June 25, 2019

Catholic Medical Association Responds to Article Criticizing Pro-Life Success

Philadelphia, PA—As the Catholic Medical Association remains committed to upholding the dignity and sanctity of life in all its stages, the last several months have prompted our organization to respond with a particular focus on the fight against abortion.

CMA has spoken out against several states which passed life-ending legislation, in some cases, allowing for late term abortion (including states like New York and Rhode Island where abortion is legal up to the moment of birth), and has remained hopeful as we applauded several states that passed historic pro-life legislation.

A recent article published in part by USA Today, not only seems to condemn the work of the pro-life groups across the country who have worked to defend and protect the lives of innocent babies, but also undermines the honest process by which these life-saving laws have been passed.

“The CMA remains committed to protecting life from conception to natural death, and in doing so to try as best we can to serve those most vulnerable in our society. We ask that all seek means consistent with a culture of life rather than with the ‘throwaway culture,’ as Pope Francis has referred to aspects of our current culture, to address what can seem very difficult situations at the beginning and end of life,” said CMA President, Dr. John Schirger.

“Why is the Pro-Life movement criticized for peaceful engagement in the democratic process? Why was the Pro-Abortion movement not scrutinized for their ‘copycat’ infanticide legislation this year in New York and Rhode Island? The double standard of the secular news media is breathtaking. For many in the media, abortion is the Holy Grail which must be preserved at all costs despite the indisputable scientific evidence that human life begins at the moment of conception,” said Dr. Paul Braaton, Past President of CMA.

In Georgia, for example, CMA’s Past President, Dr. Kathleen Raviele, an OBGYN, testified before state lawmakers on behalf of a fetal heartbeat bill— which was signed into law and prohibits abortion after a baby’s heartbeat can be detected (as early as six weeks into pregnancy).

And in Ohio, CMA’s Dr. Ashley Fernandes and Dr. Michael Parker (current Vice President of CMA) testified on behalf of a heartbeat bill for their states.

“A heartbeat means something. Medically and scientifically, the heartbeat is evidence of the development of the complex human person,” said Dr. Parker in February.

Dr. Lester Ruppersberger, OBGYN and Past President of CMA, stated that “while heartbeat bills are a step in the right direction, actual scientific proof of the heart beating in an embryo occurs at 18-20 days post-fertilization, so as science advances, earlier restrictions will become the order of the day.”

CMA remains committed to defending life and commends its members who have worked to effect positive, life-affirming change.

“The accusation that the strategy to protect the most vulnerable, the unborn child, is a nationally organized strategy is a compliment. Those committed to seeking justice and mercy to both the unborn child and her mother, also a victim of the abortion, should be complimented for taking a page from the effective strategy manuals of those erroneously advocating for same-sex marriage and physician assisted suicide,” said Co-Chair of CMA’s Ethics Committee, Marie Hillard, PhD, RN.


The Catholic Medical Association is a national, physician-led community of over 2,300 healthcare professionals consisting of 109 local guilds. CMA mission is to inform, organize, and inspire its members, in steadfast fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church, to uphold the principles of the Catholic faith in the science and practice of medicin

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