SAN DIEGO — The bishops of California are urging all Catholic voters to vote “no” on Proposition 1, which would add the right to an abortion to the state’s constitution.
Current California law limits late-term abortions after “viability” (when the baby can survive outside the womb) unless deemed medically necessary to protect the mother. Proposition 1 has no limits on abortion; it allows abortion for any reason, at any time up to the moment of birth, even if the baby is healthy and the mother is in no danger.
Proposition 1 also asks taxpayers to foot the bill for the additional abortions that would be provided in California as other states highly restrict the procedure. According to a recent UCLA analysis, an estimated 10,600 more women will come to California each year for an abortion.
Cardinal Robert W. McElroy has called for people of faith to reject the proposition.
“Unfortunately, our state political leaders are seeking to make California an abortion sanctuary and adopt policies that would dramatically increase abortions,” he said.
Rather than help a woman with an unplanned pregnancy, these leaders wish to incentivize more abortions, he said.
“As Pope Francis has stated, ‘It’s not progressive to resolve problems by eliminating a human life,” the cardinal said.
“My fellow Catholics, we are called to protect innocent life in California. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moments of its existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person.”
The cardinal spoke in a video message promoting a campaign launched by the bishops to highlight the resources available to women facing unplanned pregnancies and to encourage the faithful and parishes to step up and help them and their families. The bishops launched the campaign, called “We Were Born Ready,” in May and are promoting it in all of their dioceses.
Cardinal McElroy will celebrate a Respect Life Mass on Oct. 23, 10 a.m., at St. John of the Cross Parish.
The California Catholic Conference is part of a coalition of organizations working to inform voters about the proposition and calling for its defeat.
“Voters are faced with a choice to keep abortion law in our state as it is or to vote in favor of a new constitutional amendment that would permanently expand and vastly increase abortions in our state, without doing anything to give vulnerable women a real choice,” the conference said on its website.
The coalition includes the California Alliance of Pregnancy Care, California Family Council, Knights of Columbus, Californians for Life, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Christian Medical and Dental Association, Life Legal Defense Foundation, Pacific Justice Institute, Students for Life, Tepeyac Leadership Institute and The American Council of Evangelicals.
General Election Day is Nov. 8. California mails a ballot to every registered voter a few weeks before the election. Be sure to mail it back or drop it at a designated drop-box before Nov. 8. You can also vote in person. California offers early voting.
Online: Oct. 24 by 11:59 p.m., at https://covr.sos.ca.gov/
By mail (postmarked by): Oct. 24
In-person at voting location on Election Day: Nov. 8
Every active registered voter will automatically receive a ballot in the mail. Ballots will begin to go out on Oct. 8.
Return ballot by mail (postmarked by): Nov. 8
Return ballot in person: Nov. 8 by 8 p.m.
San Diego County Registrar of Voters
Imperial County Registrar of Voters
Get Informed and Act
The Church urges people of faith to work to affirm life every day. These websites offer information and options to do so.
California Catholic Conference
“We Were Born Ready” campaign to support women and families
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Walking with Moms campaign
Catholic Social Teaching