Pro-Life or Pro-Birth?
Have you heard the organizers of the so-called “March for Life” highlighting the need for affordable childcare or healthcare for families? What about demanding Congress make school lunches free for all kids — or calling attention to the fact that in 2020 and 2021, firearms contributed to the death of more kids in the U.S. than any other type of injury or illness?
We have to ask: Is the March for “Life” actually trying to benefit the lives of kids and families?
Until these “pro-life” groups start to care about the issues that are meant to protect life beyond the womb, they should be labeled for what they really are: pro-birth.
I don’t think I’m pro-choice, but I don’t fully identify as pro-life either. What should I do?
That’s OK! As Catholics for Choice, we support abortion access. We also engage and educate people of faith, particularly Catholics, who feel uncertain. Abortion can be a morally complex topic.
People shouldn’t need to force themselves into a binary. Instead of asking whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, let’s change the question. Do you believe that a woman is capable of making a moral decision about her life? If your answer is yes, then you believe in a basic pro-choice value.
I would never have an abortion. Does that make me pro-life?
There’s a misconception that deciding to have a baby is a “pro-life” decision. Choosing to give birth is just that — a choice! Being “pro-choice” doesn’t mean that you think more people should have abortions. It means that you think people should be able to choose whether they want to make the life-changing commitment of having a child.
What does the Catholic church say about abortion?
Catholic teachings on abortion have changed over time. Many past and present Catholic theologians have said abortion can be a moral choice. Others disagree.
In Catholic teaching, our personal, individual conscience — which is cultivated through prayer, education, reflection, and Scripture — has the final say on any moral decision we make.
“In all we say and do, [we are] obliged to follow faithfully what [we know] to be just and right.” — Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1778
As Catholics, we believe that we must use all resources available to form our consciences so that we can make the best possible decisions for ourselves, especially in morally complex circumstances. This is particularly essential when making choices about sexual and reproductive health.
The history of Church teaching on abortion and its teaching on moral decision-making are complex. In Catholic theology there is room to question and disagree with church teachings and support positions and policies that favor access to the full range of reproductive health options, including contraception and abortion. That’s why we are fully Catholic and fully support abortion justice.
What do Catholics believe about abortion?
In the U.S., 63% of Catholics think abortion should be legal in all or most cases (PRRI 2023).
Among Gen Z Catholics, 70% think abortion should be legal in all or most cases (PRRI 2023).
What if I get pregnant or know someone who’s considering abortion?
Statistically, 1 in 4 women in the U.S. will have an abortion in her lifetime. This means that one day, you or someone you love will need to make an important decision about pregnancy. When a friend shows you their positive pregnancy test in the school bathroom or you realize just how late your period is, you deserve to have all the information and resources you need to make the decision that’s right for you.