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 penance for violations to the dignity of the human person committed through acts of abortion, and of prayer for the full restoration of the legal guarantee of the right to life. The Mass "For Peace and Justice" (no. 22 of the "Masses for Various Needs") should be celebrated with violet vestments as an appropriate liturgical observance for this day.(General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 373).
Elective abortion is always evil. The intentional destruction of innocent human life, no matter what the objective goal, is always evil, be it through murder, infanticide, elective abortion, the destruction of embryos in the vitro fertilization process or for embrionic stem cell research, assisted suicide, euthanasia, or the death penalty. Yet, these evil acts occur every day in our country, and so we pray and do penance for the evil that our laws and our society tolerate or even misjudgingly condone.