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February 27, 2009

The 5 Most Pathetic Words: “I Am a Pro-Choice Catholic”

How does a formerly pro-life Catholic college girl morph into a pro-abortion zealot who identifies the roots of her transformation as including attending the National March for Life?

You read that right.

As implausible as it might sound, Kate Childs Graham says that this happened to her, and the results are not pretty. In her recent article “I Am a Prochoice Catholic,” which appears in that notorious bastion of contumacy, The National Catholic Reporter, Ms. Childs Graham reveals:

“I wasn’t always a prochoice Catholic. During college I attended the annual March for Life on more than one occasion. The first time my friends and I traveled to the event from Indianapolis, Ind., was with a bus full of high school students — most, seemingly, only going for the trip to Washington, D.C., with their friends, sans parental supervision. Needless to say, it was a noisy bus ride. After I transferred to Catholic University, I volunteered for the Mass for Life two years in a row, helping to herd all of those high school students into every crevice of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.”

One must wonder if Ms. Childs Graham herself was one of those young people who made the journey to Washington, not to protest the evil of legalized abortion, but simply because she wanted the freedom of a little road trip, “sans parental supervision.”

She claims that, “Each time I attended the March for Life, I felt overwhelmingly conflicted. On one hand, it was moving to be among so many people, all energized by their faith around an issue. On the other hand, I sensed that I wasn’t getting the complete picture — I wasn’t being told the full story.”

Hmm. Unless this young woman was comatose during her high school and college years, how could she not have been “told the full story”?

The pro-abortion screamers have done nothing but tell their “story” in the most strident ways possible, including counter-demonstrating and handing out their propaganda to anyone who will take it at the Washington March for Life.

Their side of the story has thoroughly dominated the public consciousness through the sheer force and high-decibel volume of the pro-abortion diktat purveyed in the movies Ms. Childs Graham watched growing up, in the television programs she enjoyed during middle school and high school, and in the biased and often inaccurate coverage of the U.S. abortion debate with which the mainstream news outlets have persistently and perniciously inveigled their viewers and readers for the past 30 years.

But then, maybe Ms. Childs Graham never watched television growing up. And maybe she never saw any movies or watched the network news or read a mainstream secular newspaper or magazine. 

Maybe, but I doubt it. I’m pretty certain she got a great big dose, for years on end, of the pro-abortion crowd’s side of the story.

If she was raised Catholic, as it appears, was she raised on a desert island somewhere, far away from any means of encountering Catholic teaching on the evil of abortion? Perhaps she never heard of Pope John Paul II nor listened to or read any of his many teachings on this subject?

Perhaps she attended parishes where the priests never preached on the evil of abortion, and she may never have visited any of the many Catholic pro-life websites or read the many Catholic periodicals that clearly proclaim what the Catholic Church has always and everywhere proclaimed, namely, that abortion is murder.

It’s possible, I suppose, that Ms. Childs Graham never opened and read her Holy Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church, both of which are as clear and forceful and unambiguous as can be about telling the other side of the story — you know, the side about how killing unborn babies through abortion is murder and how murder is always a mortal sin.

Maybe she never came into contact with any pro-life Catholics (who number in the tens of millions in this country, incidentally) and heard from them the other side of the story.

Maybe, but I doubt it. In fact, given her admission that she attended, at least a few times, the Washington, D.C., March for Life — as a participant, not a counter-protestor — I'm quite confident that Ms. Childs Graham heard both sides of the story and that, tragically, she has simply chosen to believe the lie, the fairytale, the fable about how “protecting a woman’s right to choose [i.e., to murder her unborn child]” is a good thing. How it “helps” women. And how illegal abortions are “unsafe.” I wonder if it has ever dawned on this deeply misguided woman that, legal or illegal, abortions are always “unsafe” for the little child being killed in the procedure.

After reading her NCR article and the vacuous rationale she gives in defense of her ideology, I have to wonder.

I wonder if she has ever stopped to think about all the millions of unborn women who are being subjected to the unsafest of unsafe medical procedures when they are aborted.

I wonder.

During her trips to the Washington March for Life, did Ms. Childs Graham ever listen to what was being said? Did she listen to any of the many eloquent speakers and teachers of the Catholic Faith — bishops, priests, religious, and laity — who travel there to explain to the March attendees the fundamental reasons why the Catholic Church teaches that abortion is murder and that murder may never, under any circumstances, be countenanced, much less promoted? Perhaps she was too busy herding all those high school students into all those crevices of the National Shrine to pay attention to what was going on all around her. It’s hard to say. 

Ignorance of why life issues like abortion and contraception are inextricably linked and how both do incalculable damage to women and men, marriages, and society as a whole (prescinding for the moment from the wanton destruction of human life entailed in these two activities), seem to be the root problem here. Ms. Child Graham assures her readers:

“[F]or me (and for many others), being prochoice does not end at supporting the right to safe and legal abortion; it extends to discovering the best methods to prevent unintended pregnancies. Contraception promotion, comprehensive sexuality education, and access to affordable child care and healthcare are just some of the methods that are paramount to reducing the need for abortion.”

One thing is for sure. If she never really heard the pro-abortion side of the story, as she alleges she didn't, since becoming a pro-abortion advocate, she sure has made up for lost time! She can parrot back with the best of them the vapid and long-discredited Planned Parenthood talking points that she spouts in her article.

But you’ve got to give her credit for sheer persistence, if not for clear thinking. To borrow another writer’s turn of a phrase, she is speaking from “a pinnacle of near-perfect ignorance.”

“I am a prochoice Catholic,” she asseverates, “because my Catholic faith tells me I can be. The Catechism reads, ‘[Conscience] is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths.’ Even St. Thomas Aquinas said it would be better to be excommunicated than to neglect your individual conscience. So really, I am just following his lead. After years of research, discernment and prayer, my conscience has been well informed. Being a prochoice Catholic does not contradict my faith; rather, in following my well-informed conscience, I am adhering to the central tenet of Catholic teaching — the primacy of conscience.”

Ms. Childs Grahamn claims to have a “well-informed conscience.” Really? Perhaps she is being sincere when she says this (c.f., CCC 1790), but it appears that she completely missed that part in the Catechism where it declares:

“Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil. It also judges particular choices, approving those that are good and denouncing those that are evil. It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking” (CCC 1777);

“Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings” (CCC 1783); and

“Conscience can remain in ignorance or make erroneous judgments. Such ignorance and errors are not always free of guilt” (CCC 1801).

It’s not necessary to explain here what St. Thomas actually said about man’s duty to follow his conscience in observing the commandments and teachings of the Church, as that would simply be piling on and would be a further cause of embarrassment for Ms. Childs Graham. So it will suffice to simply read the above statements from the Catechism about conscience in light of this other statement:

“Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law: ‘You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.’ ‘God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes’” (CCC 2271).

Ms. Childs Graham, please, please, come to your senses. Wake up to the hideous realty of what you’re saying and doing and supporting here. You have fallen for the wrong side of this story. 

You are wrong about what the Church teaches about conscience and human freedom. You are wrong in your opinion that, when it comes to being proabortion, “My Catholic faith tells me I can be.” No, the Catholic Church tells you exactly the opposite.

I urge you take the time to honestly study what the Catholic Church really says on this issue. I call upon you in fraternal charity to be intellectually honest with yourself.

Please don't forget that, in due time, you, like the rest of us, will have to meet the Lord Jesus Christ face-to-face and be judged by Him (Hebrews 9:27). On that day, you will have to give an account for why you defied the clear teaching of His Church on the evil of abortion.

“I am a proabortion Catholic” are the five most pathetic words you could say.

For the sake of your own immortal soul and for the sake of the lives of the unborn children your ideology menaces, please rid yourself of this delusion.

Patrick Madrid is the director of the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College and publisher of Envoy Magazine. His personal website is www.patrickmadrid.com.


  1. "It’s possible, I suppose, that Ms. Childs Graham never opened and read her Holy Bible or the Catechism of the Catholic Church, both of which are as clear and forceful and unambiguous as can be about telling its side of the story, you know, the one about how killing unborn babies through abortion is murder and murder is always a mortal sin."

    My wife and I volunteer in high-school youth ministry for 14 years. For a couple of years, I also co-taught eighth-grade religious ed with her.

    It's not only possible; it's likely.

  2. Ms. Childs Graham's is truly a sad story, but unfortuantely not uncommon. Perhaps while in DC and elsewhere she also missed hearing those of us who have made this awful "choice" and regret it.

  3. All I can do is shake my head, both at Ms. Child Graham and at the NCR. Well, that and offer an Ave for conversion of heart.

  4. From the bottom of the article:

    "She also serves on the Women’s Ordination Conference board of directors and the Call to Action Next Generation Leadership Team."

    It always amazes me how consistently the "pro-choice" and pro women's ordination viewpoints coexist - it can't be a simple coincidence. My guess is that Ms. Childs Graham stopped being a Catholic long ago; in an attempt to sooth her ticking conscience, she seems to be making one rationalization after another based on her emotions rather than faith and reason, and revelation.

    She needs our prayers.

  5. I too am a "pro-choice" Catholic. I believe God has given me the power to choose between life and death (cf. Exodus). I chose life, shun death (abortion).

    Instavrare Omnia In Christo

  6. This is so logical. Regarding her statistics that 70,000 women die in 19 million illegal abortions every year, so, therefore, we have to make abortion legal, let’s think about that. If we assume that there are 1.5 million LEGAL abortions done annually, and that one half of the aborted babies are female, then 750,000 females die in LEGAL abortions. Why doesn’t the same logic apply?

  7. Patrick, ought we not send a copy of this article to the Papal Nuncio?

    When it comes to Catholic newspapers, do they fall under the jurisdiction of any particular bishop? If so, in which diocese does the National Catholic Reporter work out of? I want to send this to that bishop.

    Further, is there any particular office in the Vatican - perhaps the CDF, to which I might send this?

    I'm sure Cardinal Justin Rigali of the USCCB's office for pro-life activities would also be interested in the article.

  8. Pro- choice always refers to "pro abortion" in our day. Everyone is Free to choose, but no one is Free to do what is "evil" or "wrong" because the law ought to protect us from that(for example) someone from killing an innocent person....right? No one can call themselves Catholic and support the act of murdering an innocent child. That is heresy at its best. So why is this Katie Childs Graham giving in to such a Coward mentality? How can she have the integrity to call herself Catholic and distort truth by justifying a woman's right to murder her baby?

  9. You may be able to excuse her ignorance but the NCR's decision to spread it as gospel is deplorable. But then, it's the NCR...

  10. She was caught in that situation that made her choose for a consistent position I bet, like so many. If she wanted to sin sexually and then use contraception, then the whole pro-life ideal collapses and she is wide open to believe the deception. I have met a few "pro-life" protestants who haven't thought twice about contraception, even using something like the IUD and having to suffer abortions-that they didn't call abortions, just D&Cs- because of its consequences, that turn on a dime against being pro-life when themselves or a loved one is up against an un-planned pregnancy. Contraception blinds us to the reality and weakens our resolve. As Catholics we use contraception because we decide to sin (given we have heard what Our Lord teaches through the Church). She probably is just being consistent. Lord, have mercy.

  11. The problem is not this individual - she is just a useful idiot for the Devil. The NCR is to blame but the bigger question is where are our Leaders in the Church denouncing the NCR? Calling Father Corapi? Anyone?

  12. The problem is not this individual - she is just a useful idiot for the Devil. The NCR is to blame but the bigger question is where are our Leaders in the Church denouncing the NCR? Calling Father Corapi? Anyone?


    And, I watched a woman get up out of the pew and stomp out. As a post abortive woman myself, I followed her...and outside I gently said to her - "I know, I know the pain you are feeling. I cannot believe that I am called out on my sin of abortion. But - God does not change His Mind or His Desire for us to be pro-life. There are many of us who have had abortions who wish that it was okay to have done - there are many of us whose loved ones have had abortions. We cannot possibly think that God will condemn us...and He does not - He Loves us enough to demonstrate His Truth to us. You are loved, you are forgiven and you may be set free by the Blood of Christ. You can either accept that invitation or not."

    We hugged and she left - I do not know what God did in her life after that, but I ALWAYS EXPECT miracles.

    We must love, speak the truth in love and be charitable to all especially those who are hurting, like this woman who is a pro-abortion Catholic. She, too, is hurting and who among us is without sin?

    Let us pray for her conversion of heart - expect a miracle...be on your knees for her conversion!

  14. Wright1:
    #1) Calling this woman a "useful idiot for the Devil" only puts you in a league with the pharisees, so stop it. This is life & death issue & namecalling isn't helpful, its adolescent.
    #2) NCReporter is frantically working to shore up their readership roles which mainly consist of old hippies. Its fading fast, like its readership.
    #3) If you think the "Leaders in the Church" should step in, how about stepping up to the plate yourself & contacting some of them? BTW, Comboxes don't count as stepping up to the plate.

  15. Hi Patrick,

    Thanks for posting this. After Mass and adoration this morning, I decided to send an An Open Letter to US Catholic Bishops regarding National Catholic Reporter's Article: I am a Pro-Choice Catholic

    I have emailed the link to the USCCB's communications dept and pro-life committe email. And, I sent it to Archbishop Chaput who has a public email.

    I'm hoping people will get it to their bishops one way or another.

    God bless!

    Diane at Te Deum Laudamus!

  16. "Kate Childs Graham ... also serves on the Women’s Ordination Conference board of directors and the Call to Action Next Generation Leadership Team"

    Well, there you have it - she's not just heterodox, she's surrounded by heretics. This poor girl desperately needs prayers.

  17. G: Sorry I dod not agree. Your attack on me misses the point. For your benefit I will soften my disgust, let us say she is an unwitting pawn and is being used quite nicely by the Devil. If you do not want to acknowledge that the Devil or Satan is quite active in the conversion of hearts and minds to kill innocents, you are not adhering to the Truth. The Devil is quite real my friend. And it is important to name evil for what it is. You can quibble with my name-calling but that does not make me a Pharisee. Speaking out against other humans who do the work of Satan is out obligation as Catholics and Christians. This woman has been decieved and misled - if you disagree, that is your problem not mine. As for the NCR, if this is the rubbish they are printing then let it go under!

  18. There's a difference between a "well-informed" conscience (a phrase Childs uses and the Catechism does not) and a "well-formed" conscience (a phrase the Catechism uses and Childs does not). It's more abortion rhetoric.

  19. I am with others who say that the true culprit here is NCR.

    Mis Childs Graham, is misinformed, and yes, she has likely never opened a catechism. Indeed, she needs our prayers.

  20. Yes, NCR is a culprint. Seasoned adult Catholics - dissidents - are exploiting young people. That is what makes this even more disgusting and why I think the Bishops need to do something to warn people about the dangers.

  21. Miss Graham is one of many young catholics who have been spiritually aborted by dissinters from Church Teaching. This weekend Feb.27-March 1st there are literally thousands of young, in between and older Catholics who are being spiritually aborted at The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in Anahiem California. I have just come back from this congress and I had witnessed first hand several speakers who promoted same sex marriage and opened the dialouge to research the claim that The Vatican Libary has documentation that the Church blessed these same sex unions and relationships as like in a "marriage"ceremony. The speaker promoted a book by an author named Boswell who has claimed this. I was also present in a convention center room where there was a panel discussion on parents of homosexuals and homosexuals who gave their stories. The panel speakers where not promoting to live chastely, in fact they were proud of their homosexual lifestyle and or that of their children and condemed The Church for not accepting who or the way their children where. Many talks at this conference directly or indirectly promoted women priestess, homosexual relationships, utopian society based on socialism and marixsts ideas, promoting a new age jesus or god , liturgical dancing and other liturgical abuses. There where several talks given by orthodox Catholic speakers as in 4 which I know of, but the rest where of the minset as I described above.
    With all that said. Until the lay Catholics who know better get off their duffs and say enough is enough and demand from their Bishops and the hierarchy in The Vatican for orthodox teachings and properly celebrated liturgies there will be many more Miss Grahams, sad to say but, that is a reality. Keep praying for Holy Mother The Church but please get off your duffs and make your voice heard NOW!!! I will be sending a correspondance with audio of some of these speakers to the proper authorities in The Vatican.
    We need to stop future Pelosie's,Biden's and Kennedy's.
    We need to stop future spiritual abortions!!!

  22. My little son was named David..he was born full term, very ill and lived only 22 mos, but they were precious time that he was actually very happy and we would not trade one moment that we had. I am and always will be pro-life but this stirred my heart so much just seeing "Baby David," for that is the name everyone gave to our baby. What a loss for the people who could have held him whole as we did our baby. We know this Baby David will be whole in Heaven, thanks be to God, however, it is clearly sad that some cannot know their loss. Lord, have mercy! May Ms. Childs Graham and all others who do not see this side become face to face and finally understand and come home to where they belong and to uplift God's very least!

  23. Well, speaking as another person from the Indianapolis area....

    I am a co-catechist for the 7th/8th grade RE class in my parish and one thing my fellow teacher and I harp on, like, ALL YEAR LONG, is that there is no such thing as an informed conscience that has no moral direction to it, and any moral direction we have must come from the teachings of the Church.

    These adolescents are at an age when they are curious about their faith and willing (maybe even comforted?) to learn about the boundaries that keep us morally safe. I hope our teaching (and the teaching of all the other catechists in the RE program) will plant a seed that the Holy Spirit can nurture so that our parish won't be scandalized by the likes of a future Ms. Childs Graham, whose ruminations about the rightness of abortion frankly make me want to hurl.

  24. Perhaps young women like Ms. Childs Graham grow up to be friends of "tiller the Hun" like Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas or women who go around espousing a belief that the Catholic Church has never really been able to prove the beginning of human life much like Princess Pelosi. It's all so very sad that such ignorance continues to bear witness to the murder of innocent babes yet apparently very prevalent.

  25. Perhaps young women like Ms. Childs Graham learn to admire "tiller the hun" as does Gov. Sebelius of Kansas or perhaps they go around espousing a view that, after all, the Catholic Church has never really been able to prove the beginnings of human life, have they? Speaker/Princess Pelosi who goes around acting as if she's an authority on church teaching when it comes to the issue of life. Wouldn't it be better to take Paris Hilton for a role model. It's all so sad but true and why doesn't our church get tough with these CINO's (Catholic in name only).

  26. Thanks for keeping us posted on the National Crap Reporter (excuse my french!) Being aware of articles like this help explain where our crazy misled relatives and friends get their ideas. Anyway, I use to recieve offers in the mail from NCR, and the first time I got one, I just KNEW - something about the postcard. Anyway, I googled it, and it took no time at all to see what a sinful, misleading, tool-of-the-enemy RAG it was.

    Unfortunately, priests in our diocese quote from it and from America magazine as well.

    This article is ridiculous. It is not informative, nor enlightening, it just seems to have been put in to illustrate their tainted point. If this Childs Graham person is even real, I assert as a Catholic and a mother that she is not a REAL woman, at least a poor excuse for one, that can't naturally see the horror of child murder.

  27. I too am a pro-choice Catholic, female, and I came to the same conclusion pretty much the same way. There are lots of us. We won't be silenced anymore, either.

  28. Can you please adress what you think happens during an abortion. A friend who was prochoice and in nursing school visited at an abortion clinic. They COUNTED THE PARTS - put a human being back together, to make sure nothing was left of the carcass in the mother. She is now prolife. She got it. But I do believe you are sincere, and we are having 2 different conversations. still, please answer my question. Obviously, this is not theological - Theologically, with souls involved, the prochoice argument is nonsense.

  29. Learn more about Our Lady of America's call to purity at www.oltiv.org These messages are canonically approved and are directly related to the preservation of life and the pursuit of justice as we follow Our Lord Jesus. It is so important that we read and understand what Our Lady requests. It is why Archbishop Raymond Burke and many bishops support this cause.

  30. You people should be ashamed of yourselves. You sit on your high horse and put down the beliefs and feelings of some one else so that you can feel better about yourself. It sickens me to call myself a Catholic knowing that there are other Catholics like you people out there in the world.You continuously talk about people and label them dissidents as ever you yourself are a pure Catholic. Everyone is faced with controversies that pull at your heart, don't judge people simply because their heart is pulled in a different direction then yours. and when your time comes and you come face to face with God I hope you too have a response to the hatred and malice your words are spreading. Seeing as I am a devout Catholic I would not wish harm upon anyone, but it is my assumption that God will show you the meaning of humility.