Boston Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion rights Friday evening in a post on his blog, his first public comments since the leak of a draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court will vote to end federal protection of abortion rights.
The leaked draft would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.
Since his appointment as archbishop of Boston nearly 20 years ago, O’Malley has vocalized his opposition to abortion, such as criticizing lawmakers’ action in 2020 to expand abortion rights in Massachusetts.
In the blog post and an accompanying statement, O’Malley called the original Supreme Court decision on abortion rights “very flawed” and framed the right-to-life question as one of human rights.
“The Church has worked, prayed and advocated for 50 years for the overturning of this very flawed decision, in which an activist court legislated for the entire country rather than allowing the American people to have a vote on this issue,” O’Malley wrote. “For us, this is not a question of Catholic doctrine that we want to impose on the country, but rather a matter of defense of innocent human life, which is the obligation of everyone — regardless of faith.”
He added “ . . . while Catholic moral teaching has opposed abortion since the apostolic era, the case we have made to our religiously pluralistic nation is that abortion is fundamentally a human rights question.”
The archdiocese wanted to address the topic because “many extreme things have been said,” according to the post.
“Also, the fact that Catholic institutions have been targeted in some places is truly outrageous,” O’Malley added.
In addition to reiterating the Catholic Church’s view that abortion violates the right to life, O’Malley also wrote that the “pro-life position does not end at birth.”
“The child whose life is protected by the moral and civil law deserves the support of a society which will provide the socio-economic conditions in which life can flourish,” he wrote.