Bishops Must Rethink Anti-Abortion Strategy

Northeastern Pennsylvania is the most Catholic part of the United States. According to local experts, 80 percent of the population … Continued

Northeastern Pennsylvania is the most Catholic part of the United States. According to local experts, 80 percent of the population in the area around Scranton and Wilkes Barre identifies itself as Catholic. The region voted 63%-37% for Barack Obama and the Democrats on Nov. 4.

That is noteworthy because the Bishop of Scranton on Oct. 5 had used the strongest possible language to warn all Catholics against voting for any politicians who support the right to abortions, clearly referring to the Democratic Party platform. The Scranton situation has parallels in many other dioceses where a bishop published condemnation of votes for pro-choice Democrats before the election, but the people went the other way.

Certainly, the bishops meeting in Washington the week after the election are asking themselves the meaning of this disconnection.

According to some of the anti-abortion faithful this year, a vote for Barack Obama was equivalent to abandoning the Catholic faith. However, most people and most bishops did not consider voting for Obama to amount to renunciation of the faith. In fact, the ordinary Magisterium of the U.S. Catholic Bishops protects personal choice as stated in the pastoral letter, Faithful Citizenship. This document certainly played a role in the disconnection between the outspoken anti-choice message of individual bishops and the decisions of Catholic America in favor of Obama.

Catholic bishops have not only the right but also the responsibility to speak out on public issues. Abortion is morally wrong for every Catholic without exception. If there is some Catholic out there who doesn’t understand this, the bishops’ statements can leave no doubt. What is not clear, however, is the link between opposing abortion as a moral evil and a vote in any U.S. election.

No elected politician can vote to outlaw all abortions because the U.S. Constitution overrides legislation. As illustrated by Republican presidents going back to Ronald Reagan, saying you are pro-life will not end all abortions. But providing a better social and economic climate reduces the rate of abortions, as happened under the administration of pro-choice Democrat Bill Clinton. Despite a pro-life Republican president over the past eight years, the Guttmacher Institute reports that the rate of abortion among low-income women is increasing. Based on those facts, many Catholics such as Prof. Douglas Kmiec suggested that the pro-life vote should go to Obama and the Democrats.

As Kmiec argued, it hasn’t worked to vote Republican over the past 30 years in the hope for a Supreme Court that would vote to reverse Roe v. Wade. What’s more, Kmiec argued, reversal of that Supreme Court decision would not end abortions. It would only return the issue to legislation in each state. Without Roe v. Wade’s regulations, some states could vote in abortion-on-demand, making the situation even worse than it is now.

In my opinion, the way to end abortion is the same way that slavery was ended: by constitutional amendment. But Article V affords no role to the executive branch in proposing such a constitutional amendment. Ultimately, any amendment requires ratification by three-fourths of the states. In sum, it is not a federal government power, but one exercised locally after a long public process.

So why does the Bishop of Scranton or any other bishop focus on a presidential election when instructing the faithful about the need to work against abortion? I don’t know. What seems clear to me, however, is that this strategy is deeply flawed and that most of the Catholic faithful in America have moved beyond the abortion issue in deciding their voting priorities every four years.

If you want abortion ended in this country, as I do, then it is time to wise up. Continuing to practice the same failed policy and expecting a different result is folly. Catholic America does not want bishops telling them they have to vote for Republicans on the single issue of abortion. Behind closed doors, I am sure that is what some bishops are telling other bishops and I expect to see all of them order a reexamination of the Pro-Life Movement.

About

Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo is Professor Emeritus of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College and Distinguished Scholar of the City University of New York.
  • parrotts

    I know a physician who once helped a young girl obtain an abortion. The girl, who was 15 years old, had kidney disease and hypertension. At 14 weeks into the pregnancy, her blood pressure was out of control and her kidneys were failing. Both she and her baby would have been dead in weeks, but her life could be saved ( not the baby’s-that was doomed). So rather than stand by doing nothing while that girl ( who already had a handicapped child at home to care for, and was getting pregnant because she was a little slow mentally and was being taken advantage of by older men) AND HER BABY died, the doctor arranged for an abortion to at least save one life . That doctor is now an ex-Catholic. She would do it again. Would you ban this abortion as well as all others?

  • marcedward1

    Maybe a better idea would be to get rid of the Bishops. The ‘leadership’ in Rome seems more interested in controlling US politics than achieving any worthwhile good. How many poor people would have been helped, how many starving people fed with the money they threw away opposing gay marriage in California?

  • HaveItYourWay

    The Bishops have no option, but to stick to the truth. They answer to a higher Authority, and truth does not depend on how many people believe in it.

  • asoders22

    The whole point of democracy and the vote is the personal freedom to choose. If not, we could take away the votes from all Catholics and give them to the cardinals.

  • marcedward1

    HaveItYourWay writes Actually they had the option to lie, which they happily took. “They answer to a higher Authority”I doubt they believe that. They love their power on earth much more than the words of Jesus.

  • sunbird1977

    “In my opinion, the way to end abortion is the same way that slavery was ended: by constitutional amendment.”No. The best way to end abortion is to convince the vast majority of Americans that it needs ending. Actually, a constitutional amendment is never going to happen unless you take that step. If abortions are to be banned it should be the majority telling the government to ban them, not the government informing the majority that they are banned.

  • MrsGRP

    Opposing abortion as a moral evil is the correct provenance of the USCCB. To control the reproductive decisions of persons who are not Catholic is outside the Bishops’ scope. Which is why neither clergy nor the Catholic faithful have any right to alter the Constitution.

  • Farnaz2

    Anthony,Ah, me, and here I went and posted elsewhere that the level of your discourse on this blog should give pause to other academics, whose essays often read like who-wrote-it-left-it-and-ran at the New York Post.Anthony: Abortion is morally wrong for every Catholic without exception.Farnaz: This would include situations in which the mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy?This would include little girls who have been incested by their fathers?This would include girls and women who have been raped?Is that what you believe, Anthony, since you say you want abortion to end in this country?Meanwhile, back at the human beings farm, there are some Catholics whose hearts have not been quite so hardened.On another note, the Bishop of Scranton is not alone as you well know. All over America, priests and other clergy have advised congregants to vote against abortion, i.e., for McCain. This isn’t the first time they violated the requirements of their tax exempt status, and unless it’s removed as it darned well should be, it won’t be the last.

  • presto668

    “In my opinion, the way to end abortion is the same way that slavery was ended: by constitutional amendment.”Um, no. The way to end abortion is to help women avoid pregnancy in the first place. But of course, that’s out because the Church opposes artificial birth control too.Tell me with a straight face that making abortion illegal would stop it. It might make you feel good, and you can go around patting yourselves on the back for a job well done, but you won’t have solved anything.

  • Farnaz2

    Anthony:Strongly recommend you read this post several times, along with that posted below of yours truly:”In my opinion, the way to end abortion is the same way that slavery was ended: by constitutional amendment.”Um, no. The way to end abortion is to help women avoid pregnancy in the first place. But of course, that’s out because the Church opposes artificial birth control too.Tell me with a straight face that making abortion illegal would stop it. It might make you feel good, and you can go around patting yourselves on the back for a job well done, but you won’t have solved anything.It should not be necessary to rehearse all the reasons why criminalizing abortion won’t end it, so I shall be brief.Women who can afford to get safe abortions will do so. Poor women, rape victims or no, raped children, incested childre, will resort to anything, possibly ending up dead along with their embryos.Presto668 writes, “t might make you feel good, and you can go around patting yourselves on the back for a job well done”Will you do that, Anthony? On behalf of raped and incested children and women? Will you pat yourself on the back?Good God, what has hardened the hearts of so many Catholics for so many centuries?

  • kwbinMD

    As a lifelong Catholic, I have always found it interesting and extremely frustrating how the Bishops seem to want us to vote Republican, or not Democrat. They’ve gone so far a to label the Democrats as the “party of death” and annointing the Republican as the pro-life candidate. Nothing, in fact could be further from the truth. In a letter to Joe Biden, Bishop John Ricard stated, “Thus, human life is to be respected from the moment of conception until natural death. The Church has taught this from the beginning,and civilized societies live by this principle.” The majority of republicans, including the current President overwhelmingly support the death penalty, which certainly is not natural death and has been proven to not be applied equally. In fact, President Bush, while Governor of Texas, presided over an administration that put more people to death than all other states combined. The Republican Candidate and his running mate this election both support the death penalty and even support expanding its use and eliminating the argument of racial discrimination in death penalty cases. I guess John McCain figures racial discrimination doesn’t exist anymore in the criminal justice system.The fact of the matter is, a truly pro-life politician is a rare thing. Former Lt. Governor Michael Steele is the only recent candidate that comes to mind, who comes even close to truly pro-life and he was certainly not in line with his party or even his boss, the Governor. To focus solely on abortion is to try to establish a scale of intrinsic evils or establish a hierarchy of human life and the order in which it is to be protected. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Rather, the focus should be on education and healthcare so as to bring measurable reduction in the numbers of abortions, with its elimination being the goal. Bill Clinton, a pro-choice President was far more successful at actually reducing the numbers of abortions than his pro-life successor, George Bush. Otherwise good luck finding a candidate who will vote against abortion, against embryonic stem cell research, against the death penalty, for universal healthcare, for a living wage, AND against assisted suicide. I suspect no such candidate exists. In the real world, we can really only do the best we can with what’s in front of us.

  • jprfrog

    I sincerely hope that this forum will answer my question: What authority, Scriptural or otherwise, supports the claim that human life begins at conception, fertilization, or implantation? I don’t want a re-iteration of a Church teaching, but the reasoning behind that teaching. Since the nub of the argument seems to be “When does a human soul enter a fetus?” I would really like to know on what basis any answer the this question rests.Further: if a blastocyst is in fact a human being, then the destruction of same is murder, then shouldn’t the usual penalties apply? That is, if the doctor and the soon-not-to-be mother are committing murder, shouldn’t they be charged, convicted and punished according to existing law? If not, why not? And if so, are we willing to construct and maintain space to imprison hundreds of thousands of newly-defined criminals? Or execute them? It seems to me that if you do believe this way, then you must have the courage to apply the logic consistently.

  • molly13

    The best way to reduce the number of abortions in this country is to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. Sexuality is a part of human nature, and people are going to have sex, regardless of whether the Church says not to. “Abstinence only” programs do not acknowledge that reality, and have been proven to be totally ineffective. The best way to reduce unwanted pregancies is to educate teenagers and the poor about effective contraception. By the way, pro-choice Democrats don’t think abortion is good, we just think that reproductive decisions should be made by the people involved, not by the government.

  • MShake

    The Church should stay out of politics, period. If they want to help prevent abortions, they should try to give people considering abortion and option, like facilitating adoptions or offering counseling.I am very offended that this collection of Bishops chose to put abortion above the combination of every other social justice issue in the world (which is what they did by asking people to vote “not Democrat”).

  • WhatNerve

    Abortion opponents, it seems to me, have long sought to devise a law enforcement solution to combat a moral problem. It’s a losing strategy.You’re never going to stop abortion with a law enforcement solutions. Even if abortion opponents managed somehow to get it declared illegal in all 50 states, people facing unwanted pregnancy would still find ways to abort.If you oppose abortion, it’s time to get practical. With Obama’s election, the chances of passing legislation outlawing abortion has become even more remote.If you truly oppose abortion, then you have to start changing the hearts and minds of individuals who face — or potentially face — that choice. Get off the picket lines, get out of the pews and get into the lives of young men and women who need mentoring in our schools. Make a difference where it matters — in the lives of young people.

  • mona1950

    I have never understood this argument other than to realize that certain religions want to legislate their religious beliefs and make the rest of us follow those beliefs. Plain and simple, I don’t believe that abortion is murder. I believe that a woman has the right to determine what to do with her own body and the fetus which is growing in it. If religious people are against abortion, then they shouldn’t have an abortion. very simple.

  • kwbinMD

    @JPRFROGThe first reference to this I can think of is Jeremiah 1:5, which I think is also mentioned in the Catechism as part of the basis for this argument. It reads, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Additionally, in Luke 1:39, we hear of John, whom Elizabeth is carrying, leaping in the womb upon hearing the greeting of Mary, who was pregnant with Jesus Christ. Clearly, it is a life from conception according to God.Furthermore, in Genesis 38:8, we hear the penalties God imposes on Onan for interferring with the marital act so as to prevent pregnancy.

  • aredant

    It amazing to me that the anti-abortion folks continually buy in to the false rhetoric of the most corrupt candidates that would say anything to elected, then are met with disappointment when they find that their choice really doesn’t care. But for the devout Catholics (and I was once one), Most people seem to want an end to abortion, but not a law against it. Wouldn’t it be smarter to try to prevent unwanted pregnancy? You have to be a little more creative if you don’t want to keep losing ground here. I’m Pro-Abortion. I consider the unborn to be expendable and religion a huge lie. Most people are not so stop accusing them of something they are not. You probably have more in common with the pro-choice folks than you realize. But for now, it’s still a free country and things are looking more hopeful politically – unless we all do what the Vatican wants. That’s a foreign country by the way.

  • Fei_Hu

    CCNL : You ought to take you own advice regarding Clinton”Thou Shall not Bear False Witness”Otherwise you sound like a hypocrite..Fei Hu

  • ccolvin

    The sad thing, for those of us fond of the Catholic Church, is that it seems to have lost its bearings in the abortion debate. Instead of taking the comprehensive view, instead of caring about the cirucumstances our policies and politics fashion — circumstances that make abortion appear as a “solution” — it emphasizes a simplistic, narrow fact: abortion is infanticide and that is wrong. No doubt, but that doesn’t address the problem. The Church acts like an OCD ideologue and as a result has ended up in the company of limited and dubious moral and political ideologues of the extreme right. The American electorate proves itself time and again to be more sophisticated about abortion: it is wrong but not for government interdiction, since it is a symptom, not the problem. Does the Church want to be self-righteous (“whited sepulchers”)or to address the problem?

  • dubhlaoich

    Let’s suppose that abortion became illegal in every state. How would the law be upheld? The easy answer is to prosecute doctors who perform the procedure, perhaps the woman as well. But there are ways to get around that matter. For instance the Dr. could report that the woman had a miscarriage. To prevent this from happening how would the law be upheld? Will the state perform tests to uphold or dispute the Dr?

  • spidermean2

    Shortselling is selling the merchandise first before buying it. It may not be a proper procedure but it is still considered a sell. Abortion is killing the person first before it develops into a complete person. It is still considered killing by any definition, scientific or religious.If shortselling is selling, so is “SHORTKILLING” killing. By any definition, abortionists are killers. You can’t redefine that.People who supports abortion is an accomplice to any abortion act. Using the concept of conspiracy , they too are murderers.

  • jrw1

    The Catholic Church is a hopeless medieval institution filled with reactionary troglodytes, mostly Republicans, all of whom the world would be better off without, as in completely vanish. I lost patience with Catholics, Oh, at least 50 years ago. Let them rant. They are now impotent.

  • AgentG

    The author overlooks the simple fact that criminalizing abortion will not stop abortion, but will simply stop legal and safe medical care for the mother.The author presumes moral authority over cells growing within all female body, on the notion that these cells are embodied with a soul, although there is neither scientific proof, nor religious teaching, that this is the case. The legal and medical rights of the female, who must have a soul if one exists, are taken from her without any justification in law or religion.The fact is that all cells, both plant and animal, are alive, and represent life. Nature gives and takes life, and many fertilized ovi are naturally aborted. If a soulful life begins at conception, and there is a God who controls that, then this God is aborting a great number of souls.By ignoring the plight and human rights of the mother, those favoring criminalization of abortion want the state to act on behalf of their so-called religious beliefs, which Jesus clearly preached against.Catholics who strongly support criminalization of abortion should learn more about reproductive biology in mammals. It appears many prefer to remain ignorant in matters of science, law and religion.

  • WildWest1

    Catholic’s have a lot of work to do just to clean up an archaic faith run by men who prefer boys, their hypocritical faith ignores the modern world. You think repackaging the message of intolerance and discrimination will sell better, Americans have had enough of the self righteous faith based attacks our freedoms and our lives, as if we were evil. Americans are aware of the radical religious political movement cloaked in politics in willful attempt to fool or some how provide false credability to Americans. Maybe you should just be what you are Christo-fascist and see how that works out in elections, stop hiding within a political party be a political party.The legislation this country needs is any faith based organization or church entity that actively engages in a political agenda by endorsing, donating or approving a candidate based on the test of faith or lobby a social legislative agenda within government to restrict freedoms of citizens of the United States of America, must lose all non-profit tax opportunities and pay taxes like every citizen and every business, not one faith is exempt.!

  • sylvia_giem

    Parrotts,In 1957, as a student nurse, I took an Ethics class at the University of San Francisco. I clearly remember an ancient Jesuit, Fr Mootz, describing a situation similar to that which your doctor friend faced. It is permissable, he said, to save the life of the mother in these extreme cases, even though the unintended consequence is the death of the fetus. I am puzzled that so many American bishops apparently are unaware of ethical principles that were taught to 18 year olds over 50 years ago. If your doctor friend is an ex-Catholic because of the ignorance of some priest or bishop, it would be wonderful if some day she would march back into the Church and take her place at the Table.

  • LaDottoressa

    I am a Roman Catholic; I understand the absolutist moral statment regarding abortion by the catholic church. I happen to disagree with it. I don’t agree with the derision of “situational ethics” by the catholic church; how do you purport to be pro-life when you will sacrifice the life of an innocent woman and possibly the lives of her already borne children for a fetus? It is contradictory to the meaning of pro-life. The church’s ridiculous stand on the use of contraceptives condemn children to be born only to die horrible deaths from poverty, famine and disease in Africa; How in God’s name is this pro-life? God is NOT that cruel.

  • martinola

    I used to work for the Scranton Diocese as director of social justice (for the bishop prior to the incumbent referenced in the post). This is an issue near and dear to my heart, and I am so happy that Dr. Stevens brings it up. The anti-abortion strategy, focused primarily on electoral politics, is a failure. Bishop Martino, nor other bishops with aggressive anti-abortion statements, have little credibility on this topic. It is time for the pro-life movement to mature, to realize that abortion (an evil that it is) needs other strategies. I am pro-life, but I was not foolish enough to realize that a vote for McCain would end one abortion. Frankly, better economic and social policies are more effective at ending abortion (such as the Womens, Infants and Children, or WIC, nutrition program) and Obama was better on policies such as that. I hope this defeat of (some) bishops’ strategies will focus on smarter and more effective means to support all life, from womb to tomb, and all stages in-between.

  • LaDottoressa

    I am a Roman Catholic; I understand the absolutist moral statment regarding abortion by the catholic church. I happen to disagree with it. I don’t agree with the derision of “situational ethics” by the catholic church; how do you purport to be pro-life when you will sacrifice the life of an innocent woman and possibly the lives of her already borne children for a fetus? It is contradictory to the meaning of pro-life. The church’s ridiculous stand on the use of contraceptives condemn children to be born only to die horrible deaths from poverty, famine and disease in Africa; How in God’s name is this pro-life? God is NOT that cruel.

  • johnc_80

    I am pro-life and I vote Democrat because of economic issues.

  • jonmerz

    Why do you think outlawing abortion (criminalizing its performance) will “end” abortion? Abortion was illegal across all the states (from 1828 in Connecticut to 1901 in DC) until 1966, when abortion for rape was legalized in Mississippi (!), legalized generally in 4 states in the 2 years before Roe, and then Roe made it legal everywhere in early ’73. When abortion was illegal, Guttmacher and others estimated that nearly a million abortions were done in the U.S. each year. As various writers have said, making abortion illegal doesn’t stop it, it just makes it degrading to women, expensive, secretive, and dangerous. Witness Romania, which had the world’s highest maternal mortality — due to illegal abortion, where mortality rates fell to normal levels shortly after Ceausescu was deposed and abortion was legalized.Citizens know this, and it just may be that they do not want to return to the state (think South America) where young and poor women have babies or die trying to avoid it, and rich women have more complete control of their reproductive destinies.

  • cwh2

    The ‘pro-life’ folks resolutely defend the rights of all children . . . right up until the time that they’re born!

  • washtopdx

    There are so many wise posts in this forum. I’m pro-choice but have spent much time of late thinking deeply about the issue, and where some of my beliefs are unexamined. What continues to frustrate me is the lack of actual conversation. I have never heard a pro-life or anti-abortion person respond to some of the questions people raise–questions that relate the essential conundrum of no abortion but no birth control either, cases of rape or incest, health of the mother, sex education.Isn’t a single pro-lifer willing to put their thoughts out there that aren’t an attack on the other side?I’ve explored my beliefs. I don’t like abortion any more than you do. I’m uncomfortable with any late term abortion. I realize that though a fetus can’t live outside the womb at certain times, does that mean one day it’s okay to abort but not the next day? I thought through all this and arrived at a belief that it is a deeply personal decision, and not an attractive one. I also know that there is a big difference between a living 10 year old in a dangerous family situation that deserves far far more attention than clusters of cells in a womb.And yet, for all the discussion, no pro-lifer has ever acknowledged the strange dismissal of all the other inconvenient forms of anti-life.I don’t disagree that abortion is bad. I just don’t understand why more, or at least the same, effort doesn’t go into other pro-life issues. Can anyone explain that?I think of obese people as parents. Sure, some of it is genetic. But they risk their health (could leave children parentless) and their kids’ health. To me, this is a moral issue as is being a smoking parent. I could argue that these are reprehensible behaviors that no parent should be allowed to inflict on their kids. What about child abuse? Hunting with your kids (Sarah Palin)?

  • dotto

    I have come to the painful conclusion that it is time to remove the tax exempt status from churches or any other organization that campaigns indirectly or directly for or against any political position. Tax exemption confer power economic advantages to such organizations/groups.Tax exemption for churches is an indirect establishment of religion by the state.

  • dolph924

    No U.S. law will ever stop an abortion for a wealthy woman. Anti-abortion laws apply ONLY to women too poor to travel to Scandanavia. No one ever talks about it this way, but anti-abortion laws are class warfare, pure and simple. Just another area where the GOP policy tends to favor the very wealthy. No news there.

  • shakree

    Can someone tell me why I will not be a catholic because of my political party? The Republicans have done nothing to end abortions. And John McCain was married a wife waited for him to come home from Vietnan and had 3 children. He was a leason between the senate and the pentagon and he started messing around on her. She got into a car accident he left her and married a multi-million dollar aris to pay for his political career. I thought if you were divorced you were excommunicated from the church?What is going on here?

  • luispanagi

    It is very hard for me, and large majority around the world, to understand why the abortion issue still has such a significant impact in America´s elections. The United States is the only country in the planet where a large segment of the electorate picks a President solely on the basis of the canidate´s postion re abortion. It seems that the Third Millenium is having a very hard time reaching America.

  • dflynn1162

    As a catholic and resident of Scranton, PA, I can say that our bishop is a nut. Catholics that I know appreciate the ‘culture’ of catholicism a whole lot more than the actual religion itself (rules and all). Bishops seem to be living in a century long since passed.

  • Enrique-I

    Had the Internet existed when the constitution was ammended to recognize blacks as persons, one can easily imagine what the arguments in the blogs might have been like.The debate over the still to be defined constitutional rights of the human embryo should not be expected to result in arguments that are any less acrimonious or irrational.For example, arguing that abortions will still occur and that it therefore serves no purpose to recognize a human embryo’s constitutional rights is like having argued back then that since racism would continue to exist, or slavery would continue to be an economic neccesity, blacks should not be considered persons. However, no rational person would dare argue that today about blacks.So let the movement to ammend the constitution to reflect our recognition of the human embryo as a full person begin.I don’t see how it cannot succeed. The burden of arguing that the human embryo is not a person falls on pro-choice advocates, for all human beings begin as human zygotes, and no other live being does.

  • luispanagi

    In 2004 Cardinal Charles J Chaput wanted all Catholic priests to refuse to allow John Kerry, then a Presidential candidate, to commulgate because of Kerry´s stand re abortion. If the Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and the rest do not want to be guilty of using double-standard they should also prevent the executives of the banks, insurance companies, brokerage and other businesses to commulgate because those executives are guilty of the sin of greed, which is as a bad sin as the abortion in accordance with the Church´s teachings. They should consult Cardinal Reinhard Marx.

  • Farnaz2

    “I don’t see how it cannot succeed. The burden of arguing that the human embryo is not a person falls on pro-choice advocates, for all human beings begin as human zygotes, and no other live being does.”It won’t, and so you’ll get a chance to watch it fail and learn from experience. I’ve always wondered what has so hardened the hearts of so many Catholics for so many centuries, but you will not win here.This will not become The United Catholic States of America.Best advice, stop obsessing about wombs, and get a life.

  • luispanagi

    I will be pro-life the day the pro-life movement also includes no more death penalty. I understand that as per the Church teachings we are all “children of God” then why is OK to protect the unborn “children of God” but is Ok to murder any already born “children of God”?

  • lk5016

    Reading through these comments I see no references to the fate of Prohibition. People drank, many arrested, crime flourished! And it was then rescinded. Legislating moral choices is very tricky and doesn’t work. Even Murder is not well regulated or understood. We are stuck in the trap of controlling symptoms and denying causes. Chatter away.

  • IndianaPearl

    As a former Catholic, I found the Church to be frenetic about matters pertaining to sex, yet strangely silent about child and spouse abuse, alcoholism, and gambling. Not a word about pedophilia . . . until the church regains the high moral ground, it has no place to critique those of us who do not believe a mass of protoplasm is a baby. Woman have had abortions since they first learned where babies came from — and they always will. The church and the religious right in general would be better served to advocate for sex education and access to birth control as a means to prevent abortion.

  • zwordsmith

    Why can’t these people just tend their flock and leave the rest of us alone?

  • parrotts

    Re: abortion in the bible: there is NO mention of abortion in the bible. The Catholic church’s current position dates from the 19th century; prior to that ensoulment was considered to occur at the time of quickening ( 2nd trimester-interesting analogy to Roe v. Wade). There is a mention in Leviticus of the case of a woman who is injured and subsequently suffers a miscarriage. The penalty to the injuring person is – a fine paid to the father. Nothing more. The references to Jeremiah and certainly to Elizabeth refer to a later stage of pregnancy. People in Biblical times had no idea about a fertilized egg or early embryo. People who point to the Bible as the source of answers for all moral questions seriously forget that the moral universe of a couple of thousand years ago was as radically different from our own as was their science- and neither one was better! The Bible gives us men ( Lot) ready to throw their virgin daughters out to be raped an killed by a mob rather than men engaging in sexual relations with each other; that enemies be slaughtered down to the last man, woman and child, and so on. Even Jesus exhorts his followers to leave their families and responsibilities behind to follow him-he is not a family values sort of guy. And neither are the leaders of the Catholic church. The obsessive concern with non-sentient life to the detriment of all other lives completely confounds me, as does the opposition to abortion in cases where the mother’s life is endangered. Jewish theology called for a baby to be ripped apart in the womb, more or less, if necessary to save the mother-so why impose Catholic theology? I say this as a person who wopuld not, personally, have had an elective abortion. But what other people do is not my business, especially when it concerns something so intimate and personal that only monthly mandatory pregnancy testing and surveillance could prevent it-a totally repugnant concept in a society like ours. I strongly suggest all you pro lifers turn your attention to the suffering in Africa and elsewhere. I also agree with the posters who point out the heavy handed and invasive measures that would be necessary to actually prevent abortions-as was done under the horrific totalitarian Ceausescu regime in Romania.

  • Garak

    kwbinMD: You quoted Jerimiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Doesn’t this make killing a non-pregnant women also murder of all the children she would have borne? It’s telling that the Catholic Church also opposes contraception. It involves no killing. Yet the Church bans it. See above.The Catholic Church had better get used to the fact that Catholics can think for themselves. The days of the Dark and Middle Ages, when the laity were illiterate and thinking only about their next meal, are gone. The Monarchial Papacy needs to be gone, as well.A Constitutional Amendment to ban abortion would represent Catholic morality being shoved down the throats of everyone else. This won’t happen. Even Catholics won’t support it. We just have to look to Saudi Arabia and Iran to see what the Church wants; except only a Catholic version. The Church hasn’t given up its dream of temporal power, even after the Enlightenment. This shows what it really wants. And if the Church feels free to interfere in US politics, the US is free to interfere in Church politics. Political pressure in Papal Elections is as old as the Papacy. Obama doesn’t seem to have the guts to put the Church in its place, but perhaps a future President will. Hopefully, the US will move to join the more enlightened Europeans in de-Christianizing America.

  • mikel7

    When are the pro-lifers going to realize that they are being used by the republican party? Since Roe 35 years ago, there have been 23 years of Republican presidents and each one has promised to overturn Roe. Still on the books and none of them, did a thing to overturn it. Not one piece of legislation, even when the WH and both houses of Congress were in Republican hands. Also, ever note how states try to pass bills that only prosecute the doctor/provider, but let the women off scot-free. Thought it took two to commit the crime and if the women didn’t want the abortion, the doctor couldn’t provide it. But women are not smart enough to think for themselves, I guess, too emotional. Catholics do not follow bishops blindly. Care to see how many Catholic women use birth control and Paul IV decried that over 40 years ago. To have the bishops say that abortion is the only issue is ridiculous. You mean to say that, if a Charles Manson type who advocated drugs, murder and mayhem ran for president, but was anti-abortion, the bishops would demand we all vote for him against a responsible pro-choice candidate who worried about the economy and foreign policy? The way to limit abortion is to deal with the social reason women look to have them.

  • jhbyer

    Mr. Stevens-Arroyo is breathtakingly frank, realistic, and reasonable. How anyone committed to Christ’s teachings can vote for tons of guns and no health care for poor children and abide the GOP support of the death penalty is a mystery to me. Being anti-safe abortion may make them feel righteous while costing them nothing. Bishops reduce reality to a moronic sound bite when they use the mindless term, pro-life. What about the lives of our Iraqi children killed by this Republican evangelicalist?

  • longbow1

    Government-sanctioned abortion is irrational. It makes no sense to define what human life deserves the protection of the law except on the most objective basis possible. That objective basis is the moment of conception. Anything else lets the mob rule. One day, responsible people among the “pro-choice” crowd will stop dreaming and realize what incredible dangers abortion unleashes on society, both in terms of individual rights and the common good. Thank God for the American Catholic Bishops for pointing this out. There will come a time when we will all appreciate their wisdom.

  • nashcantlon

    1000 years ago “The Church” chose celibacy and ended any first hand experience of family. I don’t know how it can claim legitimacy until a Bishop holds its new daughter or loses a wife in childbirth. I always consider the source when I listen to their positions on reproductive morality.

  • mikel7

    Couple of final thoughts. It is not just the Catholic Church, but msot Christian churches that are anti-abortion. They also preach abstinence, but most unwed pregnancies are in the so-called Bible belt areas. Geez, just look at the Alaska gov’s kid. A few yers ago, while driving though the middle fo the Bible belt in Missouri, I saw more billboard advertisements for porn shops than I’ve ever seen in the Philly-East Coast metropolitan area. My daughter and I couldn’t quite figuire that out. They rail against sex out in the heartland, but sure as heck advertise it.

  • raschumacher

    “Thou shalt compel thy neighbor to obey these My commandments.” Where does that one appear in the list?

  • raschumacher

    Roughly 2/3rds of all conceptions end in spontaneous abortion or miscarriage. This makes God the ultimate abortionist; and, jealous God that He is, He doesn’t want any competition.

  • j2hess

    I am beginning to think that some in the Church are not interested in thinking through their stance because they are on a Crusade, and it feels better to be righteous than to be right – especially when being right requires attention to nuance, complexity, conflicting views, and compromise. All these generate tension which is dissolved by moral certainty.At the same time, engaging in politics politicizes the Church and damages its ability to serve its mission of bringing people to Christ. Christ didn’t appeal to public officials. He taught, he healed.Laws will not end abortion. Telling others how to live will not bring salvation. The most powerful tool against abortion is to live your own life as an example of Christian charity.

  • Helpus

    As a practicing Catholic, I am dismayed by those professing to be Catholics yet choose not to follow the teachings of the Apostolic Church. Next, you are going to claim that the Holy Eucharist isn’t the Body of Christ, but a mere symbol…shame on you. The real reason I am writing, however, is to question why those who are “pro-choice/abortion” challenge parental consent laws. Shouldn’t a parent have the right to be involved in a medical decision so invasive, as an abortion? For instance a teenager walking into an ER w/ a simple fratcure can’t be seen until a parent/guardian is present. A teenager wanting a driver’s permit must obtain his parent’s consent. Someone under 18 cannot join the military w/o a parent’s consent. I fully understand and agree that there is a government interest in passing legistlation/rules to ensure parental consent. But, doesn’t the government have the same interest in protecting the child and family in the case of a 14 year old seeking an abortion? Moreover, don’t parents have a right to know and be involved in a decision of such magnitude????This is where the battle should be waged.

  • cms1

    The thing about the Catholic Church is that it teaches people to be “responsible” for all things all the time. This does not make them more “holy” it makes them more “human”. The “people” that is.

  • datpto

    I have a theory about this, which developed when I tried to explain the Church’s view on abortion to my daughter. I was struck by the contrast between the very strong desire to protect the fetus in utero, and the equally strong desire to harm it once it has been born, as can be seen in the harsh condemnation many abortion opponents heap on welfare and other programs designed to make sure children born in poverty do not starve. What could explain the radical difference in attitude that occurred the moment the child emerged from the womb? My developing theory is that people are willing to protect the fetus because, while it is hidden, they can imagine it to be an ideal baby — perhaps one that resembles them, or perhaps something even more unrealistic, like a china doll. Once it becomes a real baby, perhaps one of another race, they can no longer empathize. At that point, if it dies, it dies. For this reason, the people moved to tears over a fetus can clamor for an end to poverty programs, and foam at the mouth demanding war and capital punishment. When the child is “us” it must be protected. When the child is “other,” it must be killed. It’s nothing more than emotional primitivism. Sadly, this is what we get from our churches.

  • JohnDebba

    I can say with all certainty, until the advent of my grandchildren never before did I know the full meaning in wonders of life: Being a grandfather of six grandchildren and another on the way, I am pro-life as one can get. They are mine, and in the too few years I have remaining in this world I can make decisions that may determine whether they will live to have grandchildren of their own. One decision I have made for my hopes is rejecting political ideology which holds diplomacy is too hard and war is easier means of nation’s foreign policy. No party, no church, no single issue-minded person will lecture me on which human life has more importance. My grandchildren come first and will do my utmost to keep them alive, so they too may have grandchildren of their own That is not negotiable, notwithstanding a bishop’s notion what is mortally wrong without exception. My decision of conscious is between the Lord Jesus and me; where it will always be made.

  • j2hess

    Helpus wrote”As a practicing Catholic, I am dismayed by those professing to be Catholics yet choose not to follow the teachings of the Apostolic Church.”The bishop’s Faithful Citizenship document clearly allows a vote for Obama under certain conditions. Read Kmiec’s book if you have questions about how they apply.”The real reason I am writing, however, is to question why those who are “pro-choice/abortion” challenge parental consent laws. …This is where the battle should be waged.”It is a troubling area, which pro-choice advocates get around by arguing that in some cases the parent-child relationship has broken down or is weak enough the child is at risk if the parent discovers the pregnancy. I think we can make more progress if we distinguish pro-choice and pro-abortion. I am pro-choice and moderately anti-abortion. When you combine the two, you push to groups together which might be productively split on such questions. Divide and conquer, you know.I think your use of the battle metaphor is troubling and part of the reason the pro-life movement has had limited success. How can you be pro-war and pro-life? What if instead of aiming to destroy enemies we directed our efforts at gaining allies, including pregnant women in anguish over the cross before them?

  • missgrundy

    If the Catholic Church wants American Catholics to take them seriously it will have to change its stand on birth control. You want women to have less abortions? Then make sure that men and women have access to birth control. Ensure that if an adolescent girl becomes pregnant that she can put the child up for adoption instead of dropping it into a Dumpster. Pass laws within your state that set up safe havens where a young woman can surrender her baby without suffering repercussions.But most of all before the Church begins to throw stones at Barack Obama ensure that it is without sin. Get rid of every pederast priest and every enabling monsignor, bishop and cardinal that has allowed this scandal to engulf the Church. Let he who is without sin to cast the first stone. I bet you won’t find anyone then.

  • johnturkal1

    Old Tony sure knows how to stir the pot. Lets simplify it. the Constitution was written for all Americans to defend the rights of all Americans. Ergo, those for and against abortion. I don’t want to go back to the good days of back alley abortions even though I don’t believe in abortion for birth control. If I remember correctly something like 11,000 women died each year from those coat hanger procedures. Old men, unfortunately I’m one also, shouldn’t be telling young women what to do. Especially if they aren’t your daughter.

  • eprupis

    The claim that since Roe there has been 40,000,000 abortions raises an interesting thought. What would be the effect on our country if 40,000,000 unwanted children become part of our population?

  • josephkenny

    During 12 years of Reagan/Bush, abortion rates went up. During 8 years of Clinton, abortion rates went down. Look it up. The Netherlands has free abortion for females 14 years of age or older without parental consent, and their abortion rate per capita is 10% of ours.Catholic bishops are an organization that further seek to criminalize contraception and masturbation (also always a grave sin for Catholics), and outlaw civil divorce. It is hard for me to take them seriously. Add to that a new push to counsel breastfeeding mothers to eschew intercourse due to the possibility that breastfeeding might create “mini-abortions,” and it is REALLY hard to take them seriously

  • foxn

    To continue on a theme expressed by others: Those who consider themselves Pro-Life would do well think about which is more important to you. Making abortion illegal or reducing the number of abortions. Abortion has existed for millennia, making it illegal will not stop it. It will only become inconvenient for the rich and lethal for the poor, resulting in more dead mothers and just as many dead fetuses. Most of the Pro-Choice side views abortion as a bad thing and would be more than happy to work together to reduce the number of abortions by reducing unwanted pregnancies. If the church is serious about wanting to reduce abortions it should reconsider it’s stance on birth control. A stance, which is already ignored by most American and European Catholics.

  • ceo43

    The Catholic Church needs to be careful. If they inject themselves into government, doesn’t government have the right to inject itself into religion? A Church which represents the ultimate in “glass ceiling” needs to be very careful.

  • nazcalito

    I don’t see why people continue to stay in the Catholic Church with this ever-increasing medievalist Inquisitional mentality of its leaders. It is not going to get better, either. Ratzinger represents the most reactionary elements in the Church. What happened to the Church was a political coup that started about the time of John Paul I, a Saint Francis like apolitical character that lasted all of three weeks before dying under mysterious circumstances. It is not about “truth” at all.

  • workinwithu

    One does not need a law to legally or unlawfully have an abortion. Why is it no one can see this?One does not need a law to legally or unlawfully be gay/lesbian. Why is it no one can see this?No one sin is greater than another, so it’s okay for Republicans to have all these other sins and as long as they are anti-abortion or anti-same sex consent; give another person a right to vote for them?I’m confused, so you are saying the person running for office as a Republican can kill, steal,lie, destroy and commit adultery. But since he or she is pro-life, he or she is okay to put into elected official office? Give me a break! Laws do not stop same sex consent or abortions; raise a child in the way they should go and they will not depart from that. Starts at home! Follow your own lead, stop the problems with priest and young boys in the church then help the church with moral issues that affect the results of same sex consent and abortion issues.

  • RPW3

    What Catholic Bishops and the Right To Life Committee of the Republican party seem unable to realize is that Americans do not want to criminalize abortion. They do not want women who have abortions to face murder charges.The Right To Life movement has been nothing more than a political movement by those who think they understand law better than our Supreme Court Justices. It provides no services to pregnant women, it provides no charitable funds for services to pregnant woman to help them bear their children, and has no nonsectarian social organization to support women through their pregnancies.The American people are finally seeing this as a vote getting scheme by Republicans and a venal desire for vengeance by anti-abortionists. Even the Republican Party is considering dropping their support for the movement.Why don’t the Catholic Bishops and the rest of the Catholic community focus on providing charitable services to help young women in trouble? With the intense focus and energy they put into fruitless legislative efforts to criminalize abortion they could actually do some good through compassionate TV advertismentes that lead pregnant women to the social services [they should be providing].

  • wideblacksky

    It’s hard for me to believe that anyone can take Catholicism seriously any more.

  • nikki1362

    Enrique-I:

  • jsypal

    I vote Republican primarily on the life issue, but I have to say that Arroyo’s article is well thought out and makes a valid point. If the goal is to save babies (i.e. reducing the number of abortions), is making it illegal the best way to do it. Sometimes I think pro-lifers are a little too principled in how they approach the issue.I think the key is to find common ground. So, while most Americans are “pro-choice” I also think an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that there should be some restrictions on abortion. I also think that many people who think abortion is wrong, but want it to remain legal, want legality in very specific cases: rape, incest, life of the mother and life of the baby. The pro-abortion movement uses this argument constantly, but it’s a red herring because only 6-7% of abortions fall into those four areas. If I were a legislator and I could write legislation outlawing abortion except in those cases, I would support it in a heartbeat.I do believe that winning this fight is going to take one person at a time…it’s got to involve converting people’s hearts to the horror of abortion and other life issues (physician assisted suicide, euthanasia, etc.)

  • Helpus

    J2hes(?), thx for your response, although it lacks any substance and originality…in fact,it’s dead wrong. For instance, Catholics leaders (such as Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Pro-life Activities, and Bishop William Murphybishops) have criticized Kmiec for distorting Faithful Citizenship to further his pro-abortion stance. So, to say Catholic doctrine “allows” a vote for a pro-choice/abortion candidate is flat wrong. And, pls don’t cite a layman as your authority re Catholic doctrine. Pro-choice v. pro-abortion? You are merely playing semantics –there’s no functional difference. The choice is whether or not to abort a baby…not much difference. Yet, if you, and others like you, rely on distinguishing the two in order to provide your conscience relief, then pls go ahead and make yourself fee better. But, at the end of the day, there’s no difference. Lastly, pro-war v. pro-life…how can you be both?? Not sure how using a war-related metaphor makes one “pro-war”…I’ll just chalk this up to your unoriginal thoughts. But, you should know that one of the most profound authors on war was St. Thomas Aquinas, who help shepherd the Just War Theory. But for him, nations would have continued to kill each other w/ impunity. So, yes, one can be pro-war (applying both the Jus Ad Bellem and Jus in Bellow conventions) and still be pro-life in the WAR AGAINST ABORTION.

  • plaza04433

    Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago Thomas Paprocki said “Aggressively pro-abortion policies and legislation will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans and would be interpreted by many Catholics as an attack on the Church.”Who on earth is pro-abortion? Who is anti-life? No one, that is who! What rubbish!It would be a good start if this so called Bishop and those that think like him would refrain from intellectually dishonest redefinition.Paprocki amoral distortions and calculated inflammatory language about “Aggressively pro-abortion policies” is demagoguery at its absolute worst. This lying, twisting and deliberate mistatement of the pro-choice position has to stop. What is being aggressively battled are those that would take away decisions that are purely personal.What is being aggressively battled are those that stand in opposition to personal agency.Catholics can believe anything they want, but when they act to obstruct my own ethical, moral choice, agency and action, that is beyond the pale. What is next? Why stop at abortion, how about the Bishops start touting an amendment against birth control???

  • coldcomfort

    Dear reader, if you want to end abortion, then use the power of the state to use its gun to stick down peoples noses and force them to obey your moral authority.If you want to end abortion and increase overpopulation, use the power of the state to abuse women’s bodies and force them to obey your moral authority.Oh, by the way, according to radical Christian doctrine: human life begins after an ovum has been inseminated by a sperm. Anything after that is murder of a human being. . . . . . Since most birth control pills can also sometimes affect the lining of the uterus, which makes it difficult for an inseminated egg to attach to the wall of the uterus, most folks who use birth control pills have doubtlessly at sometime committed murder. If you believe so strongly in controlling other people’s private lives by forcing them with the gun of the state to obey your moral authority, then first give up birth control pills and make them illegal as well.However, a more moral and better way would be simply to say, “The mother is the authority of any unborn child, and the state has no authority until after the infant is born.”

  • Farnaz2

    Parrotts:”Jewish theology called for a baby to be ripped apart in the womb, more or less, if necessary to save the mother-so why impose Catholic theology?”Huh? I must have missed that one Halachically speaking, Where in the Halacha would I find this piece of “Jewish theology”?I can say this. Judaism has always given greatest priority to the value of life, to that above all things. If the mother’s life is endangered by the pregnancy, then the pregnancy must be terminated. On that there is no question, no issue, no argument.Yet, not all observant Jewish women have followed this rule. A case in point: When my neighbor’s great-aunt learned that her mother had been murdered by Franciscans during the Holocaust, in what was then Yugoslavia, she became pregnant, knowing that in so doing she was risking her life.There was, of course, no conflict in this case. Since the woman would be risking her life, and since preservation of life is paramount, the matter of her mother’s name was not at issue. She should not have become pregnant. However, she did, and insisted on carrying the child to term. Although abortion was illegal at the time, money could have and would have been scraped together by whatever means necessary to keep this much loved woman alive.The mother died during childbirth. The baby lived and was raised by her father and his second wife.

  • Farnaz2

    ELRITCHEY:”You know what the problem is–every person on this forum needs to see a real abortion and then tell me that this is just a medical procedure without profound medical and ethical implications.”Funny thing is it’s only the anti-choicers who say that.

  • bobtich

    It always amuses me that Catholics have to argue with their Priests or Bishops when they decide to break the rules. As a Jew I always felt at ease arguing with God. Finally, somewhere along the way(I am now 76) I decided that there wasn’t now and never was a God. I felt badly about that at first and constantly was daring God to send me a sign if it existed. No sign ever came. I remained with my first wife, loved my children and grandchildren and seem to have been nice to other people. And I guess those people clinging to their guns and religion weren’t so mad at Obama after all. Voting Republican for religious reasons seems to be a very useless exercise.

  • elritchey

    “Funny thing is it’s only the anti-choicers who say that.”But of course, sanitizing death is the best narcotic.

  • Farnaz2

    ELRITCHEY:Perhaps, my post needs clarifying: “this is just a medical procedure without profound medical and ethical implications.”I have neither seen nor heard such comments from pro-choice advocates, only from pro-lifers.Also, I’d like to add this. If Catholic women refuse to have abortions, that is their business. If in so doing they jeopardize the health and well-being of themselves or their families, that is their business. So long as they are not being forced to remain pregnant, so long as Catholic children raped or incested are not coerced by Catholic adults to carry to term, none of this is any of my business, as a Jew.However, as a Jew, I have the right to be free from the edicts of the Vatican. I concede that every human being has the same right, but it is particularly salient in the case of nonCatholics. Who the hell are you to bring impose your theology on me?

  • coldcomfort

    THERE NEEDS TO BE A PLACE WHERE THE LAW ENDS AND JUST PEOPLE BEGIN.Why not get out of other people’s private lives and deal with your own imperfect life?Stop using the coercive power of the state to bully folks around, and let them be free to pursue their own moral imperatives?

  • plaza04433

    “Legalizing abortion sent abortion numbers into the stratosphere.”And you know this how… exactly????Could it be the same way the the end of prohibition sent the numbers of people drinking through the roof??In other words, how could you, or anyone, know what happened befor legalization??? Considering that abortions were covert?

  • Induction

    We must reject this evil attempt to push personal religious choices onto everyone. As long as there are people who disagree with the bishops, then their so-called morality must not become law. Abortion, like most human endeavors, is not always immoral. The denial that gray areas exist in morality is.

  • eastwest49

    Moralists should be more practical. Is there anyone who wouldn’t want a vastly lowered abortion rate? Rather than going for an unrealistic outlawing of all abortions, why not develop strategies to lower the rates of unwanted or unexpected pregnancies. The Catholic church and Christian fundamentalists might relent on their absolutism regarding birth control. By encouraging birth control, millions of abortions might be prevented. This would not be a deal with the devil, but our better angels, believe me. Also, yes to the morning after pill, for goodness sakes!

  • wp1123

    Its sad that people actually think voting republican would eliminate abortion. Don’t you guys get it? Don’t you realize that that issue is there simply to get pro-lifers to vote republican? If they were to roll back Roe vs Wade, you might actually start voting democrat. It shocks me people are this stupid.

  • brickerd

    “Abortion is morally wrong for every Catholic without exception.”That is, until the next pope comes along and tells you it’s OK.Think for yourselves.

  • elritchey

    “Why not get out of other people’s private lives and deal with your own imperfect life?”If that is the truth, why have laws at all? We have thousands of laws on the books that invade our private life if we choose a course that civilized society recognizes as abusive. Why? Because they harm others. So does abortion. Life is a continuum and willfully ending that human life is a crime against that life and debases our humanity. My life didn’t begin at birth, did yours?Yes, if everyone in this country had to watch a real abortion where the feet and arms of children are cut and ripped limb from limb and sucked from their warm cocoon, not the sanitized “choice” explanations that flow so blithely from the lips of those looking for absolute selfish freedom, this issue would be seen entirely different.

  • Farnaz2

    Really, this is not a theocracy. And, if it were to become one, I assure you the Vatican wouldn’t oversee it.I cannot imagine a more compelling argument for the removal of tax exempt status than the behavior of the RCC, which breaks the law that grants them the privilege again and again and again.Clergy are expressly forbidden to attempt to sway voters according to the legislation governing tax exempt status.Surely, if we are still a democracy, the RCC must be held acccountable. Best would be to end tax-exempt status for all religious institutions. In the meantime, for those that attempt to influence voters, it should be done immediately.As well, keep your conscience clauses and return my tax dollars. No state funding for institutions with such clauses.

  • elritchey

    “Think for yourselves.”I do. I’m not Catholic. But I certainly appreciate that they seem to be the only group on the face of the earth who has a consistent message on this topic.As much as I wish this compliment was in the Democratic corner, you are entirely wrong in saying the Republican Party hasn’t made any contributions to preserving human life. Parental consent, informed consent, short waiting periods have been positive efforts that have reaped real results. And guess what? The real on the ground work of helping pregnant women is mostly done by Republicans in Pregnancy Care Centers.

  • Chasmosaur1

    I personally always find it interesting how men are all for a Congressional amendment or an overturning or Roe v. Wade. I used to say it was just old white men, but I see we can add Latino men to this category as well.No woman undergoes abortion as recreation. No woman gets pregnant with the specific goal of undergoing abortion before term.To the statement that “Abortion is morally wrong for every Catholic without exception”, I respond with a quote from Oscar Wilde:”Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.”I have to wonder what Mr. Stevens-Arroyo dislikes about Catholic women to deny them a basic right of reproductive choice.

  • elritchey

    One more thought on that–I think in the last five years of working on this issue, I have come in contact with one pro-life Democrat actually working in a pregnancy care center helping women with options during and after pregnancy. Every single other person was a Republican. No, I don’t agree with them on the war in Iraq, or National Health Care, or earth stewardship, but you know, I give them credit where credit is due.

  • TomCastano

    The bishops are entitled to take a moral stand in the presidential elections, but the issue of abortion is a controversial one as illustrated by the many examples such those arising from rapes or the ones where the health of the mother is at stake. An issue that is not as controversial though is the issue of waging pre-emtive war based on fabricated evidence such as the Iraq war. Astonishingly on this issue of war of choice, the bishops chose silence. Do they have a partisan blind spot?

  • Lalalu

    Why do “pro-lifers” only care about “life” inside the womb? Most (if not all) republican candidates support the death penalty. How is voting for them “pro-life”?People die from lack of medical care because they don’t have health insurance. Are “pro-lifers” upset about that and working to change it?Children in Africa die from diseases that can be prevented with $3 worth of vaccinations. People die because they don’t have access to clean drinking water. Where’s the “pro-life” outrage there?People die from taking prescription medications, because the drug companies pay the FDA to approve new drugs. Where are the “pro-lifers” on that one?Republicans tend to oppose pro-environmental legislation, oppose prohibitions on companies dumping waste into the water supply and generally oppose safety regulations. How is that pro-life?Our Republican president manufactured evidence so that the US would attack Iraq. How many people have died from this war? How can you be “pro-life” and support war as our only foreign policy option?No Republican elected official is going to be able to ban abortions. But s/he will support policies and legislation that that are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Democrats want to enact policies and legislation that will SAVE lives. So which party is actually pro-life?

  • elritchey

    Do they have a partisan blind spot?Perhaps they do but that doesn’t negate the moral wrong of the other.”…women’s reproductive choice…” How often do we hear that instead of “women’s reproductive responsibility.” I know where it comes from. I watched that attitude develop slowly but surely over the last thirty plus years. Here is its cultural soil–”Do your own thing”, “If it feels good, do it” “It’s your thing, do what you wanna do” “The Me generation.” Me, me, me to a resounding explosion. And “me” has no place for “thee” or “thou.”

  • washpost3

    The author is a scoundrel.

  • elritchey

    Lalalu Author Profile Page:Why do “pro-lifers” only care about “life” inside the womb?They don’t. See Pregnancy Care Centers below.Most (if not all) republican candidates support the death penalty. How is voting for them “pro-life”?The death penalty is a direct result of personal behavior. Abortion is not.People die from lack of medical care because they don’t have health insurance. Are “pro-lifers” upset about that and working to change it?Yes.Children in Africa die from diseases that can be prevented with $3 worth of vaccinations. People die because they don’t have access to clean drinking water. Where’s the “pro-life” outrage there?I know plenty of pro-lifers that work on that cause.People die from taking prescription medications, because the drug companies pay the FDA to approve new drugs. Where are the “pro-lifers” on that one?I worked to defeat a big pharma recepient in my state.Republicans tend to oppose pro-environmental legislation, oppose prohibitions on companies dumping waste into the water supply and generally oppose safety regulations. How is that pro-life?It isn’t. That is why I’m a pro-life DemocratOur Republican president manufactured evidence so that the US would attack Iraq. How many people have died from this war? How can you be “pro-life” and support war as our only foreign policy option?I don’t. But more humans are killed by abortion in only two days in this country than the number of US soldiers who have died in Iraq. No Republican elected official is going to be able to ban abortions. But s/he will support policies and legislation that that are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Democrats want to enact policies and legislation that will SAVE lives. So which party is actually pro-life?Neither. That is why reform of both parties is necessary. 48 million, MILLION, humans have been murdered in the last 30 years. That sir, is not “America, the beautiful.”

  • chris26

    Some of you people are so dumb.Stevens-Arroyo is making a point here: if you want to end abortion, you do it by giving people better socio-economic conditions so that they don’t have unwanted pregnancies. What part of that is so difficult for you to understand? And with what part of that can you possibly disagree? As someone who is pro-choice (not pro-abortion), I commend Stevens-Arroyo for making the ultimate argument for the pro-life side: Life begins when you give the living a chance to thrive. When that happens, the unborn stand a better chance of becoming born.

  • qriehman

    I’m a pro-life Catholic who voted for Obama, and my big thing is that if you’re SO pro-life, than what are you doing the other 364 days a year to stop abortions? A big thing for Catholics is the challenge to act. If you’re truly for a cause, you would work more than one day a year on it.

  • structurequity

    Catholic voters aware of their issues do not let a bully pulpit inhabited by tenured hierarchy determine their voting booth habits. Their morality is formed by real world events that may well be shaped by knowledge of, involvement in, as parents, siblings, children, spouses, family, friends and beyond who have had to deal with the very private matter of a woman’s right to come to a decision as to what’s correct for her in a situation so intimately close to our human nature, namely life or death and the ability to go on with living and dying.

  • Farnaz2

    TomCastano”The bishops are entitled to take a moral stand in the presidential elections”Indeed, both bishops and all other clergy are entitled to take political positions and that is what they have done at any time. In so doing, however, they legally forfeit tax exempt status.

  • Seala

    Moreover, don’t parents have a right to know and be involved in a decision of such magnitude????Not if they beat up their “immoral” daughter when they first found she was sexually active.

  • chiefnugt

    I’m fine with opposition to abortion. But enshrining it in the law is both a fundamental violation of a woman’s privacy and control over her own body. You are free to follow whichever religion you choose. You are not free to force the rest of us to live by its tenets. Catholics, stay out of other people’s bedrooms and lives. Shame on you.

  • ward29800

    I’ve long written off bishops trying to get me to vote Republican. Their desire to get school vouchers, tax-exempt status, a free ride in sexual abuse prosecutions is an obvious agenda. I want to see demonstrations and poltical pressure to close fertility clinics before I accept their pro-life credentials.

  • Farnaz2

    Ward29800:”I want to see demonstrations and poltical pressure to close fertility clinics before I accept their pro-life credentials.”You make a very interesting point. The RCC condemns in vitro fertilization. Why then have we not heard a great hue and cry from the bishops, et al?Also, I’ve visited a number of Catholic web sites and found the most peculiar thing. Embryos are almost invariably referred to using masculine pronouns, e.g., “he.” Now, even if we all wished to grant fully human status to embryos, one would think that pro-life Catholics would know that some embryos carried to term result in female offspring, in fact, the majority.One would also think that said Catholics are aware of the nonsexist use of language to which this nation has committed itself.What does it all mean, I, rhetorically, ask?

  • dlongdon

    Legislation can’t / won’t end abortions. If you are really “pro-life” you’ll need to come up with another strategy. I’d suggest one that includes compassion for adults as well as fetuses.

  • mrzuniga

    I read all the comments. Its nice to know that

  • pgstreby

    Not a comment on the substance of Stevens-Arroyo’s arguments; this is well-plowed ground. What I find interesting is that a disturbing number of those posting comments can’t seem to muster an argument without bitter anti-Catholicism showing through. Unfortunately, even some Catholics have internalized these hateful attitudes. The Church opposes abortion to a large extent on the grounds of justice and logic, not pure theology. Dismissing the messengers as a bunch of old, celibate, out-of-touch men may satisfy an impulse to make ad hominem attacks, but it doesn’t rebut the message the bishops are teaching.

  • kerryberger

    Yes, the strategy of the church should change twofold. First, Roman Catholics have got to stop imposing their mores on non-Catholics or interfere in political affairs. Secondly, the strategy to support life should recognize that the best way to avoid unwanted children and to reduce pregnancies among teenagers is to support proper public health and sexual education including teaching about birth control measures and how these are effective in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDs and other STD’s. The sanctity and quality of life comes from recognizing that it is impossible to find good homes for all unwanted children as there are social and racial factors in our society that mitigate against this. To warehouse kids with social services is not acceptable or affordable in today’s tough economic times. The United States is one of the few advanced democratic societies that lags behind like a third-world country when it comes to its views on sex and abortion. It’s time to become leaders in providing quality life and recognize that abortion is ultimately a necessary evil.

  • BrianX9

    .But who will be there at my final Judgment to tell God that He was, well, a bit fanatical and excessive and, well, extremist in demanding that I serve Him ?

  • Farnaz2

    “bitter anti-Catholicism showing through. Unfortunately, even some Catholics have internalized these hateful attitudes”Old and tired, perhaps, exhausted. There is that in this country which we call separation of church (sic) and state. By attempting to force legislate their theology, the Vatican is violating that principle. It has also violated the requirements of tax exemption.There is nothing anti-Catholic in this, simply pro-American democracy. Within Catholic clergy, there are and throughout most of history have been dissenters. Oscar Romero was one of them. If I were Catholic, I would thank God for Romero. Many nonCatholics thank whatever powers may be that such as he walked on this earth.You need to check yourself, my friend. This foaming at the mouth womb obsession is alienating your countrymen.

  • kiwicafe

    “I will not Kill”"I will not Steal”"I will not Bear False Witness”"I will not Commit Adultery”"I will not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Wife”surely the catholic church must be aware that “thou shalt not” was a rewriting of ancient scripture, long before the The Nicene Creed was foisted upon us “sheep”. We/I need to take back personal responsibility, it is too easy a cop out to think that a group of men can know what is in the hearts and minds of other men. I sure as hell don’t and I live with myself. What part of “NO!” don’t they understand. Politics like Faith, is a very personal belief, let us keep it that way. Capeche!

  • excalibur2

    It’s always fascinated me that something which would have you burned at the stake one day can be changed overnight and the next day it’s all OK. Oops sorry!Millions of “sinners” experienced indiscribable torture for supposed sins against the church at one time but not today. Likewise the saints-St.Christopher one day is protecting travellers, the next day he is history.Oh and someone once said “How can people who are fallible elect a pope who is infallible?”

  • Ricky123

    I’m not a Christian, and thankfully I have the freedom to practice whatever belief I like. I disagree absolutely with Christianist beliefs that abortion constitutes murder. If Christianist anti-abortion beliefs became law in this country, I would feel rather as a Christian might feel if forced to live under Sharia (look it up if you don’t know what it is). So please, anti-abortion citizens, stop talking to people like me as though we don’t understand what’s at stake; we understand perfectly, we just don’t accept your worldview (which, by the way, I would fight to defend your right to have).

  • sparrow4

    “these two most basicSaying life begins at conception is meaningless. Every cell in a living being is alive. At fertilization a new process of development starts because a new combination of genetic material occurs. This is a far cry from being a baby or a human being. It’s a fertilized egg, then a zygote and so on, with each stage of development occurring in specific timelines.The better question is when does that development reach a stage where it is formed enough to be considered to have a right to life? By confusing the issues, by misusing the proper terms, but insisting that a zygote or fertilized egg has the same rights as a fully formed human being, the religious right is becoming increasingly fascist in it determination to use anti-choice as a weapon to browbeat the rest of us.Im not a Christian. I don’t believe as Christians do and in this country it is my right to practice my religious beliefs. The bishops are abusing their position and their tax-exemption. take that away and we’ll see how eager they are to pursue politics.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    sylvia_giem:Parrotts,In 1957, as a student nurse, I took an Ethics class at the University of San Francisco. I clearly remember an ancient Jesuit, Fr Mootz, describing a situation similar to that which your doctor friend faced. It is permissable, he said, to save the life of the mother in these extreme cases, even though the unintended consequence is the death of the fetus. I am puzzled that so many American bishops apparently are unaware of ethical principles that were taught to 18 year olds over 50 years ago. If your doctor friend is an ex-Catholic because of the ignorance of some priest or bishop, it would be wonderful if some day she would march back into the Church and take her place at the Table.November 11, 2008 6:14 PM __________________________________________All the hard cases, which includes incest, rape, illness in mother and fetal deformities makes up for only TWO to EIGHT percent of abortions. The rest, 92-98% are abortions of convenience, almost 88% of them among UNmarried women below the age of 24. Upto 62% women can afford to keep the child, so they would not respond to financial incentives. Tougher laws do have a positive impact on lowering abortion rates. Statistics from West European countries with good social support systems bear this out. Check out abortion rates in Ireland and Germany with tougher laws and good social support with UK and Sweden with good social support but generous laws.For abortion statistics worldwide (compiled from reliable sources) look up the website of Wm (William) Robert Johnston. He is a PhD student in Space Physics with an interest in abortion statistics because he is prolife.

  • thurgle

    Catholic rethink needs to go far deeper and broader than is argued for here. So many of us are amazed at the way the Catholic Church prioritizes the abortion issue the way it does, when logic says that other issues should be far more important to self-described “pro-life” people. For example, real, phenotypically human beings die in their 10s or 100s of thousands every year in the US, and millions more suffer unnecessarily, because the US, in contrast with Europe, fails to provide universal health care, causing people to avoid treatment until its too late and leading to an absence of the kind of preventative medicine that flourishes elsewhere. Why isn’t the church prioritizing that and leading the fight for universal health care? Why isn’t the church as active in opposing wars of choice as it is in opposing abortion, such as the war in Iraq that experts now agree has led to the deaths of 100s of thousands, and possibly as many as a million Iraqis? Placing fertilized ova above actual people turns millions away from the church, both Catholics and non-Catholics. Rethinking with the same priorities is a waste of time. The church needs instead to change its thinking, to push abortion further down on its list and back Democrats and others who seek to help actual people.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Read Roe vs Wade carefully. Read the report submitted by the American Medical Association. That should convince anyone that there is no need for a religious argument to be anti-abortion. Medical science and human rights will do nicely.Target the young with anti-abortion education. The older ones raised in the abortion as a constitutional right culture for the past 35 years have distorted take on the reality of science and a hardened conscience resulting from a false law based on an arbitrary definition of personhood.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Every Catholic needs to know why abortion is wrong. They should know the basis for it through human embryology and human rights. They should meditate on Psalm 139 and Luke chapter 1 to add a religious depth to their reason and compassion. They should know every propaganda and lie touted by pro-abortion groups and the response to it based on reason.Thus one fourth of the US population would be fully informed and not resort to abortion. Every social support should be made available to Catholics who need it to bring their child either to keep it or give it up for adoption. Comprehensive sex education should be part of every Catholic education.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Ignorance about sex does not protect any Catholic. Too much knowledge, knowledge over and above what the official Church teaches, does not hurt. The goal is to encourage family values and the benefits of sex in committed relationships, not just for the person concerned but for children and for the whole society. It is easier to say No to sex in the wrong situation when one knows clearly why one does it, not out of fear of breaking a religious law, but for one’s own good and for the good of the children and the society as a whole when there are more and more stable families.

  • fzdybel

    “Statistics from West European countries with good social support systems bear this out.”What it bears out is that international travel in West Europe is quick and inexpensive.

  • CCNL

    What is not understood about this statement???”the following rules that have evolved over 60,000 years of human history “Thou Shall not Kill”

  • fzdybel

    “The Church opposes abortion to a large extent on the grounds of justice and logic, not pure theology.”Not even close. It’s a matter of pure theology whether at twelve weeks a fetal pig and a human fetus represent different propositions ethically speaking. “In His own image …” and all that jazz.It’s all based on the presumption of anthoropomorphic exceptionalism. Get back to ther rest of us with your “justice and logic” on the abortion thing when you’re ready to give up eating bacon.

  • mavarnee

    Anthony, this isn’t all that hard to understand. Weak-willed pseudo-Catholics- evidently such as yourself- can rationalize it until eternity, but- although it is sophisticatedly nuanced to abide the pluralistic sensibilities of our nation- there is only one way to understand the Catholic Bishop’s profound guidance in “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenships”. It does NOT countenance “personal choice” on the abortion issue. Publicly purporting such a manipulative and out of context parsing of the bishop’s teaching letter is precisely the kind of failed, self-serving and sinful false leadership that has led so many millions of Catholics astray. It is “bad example” on a monumentally horrific scale. Irrefutably, the Church’s guidance that, if there is another choice, a Catholic in good standing cannot support a pro-choice candidate. Indeed, to do so is a direct jeopardy to one’s personal salvation. God is the author and owner of all life. To suggest that we, who only exist in Him, can decide the fate of His children more wisely than the perfect and all-loving Lord, is to commit the same damning sin of pride that felled Satan. Catholics who are true to their faith- not partisans for one party or the other- can never fail to thwart a grievous intrinsic evil, if they have the means to do so. And Catholics undeniably have the means to absolutely do so! In light of this non-negotiable binding moral truth, it is rank cowardice and self-deception to take the position that “we can never defeat this evil of abortion, so let’s just try to mitigate it and move other to other important issues that we misguidedly deem are morally equivalent”. If Catholics really had the faith in God that we are called to have, they would know that abortion CAN be totally eradicated- not just “reduced.” How? It’s the simple overarching truth that Catholics refuse to face: If all true Catholics simply refused to support anti-life politicians of Obama’s ilk, the result would be that those politicians would lose- by enormous margins. Then the idea that supporting abortion is either right or politically useful, would immediately disappear. More pro-life justices would be appointed. Abortion would be gone, to the devil. If then Roe were overturned, and went back to the states it would die there also as long as Catholics, who predominate in all our large/key states, remained steadfast in their overwhelming opposition. So, enough with this heinous and against-God cop-out that we can’t eliminate abortion so we have to “get real and try new strategies”. If we Catholics stand up and vote as God, and His church, and a properly formed conscience mandate us, we would turn this country around, for good. And the Lord would bless us all abundantly!

  • fzdybel

    “If we Catholics stand up and vote as God, and His church, and a properly formed conscience mandate us, we would turn this country around, for good. And the Lord would bless us all abundantly!”You mean, besides blessing us with an abundance of bloody coat-hangers and foster children? The dirty little secret of the pro-fetus crowd is that few of them are willing to support the expanded social services, including family planning, and welfare for single mothers, that would be even more urgently needed if they got their way.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Well, as I can’t add much to the logical and moral arguments–although regarding abortion I would quote Lincoln on slavery: “If that is not wrong, then nothing is wrong”–but I can look at the demographic background of this awful thing. Maybe some ideas might emerge.Let’s run some numbers:Guttmacher’s figures show that abortion in the US is the preserve of African Americans, primarily, but not exclusively poor. Comparing the % of population with % of aborting women:African American, who account for 12% of the American population, have 36% of the abortions. Their abortion numbers are three times—three times!—higher than their share of the general population.Latinos account for 15% of the population and 22% of the abortions. I suspect if you adjusted for age (the Latino population is markedly younger than the general population) the ratio would be a little more level, although Latinas would still be more apt to abort than the host population. Asian and Native Americans account for 7% of the population and 7% of the abortions.White non-Latinos account for 62% of the population and 34% of the abortions. If abortions by white women *matched* their share of the population then the share of abortions by these women in the general level of abortion would be almost twice as high–that’s hundreds of thousands in real number of aborted infants. Even after adjusting for age, white women are shunning abortion.Is religion a factor in the tendency of white women to balk at abortion? The Pew Religion Survey asked respondents:Of the 24% Catholic, a little over half responded that yes their Catholicism was important to them. Of the 26% Evangelical 85% said it was important. This 33% is the core amongst American religious believers. I would hazard a guess that these are the women refusing to abort. So the anti-abortion message seems to have been received and accepted amongst these women and their partners. That is the good news. The bad news is that religious have been unable to make their case to society at large, and, especially, Catholics have not been able to lower the Latin element in the overall proportion of abortion. Catholics should aim should to lower the number of Latina abortions at least to the level of the white population (preferable lower) even though the number of Latinas aborting is not at the horrific level as the number of aborting African-Americans. Catholics specifically need to attend more to these women. This is probably what the Professor is advocating, although, as a Catholic, he needs to make his abhorrence of abortion far more clear than he has. No moral relativity please, Professor, you’re Catholic!

  • truthynesslover

    The people who get on theyre high horse about abortion dont really give a crap about life.If they did wouldnt they be outraged about how many kids are in foster care or homeless?Wouldnt they be outraged this president sent our sons and daughters to die in a war based on lies?What about the iraqi women and childen,arent they innocent,alive?And its perfectly alright our biggest trading partner is the forced abortion capital of the world,anything for a buck eh?Your not kidding anybody{except maybe yourselves}scratch the surface of your commitment to anouther living thing and if its gonna cost you a buck youll stomp it out yourselves.You have been used by the republicans to win elections,the same ones who created this “wedge issue”.Lee attwater the creator called you the “extra chromosomes”nice huh?I think he was being kind!

  • eaglehawkaroundsince1937

    A Pope, Cardinal, Bishop or a Priest do not marry and produce children. Is this not a form of contraception? Where are all the beautiful children from their God given seed?

  • GhostDansing

    It is interesting how the leadership of the Catholic Church has been co-opted by the Republican Party as a political tool.The Republicans use abortion as a singlular wedge-issue. They cannot prevent abortions any more than they can prevent murder….. which of course is against the law yet yields several different categories of consideration, elaborate judicial process and varying degrees of punishment. Abortion is illegal under certain circumstances, is regulated as a medical procedure by the government.The fact is that simple criminalization of all abortion would generate as many problems for Public Policy and Law as it solves (if it solves any).Abortion, which has been with humanity since there has been humanity poses a particularly intractable problem from the perspective of Public Policy and Law….. areas that seldom succumb to simple pronouncments of that which appears morally absolute….. the realm of Churches and Religions.The American Democratic Party has typically embraced governmental philosophies and economic approaches much more in keeping with the larger body of the Catholic Church’s Social Teaching.The policies of government emanating from the Democrats are much more likely to suppress the number of abortions on an annual basis due to general openess to governmental interventions relieving the conditions which do not necessarily “cause” abortions to occur, but certainly increase the liklihood.It is interesting that the Catholic Church Leadership should be duped so easily in accepting a draconian approach to the issue, while ignoring the greater realms of social responsiblity involved and the possiblities inherent in more indirect approaches to influence the cultural milieu.They’ve fully embraced the simple “with-us-or-against-us” strategy of modern Republicanism, and as a result have been just as ineffective and inept as the Party they served.

  • DwightCollins

    Please stop calling yourself a Catholic…

  • Mary_Cunningham

    No, I would say the Church’s efforts in America HAVE been successful in limiting abortion–at least amongst Catholics–although not successful enough. You can see it in the figures of Latina abortion. Latinos are as poor as African-Americans and benefit very little from state affirmative action programmes. If they responded to relative poverty as African-American women did, their abortion numbers would be far higher and Latinas would have aborted hundreds of thousands more of their infants.Yet this has not been the case. Even though poor, many of these women have balked. Just not enough women have done so.

  • patmatthews

    If religious leaders would just stay in their own yard and quite bringing their beliefs to the constitution they would be OK, but they do not. What gives any preacher; educated or not; the right to question the constitution merely because it does not fit their belief system. Framing the constitution around small-minded beliefs makes the Constitution exclusive and not inclusive; which America was founded on; should STOP trying to make religion nationalistic in nature and let people choose for themselves. We are adults and we can choose for ourselves, even if you preachers do not agree. Who are you to tell others; the ones that abuse children, steal money and dreams, and so much more negativity surrounding the priesthoods and preachers of America; that qualifies this group to tell others how to live. Practice what you preach for a change!Patrick

  • MPatalinjug

    Yonkers, New YorkI compliment Anthony Stevens-Arroyo, a devout Catholic, for having the honesty and the courage to tell the whole world how devout Catholics in parts of Pennsylvania voted heavily for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama who is known to be pro-choice.Those devout Catholics in Pennsylvania–and certainly in many other places throughout America with heavy Catholic populations–must likewise have voted for Mr. Obama–completely ignoring if not actually deliberately defying the warnings of the Catholic bishops never to vote for somebody who is in favor of abortions.Mr. Stevens-Arroyo also adds that the incidence of abortions among poor Americans is increasing, and not decreasing, as one would naturally expect given the ceaseless dire warnings not only of Catholic bishops but also of evangelican Christian leaders.Wht all this means is that intelligent Americans, whether Catholic or Protestant, rich or poor, must believe that neither the government nor their religion should have anything to do with what they do in the privacy of their bedrooms. They must consider abhorrent and unacceptable anyThere is the other consideration that thousands of Catholic priests in the U.S. have been found guilty of abominable sexual crimes against minors.Mariano Patalinjug

  • tbshuler

    There is one significant fallacy in your argument, one that frames the entire issue. The overwhelming number of abortions performed in the United States are for birth control – unwanted children. Of course this fact comes in many disguises, but the facts are clear. Until this is taken into account the position of pro-abortion proponents is unacceptable and those of the pro-lifers incomplete and inaccurate. In our consumerist, disposable society it’s hard to understand this, but until we beleive in the dignity of human life – all life, not just the mothers, but society in general – there will never be any resolution.

  • ssssssss1

    I think the main idea here is something the Church needs to focus and reflect on. That is, simply voting Republican will not stop abortions. The Church over the last 30 years has become increasingly vocal every four years on the fact that we should vote Republican. Yes, the language is filtered but the message is clear, vote Republican. As this author and others are stating, a vote for the Republicans does not equal an end to abortions. What I see and hear is that my fellow Catholics feel that voting Republican will end abortions. Now, outside of the four year cycle I do not see the Church leadership offering the same energy or message to stop abortions.

  • DwightCollins

    maybe it’s time for someone new to speak for the Catholics instead of having someone speak at us, to impose non Catholic values on us…

  • ThisAmericanVoter

    Perhaps–in addition to Obama’s competence and charisma and the broad appeal of the policies he supports–one explanation for the failure of “right to life” appeals centered on abortion to rally Catholic voters is the blind eye political priests have turned to the anti-life policies of Bush and his neoconservative supporters. A church that urges people to vote for Republicans because they’ll pack the Supreme Court anti-abortion, then supports them despite Bush launching a needless and foolish war that’s claimed more than 100,000 lives, isn’t pro-life, it’s a misguided mess.When Catholicism and the Religious Right in general start prioritizing living people as much as unborn ones, perhaps it’ll start regaining credibility and influence, and in my opinion it’ll be a lot closer to reflecting the letter and the spirit of Christ’s teachings as well.

  • back2naples

    SIR Mr. Obama has PROMISED to enforce an act that will not only allow – but increase & insist on abortions – apparently you have not done your homework – Mr. Obama is not just another pro-choice canidate – he has PROMISED Planned Parenthood – who paid his way / by the way – that he will put blood on America’s hands – by making abortion an every day event! Catholics that voted for him – will have blood on their hands when he does do what he PROMISED.

  • [email protected]

    Deliberately murdering is morally wrong, in addition to utmost painful. Especially abortion, due to the assymetry between victim’s defenseless and offenseless vs. perpetrator’s sovereingty.

  • [email protected]

    Deliberately murdering is morally wrong, in addition to utmost painful. Especially abortion, due to the assymetry between victim’s defenseless and offenseless vs. perpetrator’s sovereingty.

  • theverybadbob

    Is not everyone missing the point here???If these woman were not getting pregnant then abortion would not be needed. All we need do is require the father of the child to pay for the abortion and hit him with a $10,000 fine and 5 years at hard labor in a salt mine. After 20 or so convictions in each state the potential fathers would to say the least stop their silly flirtations and everyone would be happy with less abortions.Time for men to own up to their desires… get married or keep the zippers in the full upright position.

  • gasmonkey

    Here’s an even BETTER way. Strip the Catholic Church of its tax-exempt status. Then move on to do the same to all churches that are nothing more than sanctimonious political arms.

  • hartman_john

    If you don’t want an abortion, you think it is wrong-then don’t have one. But stay out of my life and don’t impose your facist beliefs on the rest of us.

  • Dipsy

    Bring back the castrati! Automatic castration for any man fathering a baby out of wedlock. That’ll stop abortion cold.

  • chrisronin

    @theverybadbobWhat about married couples who are getting abortions? The husband should pay 10000 (which is also the wifes money now) and then go to prison, like you suggest?

  • Dipsy

    Let the bishops clean up their own house first. Catholics all know what this means.

  • flyangler

    “If you don’t want an abortion, you think it is wrong-then don’t have one. But stay out of my life and don’t impose your facist beliefs on the rest of us.”- That’s the same argument that was used by the slave owning states to defend slavery. It was wrong to deny life then and it’s wrong now. Thank God people rose up and said ENOUGH. It’s not just about the ‘owner’… we’re dealing with another life here that must be protected under law. The Dred Scott decision was settled law for years until it was overturned by a constitutional amendment. Roe V. Wade needs to go the same way.

  • LoveSome1

    Dear Dipsy:I’m in agreement with you…the bishops need to do some housecleaning of its own first!

  • MDSmith3

    The best way to prevent abortion is to prevent pregnancy. This would be a very effective short-term strategy to reduce abortions while the legality of the procedure is itself addressed. Currently, 50% of all pregnancies in the US are unplanned… this number is much higher among minorities and the young and it is in these populations that abortion rates are highest. Therefore, we must do more to prevent pregnancy in these groups. Abstinence only sex education has not worked. In fact, it increases rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (25% of people under the age of 21 will get an STI). Thus, effective comprehensive sex ed (that includes realistic conversations about birth control, condoms, AND abstinence) is the way to go along with an effective pregnancy prevention program. Unfortunately, the Church does not advocate effective birth control. The Church can’t have it both ways… either we allow effective birth control or we stop complaining that there are too many abortions. I know which policy I would advocate. It’s a mystery to me and other social scientists as to why the Church is so blind in the face of the facts.

  • underemploid

    The Catholic Church’s position on abortion will NEVER be taken seriously until changes its position on contraception. I was raised Catholic and know many Catholics. I can’t think of a single Catholic that I know who is under 50 who has the slightest qualms about contraception. I don’t think anyone buys the infallibility idea anymore. The Church can afford to change to keep its credibility.

  • justine66

    When I was in Ukraine, the street children broke my heart. They were abused, sexually and physically, and no was no responsible adult in their lives. It’s been estimated that there are ONE MILLION street children in Russia. Let the Catholic church feed, clothe and give shelter to all the orphaned children in the world. Then we can discuss fetuses.

  • pjc8300892

    We have moved out of the dark ages a long time ago. Church has no business in politics. Churches can teach their deciples morals and religious beliefs, but the Church, especially the Catholic Church, has no more right to impose their religeous beliefs into the law of the land than the muslims or the buddists. This is a society that is suppose to have religious freedom, not religious imposition become the laws of the land. Trying to make politicians impose Catholic belief on America is trying to legislate Catholic religious beliefs on all America. As a Catholic I find that grossly offensive, because I would not want the Muslim beliefs to be imposed upon America any more than I want Catholic beliefs imposed upon America, regardless of how many votes their religion controlled. If the Catholic church had done a better job of teaching their followers the rational of these beliefs, then Catholics would not even think of having abortions. But because the Catholic church has such a disgusting history of lying, deceiption and out right theft for centurys, it is no wonder your followers doubt your preaching and certainly ignore your political advise. My experience is that the Catholic Church is more interested in those collection envelopes than they are in their parishoners. And their only interest in their parishoners is to keep the envelopes comming. Maybe the Bishops haven’t learned that threats and scare taticts are not the way to control people to think as you want them to.When I was younger it was a sin to eat meat on Friday. Should that have been made into a law for all Americans? Should all Catholics have been instructed to vote against anyone who ate meat on Friday?Come out of the dark ages! Jesus didn’t force people to follow his teachings he pursuaded them by his genuine concern for their well being and by his skill in teaching the meanings of his beliefs. He didn’t try to install only rulers he supported. He didn’t try to get rulers to impose his beliefs on all the peopls. The Vatican on the other hand is a different story. The Vatican still thinks it rules the world and can force people to do it’s bidding by theats of damnation. While many Catholics follow the Vatican instructions vebatim, there are also many Catholics who believe in many of those Catholic beliefs, but also recognize that most of those so-call “words from God” are really someones interpertation. Bishops, govern your church, not my country!

  • Maddogg

    How about giving out condoms with communion?

  • practica1

    As a Democrat and pro-life Catholic I have been advocating a change of culture over changes in legislation for twenty years. The solution to poor or battered children is not to kill them in utero, but to change the culture; the solution to killing children in utero is not to change the constitution, but to change the culture.Technology used for abortion has made enforcement of an abortion ban impossible – unenforceable laws are bad laws, and of no use to morals. The Jesuits taught me to make a distinction between proximal and distant causes, and the Benedictines taught me not to break the bruised reed.We should have men demanding to support the children they father, desperate to assert parental rights and responsibilities. We should stop stigmatizing the child or the pregnancy as a secular sin as well as a religious one, and simply make up our minds that we don’t kill people to solve their problems.Many pro-life Democrats who also oppose the death penalty and euthanasia and war, and who support social justice, have felt silenced by their pro choice fellow partisans. Abortion as a solution is profoundly illiberal, but many pro-life Democrats turned toward Reagan out of desperation to save the lives of unborn children. By now we have learned that all we did was make peace with a different devil.My hope is that an Obama presidency will be swayed by the evidence of death being the result of abortion, and by the inhumanity of that act. With that realization should also come support for all children, regardless of their origins – and assistance to their mothers that will make the nation’s future as well as families’ far more sustainable.We are not so poor that we must eat our children – or those of our neighbors, either.

  • lcoggia

    The hierarchy of the Catholic Church are for the most part irrelevant hypocrites with no credibility in the eyes of the American public – Catholics as well as non-Catholics. It started years ago with it’s outdated notions on birth control, priests not being allowed to marry, etc. It was cemented when they looked the other way or worse abetted the child abusers among the priesthood. The last two popes have been a disaster for the Church. They have turned a modern institution into a backwards force for progress.Polls show that the Church is losing its appeal to the young in America and this will ultimately mean that in the next couple of generations it will loose its role as a force of any kind in this country.I attended Catholic education institutions through college and found them to be positive experiences as was my upbringing by my Catholic parents. What has turned me into a former Catholic is the constant stream of hypocrisy that comes from the hierarchy such as Bishop’s Martino’s letter to the churches in Scranton.I hope that the next Pope can begin to make changes that can set the Church on a more modern and just path.

  • eaglehawkaroundsince1937

    A Catholic class mate of 50 years ago was so elated last year when her Bishop proclaimed that everyone in his domain could eat meat on St. Patricks day even tho it be Lent, a mortal sin otherwise punishable by hell fire. I am against abortion except when to save the Mother. Mr. Obama feels the same as do many Catholics. Before being involved in Politics Bishops, please clean out the stink in your own pews.Get a life or better yet Get A Wife.

  • ElaineMDrew

    It is interesting to observe that the Catholic Bishops have chosen to ignore the fact that thousands and thousands of citizens (yes, including Catholics) have lost jobs and homes as a result of the inaction of the Republican administration to whom they have chosen to align themselves. The faith that once was the faith of the working people is now the pew sharer of Wall Street.

  • kwires

    The fight by the US Bishops has been only on outlawing the practice of abortion. This is supposedly because of their great respect for the life of the unborn. Yet even without any theological underpinnings the Bishops continue to fight contraception and sexual education, that could go along way to preventing the unwanted pregnancies in the first place. It makes the bishops stance seem more oriented toward control rather than saving the unborn. They seem to more concerned about having sex without procreation.They have been supporting the Republican party in their overall fraud of an anti-abortion campaign. prior to the 2006 election, the Republicans had control of the Presidency, Senate and House as well as the Supreme Court. Did anyone even suggest a bill outlawing abortion. No they did not. I believe that the only bill presented was the partial birth abortion bill, that used an extreme procedure to make the most dramatic affect, with the electorate. You may ask, why didn’t they do something about a core issue that they run on every year? To have removed abortion from the US would then remove a major “red meat” issue from the Republican strategy. That may also be true for the bishops. I am sure that there have been a number of fundraisers on this issue.If slowing or stopping abortion were your true ambition, wouldn’t it make sense to provide help and assistance to young mothers to lessen the temptation to seek an abortion. Wouldn’t you promote the education and use of contraception to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies. It might also be useful for the church to try in a small measure to be consistent on their life policy. The last pope declared Iraq an unjust war. This was a war of choice for the US. As we all know now the WMD scenario was just our “Gulf of Tonkin” figleaf. How can a bishop fight so hard for the life of the unborn and not raise a finger in defense of our soldiers and the civilian population in Iraq. Life is life.

  • robind_nc

    The way to reduce abortion is prevention. Outlawing it won’t stop it, teaching abstinace only won’t stop it. Giving our children a wealth of information on reproduction and birth control, and even abstinence has been proven to reduce pregnacy. Eductaion, oppurtunity and parental involvement is our best hope.

  • forgetthis

    Ha Ha Ha!! Arroyo is pretending that he wants abortion to end. This is a joke. Why is this guy still writing about the same subject. It seems that a guy who really wanted abortion to end wouldn’t become a shill for a guy who unashamedly supported infanticide! I can’t take anything this guy says seriously.

  • satchnthesaint

    First of all, my wife and I both oppose abortion. We are now non-practicing Catholics because of the stance of the Catholic Church and it’s Bishops when it comes to general & presidential elections. In the 2004 election year, our church had pamphlets in the church that stated, if you voted for a candidate for President who supported abortion rights (John Kerry), you would have a mortal sin in the eyes of the church. There were also several parishiners who went around spreading the same word. Politics and religion should not mix. The Bishops spreading the same kind of rediric are some of the same Bishops who hid or sent pedofile priests to a different parish where they continued to abuse alter boys and others. These Bishops have alieniated alot of parishiners who have left the church.

  • TomfromNJ1

    Yes, I think it is time for the bishops to finally realize that they have allowed themselves to be used by the Republicans who had no intention of ever banning abortions — it has proven far too valuable as an issue in elections. It is the goose that laid the golden egg allowing them to get votes from people whose interests they oppose. Take the issue away and they are a very permanent minority. More and more people are seeing this. I hope the bishops wake up to it. I do not think it is an accident that if you line up the states from those with the most educated populace to the least, that the top would be heavily blue with the bottom mostly red. People have seen through this.

  • texassideoats

    No one likes abortion. No one wants an abortion. Abortion should be the very last resort. But that doesn’t mean outlawing it will change anything. Until we face why women resort to abortions we aren’t even going to limit abortion to medical emergencies. Much of this has to do with the education and economic opportunities of women in America and world-wide; much less has to do with the casual use of abortion as last-minute contraception. The Catholic Church has lost its moral leadership in America. Among other failures, it neither respects and helps women to the best of its ability, nor does it champion life in all its phases. That’s the issue it should address. If it survives another century.Can’t you just imagine the results of a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion? The heavens would laugh at the futility.

  • woolleyjfw

    I’m a lifelong Catholic, but the church is driving me away with their contradictory stance on issues such as abortion.

  • wsblount

    The notion that Catholic Bishops are going to stand up and act “offended” by anyone else’s morals is just absolutely hysterical. I think they have plenty of explaining of their own to do.

  • Carstonio

    MDSmith’s post is excellent. I would add that the legality of abortion is a separate but related issue from the morality of abortion. Practica is right that unenforceable laws are bad laws and are of no use to morals – I would go further and deem that to be a reason for keeping abortion legal. Laws against abortion prevent very few abortions, if any. Not only do they drive women to see unsafe illegal abortions, they treat women with unwanted pregnancies and their OB/GYNs as potential criminals.

  • lambcannon

    Catholics and other religious kooks out of politics NOW. Keep your own shirttails clean and let the rest of the world do what it will. No one cares what you think.

  • gwilsont

    I’ve fallen away from the Catholic Church because they don’t press the abortion and election connection enough. Abortion declined during Clinton’s term because of economic conditions, not because he took a moral stand on the issue. It happened by accident. I want abortion to decline because people are willing to do the right thing. I hate the weakness shown by many of our bishops nationwide. It sounds like many bishops got caught up in the Obama hype along with many others.

  • georgedixon

    Let them abort….the darwinian outcome will be felt in few decades.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Well, George, it already is. No one who reviews the statistics on the rates of abortion amongst African-Americans can fail to conclude that this is their highpoint. Their proportion of the aggregate population has levelled out at 12% and has already begun to decline. They will probably fall to single figures within the next few generations.OTOH Latinos have MUCH LOWER overall rates of abortion, a younger population and net higher birthrates. Add migration into that and the proportion of Latinos now at 15% of the population will probably rise to about 25%–at least! Freud said biology was destiny. He was wrong. Demography is destiny.

  • icoleman

    “Let them abort….the darwinian outcome will be felt in few decades…”Have you seen the movie “Idiocracy”? Pretty much the same premise. I bet you’d like it!

  • notfooledbydistractions

    The most effective means to reduce unwanted pregnancies is education – not abstinence only education – real sex ed. Abstinence only has proven to be nothing but a boondoggle.The Catholic church is showing its delusion broadly and proudly here – wake up!! It’s 2008 and the number of your parishioners are dwindling – it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why.

  • Enrique-I

    76 to 78% of US citizens identify themselves as Christian. Accordingly it should not be impossible to ammend the constitution to recognize and protect an embryonic human being’s human rights.

  • SteelWheel1

    theverybadbob wrote: All we need do is require the father of the child to pay for the abortion and hit him with a $10,000 fine and 5 years at hard labor in a salt mine.So the woman bares no responsibility under your solution? And would this apply to married couples? How is it any of yours or anyone elses business? The American Catholic church really has some nerve to inject the church into the voting process. I agree with one of the poster here that the American Catholic Church and all the other tax exempt religious organizations should be stripped of their non-profit status when they inject themselves into the political process.I am a Christian and I believe abortion and same-sex marriages are sins punishable BY GOD, not by man. The so called evangelical leadership has gotten drunk on the political power these issues has given them and they are abusing their authority over their parishioners.There are millions of people hurting emotionally and physically in America who could be spared all this pain if the Word of God was brought to them by Jesus’ loving Christians but instead what the hurting people are getting is a bunch of hate filled, domineering people masquerading as Christians. This is a shame!Anytime I attempt to witness to a non-believer I have to spend the better part of the conversation dismantling the only image the non-believers have of Christians, which is that of a fire breathing social conservative (note that I didn’t say Christians) screaming their values and how everyone else is condemn to hell if they don’t agree with them on every single point of discussion. Jesus Great Commission to His followers before he went on to Glory was to spread the Gospel around the world and if the people don’t receive the Gospel we are to knock the dust from our feet and let God deal with them. That is it!

  • Mary_Cunningham

    The age distribution of American Catholics does not differ markedly from the distribution of the national whole. They are 2% less in the 19-29 cohort, but this is balanced out by 2% higher in the 30-45 cohort. The latter has become prime child-bearing years–at least for the Catholic professional class–hence higher numbers in the 30 to say 36 yr old age group will result in slightly higher numbers of Catholic children.Add to this increases from migration plus the higher fertility rates of the younger migrants and the demographic picture of American Catholics does not look bad. The Church can afford to hew to her core beliefs on morality. She would anyway–thank God!–but sometimes it is nice to know that morality does not come at the expense of a decline in the number of the faithful. In this case I would say quite the opposite.

  • MikeL4

    Stephens-Arroyo continues to push the lie that voting for President doesn’t affect the abortion issue. Presidents appoint judges. Since this evil was insinuated into our constitution by judicial fiat, it can be undone by judicial fiat.Stephens-Arroyo also tries a clever use of statistics by saying abortion is going up among low income women by using the abortion industries own mouthpiece to support their viewpoint.Stephens-Arroyo lets be clear. The Democrat candidate supports Abortion and Abortion rights. He does not say Abortion is morally wrong. You supported a candidate who supports Evil. You have joined in that evil. Bishops do not say vote Republican and never have. The Bishops say vote against the evil of the killing of the unborn. You have chosen to ignore the Church’s teaching. You lie and mislead Catholics with your columns supporting this wickedness.

  • keino83

    Right On MDSmith. If your faith dictates that Condoms and other forms of birth control are immoral, how can you expect to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies. There is a reason that Catholic church membership and clergy have experienced significant decreases in their ranks, and it has everything to do with archaic dogma that doesn’t fit the realities of the current world.

  • patsnruss

    . . . The Catholic Church banned, or tried to, contraception in (I think) Maryland, and a big legal case came about. Some very good people firmly believe in responsible birth control, just as some very good people believe in a woman’s right ‘to choose’. We may not agree with them, but we NEED to stand back and try other means to talk women out of it. As you can see from above comments, the effect on the public is probably a lot like the effect the banning of contraception had. LEAVE THE LAW ALONE, FOR GOD’S SAKE. It’s the only way to get people to listen to you, bishops! Or maybe we should just stop financial suppport for the Church.. . . . .

  • Fun_DUH_mentalist

    There are several issues with your comment Enrique-I, 1) there are no human rights (sorry but true, a right is something supported by a government, so there are only nationalistic rights. American rights are not the same as many others) and 2) your assumption that the right to choose is in direct opposition to christian beliefs. Of course anyone who studies Jesus Christ, knows that choice is the focal point of “The Way.”

  • SteelWheel1

    gwilsont wrote:I’ve fallen away from the Catholic Church because they don’t press the abortion and election connection enough. Abortion declined during Clinton’s term because of economic conditions, not because he took a moral stand on the issue. It happened by accident. I want abortion to decline because people are willing to do the right thing. I hate the weakness shown by many of our bishops nationwide. It sounds like many bishops got caught up in the Obama hype along with many others. God gave man “free will” and what the social conservatives are trying to do is take away what God gave to man. It will never happen because it would violate God’s Word; however, there is the other side of free will called consequences. God holds man completely accountable for his choices and He judges man accordingly. God doesn’t need man to carry out His Spiritual judgments. This is where the social conservatives get tripped up. They are trying to do God’s job.

  • jeust99799

    CAtholics cannot have abortions. But Presidents govern all citizens, regardless of faith. They must make decisions on the basisi of public policy, the considerations of which go beyond simple “thou shall nots…” Reminds me of hte similarly flawed policy of “Just Say No. I believe Democrats and their public policies will more likely lead to conditions which will reduce abortions, and prevent dangerous non-legal abortions. Non-catholic citizens wil make their own decisions. Or is that the Bishops’ problem ?

  • patsnruss

    . . . The Catholic Church banned, or tried to, contraception in (I think) Maryland, and a big legal case came about. Some very good people firmly believe in responsible birth control, just as some very good people believe in a woman’s right ‘to choose’. We may not agree with them, but we NEED to stand back and try other means to talk women out of it. As you can see from above comments, the effect on the public is probably a lot like the effect the banning of contraception had. LEAVE THE LAW ALONE, FOR GOD’S SAKE. It’s the only way to get people to listen to you, bishops! Or maybe we should just stop financial suppport for the Church.. . . . .

  • Mary_Cunningham

    African-Americans, mostly but not exclusively poor, are the population cohort that is suffering from an addiction to abortion. The people here showing such anger, such fury, at the Catholic Church do not seem to be members of this group.The Church–and some evangelicals (some seemed transfixed on the sinful fornication theme) as well–is sending them a message that they and their children have worth. The eugenicists OTOH seem to want to eliminate poverty by wiping out the poor themselves.

  • sparrow4

    ” That’s the same argument that was used by the slave owning states to defend slavery. It was wrong to deny life then and it’s wrong now”-flyanglerWomen were made to get pregnant- often by the owner- because a child was valuable property. So rape was not considered rape, but a manufacturing process. These women, treated like incubators, had no choice and were often forced to watch their babies taken from them and sold. In this respect anti-choice is exactly like slavery. No abortion for victims of rape or incest? How enlightened of the anti-choice, pro-fetus, anti-women crowd.==========================================================================And this is the danger of relying on amateur sources. He is pro-life, a student in space physics. Beyond the fact he has an agenda, the study of space physics hardly qualifies anyone to be an expert on abortion statistics. He is relying on other sources, all of which he culls for those statistics which support his prolife agenda. This is not a primary source. For that you go to major tracking organizations, like World Health, etc. If I were writing a paper on abortion and used him as a primary source, I’d be given an “F” and rightfully so. Anyone can compile statistics from other places and put them on a website. Only someone who doesn’t have a clue about the basics of academic or professional research (yes, prolifer- there are very strict standards) would quote a website of a physics student as a primary source.

  • sparrow4

    “African-Americans, mostly but not exclusively poor, are the population cohort that is suffering from an addiction to abortion.”Wow- racist much? addiction to abortion? How about you stay across the pond and deal with the very many problems you folk have over there. FYI- I don’t hate the Church. I dislike the people who claim they speak for it in the loudest voice and do the least to further the real teachings of Christ.

  • horace_simon1

    Where was the church’s moral outrage when employees of the church were defiling its member’s children? Nuff said…you have no moral authority.

  • deacon777

    First of all, MOST Catholic clergy votes democratic (not republican) and have voted democratic for a long time – but you wouldn’t know that if you have rarely or ever entered a church. There is a long history of cooperation between the democratic party and the catholic church – but you wouldn’t know that either if you haven’t read about American history.Some fundamental issues transcends politics. One of those issues is the basic right to life everybody is suppose to have. We presumably are endowed by our creator with the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – so says the declaration of independence – that applies to all humans from the front end to the back end of human existence…and no King, no government, no political party, has the right to usurp these basic rights. Or have we stopped believing in that?Oh wait, we are told that until the umbilical cord is cut, the “human” has no rights. Which is strange given that a person can be charged with a double homicide under the law for killing a pregnant woman AND her unborn child – all the while the law looks the other way when the medical provider kills the unborn child…go figure.

  • MikeL4

    The continuing lie pushed by Stephens-Arroyo. You may have noticed that he failed to mentioned that candidate Obama said he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act. Do not lie further Stephens-Arroyo when you say a vote for who is President does not matter.

  • TRACIETHEDOLPHIN

    Bishops, and representatives of any and every other religion need to stop trying to impose their morality on others through the political process. Nowhere in the bible does it make it OK to impose christianity, or the morals and values you derive from your religion on others. Christianity is an invitation, not a mandate, and god does not give you the right to punish others for not believing what you believe. In short, keep religion in the church, and out of politics.

  • ward29800

    I wouldn’t want anyone forcing their religion on me and I wouldn’t force my religion on them. Faith is a gift. Forget about the question of the soul being infused at conception. The majority of people in this world don’t even believe in an immortal soul. To them, the natural law and personhood begins only at birth. The scientifically-inclined among them would argue that personhood begins at 23 weeks when brain activity can be detected.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Sparrow4I trained in demography and feel I’m competent to handle the statistics. African Americans are 12% of the National Population and account for 36% of the abortions. That is a huge mismatch. Commenting on it is not racist–IMHO these women are being hurt. Your charging racism when a demographer is merely stating a fact is just plain ignorant. Johnson only compiles the statistics, cites them and doesn’t pretend to be a primary source.. The best primary sources are almost always the gov’t in question and he lists them. I’ve had a look at his data and his are OK, so far as they go–for example my hunch on the India abortion statistics is that they are much too low.Johnson is no more biased than the Guttmacher Institute, which is an advocate of abortion. The problem with abortion statistics is it is an emotive subject that data is not generally available. For this reason I tend to stick with numbers from Europe, esp. the UK and Ireland, where I have some knowledge. The prohibition of abortion in both the Republic and Northern Ireland along with unlimited abortion in the England, Wales and Scotland gives me a good base with which to test the hypothesis that a high level of social benefits results in lower abortion. (It seems no connection.)

  • Orsalia

    JohnDebba wrote:Bravo, Sir, for the bright beacon of Reason that you shine. Your grandchildren are blessed to have you.

  • 3stooges

    Catholics in presidential elections have voted GOP -especially in Pennsylvania. Flipping this around to a 2-1 margin is remarkable. Maybe it would have been a closer vote if the bishop had not lost credibility over his handling of school and parish closings or his opposition to the formation of a teachers union in a valley of union families – or at least those who remember what the unions did for themWhen the bishop said his letter mattered and not the position of the USCCB, he asked ‘the people in the pews’ to cross a ‘bridge too far.’ He had the exact opposite effect that he intended.The archdiocese of Philadelphia went heavily for Obama. The Scranton bishop, a product of the Philadelphia archdiocese, paved the way for the same result up the Northeast extension of the turnpike.From the Philadelphia suburbs up to Scranton, all along that corridor, the votes went for ‘Blue.’Scranton ‘sealed the deal.’

  • AIPACiswar

    Catholics don’t need or want to follow “Bishops.” The Church hierarchy is wacky old white men who have their own problems and who don’t necessarily matter a whit to real Catholics. Real Catholics are loath to tell people of other faiths how to think. Catholics are not brain dead fundamentalists like born again nutjobs. If you don’t want an abortion don’t have one. That’s good enough.

  • CCNL

    What really sealed the deal:The fastest growing voting bloc: The 70 million “mothers and fathers of aborted children” whose ranks grow by two million per year. They easily put President-elect Obama in the Blood Red House!!!!

  • philasportsphan

    I was very annoyed to be “told” at least 5 times, within a few weeks of the election, that Catholics should be very thoughtful about their vote as it pertained to “life”. I attend Mass daily. I heard this repeated both during the week and at Sunday Mass. I voted for Obama. My problem with the pro-life people, including the clergy, is that they are pro-pre-life. Jesus did not limit the issue of the taking of a life to only the unborn. I have long wondered why the Catholic Church is silent regarding capital punishment. It is no less the taking of a life than abortion is. In fact, I think it is more. This is because it is all of society that advocates capital punishment – the people, our representatives and the courts. I believe that Jesus wanted us to see the value of all life and I’m waiting for the Catholic Church to speak out about that, not just the unborn.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out in the field.” When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” The LORD then said: “What have you done! Listen: your brother’s blood cries out to me from the soil! Genesis 4:8-9Do we as Catholics have a responsibility to those aborted children? Think about it.

  • BiancaY

    Question:When the Catholic Church and the Pope speak out against the war in Iraq, which they have, are they trying to impose their morals on others? Should they also stay out of politics and government as far as that issue is concerned?

  • AIPACiswar

    Catholics doctrine had at certain times in history held that life DOES NOT begin at conception, and it has always held that WE DON’T KNOW exactly when life begins.Catholic clergy have been all over the road morally, themselves, for as long as there has been a church. Popes with mistresses, pedophile priests, changes in church doctrine to suit the times. Catholics have ONE voice to listen to: THEIR CONSCIENCE. The church leaders ought to be following us, not the other way around.

  • xconservative

    Certainly, the bishops meeting in Washington the week after the election are asking themselves the meaning of this disconnection.If the church doesn’t wake up to the new reality they will find themselves with dwindling membership, shortage of priests and nuns, and rampant pedophilia. Oh yea, that’s already happened.

  • BiancaY

    philasportsphan:My understanding is that the church has taken a very specific and clear stance against capital punishment. The only possible exception, and this I am uncertain about, may or may not be in the case of war crimes.Remember the movie “Dead Man Walking”? It was inspired by a book written by a Catholic nun, and the book is only supportive of existent Catholic dogma against capital punishment.

  • mischanova

    Why do the Catholic bishops continue to be single-issue minded? They do nothing to to help prevent the very cause of the need for abortion, by also preaching against birth control. They back politicians who help create the need for abortions. And what about the other beliefs the Catholic Church supposedly stands for? The Pope preached against the war in Iraq, yet the American bishops help elect the guys who support that war. Hypocrisy.

  • xconservative

    MARY_CUNNINGHAM wrote:Maybe your point was clear to you, but your quote of Genesis 4:8-9 addresses man killing man, not a fetus in the womb.If you really want to know what the Bible says about abortion, these passages address the issue much more clearly. These passages show a fetus is treated as property, not a person. The fact that someone who causes a miscarriage is punished through property laws shows that a fetus is viewed as property, not a life.Exodus 21:22 “When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined, according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.”Numbers 35:30 “If any one kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death”

  • AIPACiswar

    The story of the Catholic church has always been the story of hypocrisy. The moral priests have rampant pedophilia. The Pope lives like a King. The church has billions of dollars and political tentacles all over the world. It’s a monster of history, good and bad. So real Catholics are perfectly free, and actually challenged – to tell the church where to go (hell,) and live by CONSCIENCE.

  • marcedward1

    If the RCC really believes that every embryo is a human being with a right to life, why don’t they save a couple? Seems simple enough to purchase some good freezers and ‘adopt’ all those embryos that are going to be trashed by fertility clinics. My guess is the RCC won’t lift a finger to save those ‘babies’ because the Bishops and their masters in Rome don’t believe that embryos are really worth saving if it costs money. Better to spend money supporting CA’s prop8 than save babies.

  • DeeBunker

    Two major points deserve consideration in this issue: First, the Church opposes all forms of “interfering” birth control (i.e. other than the so-called rhythm method). It is not surprising that they are taking a stance on abortion, the public aspect of reproduction, but have gone silent on the private violations of church law. Previously, the growing percentage of birth control of practicing Catholics was published but apparently that is no longer sufficiently serious to send one to hell (ala eating meat on Friday), but only those acts that involve a doctor, who can be punished for practicing his profession. Secondly, in our lifetime there was Vatican II Council of the Church. The works of that council has been published in paperback and should be read by everyone. It clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of the Laity and the Magisterium for all Catholics. According to Bernard Herring, a theological peritus (expert) at Vatican II, our covenant is based on “the good news of God’s loving gift for us and our grateful response.” (National Catholic Reporter, July 17, 1998 by Charles E. Curran). I was fortunate enough to hear him speak on his first trip to the U.S. He emphasized the requirement for the laity to become informed and take increasing responsibility for their own spiritual life. Jumping through someone else’s hoops is not sufficient.

  • eyeswideopen2

    I’m a lapsed Catholic, I admit. But I think that, along with stances on birth control and female clergy, the Church’s unreasoning single-issue stance regarding abortion, and willingness to politicize the Sacraments, are reasons that I stay away.We look to the Church for moral guidance, and a part of that is or should be an ability to consider and compare moral choices rationally.It’s true that 35 years of issues voting on abortion has not reversed Row v. Wade, and it’s true that even a Supreme Court reversal of that decision would not outlaw abortion. And it’s true that outlawing abortion would not stop it from happening. And it’s inarguably true that a lot of social justice issues have been thrown out the window in the single-minded pursuit of overturning Row v. Wade.In light of all that, how could any priest, much less a bishop, deny the Eucharist to somebody, based solely on their party affiliation or voting record? Does that imply that anybody who votes a Democratic ticket should not receive the Sacraments? I think when members of the Clergy do something like this, they cede some of their moral authority, and simply put, that’s a bad thing for the Church. Reasonable people can disagree on what the best methods are by which to reduce the number of abortions in America. I believe a bishop in Scranton PA when he states that he has knowledge that abortions are evil, but I believe him a lot less when he says that God wants him to prevent Joe Biden specifically from taking Communion.

  • ward29800

    I’ve never heard of any woman proclaim,”Great. I’m pregnant. Now I can go kill a baby.” Women get abortions because they simply can’t afford to be pregnant. No prenatal care. No money to have a delivery in a hospital. No income saved because of low wages. Loss of job if you take time off for your pregnancy and delivery. No postnatal care. No daycare. Other children to feed. Rent to pay.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    XConRemember my friend, I’m a Catholic. I don’t use the Bible in the same fashion as evangelical.I was making a point about responsibility. Are we (and I don’t include you and all the other anti-Catholics here) as Catholics our brother’s keepers? Do we have a responsibility for those unborn children and to their mothers?Abortion in the US looks to be connected with poverty and a host of other social ills and, as well, to be disproportionately concentrated in one racial group. It doesn’t seem to be much of a specific *Catholic* phenomenon at all, although the Catholic Church right now is reaping a great deal of abuse because of its stance.If the Church believes abortion is a great evil, and it is concentrated amongst the poor, does she have a responsibility to protect these same poor? Even if they’re not Catholic? I’m asking other Catholics to think about it.

  • AIPACiswar

    Here’s a good hypothetical for you: In the future, instead of abortion of fertilized eggs, they are removed and incubated to term. Q. Would the Catholic Church offer to adopt and raise these progeny at their own expense?A. No they would not. Conclusion: This is not about saving “lives,” this is about controlling the lives of people other than oneself.

  • lepidopteryx

    Helpus : The real reason I am writing, however, is to question why those who are “pro-choice/abortion” challenge parental consent laws. Shouldn’t a parent have the right to be involved in a medical decision so invasive, as an abortion? For instance a teenager walking into an ER w/ a simple fratcure can’t be seen until a parent/guardian is present. A teenager wanting a driver’s permit must obtain his parent’s consent. Someone under 18 cannot join the military w/o a parent’s consent. I fully understand and agree that there is a government interest in passing legistlation/rules to ensure parental consent. But, doesn’t the government have the same interest in protecting the child and family in the case of a 14 year old seeking an abortion? Moreover, don’t parents have a right to know and be involved in a decision of such magnitude????This is where the battle should be waged.

  • AIPACiswar

    My uncle was a Catholic monsignor and even he understood the “Holy Eucharist” was just a symbol. It’s the dense dark fool Catholics who’d think it’s something other than a piece of toast. Real Catholics are inspired by the higher elements of the Church to ignore the bs and BE REAL about life and religion, learn and think, and ignore the voodoo. Holy Eucharist is the body of Christ, what whooey!

  • ATLMichael

    Once again, Mr. Stevens-Arroyo proves that he is not a Catholic. His belief that abortion is morally wrong for every Cathloic is contrary to the teachings of the church. The church teaches that if something is morally wrong, such as abortion, then it is morally wrong as to all, not just Catholics.The problem is that Catholics are willing to vote for Democrats notwithstanding their platform of supporting abortion on demand at any point in the pregnancy. So, the Democratic party has no incentive to change its pro-abortion position.If Catholics were unanimous in not voting for any pro-choice candidate, then the Democrats at the Federal and state level would become pro-life, and we could end abortions in this country.

  • ATLMichael

    If God is truly God (which, of course, He is), then surely He can turn bread and wine into flesh and blood. To believe He can’t is to believe He is not God.

  • AIPACiswar

    Foolishness! If god is god then he can… Right!You don’t know what or who or whether god is. You may have faith, but that’s a separate matter. And no the little wafers are not something other than chips of bread. No intelligent priest in his right mind thinks otherwise if you can get them to tell you the truth. I know, I know priests.

  • AIPACiswar

    First sign of a looney – capitalizing “he” in reference to a god, as though even the written word matters. Off to church with you! And don’t forget a twenty for the basket! God loves twenties!

  • lepidopteryx

    back2naples : Insist on? You’re being disingenuous. No one will be forced to abort against her will.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    AIPACIs your real name Cromwell? I’m reading a little history of the Reformation in England and you’d be right at home, even if it was 500 years ago! No Eucharist, no Real Presence, Catholics are stupid & priest-ridden, the Church is corrupt. Now if we could only find you a few monasteries to sack and some priests to hang (draw and quarter), and a couple of Irish rebellions to put down with the utmost of cruelty the transformation would be complete…Plus ça change

  • AIPACiswar

    Mary_CunninghamEverything I have said suggests Catholics are smart, and well educated, and therefore not beholding to Catholic dogma, if their OWN CONSCIENCES lead them otherwise. This is a high compliment indeed, so your dig is quite unfair. My uncle was a monsignor, I attended Catholic schools, my great uncle was a Brother of the Sacred Heart. Real Catholics (not pawns) know exactly what I say. If you want to bow to the most dogmatic baloney in Catholicism, maybe you should go to S America and participate in the Exorcisms they do there for their poor ignorant Catholic devotees like yourself.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Let’s see, if Catholics follow their own consciences, which I think you define as believing as YOU believe, and your uncle the Monsignor, then they are smart. If, however, they believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, which btw Catholics have believed since, well, the first century, then they are ignorant and should ponce off to Latin America and participate in exorcisms.I think I get it.

  • philasportsphan

    AIPACISWAR – if your uncle truly was a Monsignor, he either wasn’t a member of the Catholic clergy or your recollection of his comment is incorrect. Go to the following link to see what the USCCB’s statement is regarding Christ in the Eucharist -

  • AIPACiswar

    Mary_CunninghamWell there is Santa Claus out there for you too if you want to go that way. Nobody in their right mind, “believes” a little piece of bread is voodooed into something else. You may have great faith it is so, but of course faith exists aside from reason, as it’s compliment not as it’s replacement. Catholics make belief decisions on reason, not on faith. This is why they believe in evolution etc. Faith exists to hold us true to course in the face of what we do not know (a lot!) Same for the existence of God, which as a Catholic you should have some faith in, but not take it to the level of real belief, that would be contrary to Catholic education. So depending on how educated you are, you have a sliding scale keeping you in the fold. No well educated Catholic clergy actually BELIEVES a little wafer is anything but carbohydrates. Don’t fool yourself!

  • 28thAmendment2DefineBirth

    I am proposing the 28th Amendment. We must amend the Constitution. You’re absolutely right. No Supreme Court case will wipe out abortion. Least of all, Roe v. Wade. Roe v. Wade is about privacy between a patient and doctor. Keep it that way. Let’s worry about defining what “born” means in the 14th Amendment… the one that ended slavery, stating that slaves were not property, they were human beings.Join my group!

  • AIPACiswar

    philasportsphanNice link, but it changes none of what I say.If you know a priest beyond the baloney they toss around as part of their job, you will know exactly what I say. And it should come as no surprise that the most educated of religious folk do not buy the voodoo themselves. They are however very good servants of the church. There is a difference. And when you finally understand that even a priest does not buy the voodoo, you will be greatly comforted, and be able to practice FAITH for what it is: a hopeful thing, a guide, a crutch, a help. It is not a substitute for reality. Reality is real, even for priests.

  • No11

    OK, first off, I’m not a Catholic and in fact know little about Catholicism so don’t bother with the “gotcha” routine if I display my ignorance here.I’m just wondering if there’s the teensiest little chance that the overwhelming Catholic vote for Mr. Obama had nothing to do with abortion or that other interests overrode the voters’ concern in that regard?There were… an are, for that matter… other issues out there and you might be surprised at how important they are to a whole lot of people.

  • philasportsphan

    AIPACISWAR – I’m just hazarding a guess here – but, I’m pretty sure you’ve got a dresser drawer full of “Recovering Catholic” and “Catholic School Survivor” t-shirts! Thou doth protest too much!!!

  • MikeL4

    It is really quite regrettable here to see those who claim to be Catholic or go to mass daily, yet do not understand the faith they claim to have. If you resent the authority of the Bishops, blame Christ, who gave it to them. If you do not believe in Apostolistic Succession, leave the Church, you are not Catholic. If you believe it is morally acceptable to kill unborn children, leave the Church so that you might speak for the evil you claim to be okay. Stop claiming the moniker of Catholic, you do not follow Christ.I have more respect for those who have left the Church because they do not follow its tenets and those who hurl invective at the Church for following Jesus’ teachings than I do for those who claim “Catholic”, yet vote for the moral bankruptcy of abortion and the culture of death, no matter what political party is supporting it.

  • lfivepoints69yahoocom

    Just to be clear, abortion is not immoral in Catholicism, the Bible, or any true form of Christianity. Nowhere in the Bible is abortion in any way criticized and the only time it is mentioned, in the book of Numbers, God say abortion is morally acceptable. Catholics do not worship bishops, popes, kings, or other sinful power-hungry men. We following the teachings of Christ and the dictates of God and the Holy Spirit. All true Catholics must work to change this wrong-headed and un-Christian idea that women can be forced to bear children.

  • mavarnee

    Dear “LIVE5…” and “MIKEL4″: LIVE, if that’s your understanding of the Catholic Church’s teachings you are about as definitively “unclear” about those teachings as you could possibly be. You certainly didn’t get that warped/heretical view from your bishops or as the result of prayerful and proper formation of an accurate Catholic conscience. You are absolutely free to have your views. But please don’t fake being a Catholic and then outright lie.MIKEL$: Please see my 11/12, 3:29AM posting way below. We’re on the same page! I wish more such true Catholics would respond to such disordered articles and pursuant vicious diatribes.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    If FOCA should come into effect and conscience clause lifted, then Catholic hospitals could begin to wind down their Obstetrics and Gynaecology Departments, leaving pro-abortion hospitals to take care of them. They could reallocate the beds to neonatal pediatrics and other pedatric medicine and surgery sending out a powerful message in their support for children. Although it does not automatically translate as support for unborn, it does say with action that they refuse to kill unborn in their hospitals. All legal avenues must be explored to allow for such transitions. After all not every hospital is expected to have an Ob/Gyn department and many don’t. The anti-abortion campaign should be done in a non-partisan manner. There is no Republican or Democratic abortion. The unborn child gets killed no matter which party is in charge.Public education based on science and human rights, intense teaching for Catholics, all help for Catholics so that no single Catholic resorts to abortion should be the goal. The abortion laws are not mandates. A Catholic is not compelled to abort her unborn child simply because the law allows her to. Public consciousness must shift. That takes time because a very active pro-abortion industry has been hard at work for 35 years selling abortion as a woman’s right. It is time to invest as much energy and more in informing the public that there is an innocent third party involved in abortion, who doesn’t get to say NO, has no means to defend itself.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    What is the less obvious difference between “Red Sex” and “Blue Sex?”"Blue Sex” is about having sex as a natural act without worrying about morality and consequences to another (the unborn child) if contraception fails. “Blue Sex” is about morality without thinking of realistic protection against consequences (contraception) when morality fails, but also involves taking responsibility when the life of an innocent third party comes into the picture (carrying child to term and giving it both parents by getting married). “Blue Sex” is realistic but entirely self centered. “Red Sex” is a little to idealistic with no back up for failed perfection but responsible towards an innocent third party, the child conceived.

  • Mdouglas156

    I’m not Catholic but I am a Christian that tries to follow God’s will. I am only human and will continue to make mistakes until the day I die. I can only pray to God and continue to read his word for guidance and try to avoid sinning. As is said in his word about the casting of stones, “He who hasn’t sinned, throw the first stone” or something close to those words. God gave us a choice of accepting him or not. I am pro-life but I do not believe in abortion. This may sound like a contradiction but I believe it is between that woman and God. That is the thing we all need to understand. If abortion is a sin that will cause someone to go to hell, will you also go because someone else had an abortion? No, just like we can’t ride someone’s coattails to heaven nor can we to hell. So, my conclusion is we can talk to people, plead with them or try to scare them into the beliefs we have but at the end of the day they have the choice of choosing what they will do with their life and bodies. Will you condemn and berate someone because they chose not to accept God as their lord and savior? Or will you pray for them that they see the light and seek God’s will? At the end of the day that’s all we can do. I would love to debate this issue with any that is willing. Contact me [email protected]

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    To Mary Cunningham, London:Mary,Regarding low rate of abortion in India as per statistics compiled by William Robert Johnston.Realistic explanation:India is a Hindu country which follows the Hindu culture even if people may be only nominal in their religious practice. Hinduism has no room for divorce; not even for widow remarriage.A divorced Indian woman would find it difficult to remarry. Even a divorced man does not find a partner that easily. Marriage is early and most marriages are still arranged.Virginity at marriage is still a big deal. Sex before marriage and outside marriage is still not accepted as the norm.Single motherhood carries a social stigma.Divorce is not commonplace. There is policing of sexual morals by the family and society. Men and women do get to break rules all the same but India is still a long way from becoming a Westernized society as far as sexual morals is concerned. It is becoming more Western, more sexually liberal, but family and community values still play a very big role. With sex mostly within marriage and contraception freely available, abortion becomes less of an issue. _________________________________In the US 88% of abortions are among the UNmarried below the age of 24. Conservative Christians may preach sexual morality but there is no pressure to follow the teaching.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Slavery was legal.Slavery was immoral.Nobody was forced to keep slaves.But as long as it was legal to keep slaves, those who could afford to buy slaves did. Slavery had to be abolished with law.

  • faithfulservant3

    St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.” His point was; that Jesus’ teachings are about loving one another and performing random acts of unlimited kindness.Just as Jesus said that you will know the faithful by their fruit, and Paul said in Romans that God will “render to each one according to his deeds” (2:6, quoting the Psalms); it is the same today.The problem with the Catholic bishops is the same as with most evengelicals: they really don’t live, teach, or preach the true gospel.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    And it always helpful to have Christian heretics who claim Jesus approved of abortions because He didn’t specifically mention abortion. Thou shalt not kill is not enough?His teaching against sex outside marriage, giving no permission to divorce, is not enough?

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Faithfulservant3:You make a very valid point: How dare Catholic clergy preach against abortion when they are guilty of doing abortions themselves. Right?

  • bartedson

    Until an embryo or fetus can survive on its own outside the womb, it should not be considered an “individual”, as it is still an outgrowth of the mother’s body. And the Mother should be able to make her own decisions about her body, NOT THE US Government.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    bartedson:Until an embryo or fetus can survive on its own outside the womb, it should not be considered an “individual”, as it is still an outgrowth of the mother’s body. And the Mother should be able to make her own decisions about her body, NOT THE US Government.November 12, 2008 9:51 PM_________________________________________________This is the kind of willful ignorance anyone trying to take on pro-abortionists are up against. No quoting of Bible verses can tackle such ignorance. Factual knowledge from textbook of human embryology is absolutely essential. Anti-abortion education with human embryology and human rights should be addressed to the young capable of forming a conscience based on it. The older ones have hardened consciences out of reach of reason and compassion.

  • faithfulservant3

    Someone on this comment board claims that Numbers chapter 5 in the bible supports the pro-choice view. This is false.The passage discusses a curse being placed on an unfaithful wife by the priest. The curse involves the stomach and thighs becoming deformed in some way. This is clear in the older King James Version. One newer translation, and another with a footnote, could with a real stretch of the imagination be forced into a possible abortion-like category. However, the latter view clearly states that the woman will be made barren by the malady. And the curse discussed is a supernatural punishment from the Lord for immorality, not man induced. Regardless, check it out yourself at www. biblegateway.com (Numbers 5:11-31; King James, NIV and NASB translations). It’s a true sign of desperation to characterize these passages as supporting abortions.You’re on more solid ground by asserting that the bible is silent on this subject. However, in two places the Lord says to prophets (King David and Jeremiah) that he knit them together in the womb and/or knew them before they were formed in the womb (Psalm 139:13; Jeremiah 1:5). The bible is concerned generally with life and one of the Ten Commandments proscribes killing. Jesus sacrifices Himself to save others rather than fight back.Thus the clear implication is that ALL life is important and that God makes our spirits and souls prior to conception. It is sin to be disobedient to God. Why would He make a life with a soul and spirit only to see it be immediately destroyed by men?He wouldn’t, this is disobediently subverting His will; so the inference that abortion is ungodly is on solid theological ground if not explicit in scripture. Anyone interested might also want to check out the Didache (Teaching). This is a document from early Church Fathers that was probably circulated among itinerant preachers and deacons within a century after Christ (check wiki). This document establishes the very early church practice of outlawing what even a child can clearly see is murdering another child.If after growing up you learn to place man’s law and human freedom above God’s law that’s one thing, but you are on shaky ground trying to twist the bible into being pro-choice.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Faithfulservant3:You make a very valid point: How dare Catholic clergy preach against abortion when they are guilty of doing abortions themselves. Right?Jokes aside. Catholic clergy are celibate, who for the most part don’t seek out abortionists to kill their unborn. It is also likely that not many of them would be getting women pregnant and forcing them to abort the unborn child. Sure there are likely to be exceptions, as to every rule. Murder is a serious crime and yet it doesn’t stop the murderers. Lay celibate Catholic clergy have made a lifelong vow to transcend their sexual needs and live a life of self sacrifice. Maybe that gives them a little extra moral strength to preach that unborn children should not be killed and sex should be restricted to marriage?

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    President-Elect Obama is not Catholic.For twenty years he attended a Christian Church that teaches abortion theology.Ask anyone from UCC to find out where they stand on abortion issues. P-E Obama believes only what his Church taught him.

  • tioedong

    uh, your argument of a “12 year old pregnant by her mother’s boyfriend” story doesn’t hold water.This is felony child abuse, and both the mother and the boyfriend could be jailed: such a rape doesn’t require the mother to press charges: usually the hospital will notify their child protection services and remove the child from the mother when this is discovered.Indeed, the dirty little secret is that the more common story is that the “boyfriend” conspires to get the girl aborted without parents being notified, so that he doesn’t get jailed..

  • plaza04433

    “Lay celibate Catholic clergy have made a lifelong vow to transcend their sexual needs and live a life of self sacrifice. Maybe that gives them a little extra moral strength to preach that unborn children should not be killed and sex should be restricted to marriage?”Keep telling yourself that fairy tale. For a huge number, more than you can imagine, its Boys R Us.They have no moral authority what so ever, and the corrupt clerical collection of Cardnials and Bishops in the USA are a perverted bunch of cover your a$$ misogynists and pedophiles.And true believers like you have no power at all to clean that disgusting mess up. They are beyond reach because you let them be, you buy into their assertions of authority and their lame excuses.

  • plaza04433

    “If after growing up you learn to place man’s law and human freedom above God’s law…”The genius of the law was perfected when Jefferson and Madison successfully fought to do just that.In contrast, the rule of Rome in the rest of the world for an eon -and even as that power was on the wane right up to the 2nd continental congress -was a horror show.God’s law for centuries proved to be no law at all.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Plaza Whatever:Dealing with rabid anti-Catholics cannot be done under this username. It is about prolife activism. So I’ll have to let your comment pass.But please do read up about pedophilia in the real world, pedophile rings and the like. Helpful is also to read up about sexual abuse of children in other religious organizations (which do not pay $ 2 BILLION compensation, have the leader make public apologies etc), non religious institutions like schools, and a host of other situations where children and minors are exposed to adults. Since records pertaining to Catholic clergy is kept, the numbers are known. The figure stands at 2 to a maximum of 4% clergy. That means two things – 96% of Catholic clergy do not abuse children and minors, AND that recruiting pedophiles and sexual offenders is not part of the Catholic church strategy. The 2- 4% are pedophiles or sex offenders who manage to slip through the selection and long years of training process UNDETECTED, or rather they kept their tendencies under wrap until they could live it out in an environment where they felt they would not be caught out.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Plaza Whatever:The most important place to look for sexual abuse of children and minors is in families – fathers, step fathers, uncles and grandfathers, friends of the family etc.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Prolife,The problem I have with the abortion numbers in India is the sex ratio imbalance that I see in their aggregate numbers. The arrival of cheap scans combined with abortion has resulted in the aborting of female babies on a huge scale. The Indian government is ashamed of this–and so they should be–so IMO the overall abortion figures are massaged downward.Certainly they don’t square the the published numbers on the male/female ratios. There are a lot a females absent that should be present.Regards

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Mary,The abortion data in India provided by Wm Robert Johnston does not list the sources for his information. So the real numbers are difficult to know. You are right they could be given as much lower than it really is, but even a low rate for a population of 1.1 billion makes for very large numbers. The data provided by WRJ does not give break up of gender of aborted children. I wonder if abortion statistics would include that as a rule since most abortions are in the early stages when gender identification is not possible externally, even with a powerful ultrasound. There is a scandal about many female babies being aborted. Once again one must keep in mind even a very tiny percentage makes for very large numbers considering the total population of 1.1 billion.

  • ebleas

    The argument of whether or not a fetus is human or not, or whether it has rights or not, seems misguided to me. Let’s make the bold assumption (at least bold to some) that the fetus is indeed human and does have rights under the constitution (or God). But the problem is, the person carrying the fetus (the Mother) also has full rights and is most certainly human also. So, the abortion debate really centers on the competing rights of these two individuals. Does one have more rights than the other? Does the right of one of these individuals trump the right of the other? I think these are the questions that really govern the abortion debate. And it neatly removes all the bickering over whether or not the fetus is human or not.Take as an example, you awaken one morning and find a stranger has entered your house. The stranger is quite starved, and unless he eats your food, he will surely die. To ensure that he cannot be easily removed, he has taken the precaution of chaining himself to your walls, thus ensuring it will require considerable effort to remove him. Now this person has not only entered your house without your permission, he is also consuming your food, which you also need for survival. But, it is assured, if you remove him forcibly, he will surely die. Now most would say that you did nothing to encourage him to enter your home, and thus he has no right to be there and hence you have no legal or moral obligation to keep him there, let alone feed him. Oh, but silly you. It was quite warm last night, and you left the window open a bit to provide some cool night air into the house. And the stranger happened to slip in through this open window. So now do you have the right to remove the stranger, knowing that this will surely kill him? Do your rights trump his, knowing that you were at least partially responsible for his entry? Does one individual have a right to use another person’s body or property for their own survival?

  • CCNL

    Once again:President-elect Obama rode to Blood-Red House on the backs of 35+million aborted womb-babies!!!Bishops and all those concerned about this situation should make it part of their Sunday/Saturday sermons and church/temple/mosque bulletins/newspapers. (The fastest growing USA voting bloc: The 70 million “mothers and fathers of aborted children” whose ranks grow by two million per year.)

  • MikeL4

    Catholics and other Christians must remember who their loyalties lie with. Not to political parties or politicians but to God.The killing of unborn children is a great moral evil. “Catholics” and “Christians” support this evil by supporting politicians whose votes allow this evil to continue. Do not deceive yourself. You cannot be Pro-life and vote for a politician who votes for abortion.Many people here claim the title “Catholic” yet do not understand what they profess. They reject the Bishops right to give them instruction on what is right and wrong, yet that right was given to them by Jesus. If you don’t believe in Apostolistic Succession, that is fine, but then again, you are not Catholic, leave the Church.If you are Catholic and believe it is morally acceptable to kill unborn children, leave the Church. The Church founded by Jesus is not for you. The Catholic Church will not budge. This is evil and will not be tolerated.When you vote for politicians who support killing unborn children with their votes, you join in that evil, and you join in their support for the culture of death.

  • mcdooley

    Listening to Christians debate among themselves and to the public who should believe what and how this one or that one should behave is the tale of the blind men and the elephant come to life. All you have to do is add one blind man on all fours feeling something on the ground below the elephant’s tail: “An elephant is soft and mushy like a mud pie.”It would be amusing if it wasn’t such a virulent, destructive force working against the founding principles of this great nation.

  • KathleennF

    This entire analysis and the commentary leave out one key fact. The Catholic Church exists primarily to help people get to Heaven. The Church helps people get to Heaven first and foremost by dispensing the grace that our Lord Jesus Christ entrusted to the apostles. Then the Church tries to help her members respond to that grace by living virtuous lives. Mr. Stevens-Arroyo has written a compelling article which really points out the importance of the social teaching of the Church, which is well outlined in the Catechism. The bishops are not denying the value of helping the poor etc. Abortion is a grave sin because it kills the baby, and because it turns the doctor (who clearly understands what he/she is doing) and in many cases the mother (depending on whether or not she understands) into murderers. Contrary to the usual argument, the ones who are hurt the most by abortion are its perpetrators. The baby, we hope and trust, goes straight to Heaven. The main concern of the Church, then, is to protect the doctor and the mother, not the baby. Protecting the baby’s natural (earthly) life is important, but secondary. This line of argument should make perfect sense to anyone who takes seriously his or her own religious beliefs, whether Catholic or not. The purpose of law is to help people do the right thing, to help people live good lives. That is why the argument of “choice” is problematic. Should you have a choice to commit child abuse? To steal? To abuse animals? In fact, you do and always will have the freedom to choose to do those things, even though they are illegal. Making abortion illegal does not eliminate the choice, it just alters the consequences in an attempt to help people decide to do what is right.

  • twstroud

    Every Bishop knew about child molesting and did nothing or aided and abetted the molesters. In LA, the Archbishop evicted nuns to sell their house to support child molesting priests. These people have no moral authority. They support their institution – not the Spirit of Jesus.

  • usapdx

    WHAT RIGHT DOES ANY HUMAN TO MAKE A RELIGIOUS RULE TO ALL HUMANS? WE THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA HAVE THE RIGHT TO BELIEVE IN WHAT EVER WE WANT JUST SO WE DO NOT FORCE THAT BELIEF ON OTHERS. WE HAVE A RIGHT TO SPEAK OUT JUST SO WE DO NOT FILE A I.R.S. TAX EXAMPT. WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK QUESTIONS. ANY AMERICAN THAT LETS ANOTHER TELL THEM HOW TO VOTE IS A FIRST CLASS FOOL. KNOW YOUR HISTORY OF ANY BODY THAT CONTROLS OR LIKE TO CONTRL YOU. ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS!

  • mcdooley

    KATHLEENNF WROTE: “The purpose of law is to help people do the right thing, to help people live good lives.”Abortion is legal. Explain.P.S. — You were born in the wrong era. You would have been a star when the Catholic inquisitions were in full swing.

  • persiflage

    Read ‘Bishops Warn Obama/democrats’ by Jacqueline Salmon here On Faith…..aside from the typcial and official histrionic response of the Catholic Church on all matters concerning the abortion issue, we see that about 50% of Catholics support the pro-choice position…..and the majority voted for Obama. I would imagine the same numbers also support the common sense wisdom of promoting the conventional use of birth control methods as well – contrary to official Church ‘doctrine’ on reproductive matters. Many Catholics continue to think for themselves these days – whereas those predisposed to a more ‘authoritarian’ and doctrinaire mind set continue to mime the offical Church position on any and every occasion…..

  • KathleennF

    McDooley:

  • Draesop

    It always amazes me that a group could become obsessed over a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy involving a zygote or even a fetus while appearing to care very little about the deaths of human beings. They support the death penalty, oppose a change in healthcare policies which would provide care to all citizens and hopefully reduce thousands of excess deaths annually. They support the occupation of Iraq and the accompanying killing of thousands of women and children. If they do believe that a zygote needs protection outside of the conscience of the owner then why don’t they carry this love of preserving life into the arenas where human beings are killed by willful acts of governments and by neglectful attitudes of elected representatives. These latter groups with the vociferous support of significant segments of the so called Christian religion. The only cure for abortion is prevention of pregnancy. Outlawing it will again make it a significant source of illness and death in the childbearing population. But then again what do allegedly celibate Bishops care about real human issues?

  • rb-freedom-for-all

    PROLIFEACTIVISTBORN59, YOU WROTE:”‘Red Sex’ people are asked to wait until marriage to have sex, not use contraceptives, not to abort children, and give the child both parents. They start to have sex about eighteen months later, don’t use contraceptives hence end up getting pregnant, and do not abort, so they become teenage mothers and because they want to give the child both parents they marry. Young marriages when they are emotionally immature and unable to take on the full responsibilities of being parents without the financial means…contributes to the divorce rates.”***************************************Actually, they tend to divorce because they were forced into the marriage in the first place by the influence of their families, churches, communities, etc. and the fact that they are too young to realistically make that life-long commitment, not because they lack the financial means.In the blue states, young people more often grow up and have had significant life experiences before committing to marriage. They tend to know better who they are, what they want out of life, and the kind of partner they are looking for when they are ready to make a long-term commitment. Therefore, they have a lower divorce rate (which is a good thing, though it seems hard to get you to admit it).In the red states, young people are shamed into taking an oath of abstinence, then shamed into getting married when they become pregnant. Then they feel shame about getting divorced. Despite piling up all that guilt, what has been accomplished? The women in red states still get abortions, even the “pro-life” ones.

  • Chagasman

    The Catholic church is attempting to force its teachings on all people of all faiths. It is one thing for the church to teach its parishioners that abortion is a sin. It is another to work to deny the right to an abortion to all people of all faiths. The Catholic church is using a very heavy hand to coerce its members into voting the way it wants them to vote, and in the process is violating its tax exempt status. The IRS should take it away. Ironically, the church is telling its members to vote against the candidates of the party that does the most to help the poor, that shows the most compassion, that in all other ways is the party of the people. Single issue politics is evil. In this case, the church was telling its members to vote for a party that engages in and supports war and torture, misery and death. The party that believes not in compassion for its fellow citizens, but in a survival of the fittest, winner take all, ideology. Just like the Catholic Church has for hundreds of years supported murderous dictators in Latin America and an oligarchy that treats the poor like slaves.The bishops should keep their politics to themselves, and spend more time trying to protect their parishioners from their pedophile priests.

  • BiancaY

    The church needs to realize that the issue of abortion cannot be addressed in the political/legal sector from a religious standpoint. Even the pope has praised our country for promoting religious freedom, and as such, must recognize that law cannot be inspired by religion alone. We do live in a country where religious morals cannot be imposed on others by legislation. However, what many pro-choicers and pro-lifers fail to acknowledge is that abortion is not only a religious issue. The taking of what biological science has already proven to be a unique human life, whether sentient or not, should not be any more legally acceptable outside of extenuating circumstances(life of the mother, rape, incest) than taking the life of the person standing next to you. To say otherwise is to weigh human life. This is not religion, this is biology and secular ethics, and until the church confronts it as such, nobody will take them seriously. When the church opposes the legalization of gay marriage, then yes, they are trying force their beliefs on others, but when they speak against abortion they are simply reinforcing the very first right described in our constitution, which has been agreed upon wholeheartedly by many secularists, the right to life.

  • susananthony1

    Promoting a Constitutional amendment to ban abortions suggests to me that you have no idea what it means to a woman to be pregnant and to have children. The political phrases “abortion on demand” and “abortion of convenience” don’t even approach the reality of an unwanted pregnancy. I wish there was a way to illustrate to you what it is really like when legal abortion is unavailable and a woman is pregnant. Here’s a glimpse of what it was like for me:

  • BiancaY

    Bringing a child to term and giving them up for adoption is one of the most generous and unselfish things a woman can do, and I have known several very grateful adopted individuals and several loving and grateful adoptive parents who would attest to this.

  • j2hess

    KathleennF wrote:”Contrary to the usual argument, the ones who are hurt the most by abortion are its perpetrators. The baby, we hope and trust, goes straight to Heaven. The main concern of the Church, then, is to protect the doctor and the mother, not the baby. Protecting the baby’s natural (earthly) life is important, but secondary. This line of argument should make perfect sense to anyone who takes seriously his or her own religious beliefs, whether Catholic or not.”I read Archbishop Chaput’s book, and it is all about justice and preserving the life of the foetus as the reason for pursuing the abortion issue; the moral harm to mother or doctor are just taken for granted. How pursuing abortion affects the salvation mission of the Church in society as a whole is finessed away. Any harm to the Church comes from cowardly Catholics who will not vigorously press the bishops’ agenda, not from bishops who are going to force a division of their congregations.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    I had a wonderful relationship with my loving parents, which is why I could not even consider revealing that I was pregnant. I would literally rather have died. I was just out of college and beginning a career, and could barely support myself on my salary. The thought of having the baby and giving him/her up for adoption was utterly unthinkable—the life-long burden of guilt of such a move loomed over me in such a way that I couldn’t even consider it. I was in a panic and looking for a back-alley abortion when I finally heard about Reverend Moody’s council on abortion. It was a network of ministers, priests, and rabbis who secretly helped women in my position to find a safe abortion. My boyfriend sold his car so I could fly to Puerto Rico for a clinic abortion.I’ve always been so grateful for this help that I swore I would assist women who were in this situation. Roe v Wade passed a couple of years later, but it’s been under attack ever since—predominantly by arrogant men who preach concern for the babies, but whose rhetoric suggests they particularly love the idea of controlling women. And punishing them at the same time. Men of religion are in an especially good position to hold forth on the evil of abortion because they can claim they know God’s will.You may, in fact, get your way and ban abortions in this country. This will put back-alley butchers in business in every hamlet and town. But, fortunately, there will be ranks and ranks of women (and brave men, too) who will risk their own safety to help desperate women safely terminate unwanted pregnancies.Sincerely,Susan AnthonyNovember 13, 2008 3:05 PM _________________________________________So Susan Anthony (SA) had a wonderful relationship with her parents, hence she could NOT tell them about her pregnancy. SA had completed her education and was beginning a career. She had a job. According to SA it was barely enough to support herself – a young woman with a college degree had a job that could not even support her? Hmmm…Giving her child the gift of life and letting it be loved by a couple who longed for children, was unthinkable??? Giving the innocent child, her own innocent child btw, the gift of life something to feel guilty about? Going to back alley abortion and risk her life and health was unthinkable of course. SA had a boyfriend who had a car. The father of the child was willing to forgo a car, to save the expenses and work involved in child support. So he was “generously” sacrificing his own child’s life, even if it meant he had to give up his car for a while till he had enough money to buy another one. The child of course would never get to experience another life. Ministers, priests and rabbis who enable such quietly doing away with unborn children are supposed to be saviors? Hmmm…

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Abortionists, the abortion industry, men who want to escape child support payments, all have vested interested in “saving” the women who want to abort their children by enabling easy abortions on demand.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    I’ve always been so grateful for this help that I swore I would assist women who were in this situation. Roe v Wade passed a couple of years later, but it’s been under attack ever since—predominantly by arrogant men who preach concern for the babies, but whose rhetoric suggests they particularly love the idea of controlling women. And punishing them at the same time. Men of religion are in an especially good position to hold forth on the evil of abortion because they can claim they know God’s will.You may, in fact, get your way and ban abortions in this country. This will put back-alley butchers in business in every hamlet and town. But, fortunately, there will be ranks and ranks of women (and brave men, too) who will risk their own safety to help desperate women safely terminate unwanted pregnancies.Sincerely,Susan AnthonyNovember 13, 2008 3:05 PM________________________________There is not a single word of remorse about depriving an unborn child, her child, of its life. Only anger at those who would object to such quietly doing away with an unborn child. In the days of back-alley butchers, 90% of abortions were done by trained medical doctors (they do it for a quick buck). They did it illegally that is all.Nearly 1.2 million unborn children are losing their right to live. They are disposed like garbage, unnamed and unmourned. Yet the hypothetical death of a single woman as a result of back alley abortions (nobody is advocating complete ban on abortions, merely restricting the abortion for convenience) causes outrage.Who is to cry for the over four thousand babies being thrown away like garbage every single day?

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    rb-freedom-for-all:Actually, they tend to divorce because they were forced into the marriage in the first place by the influence of their families, churches, communities, etc. and the fact that they are too young to realistically make that life-long commitment, not because they lack the financial means.In the blue states, young people more often grow up and have had significant life experiences before committing to marriage. They tend to know better who they are, what they want out of life, and the kind of partner they are looking for when they are ready to make a long-term commitment. Therefore, they have a lower divorce rate (which is a good thing, though it seems hard to get you to admit it).In the red states, young people are shamed into taking an oath of abstinence, then shamed into getting married when they become pregnant. Then they feel shame about getting divorced. Despite piling up all that guilt, what has been accomplished? The women in red states still get abortions, even the “pro-life” ones.November 13, 2008 12:26 PM __________________________________________”Significant” life experience like multiple sex partners and abortions which those who marry early and have married because they do not want to kill an unborn child and give it both parents, do not have?

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Chagasman:The Catholic church is attempting to force its teachings on all people of all faiths. It is one thing for the church to teach its parishioners that abortion is a sin. It is another to work to deny the right to an abortion to all people of all faiths. The Catholic church is using a very heavy hand to coerce its members into voting the way it wants them to vote, and in the process is violating its tax exempt status. The IRS should take it away.Ironically, the church is telling its members to vote against the candidates of the party that does the most to help the poor, that shows the most compassion, that in all other ways is the party of the people. Single issue politics is evil. In this case, the church was telling its members to vote for a party that engages in and supports war and torture, misery and death. The party that believes not in compassion for its fellow citizens, but in a survival of the fittest, winner take all, ideology. Just like the Catholic Church has for hundreds of years supported murderous dictators in Latin America and an oligarchy that treats the poor like slaves.The bishops should keep their politics to themselves, and spend more time trying to protect their parishioners from their pedophile priests.November 13, 2008 12:49 PM ________________________________________The anti-abortion groups are:Orthodox JewsRoman CatholicsOrthodox ChristiansConservative EvangelicalsMany physicians (read the Hippocratic Oath)Some atheistsBuddhism and Jainism does not even permit killing animals, leave alone killing human beings. Hindus likewise have strict code for sex within marriage. No divorce, no remarriage even for widows.

  • ProLifeActivistBorn59

    Chagasman:The Catholic church is attempting to force its teachings on all people of all faiths. It is one thing for the church to teach its parishioners that abortion is a sin. It is another to work to deny the right to an abortion to all people of all faiths. The Catholic church is using a very heavy hand to coerce its members into voting the way it wants them to vote, and in the process is violating its tax exempt status. The IRS should take it away.Ironically, the church is telling its members to vote against the candidates of the party that does the most to help the poor, that shows the most compassion, that in all other ways is the party of the people. Single issue politics is evil. In this case, the church was telling its members to vote for a party that engages in and supports war and torture, misery and death. The party that believes not in compassion for its fellow citizens, but in a survival of the fittest, winner take all, ideology. Just like the Catholic Church has for hundreds of years supported murderous dictators in Latin America and an oligarchy that treats the poor like slaves.The bishops should keep their politics to themselves, and spend more time trying to protect their parishioners from their pedophile priests.November 13, 2008 12:49 PM ________________________________________The anti-abortion groups are:Orthodox JewsRoman CatholicsOrthodox ChristiansConservative EvangelicalsMany physicians (read the Hippocratic Oath)Some atheistsBuddhism and Jainism does not even permit killing animals, leave alone killing human beings. Hindus likewise have strict code for sex within marriage. No divorce, no remarriage even for widows.

  • ScottChallenger

    I think the Bishosp need a “Plan C.” Blow up all the voting places, burn all the science books, and start burning people at the stake to show that they are seriously concerned for our souls.You Bishops are an embarrasment to all Americans regardless of their faith. Go crawl into a hole and reflect on your ignorance.

  • susananthony1

    No matter how many times people are told that abortion is murder, not everyone believes that human embryos are people. It is not self-evident to everyone. It’s impossible to make people believe what you want them to, whether they’re religious or not.

  • BiancaY

    There was a time when it was not self-evident to everyone that minorities, the mentally ill, the disabled, those of certain faiths, and gay/lesbian individuals were people deserving of civil rights. Yes, even to this day it is impossible to convince everyone of this, which is exactly why it is so important that legislation is in place to protect their rights and their lives.

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