I write on the sensitive, difficult, and painful topic of the Supreme Court decision overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in all states. Given the importance, personal nature, and the deep divides surrounding this issue it is not surprising that the previously leaked draft and this decision have unleashed torrents of strong positive and negative reactions. Let me offer brief thoughts from our Catholic Charities perspective.
Catholics Charities affirms the sanctity and dignity of human life. Advocacy, protection, and nurturing human life, beginning at life’s earliest moments, must continue beyond birth to infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and seniors, and is demonstrated by the services Catholic Charities provides each day. It must also include empathy and support for women, especially the most vulnerable, who face and struggle with difficult experiences and decisions. No proper affirmation of unborn life can ever vilify or disrespect women, including those with whom we disagree on core issues.
Catholic Charities and other Catholic agencies witness these values through early childhood centers, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, food pantries, pregnancy centers, residences for those with disabilities, after school programs, affordable housing, mental health and addiction services, alternatives to incarceration, immigrant and refugee services, among others.
Along with thoughtful reflections and analysis, too much of what we hear and see is extreme, angry, and hurtful. Some reactions, undoubtedly, are, and will be directed against Catholic institutions. Catholic Charities will react, not with in-kind anger or hate, but with an ongoing and enhanced commitment to provide help and hope to all our vulnerable neighbors, non-Catholics and Catholics alike, so that the dignity and sanctity of lives might be protected, supported, and nurtured.
These are trying times to which Catholic Charites trustees, benefactors, staff, and volunteers bring a legacy of abundant generosity, prudence and dedication that promotes the dignity of each person as made in the image of God and fosters the common good. Thank you for your dedication.