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Human Life & Dignity

For the Church, there is no distinction between defending human life and promoting the dignity of the human person. As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights that leads Catholics to actively work for a world of greater respect for human life and greater commitment to justice and peace.
Related topics & resources

We believe that every being has a human destiny and is being prepared by God to receive an immortal soul (cf. Jeremiah 1:5: "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you").
Project Rachel - Post-abortion healing & reconciliation
Family Support
Family is the most essential influence on children and many Catholic Charities West Michigan (CCWM) programs are designed to strengthen and preserve families. CCWM is an affiliated ministry of the Diocese of Grand Rapids committed to serving people of all faiths, backgrounds, cultures and walks of life.
Behavioral Health | Foster Care & Adoption | Senior Services
End of Life
A Catholic Guide to End-of-Life Decisions; An Explanation of Church Teaching on Advance Directives, Euthanasia, and Physician Assisted Suicide
Guidelines for End of Life Decisions & Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (MCC, 2006)
Health Care 
A contemporary understanding of the Catholic health care ministry must take into account the new challenges presented by transitions both in the Church and in American society.
Respect for rights of conscience & religious liberty
Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,
(USCCB, 5th Edition, 2001)
Human Trafficking
The Catho­lic Church's vehement opposition to human trafficking is rooted in principles of Catholic social teaching, central to which is the sacredness and dignity of human life, and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Annual day of prayer for victims and survivors of human trafficking - Feb. 8, 2014
The Catholic Church in the United States is an immigrant Church with a long history of embracing diverse newcomers and providing assistance and pastoral care to immigrants, migrants, refugees, and people on the move.
Justice for Immigrants | Justicia para los Inmigrantes
Immigration Legal Services in the diocese (Oficina de Servicios Legales de Inmigración)
The world has been focused with great intensity on the tragedy of refugees fleeing upheaval in Syria and other countries to Europe. But there is a much broader story playing out in the countries surrounding Syria and Iraq who have absorbed most of the 3.9 million refugees - more than half of them children.  Where are they to go? How are they to sustain themselves and their children? What are the long-term consequences? Questions abound, but our Catholic Christian mission to welcome and care for the stranger continues.
"... within the community of believers there can never be room for a poverty that denies anyone what is needed for a dignified life." - Pope Benedict XVI
Poverty USA | Catholic Campaign for Human Development
Catholic Relief Services | CRS collection resources (USCCB)
Community Outreach (Catholic Charities West Michigan)
The Catholic Church brings a distinct perspective to the discussion of environmental questions, by lifting up the moral dimensions of these issues and the needs of the most vulnerable among us.
Why Protecting Unborn Children in Their First Environment Matters - Discussion & study guide
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on Human Life & Dignity - Additional links to information about all aspects of human life and dignity.