Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Confronting Abortion: How?




To Anne B., Ed F. and Bill G.:

Thanks for your thoughtful and cordial comments.

Overall, I think we share the same goal: the cessation of the killing of life in the womb. Many of us favor pro-life in any and all situations (e.g., no capital punishment, no war, no euthanasia).

Mother Teresa calls us to care for the last and the lost, the lonely and the least, of our society. Abortion is one of a host of Social Justice issues we must confront as Catholics. The question is, how?

Some things politicians can and should do for us all (e.g. universal health care; clean water, etc.), things we cannot do on our own. It would be nice if politicians would outlaw abortion, but in the many years since Reagan's election, they have done relatively little of any real substance to stop abortion. On the other hand, we can stop abortions by convincing young people to not abort the children they conceive. Even better, we should challenge their ethical standards and behavior across the board.

Concerning Obama, as I understand it, the Illinois vote you cite, Bill, was a moot point, because there was already a law on the books which mandated that doctors protect the life of a child who survived an abortion attempt. Obama’s voting against the particular law you and others continually cite made no difference in the practice of protecting children in Illinois. People constantly citing that case skew the reality of the situation.

McCain is not pro life. In 2000, he was against repealing Roe v. Wade, a position he changed for the recent election. In the third debate in 2008, he clearly stated that the abortion question should be returned to the States to decide, State by State, which virtually assures legalized abortion in this country.

The only pro life candidate in the last election was Ron Paul. We all should have voted for him if we wanted to back the pro life position with our vote.

Many are screaming that Obama is pro-abortion. I do not think he is. He clearly states he supports a woman’s right to choose. That doesn’t mean he is advocating, or forcing, or encouraging women to abort babies. He will not use the power of the State to legislate morality in this case. Frankly, he can’t. Neither can any President. Until the constitution is changed, or the Supreme Court’s reading of Roe v. Wade changes, there is nothing a President can do to make abortion illegal. Presidents take an oath to uphold the constitution. It is up to us to change the constitution, not blame Presidents for abiding by the law as it stands.

I wish abortion were not legal. Like the Everyman in A Man For All Seasons, I wish rainwater were beer (or Diet Pepsi since I don't drink). But it isn't. All the Republican candidates, who took Catholics votes in the years since Reagan was elected, have not done anything of real substance to make abortion illegal. This President will not make abortion illegal either. He is just honest about it.

Abortions decreased under Clinton. They increased under George W. Bush. Abortion has as much to do with people being able to afford children as it does with making it legal or illegal.

Even if abortion becomes illegal in the USA, it will be legal in other lands. There is no way to stop women from aborting babies, or men from paying for abortions, if they choose to do so.

I say forget Washington. No law forces a person to abort. If we want to end abortion, let’s work to change the hearts and minds of people. When no one shows up at the abortion clinics, abortion ends.

Let's stop yelling at easy targets (politicians) and get down to the hard and challenging work of speaking with our young people. We need to help them understand, desire, and practice the truth we live by, i.e., the Love of God in Christ Jesus.

Peace,

Fr. Rick

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19 Comments:

Blogger Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

You don't think Obama is pro-abortion?

My mother taught me that actions speak louder than words. Obama has nixed the Mexico City policy so abortion can be exported to third world nations. He's lifted the ban on embryonic stem cell research so tiny babies can be cannibalized. He's lifted the ban on funding the U.N. population office which is rabidly pro-abortion. His picks for just about every cabinet post are pro-abortion. He's filling the Department of Justice with pro-abortion appointments which will affect all Amicus briefs filed in court cases not to mention federal influence on state laws. He's pushing legislation like the Prevention First Act which denies funding to hospitals unless they provide the abortifacient morning after pill to rape victims and enshrines title X permanently which means mega-bucks to Planned Parenthood, the biggest abortionist on the planet. This is all before we even talk about FOCA. But you don't think he's pro-abortion?

Father, you are either dishonest, stupid, or living in a dream world. It's pretty obvious you voted for Obama and are now trying to justify it. May God forgive you for unleashing the whirlwind on this poor country. You will have to answer for what you've done to my five children, their spouses, and my 18 grandchildren as well as the rest of the country. I think I'll blog about this on my website. http://lesfemmes-thetruth.blogspot.com People have a right to be warned against wolves in sheeps clothing.

Wed Feb 04, 05:56:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous Rick Malloy, S.J. said...

Mrs. Kreitzer:

If you read my post, carefully you could figure our for whom I voted.

Obama has never said he is against abortion. The laws he enacts, and or supports, force no one to get an abortion. Research you oppose is better stopped by talking with the researchers doing it, not the politicians who cannot stop the scientists.

Last I heard, God (not people like yourself) is still in charge of judging me. I will gladly answer to Our Father. Angrily calling me names and threatening me do little to advance the justice and peace of the Kingdom of God.

Peace,

Fr. Rick

Wed Feb 04, 08:48:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous Rick Malloy, S.J. said...

f you read my post carefully, you could figure out for whom I voted.

Obama has never said he is against abortion. The laws he enacts, and or supports, force no one to get an abortion. Research you oppose is better stopped by talking with the researchers doing it, not the politicians who cannot stop the scientists.

Last I heard, God (not people like yourself) is still in charge of judging me. I will gladly answer to Our Father. Angrily calling me names and threatening me do little to advance the justice and peace of the Kingdom of God.

Peace,

Fr. Rick

Wed Feb 04, 09:50:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous Rick Malloy, S.J. said...

THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM FOR GETTING ALL THE TYPOS...
********************************

Mrs. Kreitzer:

If you read my post carefully, you could figure out for whom I voted.

Obama has never said he is against abortion. The laws he enacts, and/or supports, force no one to get an abortion. Research you oppose is better stopped by talking with the researchers doing the research, not the politicians who cannot stop the scientists.

Last I heard, God (not people like yourself) is still in charge of judging me. I will gladly answer to Our Father. Angrily calling me names and threatening me do little to advance the justice and peace of the Kingdom of God.

Peace,

Wed Feb 04, 09:53:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Greg Calhoun said...

Wow, now voting between two imperfect candidates makes Fr. Rick responsible for unleashing the whirlwind upon us? The whirlwind of evil has been with us since the beginning and that is a ludicrous and unfair charge.

Clearly, the abortion issue is a difficult one in a pluralist country of believers and non-believers. It would be a wonderful moral stand if abortions were made illegal, but it certaintly wouldn't stop desparate people from getting them. Maybe rather than personal attacks, we could concentrate on loving our neighbors, and supporting them so that so that no one feels like they need to have the procedure.

Thu Feb 05, 02:09:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous Bill NY, NY said...

First, I firmly believe Obama is pro-abortion. However, there is no need to refer to Father Malloy as stupid. As a man who has devoted his life to others he deserves  way more respect then that. I believe Obama is Pro-Abortion. His famous solo vote shows that. Simply because it didnt pass does not mean anything. He voted for the bill, he believes that if a baby survives an abaortion, it should be left on a table, to die. That is much different then someone who thinks that american law allows abortion, but it personally opposed to it. Father- why did barack obama vote for that measure? Surely, that has to trouble you?Respectfully (as always)Bill

Fri Feb 06, 01:09:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous Fr. Rick Malloy, S.J. said...

Hi Bill,

Thanks for your response, both for its tone and substance.

Here's an article from the Chicago Tribune which may shed some light on the issue.

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2008/aug/20/nation/chi-abortion-obama_20aug20

Archive for Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obama’s record on abortion hit
Votes on ‘born alive’ measures during Illinois Senate years under attack by conservatives

By Jeremy Manier
August 20, 2008

A few votes that Barack Obama cast in the Illinois Senate are fueling an attack campaign by conservatives who claim the presidential candidate has extreme views on abortion.

The dispute stems from Obama’s opposition to bills that were intended to bolster protections for fetuses that sometimes survive briefly outside the womb after an unusual abortion procedure. Obama’s harshest critics say he supports infanticide, with conservative commentator Pat Buchanan writing last week that Obama “voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings [to] die of neglect.”

Obama’s campaign responded Tuesday that Illinois abortion law has long protected such infants, and that the attacks on him are based on “distortions and lies.”

“The suggestion that Obama–the proud father of two little girls–and others who opposed these bills supported infanticide is deeply offensive and insulting,” said campaign spokesman Justin DeJong.

Seldom mentioned in the dust-up is that in 2005 Illinois lawmakers passed a version of the abortion bill that Obama and abortion opponents both support.

So what’s the controversy? Ultimately, it may lie in the tug-of-war that is Illinois politics and some conflicting statements Obama has given over the years about why he opposed various versions of the bill.

The background: Abortions in which the fetus is born with brief signs of life are rare, occurring in some cases when a doctor administers drugs that cause premature labor. Such “induced labor” abortions account for less than 1 percent of abortions in the U.S., according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since 1975, Illinois law has contained explicit protections for babies that might survive an attempted abortion. Abortion opponents say that law did not protect severely premature fetuses, which might survive briefly but could not live for long outside the womb. Other advocates say the law applied to all babies born alive.

“Illinois law always made it clear that in late-term abortions, if the fetus is born alive, that fetus has to be given every chance to survive,” said Pam Sutherland, chief lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

In 2002, testimony from abortion opponents about the procedure’s use at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn led the U.S. Congress to pass a federal law that is similar to the bills Obama voted on in Illinois.

Gotcha, Obama? Abortion opponents are highlighting a specific Obama vote in 2003, in which he came out against a “born alive” bill that was before the Illinois legislature.

Obama has said he opposed that bill because it lacked assurances that it would not affect women’s existing rights to choose abortion. He said he would have supported the 2002 federal version of the bill because it had a provision saying it would not “expand or contract” the rights of fetuses prior to their birth.

That language was absent from most versions of the “born alive” legislation that Illinois lawmakers considered and rejected between 2001 and 2005. But last week, the National Right to Life Committee released newly uncovered records showing that in one committee meeting in 2003, Obama voted against a version of the bill that did contain the key language.

The committee said in a statement that the find “[sheds] new light on Senator Obama’s four-year effort to cover up his real record of refusing to protect live-born survivors of abortion.”

In an interview Saturday with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Obama said he opposed the Illinois measure because the federal version “was not the bill that was presented at the state level.”

In fact, records show that at one point the two bills were nearly identical in wording.

On the other hand: Supporters of abortion rights say Obama was right to oppose the 2003 bill, even though it had the same wording as the federal measure. The wording could have had a different effect at the state level, they say, by undermining Illinois’ legal precedents on abortion.

Once more, the key is the 1975 Illinois abortion law, which contains language that’s similar but not identical to the later bill. The 2003 bill could have affected the way courts interpret the 1975 law, which Planned Parenthood and the Illinois State Medical Society contended could have far-reaching implications.

The groups opposed the entire group of “born alive” bills that were introduced starting in 2001, saying they could ultimately threaten the physician-patient relationship and increase civil liability for doctors.

In 2005, Illinois lawmakers inserted an extra provision asserting that the law would not affect “existing federal or state law regarding abortion.” The measure passed without opposition from Planned Parenthood and with the support of groups opposed to abortion.

Footnote: This isn’t the first time Obama’s record on “born-alive” legislation has raised questions. His opponent in the 2004 U.S. Senate race, Alan Keyes, said Obama’s support for “infanticide” was the main reason he came from Maryland to challenge Obama for the seat. Keyes lost to Obama in a landslide.

jmanier@tribune.com
****************************

A Far more extensive treatment of the topic is found at this URL

Did obama vote to legalize late term abortions in illinois and if the baby lived through the abortion then obama said the baby should be killed?

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Did_obama_vote_to_legalize_late_term_abortions_in_illinois_and_if_the_baby_lived_through_the_abortion_then_obama_said_the_baby_should_be_killed

Peace,

Fr. Rick

Fri Feb 06, 03:52:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Dear Father,

After reflecting on my earlier post I regret my tone. Christians are called to speak the truth in charity; I spoke it in rudeness. I apologize and beg your pardon.

Sincerely,

Mary Ann Kreitzer

Wed Feb 11, 12:57:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous Rick Malloy, S.J. said...

Mrs Kreitzer,

Apology gratefully accepted. Let's pray for one another. Oremus...
Peace, Fr. Rick

Fri Feb 20, 03:59:00 PM 2009  
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