Fr. Frank Pavone
Priests for Life
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Pope John Paul II writes the following words in The Gospel of Life, n.73:
"Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to
legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead
there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious
objection" (EV, n.73).
But what is this "conscientious objection?"
Certainly, conscience clauses protect doctors and nurses who refuse to
perform or assist in abortions. There is also a clear obligation on the part of
lawmakers to protect human life.
But an important arena for conscientious objection also lies in the
non-medical service personnel who may be called upon to help an abortion
facility. Some 90% of abortions are performed outside of
hospitals. Like any facility, these abortion mills require servicing from a wide
range of people. When the roof leaks, someone is called to fix it. When the heat
or air conditioning fails, someone is called to service it. When the copy
machine is broken, someone is called to repair it.
Is it not time for the People of Life to say that they will not cooperate in
servicing abortion facilities? The fact that abortion is legal does not imply
that any citizen, particularly one opposed in conscience to abortion, has to do
anything to help it to happen. Putting aside the nuances about the forms of
cooperation and the levels of obligation associated with them, is it not time
for a strong and pure witness of non-cooperation?
Businesses need not contract with abortion facilities, and employees can
refuse to take an assignment that brings them to an abortion mill. Many, in
fact, may be servicing facilities without realizing that abortions are committed
there. Local pro-life activists can find out which businesses service the local
abortion facilities, and then begin informing the businesses and their employees
of that fact.
Federal law, under Title VII, states, "It shall be an unlawful employment
practice for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any
individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to
his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of
such individual s … religion," and further indicates that "[t]he term
``religion includes all aspects of religious observance and practice, as well
as belief…" There is certainly a strong defense here for those who are
opposed to abortion to refuse to service abortion facilities.
Let this witness begin, from plumbers, electricians, office supply companies,
delivery services, printing companies, lawn and garden companies, snow removal
services, computer consultants, office machine repair services, sanitation
workers, roofing companies, taxi drivers, security companies, lock and key
companies, cleaning and maintenance services, sign and fence companies, food
services, exterminators, and every other conceivable service! It takes a village
to kill a child, and we don t have to participate!
Priests for Life is ready to assist all who refuse to service abortion
facilities, and we call upon the pastors of the Church to summon their people to