"I'm worried about the impact of the right-to-life issue on thepresidential election. At my parish, St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Orlando, the weekly bulletin from Oct. 3 concluded with a disturbing sidebar. The piece described a September incident in Steubenville, Ohio, when at least 500 citizens, including nuns in full habit, turned out to protest a John Kerry appearance. Some carried signs reading: "You can't be Catholic and Pro-Abortion." In addition, it's been well publicized that church leaders decreed that Catholics who vote for Kerry cannot in good conscience receive the sacrament of communion. At the risk of being labeled what our pastor calls a "delicatessen Catholic," or one who follows only the sections of holy doctrine that suit me, I disagree with the church on this issue.
There is an important distinction to be made between a pro-abortion stance and a position that supports a woman's right to choose. Voting for the candidate who is most likely to maintain the laws that preserve the legality of abortion is not the same thing as advocating abortion. The fact is, like narcotic use and prostitution, pregnancies will continue to be terminated whether or not it's legal to do so. What will be accomplished by rendering abortion illegal is that it will become more expensive, more dangerous, and more difficult to obtain. It will not cease to exist. Like so many other examples of what passes for justice in this country, the very population that is least able to afford abortion, but needs it most, will be hardest hit by rendering the practice illegal. Teenagers incapable of raising children, the uneducated and the indigent not only have no money, they have no contacts in the medical professionand no ability to travel outside the United States to a country where the practice is legal. These women, many of whom become pregnant because they're caught in the unrelenting cycle of impoverishment and ignorance, will be forced to seek back-alley remedies to end their unplanned pregnancies. Or they'll have their babies. More unwanted children will be born -- children whose lives will be characterized by the sad knowledgeof being unwelcome, children who will be plagued by hunger, inadequate housing, neglect, and physical, mental and sexual abuse, if they're not abandoned in the first place. How many more babies will be found in Dumpsters; will they be dead or alive; and which is worse?
Somehow, the seamless web of life seems less glorious when compared tothe pitiless prison of deprivation. I don't believe in abortion. I believe in God. Abortion is a medical procedure, not a spiritual creed. To be safe and reasonably obtainable, it must be administered by professionals, not criminals. Nor should politicians interfere in this most personal female decision.
Furthermore, the church ought to recognize that the legal status of abortion is a matter of secular law and trust that just because apractice is legal doesn't mean that conscientious women, Christians or otherwise, will indulge in it.
Nancy M. Shelton
(Nancy M. Shelton is the advancement writer for Rollins College in WinterPark.)"
OK, I got hung up on one single line, though there are so many more lines to get hung up on and so many good answers to these arguments pseudo-intellectual Nancy proposes. So please, please write the paper with your responses.
Uncharacteristically, I chose to respond on the religious end. There needs to be a response re: the other charges about poverty, back alley abortions, and unwantedness. Stats are always good, so you statmongers respond with numbers from other countries where abortion was outlawed, will you? I know they exist and those numbers are positively revealing, but I don't currently have time to dig them up. You sidewalk counselors write and talk about the scads of upper-middle class folks who roll up in their 2004 BMW's to abort. Etc. Write me with your letters and I'll post them. If no one writes I'll post a rant and make you all feel bad for not writing! That'll learn ya.
Here is my response:
"In an October 17 letter a professing Catholic (Nancy M. Shelton) says:
'There is an important distinction to be made between a pro-abortion stance and a position that supports a woman's right to choose.'
There may be an intellectual distinction, but there is no distinction whatsoever to the broken child at the bottom of a belljar. As a mother who traveled to Orlando to abort a child in the second trimester due to a debilitating maternal disease, I can tell you that I regret aborting and that abortion, for any reason, kills an innocent child.
In an evolved society killing children should never be an acceptable solution to our problems. Most often there are positive options but women are failed by boyfriends, parents, society and particularly religion. Instead of following Christ's example to come to the aid of our fellows, we follow the cultural example of abandoning women to abortion.
You can not follow both Christ and man. You have to make a choice. The choice is between good or evil, ethic or unethic, life or death. Professing Christians who vote for Kerry have exercised their right to choose, and that choice is anti-life and anti-Christ no matter how they spin it.
No, you can not follow Christ and endorse the abortion deaths of 4,500 American children every single day."
I didn't do a great job. I rushed it. I don't have time for this. (But how could I not have time for this?) I'm neglecting my living children even to do this much. And really... I have to go now!