Simply saying “No” to abortion is not enough, in fact that advocacy is incomplete and can even hinder the promotion of human rights as a whole. Being pro-life continues even as far as making sure there are good schools and even good jobs with healthy working conditions to lessen the pressure on families.
Our Catholic Identity One of the primary undertakings of the Catholic Church is the promotion of human rights. We do this through our Catholic Charities, Propagation of the Faith(coordination and promotion of Catholic missions), Caritas’ services for the poor, etc. The Catholic Church educates more people than any other institution in the world and is at the forefront of providing health services to the sick. Our advocacy for human rights in an inseparable part of our identity as Catholics.
Rights vs. Civil Liberties “Rights” are fundamental conditions that innately belong to each person by merit of our participation in nature. It is possible to suppress human rights, but suppression is a violation of nature and has no bearing on the rights we are entitled to as people. Sometimes we describe conditions that belong to each person because of social contract. Those are “civil liberties” and not necessarily “rights.”
Life as a Human Right: The first human right is the right to life. Without full protection for this, the rights to education and labor are seriously compromised. It is so fundamental that it includes protection for the most vulnerable among us(embryos, those sentenced to death, the ill, and elderly). Being truly pro-life continues even as far as making sure there are good schools and even good jobs with healthy working conditions to lessen the pressure on families.
What about social stigma? In a word, it is wrong. Acting or speaking in a way that may embarrass a mom or a woman post-abortion gravely hinders the efficacy and public opinion of the pro-life movement. We have a responsibility to do our best to speak charitably and be acutely aware of how sensitive the circumstances are for the women we are advocating for.
But there are many reasons why moms may feel pressured to undergo the procedure! That is why being pro-life continues well past advocacy for pregnant moms. Some of the driving forces of unplanned pregnancies include poverty and lack of access to a good education.
The advocacy reaches far… Are there quality schools in my neighborhood? Are there available jobs with healthy working conditions? Are workers being paid a just wage? Note that a majority of children with Down Syndrome do not make it to term by parental choice. Are there health care options available to less fortunate families?
Human Rights and advocacy: it’s inseparable from our identity as Catholics.