Advocate for Laws That Protect Life

One of the most prominent things we can do to advance a culture of life is to learn about the public policy positions that affect life and to advocate for laws that protect life whenever we can. In doing so, we are not forcing our faith upon others or confusing church with state, but rather honoring the fact that laws are based upon justice and the common good of all people – including the unborn, the handicapped, and the dying.  Faith reveals what our minds already tell us about the dignity of life.  As the Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities so poignantly explains:

Protecting and promoting the inviolable rights of persons is the most solemn responsibility of civil authority. As Americans and as religious leaders we are committed to governance by a system of law that protects human rights and maintains the common good.

We are reminded that “the Church must be committed to the task of educating and supporting lay people involved in law-making, government and the administration of justice, so that legislation will always reflect those principles and moral values which are in conformity with a sound anthropology and advance the common good” (The Church in America, no. 19, quoting Synod for America, proposition 72).

We cannot simultaneously commit ourselves to human rights and progress while eliminating or marginalizing the weakest among us. Nor can we practice the Gospel of life only as a private piety. American Catholics must live it vigorously and publicly, as a matter of national leadership and witness, or we will not live it at all.

A public policy program requires well-planned and coordinated advocacy by citizens at the national, state, and local levels. Such activity is not solely the responsibility of Catholics but instead requires widespread cooperation and collaboration on the part of groups large and small, religious and secular. As U.S. citizens and religious leaders, we see a critical moral imperative for public policy efforts to ensure the protection of human life. We urge our fellow citizens to see the justice of this cause and to work with us to achieve these objectives.

To educate yourself and others on public policy issues related to life, and to engage in advocacy directly related to supporting life, please consider visiting some of the following websites.

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC) is the public affairs arm of Pennsylvania’s Catholic bishops and the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania. The PCC Social Concerns Department monitors pro-life, social justice, and family-life issues and helps diocesan Catholic Charities agencies by monitoring legislation and regulations that affect them and the services they offer. It also advocates on behalf of low-income and other needy population groups.

  • To visit the PCC’s Social Concerns Department, go here.
  • To sign up for the PCC’s Advocacy Network please go here.

The Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation is a statewide grassroots right-to-life organization, as well as the Pennsylvania affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee.  The Federation is committed to promoting the dignity and value of human life through education, legislation, and political action, and proclaims the truth about abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.  Several of their members are on the diocese’s Respect Life Speakers Bureau.

  • To get more information on pro-life issues, please visit the education tab on their homepage.
  • To sign up for their weekly newsletter, including updates on Pennsylvania bills and laws related to life, please go here.
  • To learn how to contact your PA legislators on issues related to life, please go here.

Human Life Action, a project of the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA), has as its mission:  to enable the grassroots to advocate at the federal level for pro-life legislation; to educate citizens about the need for a Human Life Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; to create pro-life legislative networks to assist state Catholic Conferences, Catholic dioceses, and Catholic lay groups; and to work closely with the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in support of their pro-life legislative agenda.

  • To access policy letters and other information on the full range of pro-life issues, see their issues page.
  • Go to legislative reports to learn about current abortion bills and policies at the national level.
  • Go to their action center to lobby your federal representatives on a current issue.

Every year in January over 100,000 people travel to Washington, DC to commemorate the Roe v. Wade decision by listening to national pro-life figures, marching down Constitution Avenue, and gathering at the Supreme Court. Afterwards some meet with their elected representatives, while others network with fellow pro-lifers from across the country.

Over 1,000 people from our diocese, many of them students, travel down to the March for Life every year. However we are always looking for more. Please visit our March for Life page for information on how to go.