, threw acid all over her. Esuncho served just one month in prison for the attack. Cordoba, meanwhile, luckily survived, but had to undergo 87 operations in an attempt to save her face. But the attack still left her with life-altering injuries; she has to breathe through tubes in her nostrils, and can only eat liquid food through a straw. She has to wear a mesh bodysuit at all times, as well as an elastic mask. She is unable to work, and survives by begging for money in Colombian markets.
In 2012, she admitted to NPR that she had considered killing herself multiple times. “I had perfect teeth, I was very pretty. But now, I’m destroyed,” she said. “I’ve thought about committing suicide, yes sir, I’ve thought about taking my life three times. I say to myself, why live? With a life like the one I have, what for?”
Still, she endured. But when she was diagnosed with a brain infection, she thought it was too much. She made plans to be euthanized on September 29, and had even chosen her own gravesite. And when Pope Francis visited Colombia for a five-day visit, she was there to meet him, hoping he would give her his approval for her decision to be euthanized. But he told her that he could not do that, and in doing so, saved her life.
Instead of shrinking back from Cordoba, Pope Francis embraced her. “He said no, he was not going to do it. He told me that I was very brave and very pretty,” she recalled. “That changed my life. Now I want to live.” But that wasn’t all — Pope Francis also promised to help her with her upcoming surgery. “Dr. Gustavo Quinonez was going to give me the injection, but I’m not going to do it because God is going to bring greatness to my life. So that I do not die, they will donate for the surgery that I need, which will cost several million pesos,” she said. “I am going to tell Dr. Gustavo, ‘thank you very much for your injection, but it is for another’.”
Another pro-life example of life-saving work from pro-lifers comes out of Arlington, Virginia. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington purchased a former abortion facility, and is planning on turning it into a free medical clinic for those in need. The diocese said in a statement that they will utilize volunteer doctors and nurses to provide medical care for those without insurance, and will also have other free services, like “counseling, emergency assistance and referrals for workforce development and immigration support.” The diocesan spokesperson said that they hoped to “offer a form of redemption to the space that once served such a sad and dark purpose.”
“By offering this service, we’re not only acknowledging the dignity of the individual,” said Art Bennett, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, but are also “helping the common good, helping people overcome problems so they can flourish and lead a better life.” The clinic will be open in November.
Pro-abortion activists frequently accuse pro-lifers of not caring about born people, claiming that the pro-life movement cares only about saving babies and nothing else. But there are countless examples — from pro-lifers of many stripes, including Catholics, Evangelicals, and others — that prove this wrong. Being pro-life is about more than just abortion: it’s about helping people make the choice for life, whether that involves abortion, euthanasia, or anything in between, as demonstrated in these cases by Pope Francis and the Catholic Charities of Arlington.