Archive for abortion

Maryland Catholics, Voting, and Abortion

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I recently wrote this piece for a newsletter for the Knights of Columbus Council I am a member of (and Culture of Life Committee co-chairman.)

November 4 is Election Day and here in Maryland we will go to the polls to vote for state and local officials as well as members of Congress. As Saint John Paul II noted, the right to life is “the first right, on which all the others are based, and which cannot be recuperated once it is lost.”

In the document A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters, Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD wrote that voting for a pro-abortion candidate is a mortal sin. Fr. Torraco also wrote that voting for a candidate who cites personal opposition to abortion while still voting for it would make the voter “an accomplice in advancing the moral evil of abortion.”

When none of the candidates for a particular office are completely pro-life, it’s necessary to choose the candidate that will do the most to promote a culture of life. There are many incremental steps that can be taken in Maryland to advance the pro-life cause.  Otherwise, Maryland will continue to be a state where minors have to get parental consent to go to a tanning bed, but not to kill their unborn child.

Another positive step that could be taken in the executive branch of state government would be for a new governor to order the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to keep track of the number of abortions performed in Maryland every year. Those statistics have not been calculated since the current governor took office.

When pro-life Catholics vote based on the principles of their faith, they help elect government officials who will respect their wishes and start the ball rolling on incremental change that will ultimately lead to big changes.

As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in Living the Gospel of Life, “[t]he Gospel of Life must be proclaimed, and human life defended, in all places and all times.  The arena for moral responsibility includes not only the halls of government, but the voting booth as well.”

Besides voting, we need to continue to pray for our elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels. We need to be especially sure to pray for the ones who are pro-abortion – that their hearts may be changed on the issue.

For more information on candidates and their views, visit the Maryland Right to Life website and the website of the Maryland Catholic Conference.

California illegally requiring employer insurance to cover elective abortions

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AP via Newsbusters:

Health insurance companies in California may not refuse to cover the cost of abortions, state insurance officials have ruled in a reversal of policy stemming from the decision by two Catholic universities to drop elective abortions from their employee health plans.

Although the federal Affordable Care Act does not compel employers to provide workers with health insurance that includes abortion coverage, the director of California’s Department of Managed Health Care said in a letter to seven insurance companies on Friday that the state Constitution and a 1975 state law prohibits them from selling group plans that exclude the procedure. The law in question requires such plans to encompass all “medically necessary” care.

“Abortion is a basic health care service,” department director Michelle Rouillard wrote in the letter. “All health plans must treat maternity services and legal abortion neutrally.”

Jesuit-run Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University notified employees last fall that they planned to stop paying for elective abortions, but said faculty and staff members could pay for supplemental coverage that would be provided through a third party. The two schools said their insurers, Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente, had cleared the move with the state.

University employees who objected to the decision and abortion-rights groups lobbied the women’ caucus of the California Legislature, which in turn asked Gov. Jerry Brown to clarify and reverse the health care department’s determination.

Life Legal Defense Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Cardinal Newman Society sent a letter to state officials reminding them that this mandate is illegal under federal law (the Weldon Amendment.)

The Libertarian Case for Being Pro-Life

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I first heard several months ago from a friend who is a registered Libertarian about Libertarians for Life.

Here’s the Libertarian Case Against Abortion from their website:

One popular misconception is that libertarianism as a political principle supports choice on abortion. And major elements within the libertarian movement (the Libertarian Party, for example) take abortion-choice stands. Nonetheless, libertarianism’s basic principle is that each of us has the obligation not to aggress against (violate the rights of) anyone else — for any reason (personal, social, or political), however worthy. That is a clearly pro-life principle. Recognizing that, and seeing the abortion-choice drift within the libertarian movement, Libertarians for Life was founded in 1976 to show why abortion is a wrong under justice, not a right.

We see our mission as presenting the pro-life case to libertarians and the libertarian case to pro-lifers. Among supporters of LFL, some of us are members of the Libertarian Party, some are not. Some are religious, some are not. (Doris Gordon, our Founder and Coordinator, is a Jewish atheist.) Our reasoning is expressly scientific and philosophical rather than either pragmatic or religious, or merely political or emotional.

Here are the points LFL uses to defend their case:

  1. Human offspring are human beings, persons from conception, whether that takes place as natural or artificial fertilization, by cloning, or by any other means.
  2. Abortion is homicide — the killing of one person by another.
  3. One’s right to control one’s own body does not allow violating the obligation not to aggress. There is never a right to kill an innocent person. Prenatally, we are all innocent persons.
  4. A prenatal child has the right to be in the mother’s body. Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or from the womb and let them die. Instead both parents, the father as well as the mother, owe them support and protection from harm.
  5. No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally “de-person” any one of us, born or preborn.
  6. The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them.

Kristen Walker Hatten, a libertarian, wrote a piece entitled, “Why Libertarians should be Pro-Life on Abortion.”

She wrote:

The s0-called “social issue” which is the glaring exception to this rule is abortion. It is not a “victimless crime,” as many argue prostitution, sodomy, and gambling are. All libertarians of all stripes – and in this I include Objectivists, though they might, well, object – should oppose abortion. Anyone who advocates any kind of government, no matter how minimal, should support making abortion a criminal act.

How do I justify this? It’s actually pretty simple.

If you advocate a small government, you must assign it limited goals. What are the most basic reasons for a government to exist? To keep people safe, from outside aggressors and from each other. Objectivism, for example, argues for a “night watchman” government: basically, the military, police, and courts. The military defends the people from outside aggressors, the police arrest and incarcerate criminals, and the courts decide guilt or innocence and hand down sentences, as well as settling civil legal disputes.

I mention the Objectivist ideal to illustrate that even the most bare-bones government would have laws against citizens killing other citizens. Libertarianism, unlike Objectivism, is based largely on the Non-Aggression Principle, which says – to put it very simply – it is morally wrong to initiate aggression. Force is justified only when combating force.

Libertarianism is also firmly based on a belief in personal responsibility. If every man is and should be free to make his own decisions, it follows that every man must own the results of those decisions. Which is to say: if a man and woman have sex, they both accept the risk that a pregnancy might be the result, and accept the obligation to care for the resulting child.

Another group espousing a similar philosophy to LFL is Secular Pro Life (SPL.)

Pro-Abort: “I Want You to Eat a Taco, Drink a Beer, and Fund Abortion”

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Andrea Grimes of RH Reality Check admits she started the challenge as a Twitter joke in response to the Ice Bucket Challenge that is ubiquitous right now. She should have left it as one.

Grimes summarizes it:

The Taco or Beer Challenge couldn’t be simpler: You eat a taco and/or drink a beer, and you donate to an abortion fund. The only ice you’ll need for this challenge is the ice in your cooler, or maybe the ice in your water if you get a particularly spicy taco.

Everybody stays dry—ideally—and somebody gets help paying for a legal abortion.

Then she goes into further detail:

What do ice buckets have to do with ALS? I don’t know. What do tacos and beer have to do with abortion? I don’t know that either.

What I do know is that eating tacos and drinking beer is more pleasurable than getting doused with ice water, and that lawmakers around the country are passing increasingly restrictive anti-abortion access laws. Which means abortion funds are now more necessary than ever as legal abortion becomes harder than ever to access—especially for those of us who don’t live in major urban centers.

Tacos and beer, of course, remain as vital to our human happiness as they ever were. The solution is clear: Eat tacos, drink beer, and donate to abortion funds.

She admits abortion is “common” and “normal” but then talks about how you need to participate in the challenge and then closes with this:

The only way to fail the Taco or Beer Challenge is to not donate to an abortion fund. I believe in tacos, I believe in beer, and I believe in you.

I’ll gladly fail. I’ll drink beer (good craft beer – I bet Grimes drinks Coronas with her tacos), eat tacos, and pray the rosary for the innocent unborn that Grimes makes jokes about the killing of.

ABC News shocked to discover the Pope is Catholic

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Johee Choo of ABC News, reporting from South Korea:

During his trip in South Korea today, Pope Francis stopped to pray at a monument for aborted children, a rare gesture as he has been known to avoid such culturally sensitive issues.

Just because Johee Choo was either not paying attention (or is just going with what the media narrative is regarding Pope Francis) doesn’t mean he has ignored “culturally sensitive issues” since he became Pope.

Some (not even close to all) previous statements on abortion made by Pope Francis after he became Pope (there are plenty of others made when he was still a Cardinal) are below. A longer, but still incomplete, list is also online.

June 16, 2013:

All too often, as we know from experience, people do not choose life, they do not accept the ‘Gospel of Life’ but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others.

…As a result, the living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death.

July 17, 2013

Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live for ever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.

July 28, 2013:

All life has inestimable value even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.

August 6, 2013:

Human life must always be defended from its beginning in the womb and must be recognised as a gift of God that guarantees the future of humanity.

September 20, 2013:

Every child who, rather than being born, is condemned unjustly to being aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who even before he was born, and then just after birth, experienced the world’s rejection. And every elderly person…even if he is ill or at the end of his days, bears the face of Christ. They cannot be discarded, as the ‘culture of waste’ suggests!

Additionally, there are plenty of other statements by the pontiff on other “sensitive” subjects, including same-sex “marriage” since he took office and while he was still Cardinal.

NAACP official compares abortion to right to eat at a lunch counter

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Carole Novielli at LifeNews has the details:

“I am proud to appear today on behalf of the country’s oldest and largest civil rights organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. And one of the most important protections is the right to reproductive freedom. Open and equal access to family planning has been NAACP policy since 1968. We believe the right to reproductive freedom is as basic as the right to eat at the lunch counter. The right to choose is under vigorous and widespread attack providers around the country are forced to pay a cruel terrorism tax to protect themselves from murderers and assassins,” Bond says.

Here’s video of Bond’s remarks:

Only 28% of Americans think abortion should be legal “under any circumstances”

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If you look at the Gallup results for the question above, 71% of Americans want at least some restrictions on abortion:

A second long-term Gallup trend, this one measuring Americans’ views on the extent to which abortion should be legal, finds 50% saying abortion should be “legal only under certain circumstances,” or in other words, favoring limited abortion rights. This stance has prevailed since 1975. However, a combined 49% of Americans takes a more hardline position, including 28% saying abortion should be legal in all circumstances and 21% believing it should be illegal in all circumstances.

Support for the strong anti-abortion rights position has hovered around 20% since 2011, just below the record-high 23% seen in 2009. Support for strong pro-abortion rights is a notch below the highest levels seen from 1990 to 1995 when it consistently exceeded 30%, but support is up from four to five years ago when it had dipped into the low 20s.

About the poll:

These results are based on Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted May 8-11. Gallup’s trend on this question stretches back to 1995, when Americans tilted significantly more toward the pro-choice label. The balance generally remained more in the pro-choice direction until 2009 when for the first time more Americans identified as pro-life than pro-choice. Since then, these attitudes have fluctuated some, but remain roughly split.

46% of Americans identify as “pro-life” while 47% identify as “pro-choice.”

More details:

Americans’ identification with the two abortion politics labels differs somewhat by gender and age, with women and 18- to 34-year olds tilting pro-choice, and men and Americans aged 55 and older tilting pro-life. Middle-aged adults are evenly split on the issue.

Regionally, Easterners are the most unified, with 59% calling themselves pro-choice, whereas in all other regions, no more than 50% identify with either label. However, Southerners lean toward the pro-life position (49% to 41%), while those in the Midwest and West are about evenly split.

By far the biggest differences in these views are political, with over two-thirds of Republicans calling themselves pro-life and about as many Democrats identifying as pro-choice. Independents fall squarely in the middle.

Gallup’s summary discusses November implications:

 Indeed, Gallup finds that a quarter of Republican voters (24%) and 19% of Democratic voters claim they will only vote for a candidate who shares their views on abortion, making these voters prime targets for party turnout efforts. While their impact could result in a draw on the abortion issue, it is a battle neither party can afford to ignore.

Sarah Silverman refers to the unborn as “goo” on Bill Maher

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Mediaite reports on Sarah Silverman’s appearance on Friday night’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. The report indicates that Silverman told Maher about her pro-abortion fundraiser in Texas that was picketed by Westboro Baptist Church. Silverman seems to compare all pro-lifers to those protesters and shows her opinion on unborn children:

She said her aim is show these people “a human face to this side that they only know as ‘people who want to murder babies.’ And meanwhile, it’s goo. It’s goo that they’re so worried about. And they’re born, and it’s you’re on your own, slut.”

Silverman also said she had never had an abortion and was mocked by Maher about the way she admitted that fact:

“And the truth is, and I don’t like to admit this,” Silverman continued, “I’ve never had an abortion and I don’t know if I would. But it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t fight to the death for women to make their own choices for their own human bodies.”

“Thank you for being brave enough to admit you’ve never had an abortion,” Maher joked in response.

The fictional version of Sarah Silverman she portrayed on Comedy Central’s The Sarah SilvermanProgram in 2007 spoke of having had 3 abortions.

 

Some candidates to attend tonight’s pro-life forum

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Tonight, the Maryland Coalition for Life and Defend Life are hosting a gubernatorial candidates forum in Germantown. Congressman Andy Harris is the moderator of the forum. I had information on this previously, but wanted to confirm who was planning to be there before I wrote about it. My information indicates that David Craig and Charles Lollar are both attending. Ron George reportedly has a scheduling conflict and won’t attend. Of the other candidates, I’ve heard Doug Gansler replied he wouldn’t be attending and other candidates ignored the invitation.

It’s not a surprise that Heather Mizeur and Anthony Brown are skipping it. It really isn’t a surprise that Larry Hogan is either. All three of the Democrats got 100% ratings from Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington. Craig and George have long definitive pro-life voting records, and Lollar has a record of pro-life support.

Here’s the flier for tonight’s event:

Gov Candidate Forum 05202014

Watch video of Planned Parenthood employee threatening sidewalk counselor

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The video below was filmed on May 10 in Orange, California and it contains strong language so consider yourself warned.

More details from the YouTube page:

This abortionist works for Planned Parenthood of Orange in Orange, California. This took place at approximately 8:00 A.M. on Saturday May 10, 2014.