A speaker at my parish said he didn’t believe in having tax dollars spent on abortions. Would he also say he didn’t believe in having tax dollars spent on funding a war? Or spent on funding a justice system that can impose the death penalty? I wonder if he would say he believes it is proper that our tax dollars not be used to fund programs that subsidize groceries for the working poor and their children? These questions crossed my mind because Catholic teaching tells us not to be complicit in circumstances that undermine our mission to be the hands and feet of Christ on earth.
As a former Congressional candidate, I encountered many faith-filled people of good will who drew the proverbial “line in the sand” and supported my candidacy solely because of my prochoice position on abortion. As a social justice Catholic, I too draw a line on public funding for abortion. I stand on the side of women who need our support, not condemnation.
Growing up in Colombia where my mother was a nurse, I heard many stories of how unjust it was for the poor to be unable to access healthcare. It is poor women who die in childbirth or from botched abortions, poor women who are unable to care for an increasing number of children for lack of access to effective birth control. Justice demands we support policies that acknowledge the dignity of the poor and level the playing field. It provides an opportunity for us to fulfill our potential as beings made in the image of God. And justice is acknowledging that abortion may be healthcare for a woman who has made a choice in good conscience.
“I want our America to reflect a culture of justice and equality where the dignity of all women is acknowledged through policies that support their moral choices.”
I want our America to reflect a culture of justice and equality where the dignity of all women is acknowledged through policies that support their moral choices. We all navigate an increasingly complex world while fulfilling our God-given potential. I want our sisters, our neighbors, our families and all our communities to be empowered to exercise the best choices for them. Whether as wives and mothers or as public policymakers, professionals and theologians, or some combination of all of these, women’s contributions to our country and the world are limitless. Public funding for abortion is about trusting others to make the right decisions for themselves. It is social justice.