Archive for abortion

Pro-Abortion Martin O’Malley to run on his “Catholic values” in 2016

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Maryland State Senator James Rosapepe penned a love note to former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley in The Hill last month in hopes of helping O’Malley’s long-shot presidential campaign.

Rosapepe on O’Malley’s ultimately successful attempts to repeal Maryland’s death penalty:

Nothing characterizes O’Malley more for me than that brief conversation. In less than sixty seconds, he showed me the kind of leader he is: principled, progressive, strategic, and skillful.

He knew his Catholic values, had no reservation about expressing them, was focused on the long game — and lobbied with an engaged and respectful touch.

Rosapepe lays more of the groundwork for his theme:

But, as one who has watched O’Malley up close during his years as governor, I find him more interesting and unusual in the modern Democratic Party. He’s a social justice Catholic—or, as some have called him, a Pope Francis Democrat—in the tradition of Mario Cuomo and Robert Kennedy.

Rosapepe also discusses O’Malley offering to house illegal immigrant minors in Maryland last year and sums it up thusly:

That’s the Martin O’Malley I know — acting on the values he learned from his family, from his Jesuit high school teachers, and from his college years at the Catholic University. And acting with the leadership skills of an Irish Catholic Democrat he learned in seven years as mayor of Baltimore and eight years as governor of Maryland.

Rosapepe closes with the following:

O’Malley didn’t do this all by himself. But, with his Catholic social justice values and Irish political skills, he’s led Maryland’s progress for the past eight years. These are the traits he brings to the national stage.

It has always been fascinating to me, even before I became Catholic, that O’Malley touts his Catholic values when it comes to his opposition to the death penalty and ignores Catholic values regarding the murder of the innocent unborn through abortion.

O’Malley also cited his Catholic values and his concern for the welfare of immigrant minors yet his concerns for the welfare of minors in his own state are suspect. He took no action to require minors to get parental consent (or even notification) for an abortion but signed a state law that requires minors to get parental consent to use a tanning bed.

While Rosapepe makes the comparison to Cuomo, who made the case Catholics could pick and choose which doctrines to follow, a more contemporary comparison might be Archbishop Cordileone in San Francisco who recently admonished Rep. Nancy Pelosi:

Responding to statements made by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi–who would not say at her press briefing last week if a 20-week-old unborn child is a “human being”–Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco said that it is a “scientific fact that human life begins at conception” and that “no Catholic can dissent in good conscience” from Church teaching on the sanctity of life.

The subject of that discussion is a proposed ban on abortion past 20 weeks into the pregnancy. Polling shows that 84% of Americans (and 69% of people who identify themselves as “pro-choice”) support significant restrictions on abortion past the first 3 months. That legislation is such a no-brainer that it was supported by O’Malley’s Republican successor Larry Hogan prior to his election, even though he generally went out of his way to avoid mentioning pro-life issues in the primary or general election campaign.

Count on O’Malley to continue toeing the Democratic Party line on this issue despite what public opinion shows. In fact, Maryland became a destination of choice for late-term abortionists like Leroy Carhart and Steven Brigham during the O’Malley administration. The results included harm and even death to pregnant women undergoing late term abortions.

I asked back before the election if it was a mortal sin for Catholics to vote for Anthony Brown for governor. I’ll echo that question again now – is it a mortal sin for Catholics to vote for Martin O’Malley in 2016?

O’Malley received a top award from Planned Parenthood in Maryland. He pushed for more spending on destructive embryonic stem cell research. These two items in conjunction with all of the details above make it hard to believe He is running in anything but Cafeteria Catholic values in 2016.

Rep. Andy Harris on Pro-Life Legislation

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I received the following email from Andy Harris today in response to a message I sent to him about HR 36. It’s a good reminder of he pro-life legislation he has co-sponsored while in Congress.

The letter:

February 5, 2015

Dear Mr. Quinton,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for H.R. 36, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. I am happy to let you know that I am a cosponsor of this bill, and as such will fight for its passage in any way I can.

As you may know, this bill would prohibit late-term abortions past 20 weeks after conception. Recent medical research has shown that unborn children at this stage in development have pain receptors throughout the body linked to the thalamus and subcortical plate, react to painful stimuli by recoiling, and exhibit the stress response through sharp increases in stress hormones. An abortion at this point, therefore, would cause extreme pain to the child.

While the House had expected to pass H.R. 36 in mid-January 2015, there was last-minute controversy over the rape reporting requirements contained in the bill that have momentarily stalled its progress through the House. I am confident that these issues can be resolved, and I remain committed passing H.R. 36 and enacting the 20 week ban on abortions. The U.S. is one of only seven countries including North Korea and China that allow elective abortions after 20 weeks. H.R. 36 would change this unsettling fact and help restore dignity to all human beings—including the unborn.

You may also be interested to know that, since being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, I have cosponsored a number of other pro-life bills, including;

H.R. 374, the Life at Conception Act – declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being at the moment of conception.

H.R. 217, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition – ensures tax dollars are not used to fund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

H.R. 358, the Protect Life Act – ensures money from the President’s health care law doesn’t fund abortions or health insurance covering abortions.

H.R. 361, the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act – ensures no health care facility could be denied funding based on their refusal to participate in abortion-related activities.

H.R. 1179, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act – amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, seeking to permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issues, or other entity offering the plan or the purchaser or beneficiary without penalty.

As the 114th Congress addresses the many challenges facing our nation, I hope you will continue to share your suggestions. For the fastest and most cost-effective response, please contact me via email. To keep up with my work in Congress, visit my website at harris.house.gov and sign up to receive updates at harris.house.gov/contact-me/newsletter.

Sincerely,

Andy Harris M.D.
Member of Congress

It’s a shame that, unlike Harris and other pro-life members who never wavered, others in the Republican party lacked the spine to do what they promised – especially in light of polling that shows 84% of Americans (and 69% of people who identify themselves as “pro-choice”) support significant restrictions on abortion past the first 3 months (i.e. banning abortion with exceptions that are the norm in most legislation restricting abortion it seems.)

Governor-Elect Hogan supports late-term abortion restrictions

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During the campaign, the Anthony Brown campaign dug into Larry Hogan’s past statements going back thirty years to try to scare some voters by making it look like Hogan could and would singlehandedly roll back Roe v. Wade if elected. Hogan initially said his past positions were “superfluous” because abortion is settled law in Maryland.

As the Democrats continued to hit Hogan, his campaign responded with an ad featuring his daughter. The ad included a pull quote from Hogan and a line from his daughter basically saying he wouldn’t do anything to restrict or roll back a woman’s right to choose.

I was a bit surprised that this didn’t result in further pushback by the
Democrats since Hogan answered a question about late term abortions by the Maryland Catholic Conference by saying:

If legislation were passed by the legislature that reflected reasonable restrictions to that effect on third trimester abortions past the point of fetal viability I would sign it.

Brown answers the same question, as I noted before, by saying:

I believe in a woman’s right to choose under Maryland law. This is a decision between a woman and her doctor.

Much legislation proposed now restricting late-term abortions is based on fetal pain and not just viability. I don’t foresee such legislation getting through the General Assembly yet for Hogan’s signature. I am more astonished that the Brown campaign did not hit Hogan on this issue and instead chose to dig up remarks he made in the early 1980s.

It’s either because they were incompetent (the election loss makes me think that’s why) or they were afraid to touch the issue themselves since Maryland has become a destination for late-term abortions.

The administration of Martin O’Malley and Anthony Brown gave a license to notorious late term abortionist Leroy Carhart, despite Carhart’s track record and his lies on his application. As a result, Jennifer Morbelli died after a botched abortion at Carhart’s Germantown facility. Complaints were filed against Carhart’s license, but “no deficiencies” were found in her death by the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Brown also told the conference that he had opposed a ban on physician-assisted suicide in the past when he was a legislator. As reported at LifeNews.com, Hogan would oppose legalizing physician-assisted suicide.

As I’ve noted before, I didn’t vote for Hogan in the primary. However, as I noted before the general election:

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.

Based on the principles I wrote about, I voted for Larry Hogan. I also detailed before the election about the reasons I couldn’t vote for Brown.

In the future, I will look at some of the executive actions and appointments that Larry Hogan can take as governor to protect the unborn – many of them non-controversial.

Is it a mortal sin for Catholics to vote for Anthony Brown?

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I will start by noting that I am not going to answer the question in the title. I am going to note what has been said about the subject by much more eloquent writers than me and let the reader decide. Additionally, Anthony Brown is a placeholder in the subject line, so if you’re not in Maryland, like I am, you should substitute any other pro-abortion politician on the ballot Tuesday.

I’ll begin by urging Catholics to make the sacrament of Reconciliation a regular part of their lives if it isn’t already. Before you go to confession you should do a good examination of your conscience. One online examination of conscience asks the person examining their conscience if they “supported or voted for a politician whose positions are opposed to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church.” I’ll also note that two smartphone apps used for examining your conscience, both Confession and Mea Culpa, include certain voting behavior among their lists of sins. Specifically, the Confession app asks the user if they have “supported or voted for a politician whose teachings are opposed to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church.” The Mea Culpa app explicitly calls “voting for someone who is pro abortion” a Mortal Sin. (For anyone reading this who needs a quick primer on the definitions of mortal sin and venial sin, check out the very easy to read discussion at Catholicism for Dummies.)

I recently wrote the following:

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.

Anthony Brown got a D from the Maryland Catholic Conference on this issue and told them:

I believe in a woman’s right to choose under Maryland law. This is a decision between a woman and her doctor.

He also told the conference he supports a discussion on physician assisted suicide, but that he voted against a ban on it as a legislator.

Brown is a Catholic but he has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider. I previously discussed the obligations Catholic elected officials have on life issues in the primaries.

Yes, there are other issues of importance to Catholics, but, 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.”

If you already voted for a candidate who supported abortion in early voting, whether here in Maryland or another state, you should also examine your conscience as well.

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.)