Making a CASE for Children's Health
Why Protecting Unborn Children in Their First Environment Matters
A Discussion and Study guide
As Catholics, we are called to care for God’s gift of creation and to protect the most vulnerable among us. The poor suffer most directly from environmental decline and have the least access to relief from their suffering. While every child needs our concern, the option for the poor and vulnerable rooted in the Gospel and the Church’s teaching compels us to protect especially poor children and their physical environment.
The bishops of the United States initiated a major effort in the fall of 1993, “Renewing the Earth: An Environmental Justice Program.” Its purpose is to promote a distinctively Catholic approach to environmental concerns, to foster stewardship of God’s creation, and to link environmental protection and social justice. We have a special concern for the poor, who so often suffer disproportionately from the effects of environmental problems. The program also is a response to growing serious global, regional, and local environmental concerns.
Among the most vulnerable and most susceptible to the effects of environmental hazards are children. Because children may be exposed to environmental hazards at an earlier age than adults, even before they are born, they can develop slowly-progressing, environmentally-triggered diseases such as asthma, childhood cancer, mercury and lead poisoning.
For this reason, a coalition of major Catholic religious, health care, social service and policy organizations has joined together to build a Catholic constituency for children’s health and a safe environment. (Read About CASE and CASE Partners).