Observations on the world today.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Anti-choice Voting 

The following is the text of a letter to the editor which I have sent to my local paper. It is what I wanted to say to the students gathered against Kerry at the rally on Saturday, only I couldn't because I had my kids with me.
To the editor:

On Saturday, Sept. 4, I attended the John Kerry rally at the Old Ft. Steuben. I would like to address the contingent of anti-choice protesters who were also in attendance (HS - Pro-life groups protest 09-05-04). Many of them carried signs reading, "You can’t be Catholic and pro-abortion."

First, I would like to let them know that I too am pro-life. As I understand his position, John Kerry is also pro-life. All of us - he, I and those who protested him - believe that the moment when life begins is ultimately at conception. And all of us believe that to indifferently abort that life prematurely is a morally objectionable decision. None of us would ever council a woman who had asked our advice that she should casually have an abortion when options like adoption and foster care exist in the world. At least for myself, not unless there were extreme circumstances such as rape or danger to her life involved.

So, in my opinion, it is unfair to try to paint John Kerry as pro-abortion. He is not. Where he and I part ways from the protesters is that he and I believe in choice. A woman’s uterus does not belong to the government. Therefore, it is not the government’s right to force a woman to incubate a fetus for nine months if she chooses not to.

Other’s who share this view are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor Pataki, Rudy Giuliani and Tom Ridge; all Republicans and all Catholics. In fact, 73% of all Republican voters and 80% of all Americans say that they are pro-choice (Newsweek - A Fight for the GOP’s ‘Heart and Soul’ 09-02-04). George Bush may personally be anti-choice, but he is having little sway on the American people or his own party in this regard.

The one small gain Bush made toward repealing the right of a woman to choose in this last four years, his bill to outlaw so-called partial birth abortion, was challenged as unconstitutional by several states because there was no provision for protecting the life of a woman who might need to abort in this way in order to survive. And statistically, that is the only time that such a procedure is ever used. Logic alone is enough to send up that flag. What woman would ever choose this procedure contraceptively? In all likelihood, the law will probably be overturned by the supreme court.

In closing, the Catholic church has other issues too. The pope opposed the war in Iraq, and they oppose the death penalty. Knowing that George Bush flouted the pope on the first issue and that as Governor of Texas he routinely scorned the second, how can you be Catholic and vote for Bush? In fact, his brother Jeb, the Governor of Florida, actually is a Catholic, and he too supported the war and favors the death penalty. Considering that the Florida delegation at the GOP convention carried signs touting Jeb in ’08, I am forced to wonder if you one-issue Catholics will remain one-issue voters, or will you be as vociferous in your opposition to his potential candidacy?

I think that about sums it up.


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