Respecting Life at All Stages

As explicitly formulated, the precept 'You shall not kill' is strongly negative: it indicates the extreme limit which can never be exceeded. Implicitly, however, it encourages a positive attitude of absolute respect for life; it leads to the promotion of life and to progress along the way of a love which gives, receives and serves.
St. John Paul II, The Gospel of Life [Evangelium vitae], No. 54

The Catholic Church believes all human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral society. This belief underlies all the principles of Catholic social teaching. In the modern world, human life is under attack from actions such as abortion and euthanasia. Euthanasia and assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research, and the use of the death penalty also threaten the value of human life. As Catholics, we are called to respect life at every stage, from conception until natural death.


When it comes to healthcare, there can be some tough decisions. The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) provides a 24/7 call center to field questions on topics that intersect Catholic moral teaching with health care and biomedical research, free of charge. This is a great resource for those discerning health care options.

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Pro-Life Groups

Because of the Catholic Church’s fundamental teaching that human life is sacred from the first moment of creation, the NYS Catholic Conference advocates daily on issues impacting life at all stages. The Conference believes that every human person must be respected in law, including the woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, the innocent unborn child she carries in her womb, the elderly person facing severe or even terminal illness, and the prisoner on death row. In this ongoing effort, the Conference frequently partners with other like-minded organizations, including those listed below.

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