The following unsigned editorial appeared in the Aug. 4 issue of the Catholic Sentinel, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon.


Over the years, the pro-abortion lobby has attempted to change the conversation about abortion from the death of innocent children to women’s reproductive and health care rights. And for a great deal of the American public this argument has worked. Until now.

The recent videos shot of Planned Parenthood executives speaking nonchalantly about using aborted babies’ organs for research purposes show just where their logic can lead — and it’s a dark place.

“Pope Francis has called abortion the product of a ‘widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has today enslaved the hearts and minds of so many,'” said Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston in a July 29 statement in response to the release of the videos.


“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2270.)

Should we be surprised that those who accept human life is a disposable item immediately seek to further profit from it?

Human life is sacred. Our Lord says so. Our church says so. And as Catholics, we work to treat every person as just that. Sacred.

However, when we determine that any one of us is not that — a sacred being, made in the likeness and image of God — it becomes relatively easy to turn a human being into a commodity. Just ask anyone involved in human trafficking. Dehumanizing the victim is the easiest way to convince them they are just that — a commodity.

Perhaps we should all pray that those who watched the videos will begin to realize the enormity of the systemic problems that lead to a culture that accepts abortion. Neglected children, sexual abuse, drug problems, the early sexualization of children in our media, our culture’s obsession with sex as entertainment, etc.

Perhaps these videos will guide our actions and intentions toward an inclusive society where all children and their mothers have a dignified place to live.


The views or positions presented in this or any guest editorial are those of the individual publication and do not necessarily represent the views of, Catholic News Service or the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.