Respect Life Apostolate

Respect Life Apostolate

Click here for live EWTN coverage for the 2018 March for Life!

Click here for life coverage of Generation Life at the March (starting 1/18 at 8 p.m.)!

Click here for January Pro-Life Events Happening Locally!

The Respect Life Apostolate (RLA) promotes the Catholic Church’s teachings on respect for and legal protection of every human life from conception to natural death by coordinating educational, spiritual, pastoral, and public policy advocacy efforts with particular focus on those issues in the culture that threaten life - abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, and unethical advances in scientific technology.

Upcoming Events

2018 8th Grade Creative Writing Contest - Now through Friday Feb. 23

2018 LifeLine Coaltion Giving Campaign - Donate Here

2018 Generation Life Pilgrimage (St. Louis to Washington, D.C.), Jan. 17 - 21

Archdiocesan Young Adult Pro-Life Holy Hour - Thursday, Jan. 18

2018 March for Life - Friday, Jan. 19 (Washington, D.C.) 

Annual Roe v. Wade Memorial Mass - Saturday, Jan. 27 (January Helpers Mass)

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Project Rachel & Project Joseph Ministries 

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Latest News

Parents Are the First Teachers

How much time do we spend as parents preparing our children for the choices they will make between the ages of 13-26?

Did you ever compare the amount of time we spend teaching our children to drive to the amount of time we spend teaching our children about human sexuality? We teach them the dangers involved in driving, but do we teach them the dangers involved in sexual activity before marriage?

Snapshot of Abortion

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court justices evaded the scientific medical evidence that life begins at conception.  Their decision in legalizing abortion on demand, Roe v. Wade, was based on privacy, for a woman to choose to abort her unborn offspring with no real protection at any time during pregnancy.  The right to abortion was not found in our Constitution; and the right to privacy was an interpretation by seven justices, making legalized abortion the law of the land.  Baby FeetRepresentatives in Congress and their constituents had no input into this infamous decision of legalized abortion, and this decision is void of Christian principles.

Minors cannot legally sign for an operation without the written consent of their parent or guardian.  However, a young girl under the age of 18 may legally have an abortion, which is a surgical procedure (Belloti v. Baird, 1974).

Snapshot of End of Life Issues

Euthanasia from the Greek words meaning “good death” – an action or omission intended to cause death. Euthanasia is not legal in the United States.

Physician Assisted Suicide (PhAS) a physician prescribes lethal drugs for a patient with the knowledge that the patient intends to use the drugs to commit suicide. Oregon (1997), Washington (2009), and Vermont (2013) have enacted laws which allow physician assisted suicide.  Court decisions in Montana (2009) and New Mexico (2014) also permit physician assisted suicide in those states.

Click here for a statement from the USCCB on Physician Assisted Suicide

Euthanasia and assisted suicide have been legal in the Netherlands since 2001. There is no requirement that the suffering be physical or that the patient be terminally ill. Abuses of the guidelines designed to protect patients include:

  • 80% of euthanasia deaths are not requested by the patient (involuntary)
  • Euthanasia has expanded to include infants, the depressed and the chronically ill
  • Only 40% of all assisted suicides and euthanasia deaths are reported

Belgium legalized euthanasia and PhAS in 2002. Luxemburg followed suit in 2008. Although euthanasia is illegal in Switzerland, PhAS is legal. In fact a regular tourist trade has developed and 91% of the clients served by Dignitas, an organization dedicated to assisting people commit suicide, have been foreigners.

In the United States, Oregon voters passed a Death with Dignity Act, physician assisted suicide, in November 1994. Safeguards dictated that only patients with less than six months to live and experiencing intolerable pain would be eligible. The Health Division acknowledged that it had no way to “detect doctors who fail to report assisted deaths or commit other violations of the law.” It has been determined that:

  • A depressed patient was Oregon’s first known assisted suicide victim
  • In 2004 only 5% of patients received psychiatric counseling before being given lethal drugs
  • Assisted suicide is paid for by tax dollars -  pain management, living assistance for the disabled and some life-sustaining treatments are not covered
  • Patients deemed incompetent  to handle finances and medical decisions were not denied lethal drugs
  • 40% of patients sought more than one doctor before finding one to prescribe lethal drugs
  • 86% of all assisted suicide victims obtained the prescription for lethal drugs from physicians who are known advocates of physician assisted suicide

Church Teaching on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

The Catholic Church teaches that human life is the most basic gift from a loving God – a gift over which we have stewardship, not absolute dominion. As responsible stewards of life, we must never directly intend to cause our own death or that of anyone else. Both euthanasia and assisted suicide are always gravely wrong.

To sanction the taking of innocent human life demeans the lives of vulnerable patients and exposes them to exploitation by those who feel they are better off dead. Such a policy would corrupt the medical profession, whose ethical code calls on physicians to serve life and never to kill.

“Euthanasia must be called a false mercy, and indeed a disturbing ‘perversion’ of mercy. True ‘compassion ‘ leads to sharing another’s pain: it does not kill the person whose suffering we cannot bear.” - Evangelium Vitae, no. 66

“Food and drink are modalities of ordinary care and are not a treatment of disease. Discontinuing nutrition and hydration for a patient who is not imminently dying violates in its intention the distinction between “causing death” and “allowing death.” - Catholic Medical Association, “Bioethical Principles for Medical Practice”

“To the elderly: You are not…on the margins of the life of the Church…you still have a mission to fulfill and a contribution to make.” - Pope John Paul II, March 23, 1984

To ensure that an individual’s wishes will be complied with at the end of life, the Missouri Catholic Conference offers an End-of-Life-Guide and Sample Durable Power of Attorney available by clicking here.

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