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On abortion

A statement by Fr. Michael J. Nicosia, published on social media on May 6, 2022

On abortion, or any topic, as a priest what I say publicly matters even if not speaking officially for my church. In the past I've refrained from going on record about my views re abortion because they're so nuanced.

I believe in the sanctity of all life, am pro-women and prolife. I'm not pro-abortion, but accept the serious, regrettable reasons for its use. I'm not pro-choice because those who seek abortions rarely have a choice.

While acknowledging the historical trauma of denying women's bodily autonomy, I wonder if arguments for abortion rights on demand simply in deference to such is an individualistic distortion of personal liberties that trumps the rights of the unborn.

That said, I know that a fetus's personhood is debatable for many; some take it as a matter of faith, while others do not (the reason why striking down Roe v. Wade to preserve human life would be unconstitutional, favoring one religion over others or none).

I am also against laws that inevitably disadvantage those without the medical, financial and/or psychic resources to carry a pregnancy to term or support the child into the future. I am pro-adoption and pro- social safety nets that would give women and families better options.

Because the issue is so nuanced and so personal, the decision should be up to the woman's discernment in holy conversation with her family and community of support. I hope to be there if needed, and I know numerous female priests who would journey with you as well.


"today I mourn"

by Fr. Michael J. Nicosia In response to the overturning of Woe v. Wade

Today I mourn, for fewer and fewer truths are self-evident to all.

Many celebrate today’s SCOTUS decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Not I. The Justices in the majority should know better than to allow a particular faith-based view about abortion to be enshrined into law. Today I mourn, for this “victory” signals the empowerment of a vocal minority who seek to force their beliefs and values on everyone (the similarities to the Taliban’s actions are not lost on me, particularly evidenced in those States that see political advantage in these culture wars). The highest court in the land cannot protect us from the rise of such oppression; I do not begrudge anyone their firmly-held beliefs, but those who signed the majority opinion have leaned into their own biases and given them preference contrary to their Constitutional obligations in a pluralistic society.

To think that handing the decision over to the States will serve the common good is naïve; majorities will rule and minorities will suffer. I pray those who have put so much energy into being “pro-life” channel those energies to build up our country’s social safety net that can lessen the burdens these restrictions will create.

Today’s ruling ignored the burdens it disproportionately places upon the poor and People of Color—but then again, the unalienable Rights championed as self-evident truths at our nation’s founding have never been upheld when privilege was threatened. Just look at SCOTUS placing a corrupted view of the 2nd Amendment before the lives of our children. Next on their docket? Denying the reality of our trans-children’s lives, backtracking on same-sex marriage, forbidding the very word “gay” in our schools, banning certain books in our libraries and bookstores—all biased, life-threatening views that may go unchallenged by this Court.

Today I mourn—but my hope persists, for now the threat is abundantly clear.

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