BOSTON (CBS) — Cardinal Sean O’Malley on Friday weighed in on the raging abortion rights debate in the country for the first time since the leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that could possibly overturn Roe v. Wade.
The leader of the Boston Archdiocese said the church has worked, prayed and advocated for 50 years for the overturning of the “very flawed decision.”
“The case we have made to our religiously pluralistic nation is that abortion is fundamentally a human rights question,” O’Malley said. “We have tried to make that case and will continue to do so whatever the final decision of the Court will be.”
He went on to say “A pro-life position does not end at birth; it must extend to a public vision which encompasses the common good of our society,” and called for both sides to “respect the dignity of others.”
Read O’Malley’s full statement below, via his blog:
“The leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion on abortion has brought many voices into a conflicted question now almost fifty years old. Throughout those years, from the Roe v. Wade decision until today, 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 to our religiously pluralistic nation is that abortion is fundamentally a human rights question. Such questions are argued in rational terms: the right in danger is the right to life. Its defense in the public arena can and should be articulated in ways which 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 will be. 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 extend to a public vision which encompasses the common good of our society. The child whose life is protected by the moral and civil law deserves the support of a society which will provide the socio-economic conditions in which life can flourish.
A draft opinion will not settle our long national debate. As it goes forward, before and after the final decision is made, my hope is that all participants will respect the dignity of others; on a question as deep as the one we seek to decide this attitude is essential.”