To view full size ad, click here.
To view full size ad, click here.

The Catholic bishops of New Jersey are responding vociferously and unanimously in opposition to a pro-abortion ad campaign recently conducted by a group calling itself Catholics for Choice. 

The abortion advocacy organization placed full-page ads Sept. 12 in the print editions of more than 20 local and national publications, including Politico, the Nation, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Dallas Morning News and La Opinion. 

In New Jersey, the ad ran in The Star-Ledger and The Record (of Bergen County).  Digital advertising was also included in the campaign, which featured a statement by a young woman who claimed to be Catholic and who condoned abortion.  The ad aimed to portray the public funding of abortion as a social justice value.

In an effort to communicate true Church teaching on the sanctity of human life and the abomination of abortion, the New Jersey bishops commissioned a campaign that will include advertising in several daily newspapers and across diocesan media outlets and other Church-based resources.

The central image of the campaign features a photo of Pope Francis kissing a baby during his visit to Philadelphia last fall.  Taken by John Blaine, a freelance photographer for The Monitor, the photo originally was part of the Trenton diocesan newspaper’s online coverage of the papal visit. The ad lists several statements made by the Holy Father -- both when he was Cardinal Jose Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires and as Pope Francis -- about the sanctity of human life and every person’s call to protect life in the womb.

The key message of the ad is:  “You can not be Catholic and Pro-Abortion.  The only ‘choice’ for Catholics is life.” The ads are set to run in The Star-Ledger and The Record Sept. 18.

Similar responses were playing out across the country in the days following Sept. 12.  In a Sept. 14 statement, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, who serves as chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, stated, "Calling for taxpayer funding of abortion in the name of the Catholic faith" is "deceptive" and "extreme."

He emphasized that the abortion advocacy group "is not affiliated with the Catholic Church in any way.  It has no membership, and clearly does not speak for the faithful. It is funded by powerful private foundations to promote abortion as a method of population control."

Multiple dioceses have used this opportunity to encourage Catholics and all people of good will to have an impact on social justice by supporting local pregnancy help centers.  For information on resources that support pregnant women and their babies, go to: http://www.dioceseoftrenton.org/respectlifeministry/services/