Last updated on: 6/2/2010 | Author:

Mother Teresa Biography

Catholic nun and famed advocate for the needy
Con to the question "Should Abortion Be Legal?"

“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts – a child – as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically-dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners.

Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.”

Amicus curiae brief, US Supreme Court cases Locke v. New Jersey and Krail et al. v. New Jersey, Feb. 1, 1994

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Catholic nun, 1937-1997
  • Opened Missionaries of Charity home for AIDS patients, San Francisco, CA, 1988
  • Recipient, US Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1985
  • Founder, Corpus Christi Movement, 1981
  • Recipient, Bharat Ratna (Star of India), 1980
  • Recipient, Nobel Peace Prize, 1979
  • Recipient, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding, 1972
  • Recipient, Pope John XXIII Peace Prize, 1971
  • Founder, Missionary Brothers of Charity, 1963
  • Recipient, Padmashree (Magnificent Lotus Award), 1962
  • Organized Missionaries of Charity’s first leprosy clinic in Titagarh, India, 1957
  • Opened Kalighat, Missionaries of Charity’s first home for the dying, 1952
  • Founder, Missionaries of Charity, 1950
  • Teacher and principal of St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta, India, 1929-1948
  • Catholic Missionary, The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto Sisters), 1928
  • Received medical training, American Medical Missionary Sisters (Patna, India), 1948-1950
  • Beautified by Pope John Paul II, 2003
  • Died in Calcutta, India, Sep. 5, 1997
  • Awarded honorary citizenship of the US, 1996
  • Honorary fellow, Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland, 1992
  • Awarded honorary citizenship of Assisi, 1982
  • Recipient, Honorary Doctorate in Divinity, University of Cambridge, 1977
  • Born Agnesë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Üsküb, Ottoman Empire (now Skopje, Macedonia), Aug. 26, 1910
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Abortion Be Legal?