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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 taken.

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 of the NCCB Administrative 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.

Priests for Life
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