Respect for Life

The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights; it is this principle that leads Catholics to actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace.   Society suffers when we fail to respect human life at any stage, whether it is an elderly woman in need of medical care she can't afford, a teenager in a coma, an unborn child in her mother's womb, or a tiny embryo in a test tube.

The Respect for Life Department considers issues affecting the inherent value and dignity of human life at all stages: Departmental topics primarily include initiatives affecting pre-born human life, individuals approaching the end of their lives, and those incapable of making medical decisions for themselves.  The Department also collaborates with the Social and Economic Justice Department on issues affecting pregnant women in need, people with disabilities, and human trafficking.

Maryland’s public policies should protect human life from conception until natural death, with special emphasis on protecting the members of marginalized communities in our society.  Specifically, public policies should seek to:

•Provide for the safety and support of women and children (especially those facing crisis pregnancies),
•Protect the sick and elderly from efforts to artificially hasten physical deterioration, or undermine efforts to provide them with life-saving medical opportunities, and,
•Ensure society’s most vulnerable populations are protected from policies that seek to further marginalize them.

“All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.” — Pope Francis, July 28, 2013   


Resources on Catholic Social Teaching