In a 10-minute video released July 8, Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample confronted some of the typical challenges to Catholic teaching and action on abortion.

Addressing the complaint that the church is anti-woman, Archbishop Sample pointed to the many Catholic-backed organizations that reach out to serve women in need, including Project Rachael, for women and men who have had abortions and are suffering because of it. He also highlighted Walking with Moms in Need, a program of the U.S. Catholic bishops that links parishes to women who are pregnant and feeling in crisis.

The archbishop said there are thousands of pro-life organizations with a focus on caring for women. But he said the church does need to do even more, helping women and alleviating child poverty.

Unwanted pregnancy is a problem, but murder is not the answer, the archbishop said.

He countered the notion that the pro-life cause rests on religious belief or sentiment, saying hard science is at work.

“You don’t need to be a person of faith to know the objective truth that abortion is evil,” he said. “From the moment of conception, a unique member of the human family has come into existence.”

To those who criticize the church as preoccupied with abortion, Archbishop Sample said the right to exist is the most fundamental right of all. Other rights presuppose it, he said. He said the 63 million unborn children who have died to abortion are well more than other genocides.

The archbishop explained that it’s not up to him to say whether advocates for abortion are evil people, but it is clear that they are performing an evil act, he said.

He urged Catholics who support abortion rights to conform their lives to the Gospel, not shape the Gospel to fit their opinions.

“I beg you please, repent,” he said. “Be reconciled with God. If not, you put your mortal soul in danger.”

Ed Langlois

Watch the video