Resolution on the Pro-life Constitutional Amendment
A Statement of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops
November 13, 1973
1. On repeated occasions since January 22, 1973, offices of the
National Conference of Catholic Bishops have expressed opposition to the
Supreme Court's ruling
on abortion. Abortion, the destruction of a living human being in the
womb of its mother, is morally wrong. No law or judicial opinion can change
the moral judgment. We are convinced that the decision of the Supreme Court
is wrong, and must be reversed. The only certain way to repair effectively
the damage perpetrated by the Court's opinions is to amend the Constitution
to provide clearly and definitively a constitutional base for legal
protection of unborn human beings. A number of constitutional amendments
have been introduced in Congress, but to date, no definite action has been
2. We wish to state once again, as emphatically as possible, our
endorsement of and support for a constitutional amendment that will protect
the life of the unborn. We urge Congress to conduct hearings and move with
all deliberate speed to pass a pro-life amendment. We reaffirm the statement
Committee of September 18, 1973.
3. At the same time, we remind our people that the passage of
the amendment will require concerted and continued efforts on their part to
convince the Congress and the American people of its absolute necessity.
Specifically, we urge public information programs and petitions to state
legislatures to memorialize Congress in behalf of a pro-life amendment. In
all of this, well-planned and coordinated political organization by citizens
at the national, state, and local levels is of highest importance. Our
system of government requires citizen participation, and in this case, there
is a moral imperative for political activity.
4. Thus, we commend and encourage pro-life groups that have
already initiated programs of political action to bring about congressional
action on a constitutional amendment. We urge continued and unified efforts
directed toward convincing the Congress to hold hearings at the earliest
possible date. We especially invite the collaboration of other religious
leaders in pursuing a pro-life constitutional amendment.
5. Finally, we wish to make it clear beyond doubt to our fellow
citizens that we consider the passage of a pro-life constitutional amendment
a priority of the highest order, one to which we are committed by our
determination to uphold the dignity of the human being and by our conviction
that this nation must provide protection for the life, liberty, and pursuit
of happiness for all human beings, before as well as after birth.