Catholic women are more likely to have an abortion than Protestant women

By Maggie DeWitte

Catholic respect life curriculumIowans for LIFE embraces all of the teachings of the Catholic Church on issues regarding human reproduction, but Catholic abortion rates shock and sadden us.

And yet the Church’s position on abortion is crystal clear, as presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2270):

“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.”

By contrast, the largest mainline Protestant denomination in the U.S., the United Methodist Church, stakes out a softer position on abortion in their Book of Discipline:

“Our belief in the sanctity of unborn human life makes us reluctant to approve abortion.

But we are equally bound to respect the sacredness of the life and well-being of the mother and the unborn child.” (Book of Discipline ¶161.J)

The Church’s position on abortion is unwavering

Since Roe V Wade, the Catholic Church’s position on matters related to abortion have been unwavering. Sadly, the same can’t be said of those who self-identify as Catholics.

Surveys conducted by the Alan Guttmacher Institute claim that Catholic women of child-bearing years are 29% more likely to have an abortion than their Protestant counterparts. Here’s what Guttmacher had to say about Catholic abortion statistics:

The abortion index for Catholic women showed that their relative abortion rate was nearly the same as that for all women.

By contrast:

… evangelical Protestants had an abortion rate that was half of the national average.

This statistic is shocking in light of the clarity of the Catholic position on abortion, and the lack of clarity in many Protestant churches.  It is shocking in light of Catholic dedication to religious education and the presence of nearly 7000 Catholic schools in the U.S.

Clearly, something is amiss with Catholic curriculum if  Catholics are just as likely to have an abortion as the rest of the culture. Clearly, something is amiss with Catholic curriculum if Protestants, most of whom attend public schools, are far less likely to abort their child than a Catholic.

PEW Research sheds more light on the problem

According the PEW Research Center, 51% of Catholics say having an abortion is morally wrong compared to 54% for Protestants. And 31% of Catholics say having an abortion isn’t even a moral issue!

Iowans for LIFE has a solution

IFL has developed a respect life curriculum for Catholic schools through the 8th grade.  It has been field-tested at the largest Catholic school in Iowa, St. Francis of Assisi in West Des Moines.  It works because it is age-appropriate.  Teachers and administrators love it because it is easy to implement.

Catholic dioceses establish benchmarks for Catholic schools which call on them to teach the Church’s pro life ethic.  IFL provides the resources in the form of printed materials, training, and even audio visual presentations to fulfill this benchmark.

Over-burdened teachers have no need to re-invent the wheel and cobble together their own curriculum when IFL has done the work for them.

Kindergarten through 8th grade are formative years.  The hodgepodge approach to respect life curriculum clearly isn’t forming a culture of Life. If we continue doing things the same way, we’re going to continue seeing 31% of all abortions committed by Catholics. [Source: Guttmacher Institute].

Iowans for LIFE proposes a new approach

IFL proposes a new approach, one that utilizes a respect life curriculum created by respect life professionals.  It takes money.  It takes you.  Remember, IFL doesn’t receive a cent from any Catholic diocese. And yet we can transform the culture if we get this dynamic curriculum into the hands of Catholic teachers.

Our goal: to get Iowans for LIFE Respect Life curriculum into 5 Catholic schools and 3 religious education programs a year which costs us about $7500.  Now is the time of year when presentations have to be made.  As schools sign on, we need an assurance that we’ll have the funding to fulfill our commitments.

We need to raise $7500 NOW to be ready to launch this exciting initiative into five new schools by August.  Can you help with your donation of at least $100?  Simply go to our donate page today and enter your credit card. Thank-you for supporting the respect life movement.