The Reproductive Health Act that allows abortion after 24 weeks when the woman’s health is threatened or the fetus is not viable is opposed by many in the pro-life movement. However, being pro-life isn’t as simple as checking the pro-life box and my Catholic upbringing taught me that one day we are held accountable and judged on all our actions and their effects on others.
A law permitting choice doesn’t force me to have an abortion or hold me responsible for someone else’s decision, and my faith forbids me to judge it. If, however, I support laws that prevent a mother from having a procedure to safeguard her health or life, I am directly accountable for her injury, death, or possibly the forced birth of a baby with a short life lived in pain and distress.
In the same vein, I must hold myself accountable for my consumer choice to purchase tech devices without researching the child labor used to mine cobalt in Congo for poverty wages and how this poses a risk to their lives and deprives them of an education. I must acknowledge the connection my political actions and apathy have to the thousands of deaths in Yemen by weapons provided by the USA.
The spectacle of my church’s leadership acting like lobbyists in Albany and Washington to restrict women’s reproductive rights, even access to contraception, is a far cry from the social justice Catholicism I grew up with.