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Catholic hospitals and charitable agencies do wonderful work, but the pregnancy care centers are the shock troops in the battle against abortions. The bishops should recognize this.


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February 6, 2020 ( — When Cardinal Blase Cupich cautions against political partisanship — in remarks made after the March for Life — informed readers recognize that he is questioning the degree of Catholic commitment to the campaign against legal abortion. Not for the first time; back in November, the same cardinal sought to soften a statement that listed abortion as “the preeminent priority” of the US bishops’ conference in the public-policy realm.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted down Cardinal Cupich’s proposed amendment, leaving the USCCB statement intact.* But 69 bishops supported the amendment, prompting some concerned Catholics to question the depth of these bishops’ commitment to the pro-life cause.** Other observers, taking a rosier view, saw the USCCB vote as a victory for the pro-life cause. In fact it was neither a victory nor a loss; the vote upheld the status quo, and confirming the longstanding split within the episcopal conference between those who see abortion as one among many important political issues, and those who truly see the right to life as “preeminent.”

But let’s look beyond the “seamless garment” debate — a debate that the USCCB rehashes every election year — and look at the more specific plan of action issued by Archbishop Joseph Naumann, the head of the bishops’ pro-life committee. Focusing on the needs of women who face difficult pregnancies, he called attention to the Catholic hospitals and Catholic Charities affiliates that provide services for these women. Then, in third place, he mentioned the “thousands of pregnancy care centers staffed by many Catholic volunteers.”  ….

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