Pro-Life Group Wants Catholic Leaders to Oppose Abortions at Corporate Level

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 15, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Group Wants Catholic Leaders to Oppose Abortions at Corporate Level

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 15
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — A leading pro-life group which helps monitor corporations that promote abortion wants Catholic organizations and leaders to take a greater role in trying to stop it. Thomas Strobhar of Pro Vita Advisors says Catholic groups actively participate in shareholder meetings but need to take on abortion more strongly.

Strobhar says Catholic religious orders frequently make proposals to address other social issues, such as divesting companies from areas of the world that engage in genocide.

"It has become increasingly common to see nuns and priests at annual meetings, through the strategic use of a shareholder resolution, exhorting corporate executives to address issues like global warming, the environment, tobacco, executive pay and health insurance," Strobhar tells

At the same time, he worries they are ignoring the subject of abortion at the annual meetings of major corporations.

Strobhar points to the Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia and the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in Houston as examples. Together, they introduce a dozen or more resolutions every year.

In total, he says Catholic religious orders will file or co-file over 100 resolutions this year and have done thousands on a wide variety of issues since abortion was legalized.

"Yet you will not hear one word from their mouths concerning abortion," he says.

Sister Pat Daley of the Dominican Sisters in Caldwell, New Jersey, and one of the most visible Catholics at annual meetings, once explained she didn’t think it was "ecumenical" to address the issue of abortion, he explained.

Strobhar complained that didn’t represent the values of the Catholic Church, which has described abortion as "the human rights issue of our time" and has put pro-life values on a higher level than other political issues.

He also pointed out that the Catholic bishops in the U.S. previously said in 1991 they "will consider supporting shareholder resolutions on abortion related issues when deemed appropriate."

Strobhar has authored approximately sixty shareholder resolutions addressing the abortion issue alone. However, this is the first year in almost 20 that none of his resolutions will appear on a corporate ballot.

Strobhar explained, "JP Morgan Chase had us excluded on a technicality and we voluntarily withdrew at American Express and Ford after sufficient progress had been made in addressing our concerns."

Earlier this year, he filed a resolution challenging Pfizer’s use of human embryonic stem cells for research purposes. Pfizer fought to keep the issue off the ballot and the Securities & Exchange Commission eventually agreed with Pfizer that the resolution was inappropriate.

Although not every resolution will make the ballot, Strobhar believes every attempt to draw attention to the sanctity of life is valuable.

Throughout the years, resolutions he drafted have appeared at AT&T, Berkshire Hathaway, Bank of America, General Mills, Microsoft and many other major American corporations.

"The bigger issue," Strobhar said, "is where are my Catholic brothers and sisters, especially of the religious variety? They have the time, talent and energy, but they don’t have the heart to speak out when it comes to abortion. It is most unfortunate."

Related web sites:
Pro Vita Advisors –