Statements released by both the U.S. Catholic bishops and the Minnesota Catholic Conference concerning Sept. 12 “Catholics for Choice” national ad campaign

A pro-abortion group called "Catholics for Choice" is running a national ad campaign to promote public funding for abortion. Their ads have appeared in several papers across the nation. The full-page ad  appeared in Monday, Sept. 12 Star Tribune. 

Following are statements from both the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Minnesota Catholic Conference (the public policy voice of the bishops of Minnesota) in response to the ad:

A Statement from Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities (Sept. 14, 2016)

An abortion advocacy organization called “Catholics for Choice” (CFC) placed deceptive full-page newspaper ads in multiple cities on September 12 calling for taxpayer funding of abortion in the name of the Catholic faith.

As the U.S. Catholic bishops have stated for many years, the use of the name ‘Catholic’ as a platform to promote the taking of innocent human life is offensive not only to Catholics, but to all who expect honesty and forthrightness in public discourse.

CFC is not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way. It has no membership, and clearly does not speak for the faithful. It is funded by powerful private foundations to promote abortion as a method of population control.

The organization rejects and distorts Catholic social teaching -- and actually attacks its foundation. As Pope Francis said this summer to leaders in Poland, “Life must always be welcomed and protected…from conception to natural death. All of us are called to respect life and care for it.”

CFC’s extreme ads promote abortion as if it were a social good. But abortion kills the most defenseless among us, harms women, and tears at the heart of families. Pushing for public funding would force all taxpaying Americans to be complicit in the violence of abortion and an industry that puts profit above the well-being of women and children.

According to a July 2016 poll conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 45 percent of those who say they are pro-choice.

Finally, the CFC pits the needs of pregnant women against those of their unborn children. This is a false choice. Catholics and all people of good will are called to love them both. Consider supporting local pregnancy help centers, which do incredible work caring for mothers and children alike in a manner consistent with true social justice and mercy.

A Statement from the Minnesota Catholic Conference (the public policy voice of the Minnesota Catholic bishops) (Sept. 12, 2016)

The recent full-page advertisement in the Star Tribune, paid for by a national group calling themselves “Catholics for Choice,” woefully misrepresents the noble Catholic social justice tradition. By calling for public funding of abortion, “Catholics for Choice” disregards the need to defend vulnerable human life in all its stages—a principle at the core of authentic social justice. 
 
If there is a desire to help a woman in need who is facing an unplanned pregnancy, the solution as a society is to provide her with the resources and support she needs to care for her child—not help her dispose of it. Pope Francis has repeatedly condemned such a mentality as part of the throwaway culture that attacks the dignity of the weak and vulnerable because they seem inconvenient and make a claim upon our care and resources. 
 
Furthermore, the ad itself makes no effort to ground its claims in any authoritative source of the Catholic faith, which is rooted in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and is proclaimed by the Church. It fails to do so because the actual teachings of the Catholic faith embrace a consistent ethic of life from conception to natural death, and categorically condemn abortion as an act of violence against the most innocent and defenseless among us. 
 
“Since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2271) tells us. “This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.” The “Catholics for Choice” ad fails to acknowledge this truth of our faith, and instead presents Catholicism as something purely subjective, which in turn can be twisted and distorted to defend any indefensible position. The ad also offers a false choice between caring for women and caring for the unborn. We must love them both.

In response to this misleading ad, Minnesota Catholics are encouraged to support one of the many pregnancy resource services in our state, which do incredible work to care for both mothers and children in a manner consistent with true social justice.

Here are just a few local services that you might consider supporting:

The Minnesota Catholic Conference asks that you help spread the word about this misleading ad campaign and the truth of Catholic teaching by forwarding to your friends, and by sharing the MCC statement on your social media accounts.