We have an inalienable right to life

The right to life is first and foremost

By Bishop Michael O. Jackels

The Pew Research Center recently issued a report on attitudes of Americans towards abortion. It says things like, fewer people support abortion rights than in previous years, but also fewer regard abortion as a critical issue, and an incredibly four-in-ten of people polled are unaware of the present President’s position on abortion.
There is reason for encouragement in these poll results. There is also I believe reason for worry. The more formidable enemy of the dignity of the human person and the inalienable right to life is not abortion advocates, but rather people who are indifferent and/or uninformed.
The following is offered to inform those who are indifferent to or who promote abortion rights.
We are responsible to care about and care for, to provide and protect not only our own lives, health, and dignity, but that of others as well, especially those unable to provide for or protect themselves.
Moreover, our responsibility for others is greatest when their ability is least, beginning and greatest at the moment of conception until birth. This duty lessens (but never entirely) as people grow into adulthood, and increases again as they age or become sick. Of course, our responsibility remains great even towards adults when they are mentally or physically disabled, or unable to secure for themselves the basics of a dignified life.
Some people defend their support for or indifference to abortion by pointing out their support for social issues championed by the Catholic Church. There is no trade-off here. The right to life comes first and foremost.
And some, like pro-abortion Catholic voters and politicians, try to portray opposition to abortion as a Catholic thing, saying that on account of the separation of church and state they cannot oppose abortion because it is the law of the land. Nonsense. Man’s inherent dignity and the inalienability of the right to life are true, not because the Catholic Church teaches so, but rather the Catholic Church teaches so because they are true.
With regard to the dignity of the human person and the inalienable right to life, it is to our own peril when we are indifferent or uninformed. When we hold human life and dignity cheaply, we are inviting other people to regard us likewise.