popeDuring a joint session of Congress, Pope Francis addressed Members of both parties and pleaded with them to protect and defend life at every stage of its development.

He encouraged Members of Congress to use their responsibility as lawmakers to strengthen America and emphasized the need for unity:

Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew7:12).

This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.

This conviction has led me, from the beginning of my ministry, to advocate at different levels for the global abolition of the death penalty. I am convinced that this way is the best, since every life is sacred, every human person is endowed with an inalienable dignity, and society can only benefit from the rehabilitation of those convicted of crimes. Recently my brother bishops here in the United States renewed their call for the abolition of the death penalty. Not only do I support them, but I also offer encouragement to all those who are convinced that a just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.

The Christian Post has the full transcript of the Pope’s address here.

His message comes at a crucial period in American history just months after shocking undercover videos were released to the public showing the criminal activity of Planned Parenthood.

The latest sting video discovered Planned Parenthood was harvesting organs from innocent babies and then selling their organs.

Life News references Pope Francis’ message to the Catholic bishops to remain steadfast and vigilant in defending the life of the unborn and Catholicvote.org lists 13 inspirational quotes from Pope Francis on the Sanctity of Human Life.

“Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as ‘unnecessary.’ For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day; children being used as soldiers, abused and killed in armed conflicts; and children being bought and sold in that terrible form of modern slavery which is human trafficking, which is a crime against humanity.” – Pope Francis Speech to diplomats Jan. 13, 2014

Members of Congress need to stand up to protect life at its most vulnerable state. If we are a nation who turns the other way while innocent life is slaughtered, what have we become?

Several Members of Congress have vowed to work to strip all Planned Parenthood funding. However, the Senate rejected the most recent efforts by a vote of 47-52.