Catholic Leader Tells Pro-Life Convention Be Careful How You Present Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 19, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Leader Tells Pro-Life Convention Be Careful How You Present Abortion Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 19
, 2007

Kansas City, MO ( — Last week at the National Right to Life convention, a leading Catholic official said that the pro-life community needs to be mindful of how it presents the message of abortion. As with any good advertising or public relations campaign, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City said pro-life people must know their audience.

During his speech, Naumann references the movie "The Wizard of Oz," and said the pro-life movement needs a brain and a heart to present the best pro-life message possible.

"We need to pray for not only a brain, but for the wisdom to know how to best communicate to our contemporaries the sanctity of human life," he explained.

If the pro-life movement is "not prudent in the manner of presentation, [it] can actually drive people away from the truth."

Archbishop Naumann said the pro-live movement can sometimes bee too harsh or condemning in its language, which can turn off potential supporters and alienate women who have had abortions who need love and forgiveness.

To "effectively communicate with love," the Catholic official explained, pro-life people must "bear some responsibility" for how it is presented and be responsible for their language when it becomes off-putting.

While there is a time "for describing with utter frankness the atrocity of partial-birth abortion … many of those we are trying to reach often recoil and become angry when visually confronted with bloody pictures of an aborted fetus."

That leads them to become angry not at the destruction of human life in abortion but "at those who have showed them these harsh and disturbing images."

He encouraged the several hundred people who attended the Friday prayer breakfast to reach out with compassion to those who have chosen abortion and now deeply regret their choice" and to "build a civilization of love and a culture of life where every child is treasured as a unique image of his or her Creator."

While the pro-life message should be presented with compassion and love, Archbishop Naumann said the pro-life movement should seek courage as well — as the lion did in the famous movie.

"Where human life is as risk, we cannot afford to be timid," he said.

"If Americans truly want to restore respect for human life today then we need to demand from our leaders and from ourselves nothing less than the tearing down of the wall of injustice and oppression created by Roe v. Wade," he told the audience.

Naumann said he is not just hopeful but confident that the pro-life movement will ultimately see victory and that legal protection for the unborn will be restored.