Respect Life: Public Policy

Programs, services and events of the RLA that aim to restore legal protection to the lives of unborn children and those vulnerable to pressures to end their lives by assisted suicide, and to provide morally acceptable alternatives to abortion and assisted suicide.

Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri Synod Lutherans stand against sale of baby parts


It would be easier to forget what we have seen, to erase from our memories and our minds what we have heard. But the statements and actions of Planned Parenthood medical directors and technicians, captured on film and released by the Center for Medical Progress, are the kind we will not forget, the kind that cannot be unseen and unheard.

Like millions of Americans, including those in the Roman Catholic Church and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, we have been shaken to the core by what we have witnessed: intact babies, at times still alive, having their body parts harvested as a commodity. We are shocked at the image of tiny hands and feet seen in a glass pie plate. We are horrified at what we have seen and heard. Such actions and attitudes have no place in our society.

While offensive, the degradation of the bodies of these infant human beings is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg. Those fetal tissue and organs are only available for sale because they are being killed through abortion. Over 57 million unborn children have been lost to abortion in our nation since 1973.

The toll of these lives lost is enormous. We are missing sons and daughters, siblings, spouses, coaches, scholars, mentors and friends.

This loss is symptomatic of a loss of respect for human life in our society today. In so many ways, our culture seeks to deny the humanity of the unborn, of the elderly or of someone with a disability.

Together, we stand firm and repeat that every human life is worthy of dignity and respect. We affirm our continued commitment to offer resources to help parents of any faith background who are in need of medical, financial or social service assistance both during pregnancy and after. We stand ready to assist any parent who wishes to make an adoption plan for their child.

Our commitment is to all life in all its stages from conception to natural death. For those men and women who participated in an abortion, we extend to you the words of Jesus: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden …” (Matt. 11:28), and we invite you to experience hope and healing from your experience.

The Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson,
Archbishop of St. Louis

The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, President,
The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod


Click here for coverage from the St. Louis Review

Click here to view the press release announcing the statement

Young Adult Pro-Life Holy Hour

Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

All young adults are invited to join in a pro-life Holy Hour at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica on Thursday, Jan. 19 to pray for protection of the unborn in our country. Prior to the Holy Hour, a simple dinner and talk will be offered at 6 p.m. in Boland Hall.

This event is co-sponsored by the RLA, the Office of Young Adult Ministry, and Anima Christi.

For more information, contact the RLA at or 314.792.7555 or visit the Facebook event page.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis
4431 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

A Call to Prayer

A Call to Prayer

All are invited to pray for the upcoming elections and to reflect on our responsibilties as faithful citizens. Prayer opportunitites include:

Eve of the Election and Election Day

On-going opportunities to join in prayer are:


For more resources, visit the USCCB website on Faithful Citizenship or the Archdiocese of St. Louis's website on Faithful Citizenship.

Missouri Bishops Release Open Letter on Death Penalty

PrisonToday the Missouri bishops sent an open letter to Governor Jay Nixon, Attorney General Chris Koster, and other Missouri officials expressing "grave concerns" with the death penalty. The letter is signed by Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson (Archbishop of St. Louis), Most Reverend Robert W. Finn (Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph), Most reverend John R. Gaydos (Bishop of Jefferson City) and Most Reverend James V. Johnston, Jr. (Bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau).  The letter states in part:

We, the Catholic bishops of Missouri, write this open letter to express grave concern with the rapid acceleration of executions in recent months. Since November 2013, Missouri has executed 15 individuals, nearly one a month. We wonder how much thought can be given to the circumstances of each defendant when these executions are carried out so routinely. Pleas for clemency are ignored, even when defendants are profoundly impaired by severe mental illness or traumatic brain injury...

We recall the 1999 visit of Pope John Paul II to St. Louis where he challenged us on the death penalty to become "unconditionally pro-life." Just as we see the likeness of God in an innocent child, we must learn to see the same ina criminal, even as we condemn the sin committed. Out of a desire for retribution, we must not surrender the belief that all human life is sacred...

We urge you take a stand for life, mercy and justice. We must begin to take steps to end the death penalty. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you seek to secure the common good of our state.

The entirety of the Bishops' letter can be read by clicking here.

In 2014, Missouri executed ten men, tying Texas as having the most executions for that year. Missouri has already executed three men in 2015, most recently putting to death Andre Cole on April 7.


Action Alert: Add Funding for "Show-Me Healthy Babies" Program

Synopsis:  The Missouri House Appropriations Committee will be debating the budget next week, February 9-13.  Contact them early next week and urge them to add funding for the "Show-Me Healthy Babies" health insurance program for unborn children.

BabyBackground:  Last year, Missouri legislators enacted a new health insurance program that provides health insurance coverage for the unborn children of low-income working families. It was one of the major pro-life victories for 2014.

An overwhelming bi-partisan majority of state lawmakers agreed to expand the current Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to include children before birth - something that 15 other states have already done. 
Unfortunately, Gov. Nixon did not include funding for this vital program in the budget he announced last month for fiscal year 2016. 

The good news is that legislators can add funding for "Show Me Healthy Babies" despite the Governor's refusal to do so. Appropriations and Budget Committee members will begin intensive committee meetings next week - starting on Monday, Feb. 9 at noon - and a decision on whether to fund "Show-Me Healthy Babies" might be made sometime later in the week.

Act:  Click here to contact the House Appropriations Committee members.

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