USCCB: Never a need for abortion


In an age of moral compromise, Deirdre A. McQuade, assistant director of policy and communications at the pro-life secretariat of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, makes a principled public statement that there is never a "need" to intentionally kill a pre-born child.

McQuade, also a spokesperson for the USCCB, was formerly with the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health. McQuade said to Dan Gilgoff, of U.S. News & World Report:

The phrase "reducing the need for abortion" is not a common-ground phrase. We would say that there is no need for abortion, that abortions are signs that we have not met the needs of women. There is no authentic need for abortion.

United States Conference of Catholic BishopsMcQuade's comment was picked up by Public Eye, a save-the-earth kill-the-children magazine in an article about anti-abortion strategy in which "pro-choice" Frederick Clarkson wrote encouragingly, "The spectacle of about 70 Catholic Bishops denouncing the decision of Notre Dame to invite president Obama to speak solely because he is prochoice [sic] may be a bellwether." One would hope. Yes.

American RTL thanks McQuade for identifying and opposing the kind of moral compromise which actually undermines society's recognition of the child's right to life. Pro-lifers should share McQuade's insight with other pro-lifers such as Americans United for Life who might not yet realize the harm in speaking positively of laws that "reduce the need for abortion."

Deirdre is correct also that families, the church, and society at large has often not met the needs of women (and men), and when neglected or even abandoned, rather than turning to God many human beings choose selfish and therefore destructive and even murderous acts. Of course there are no grounds to claim that Eve's needs were not met to explain her choice of death for herself and her children. Still though, McQuade is correct: genocide against children is a sign that we have not met the needs of each individual woman. Yes, there is "no need for abortion," and there is no excuse either, for intentionally killing one's own child. Love is commitment to the good of someone. And if the human community loved each woman, from the beginning of each girl's biological development throughout her life, surely there would be fewer moms who decide to kill their daughters. And sons.


Please pray for the individual leaders who make up the USCCB that they will courageously educate and urge governing officials to acknowledge the following truths:

Catholic Catechism online at

Abortion: 2270 Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person1

Cardinal Ratzinger in John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae

"…from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized…"

The headquarters of American Right To Life is three doors down from the Colorado capitol building, and not far from here is the Denver Archdiocese where Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote insightfully in his popular Render Unto Caesar:

…American political life, though very practical, depends on ideas and beliefs that are large and long term; that are not built low to the ground… p. 214

As Archbishop Chaput recognizes, for "low to the ground" reasons, leaders often are fearful to promote "large ideas" (such as those quoted above as presented in the Catholic Catechism and as expressed so clearly by the current Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor). It is Christian in every sense to warn governing officials about their intentional killing of innocent children and to urge these governing men and women to recognize that the unborn child is made in God's image and has the inalienable right to life. The Archbishop recognizes that Prudence can be used as cover for fear, and he urges his fellow bishops and all of us to overcome any such fear, for the Christian virtue of Justice, rooted in God, obligates us whether we like it or not. As Archbishop Chaput put it:

Prudence too is a vital Christian virtue... but not when we use it as a cover for political cowardice. Real Christian virtues… rooted in God… obligate us whether we like it or not. p. 146

Some conservative Catholics and Protestants are currently not supporting the battle being waged in dozens of states to require the government to acknowledge that all children are persons, yet the personhood movement has exploded into forty states since 2008 when Colorado's amendment garnered 600,000 votes for a total ban on abortion in a liberal state. Amendment 48 accessed the statewide ballot with a grassroots petition drive. Then, lacking endorsements and often facing even opposition from every major Republican "pro-life" candidate and all major pro-life organizations except for the "purists," with twenty-seven percent of the electorate approving, Colorado doubled the percentage that conventional wisdom held would vote for a total ban on abortion. How many would have voted for the right to life of the unborn child had pro-life leaders not opposed the amendment?

The powerbase and leading candidates of both the Republican and Democratic parties oppose personhood. Thus personhood is also a political godsend, enabling the USCCB to advocate for the child's right to life without appearing as apologists for one political party.

Every twenty two years the lives of one billion children are snuffed out by abortion. God hates child sacrifice because of its cruelty to the child and because such rebellion further hardens the heart of parents against their Creator Jesus Christ. Both unborn children and grassroots pro-lifers are dying for America's leaders to promote personhood, for only in personhood can the world know the end of the horror of de-criminalized child killing.

American Right To Life urges everyone to teach our governing leaders that each human life must be protected absolutely from the first moment of existence and that from that same moment his rights as a person must be recognized.

January 25, 2010