California Bishops Oppose California Constitutional Amendment to Promote Abortion

Bishop Jaime Soto shares the following comment on Senate Constitutional Amendment 10:

"Join my brother bishops and me in opposing Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 10. This measure would put an initiative on the November ballot amending the California State Constitution to include broad abortion rights.

"The state's political leadership continues to stubbornly cling to the practice of abortion and the throw-away culture. It is reprehensible to enshrine in the State Constitution the practice of abortion even until moments before delivery. The language of SCA 10 is overly vague, reckless and could further endanger children, especially among the poor and marginalized in our state.

"I call on the faithful to imagine a new vision for California, to imagine a society without abortion. Our commitment to the dignity of human life from the moment of conception remains clear. May the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary encourage the prayers and efforts of all the disciples of her Son, Jesus. Let us be the voice of reason and hope by upholding the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all."

The full statement from the California Catholic Conference follows:

California Bishops Oppose California Constitutional Amendment to Promote Abortion

The California Catholic Conference vehemently opposes Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 10, which looks to enshrine the most extreme forms of abortion into the California Constitution. We believe in protecting life at every age in every stage. We are extremely troubled by the language in SCA 10, which is so broad and unrestrictive that it would encourage and protect even late-term abortions, which most Californians oppose. We also fear the boundless scope of this proposed amendment, which asserts a new constitutional right to “reproductive freedom” but does not define what that means.

This constitutional amendment, as written, will legalize and protect abortion up to the point just prior to delivery. It is distressing that so many California legislators would sign their names to legislation that allows the taking of a human life moments before birth.  In this regard, SCA 10 would more closely align California with the extreme abortion policies of only a few countries rather than those of the majority of western democracies, which do not allow late-term abortions.

The sad reality is that California already has some of the most accommodating abortion laws and services in the nation.  And by providing extensive funding for abortion services without any corresponding equitable funding for pregnant women and mothers, the state exercises a destructive, coercive power in favor of ending innocent lives. Enshrining this amendment’s language into the constitution will extend the danger of coercive abortion to babies with unquestioned viability.

The California Catholic Conference will be actively engaged in opposing the upcoming ballot initiative and asking the state’s 12 million Catholics to work to raise awareness and vigorous opposition in our dioceses, parishes, and communities.