BOSTON (CBS) — Cardinal Sean O’Malley weighed in on Friday in the nation’s raging debate over abortion rights for the first time since a draft Supreme Court opinion was leaked that could possibly overturn Roe v. Wade.
The leader of the Archdiocese of Boston said the church has worked, prayed and advocated for 50 years to overturn the “very flawed decision.”
“The case we have made to our religiously pluralistic nation is that abortion is fundamentally a human rights issue,” O’Malley said. “We have tried to make that case and will continue to do so whatever the final decision of the Court is.”
He went on to say: “A pro-life position does not end at birth; it must be extended to a public vision that encompasses the common good of our society”, and he called on both parties to “respect the dignity of others”.
Read O’Malley’s full statement below, via his blog:
“The leak of Judge Alito’s draft opinion on abortion has brought many voices to a contentious issue that is now almost fifty years old. Throughout those years, since the Roe v. Wade to this day, the Catholic Church has been part of the abortion debate in this country. Two characteristics have marked our position. First, while Catholic moral teaching has opposed abortion since the apostolic era, the case we have made before our religiously pluralistic nation is that abortion is fundamentally a human rights issue. Such questions are argued in rational terms: the right in danger is the right to life. Your defense in the public arena can and should be articulated in a way that those of any faith or no faith can analyze and understand. We have tried to make that case and will continue to do so whatever the final decision of the Court. Second, the human rights argument means that human life must be protected before birth and after birth. A pro-life position does not end at birth; it must be extended to a public vision that encompasses the common good of our society. The child whose life is protected by moral and civil law deserves the support of a society that provides the socioeconomic conditions in which life can flourish.
A draft opinion will not resolve our long national debate. As it proceeds, before and after the final decision is made, I expect all participants to respect the dignity of others; in a question as profound as the one we seek to decide, this attitude is fundamental”.