The right to life is the most basic of human rights.. This is because all humans are made in the image and likeness of God. All human life is sacred and unrepeatable. The dignity of the human person is the foundation of the social teaching of the Church.
Unfortunately, too often, Catholics divide into two opposing camps pro life vs. social justice. It is a false divide based on political orientation: liberal vs. conservative. It is a false division because faithful Catholics should be rooted in the Social Justice doctrines of the Church and not ideology.
A few years ago I was working in the Church as the Director of Faith formation. (Not my current parish). The Pastor asked me to meet with the Social Justice committee, with the intention of better representing the Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching. The intention was to have each of the themes represented by someone on the committee. This would have resulted in combining the Pro Life committee with the Peace and Justice committee.
Well I began the meeting with a Hail Mary, which was not well received. It went downhill from there. I don’t know how the Pro life team would have reacted, but it would not have surprised me if it was just as negative.
The reason: it was a very divided Parish. In one corner were the Pro-life Orthodox parishioners, and in the other were the Peace and Justice Progressive Catholics. Both camps were very misguided. And they were at war.
For Catholics, however, it should never be one or the other. To be pro life includes all of the Social Teachings of the Church. We are called to take care of the least amongst us.
At the same time we do have to remember that the life issues are foundational to all of the other human issues. We cannot have peace and justice unless the sanctity of human life is defended.
It is not a liberal versus conservative issue. It is not an orthodox versus progressive issue. It is about Jesus Christ and what is true, and good and beautiful.