Abortion and its legalization are great evils. They differ in some ways from the mass murders carried out under Stalin, Hitler, and others, but also in some ways are comparable to those crimes and in other ways even worse: because of the greater numbers being killed, their total innocence and defenselessness, the essential role played by those primarily responsible for nurturing the victims, the widespread support of this slaughter by both rulers and people in so-called liberal democratic nations, and the complicity in the killings of so many religious leaders, educators, people trained in law, health care professionals, people in the mass media, and so on.
Everyone who recognizes the evils of abortion and its legalization should do something to oppose them. What that should be depends on an individual’s unique opportunities and capacities. Opportunities—what can be done—are limited to what is morally acceptable as well as to what is possible in other respects; one’s capacities are limited by one’s other responsibilities. All of us should do what we can, that is, some of the morally acceptable things that are in our power and that we can do without neglecting duties that flow from other elements of personal vocation to which we already have committed ourselves or which, being inescapable, we have accepted as God’s will. So, for instance, the contemplative nun and the bedridden man in a nursing home ought to work against abortion chiefly by praying for divine intervention or by writing letters of protest, not leaving the cloister or sickbed to participate in [...] work at clinics.
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