The consistent teaching of the Catholic Church is that life begins at conception and ends with natural death. As the Roman Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts, we at all times hold firm to that teaching so as to promote the preservation of life and to create a culture of respect for life as the foundation of a just and moral society.
Today, we are deeply disappointed at the recent legislative action that, if enacted, would expand access to abortion in Massachusetts. The direct, intentional taking of a human life, regardless of the purpose or circumstances, is not morally acceptable and is particularly harmful to the common good. Most troubling is the fact that under these provisions, women will have greater access to late term abortions throughout the term of their pregnancy with no specific statutory requirement that a physician utilize lifesaving medical equipment if a child is born alive.
Despite our disappointment we are hopeful that the full legislature accepts the language proposed by the Governor to retain eighteen as the age of consent, as provided by the current Massachusetts law, and not reduce the age to sixteen. Clearly, a young girl of age sixteen needs the guidance and support of a caring adult when considering the possibility of a decision that will affect her for the rest of her life.
We remain committed to life and pray for the end to all abortions. Our society is best served by the protection of every person’s life, including those waiting to be born and those approaching natural death. We pledge ourselves to work to bring about a more just society that offers humane and effective alternatives for women facing a crisis or difficult pregnancy.
His Eminence Seán P. O’Malley, OFM, Cap.
Archbishop of Boston
Most Reverend Robert J. McManus
Bishop of Worcester
Most Reverent Edgar M. da Cunha, SDV
Bishop of Fall River