U.S. Bishops Insist Abortion Is ‘Pre-Eminent Priority’ for Catholic Voters

A pro-life activist holds a model fetus during a demonstration in front of the U.S. Suprem
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ROME — The United States Bishops have issued their updated Catholic voting guide, in which they insist that abortion is the “pre-eminent priority” for Catholic voters.

“The threat of abortion remains our pre-eminent priority because it directly attacks our most vulnerable and voiceless brothers and sisters and destroys more than a million lives per year in our country alone,” the bishops write in their guide titled Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.

The bishops state:

Our efforts to protect the unborn remain as important as ever, for just as the Supreme Court may allow greater latitude for state laws restricting abortion, state legislators have passed statutes not only keeping abortion legal through all nine months of pregnancy but opening the door to infanticide.

“Additionally, abortion contaminates many other important issues by being inserted into legislation regarding immigration, care for the poor, and health care reform,” the text adds.

While underscoring the unique evil of abortion, the bishops also reference other attacks on the dignity of the human person.

Other grave threats to the life and dignity of the human person “include euthanasia, gun violence, terrorism, the death penalty, and human trafficking,” they declare, continuing:

There is also the redefinition of marriage and gender, threats to religious freedom at home and abroad, lack of justice for the poor, the suffering of migrants and refugees, wars and famines around the world, racism, the need for greater access to healthcare and education, care for our common home, and more.

“All threaten the dignity of the human person,” they note.

Asked why the bishops continue stressing abortion rather than, say, climate change, Archbishop William Lori, vice-president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, observed that several factors make abortion stand apart.

“The reason we focus on the unborn as we do is because they are utterly voiceless and defenseless,” he said. “And abortion is a direct taking of human life.”

Pope Francis himself “would identify abortion as a primary instance of the throwaway culture,” he added.

The text on responsible citizenship passed overwhelmingly at the bishops’ annual plenary meeting in November, with 225 in favor, 11 against, and seven abstentions.


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