What About the Life and Dignity of the Woman?

Abstract

57% of American Catholics agree that abortion should be legal. Despite that fact, abortion remains a contentious issue around the world, but especially in the United States, where it has become a crucial topic in politics, the health care system, and religion. In fact, religion often influences the former two spheres, when hospitals, doctors, and politicians decide to follow the stance of a religious institution, even if it differs from the interests of their patients or constituents. The Catholic Church holds the most famously (or infamously) rigid policy of any religious institution on the issue of abortion, supported by Catholic biblical and theological rhetoric, with one of the most central influences being Catholic Social Teaching. And yet, the Church’s position on abortion is not the only Catholic one. Many Catholics use their faith in God as well as a dedication to social justice and Catholic Social Teaching to support a pro-choice stance in opposition to the Church’s. The Church’s pro-life stance contradicts the pro-choice stance of many practicing Catholics. The first tenet of Catholic Social Teaching, the life and dignity of the human person, has been misapplied in support of the Church’s pro-life stance on abortion. Disregarding the dignity of the woman, this stance results from a religious instiution’s mission to dictate people’s voting decisions.

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