Catholic women, please don’t be duped.

On the surface, the Women’s March on Washington (January 21, 2017) can appear to be a grass roots initiative to foster unity amid diversity.

The organization’s mission and vision states:

We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families - recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

It brags of a commitment to “… stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”

Nicely said, and a worthy goal if it in fact was meant to defend all of those who are marginalized in our country. I also will give organizers credit for putting together what’s billed to be a peaceful demonstration that exercises every American’s right to freedom of speech.

In reality, the march is a movement to protest the results of our presidential election and an effort to promote the agenda of women’s “reproductive rights.” This includes contraception and abortion, both of which are contrary to the teachings of our faith.

Put simply in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

“The regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).” (CCC, 2399)

“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.” (CCC, 2270)

“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.” (CCC, 2271)

“Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. ‘A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,’ ‘by the very commission of the offense,’ and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.” (CCC, 2271)

Proponents of abortion try to disguise it as a “reproductive right.” They say that women have the right to govern their own bodies and make their own choices. Ultimately, God governs our bodies, and determines what choices we may or may not make. No one has the right to kill another human being. The Fifth Commandment – You Shall Not Kill – is God’s law, not man’s. It applies to all human beings, not just those who have been allowed to be born and walk the Earth. Furthermore, there’s nothing reproductive about killing an innocent child in the womb.

The Women’s March on Washington website touts a banner, “The Rise of the Woman = The Rise of the Nation.” This is deceptive. The group’s agenda does not help women to rise, but rather convinces them that the way God made them is somehow faulty. Women who are Spirit-inspired, holy, and godly will help to uplift the nation. Women who are void of their God-given dignity will cause it to fall.

Catholic women, please be aware. The Women’s March on Washington does claim to protect human rights, but it does not wish to protect the rights of all humans.

The mission statement mentions a number of ethnic, religious, and cultural groups who, they say, have been “insulted, demonized, and threatened” by the past election cycle’s rhetoric. But nowhere do they mention the constant and growing threat against the unborn child or against Christians who are persecuted for clinging to their beliefs.

They are missing a huge margin of the marginalized in our country.

Also concerning is the march’s list of Partners, which includes Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Catholics for Choice, among other morally dangerous institutions and organizations. These groups have publicly stated their pro-abortion agendas and worked against the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church.

To stand with the march organizers and partners means to stand with their immoral agendas as well. There are other ways to work for unity in diversity, care of the marginalized and protect our feminine dignity.

Yes, there are some good intentions included in the mission and vision of the Women’s March on Washington, but they are buried among intentions that contradict our Catholic faith. As Catholic women – and men – who wish to follow the teachings and wisdom of the Church, we are bound to stay away and not support the march.