Catholic News Service reported that Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, President of the United States Conference of Bishops was appalled by the videos. He said the release of the videos is “an occasion for all of us to be renewed in our commitment to be pro-life and to promote a culture of life… Our culture is becoming increasingly utilitarian. It’s very easy when you get into the mindset to see people as objects.” He said in considering what is legal or illegal we should never lose sight of the child in the womb. He indicated that the bishops would continue to pursue a culture of life and would look at what could be done legislatively to further that goal.
Cardinal O’Malley, chairman of the United States bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities echoed these sentiments. He stated that Pope Francis calls abortion, “the product of a ‘widespread mentality of profit, the throwaway culture, which has enslaved the hearts and minds of so many.’” Cardinal O’Malley further stated, “The recent stories concerning Planned Parenthood direct our attention to two larger issues involving many institutions in our society. The first is abortion itself: a direct attack on human life in its most vulnerable condition. The second is the now standard practice of obtaining fetal organs and tissues through abortion. Both actions fail to respect the humanity and dignity of human life. This fact should be the center of attention in the present public controversy.” He urged women for whom the Planned Parenthood news coverage has caused them to “experience revived trauma from their own involvement in abortion” to seek help from Project Rachel which is the post abortion healing ministry affiliated with the Catholic Church. He said, “Be assured that any and all persons will be welcomed with compassion and assistance” by the ministry.
It is our understanding that there are additional gruesome videos concerning this situation that have not yet been released apparently due to a temporary restraining order. We are asked by our bishops to follow closely developments concerning this situation and not grow complacent as we reaffirm the dignity and value of all human life from conception until natural death.