“You are called to stand up for LIFE” – St. John Paul II
For the Church, there is no distinction between defending human life and promoting the dignity of the human person.
Pope Benedict XI writes in Caritas in Veritate that “The Church forcefully maintains this link between life ethics and social ethics, fully aware that ‘a society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized.” (no. 15).
As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights that leads Catholics actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace.
The bishops pledge to affirm the intrinsic value of human life and the dignity of every human being in a way that transforms the culture by implementing “The Life and Dignity of the Human Person” priority plan.
To achieve this goal, the priority plan includes ongoing education, prayer, policy, and advocacy efforts to mobilize the Catholic community on issues of life, justice, and peace. In this way, the Catholic community celebrates the gift of human life and witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ.
(From the page on Human Life and Dignity by the US Conference of Catholic Bishop: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/)