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Catholics for Choice on the Murder of Tyre Nichols: Black Lives Matter is a Pro-Life Issue

January 27, 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, January 27, 2023
Contact: John Becker, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 203-0931

Catholics for Choice on the Murder of Tyre Nichols: Black Lives Matter is a Pro-Life Issue

WASHINGTON – Today Catholics for Choice, which uplifts and amplifies the voices of the majority of Catholics who believe in reproductive freedom, issued the following statement from President Jamie L. Manson, M. Div., after the city of Memphis, Tennessee, released video of the traffic stop that led to the beating and murder of Tyre Nichols by five police officers:

“The savage, brutal beating of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police officers is an unspeakable horror that breaks our hearts, boils our blood, shocks our conscience, and cries out to heaven. It feels so hollow to call for ‘justice,’ because in a truly just world, Tyre Nichols would be alive, not a hashtag. Instead, a mother weeps for her son, a son has lost his father, and a family, a community, and a nation are devastated. Tyre Nichols’ life matters, and we say his name.

“The systematic and disproportionate targeting of Black and brown Americans by the police is a reproductive justice issue, because every person has the right to raise their children in nurturing, supporting, and safe environments — but police brutality against people of color robs them of autonomy and control over their bodies, their lives, and their families. No mother should ever have to endure what Tyre’s mother RowVaughn is going through, having seen her child’s body so bloodied and brutalized. No parent should ever have to think twice about having children, as so many Black parents do, for fear that their child could be next.

“It is not lost on us that Nichols’ murder took place in Tennessee, a state whose governor is fond of calling it ‘one of the most pro-life states in America.’ But Black Lives Matter is a pro-life issue — and a place where Black and brown folks are not safe in the hands of law enforcement cannot honestly call itself ‘pro-life.’ Black Lives Matter is a moral imperative. It may be too late for justice for Tyre Nichols, but if we dismantle the sinful structures of racism and white supremacy that led to his death, we can honor his memory and bring ourselves closer to peace.”

Catholics for Choice shapes and advances sexual and reproductive ethics that are based on justice, reflect a commitment to a person’s well-being and respect, and affirm the capacity of all people to make moral decisions about their lives.