candid thoughts on the issues of the day.
Because We Must.
Published on November 2, 2004 By Robert Guinness In Politics
I care about abortion. I care so much that I called Cam Kerry a couple weeks ago. Cam Kerry is John Kerry’s younger brother, and he is the closest person to John Kerry I could contact. I called him to get the facts about John Kerry’s position on abortion. I needed to know, since we both John Kerry and I are fellow Catholics, whether abortion is an issue that is important to John Kerry personally. He assured me that the tragedy of abortion is an issue that is important to John personally, as a Catholic, and that he will work to reduce the number of abortions in the U.S. through many means, such as building up a social safety net for pregnant women so that they don’t feel like their only option is abortion. This method has shown to be effective in many countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, which legally permit abortion yet have the two lowest abortion rates in the world. This is in contrast to many Latin American countries, predominantly Catholic countries where abortion is illegal, yet they have frighteningly high abortion rates. The reason for these abortions appears to point towards the destitute economic conditions in these countries and the lack of a strong government that can provide a social safety net for families.

By comparison, we see evidence of a similar trend occurring in the United States. When economic conditions have been good, particularly during the 1990s, abortion rates have tended to decrease. When economic conditions are poor, however, and the government fails to have a policy that creates social safety nets for women, abortion rates have tended to increase. This makes sense since a large portion of the women receiving abortions say that the primary reason for having the abortion is because they can’t afford a child.

Some studies show the abortion rates have risen under President Bush’s administration. In my view, such studies are debatable, and it is too early to determine the impact of the Bush Presidency on abortion rates in the U.S. It is not likely, however, that any comprehensive study will show that Bush significantly decreased the abortion rates in the U.S. during his years in power from January 2001- January 2005, and the most likely conclusion from a rough look at the statistics is that the abortion rates remained at roughly the status quo during Bush’s presidency.

This status quo is in contrast to the overall decrease in abortion rates seen during the President Clinton’s administration. Also, despite claiming “pro-Life” stances, the Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush did not significantly decrease the abortion rates during their combined 12 years in office. So a rough analysis of Democratic versus Republican presidencies since 1980 shows that Republican presidents do not have much to brag about in terms of reducing the evil of abortion that occurs in the United States.

To be fair, I should point out that abortion rates alarmingly increased during the Democratic presidency of Jimmy Carter, but this case represents the beginning of the sad change in policy that many Democrats began making with regard to abortion around that time. Around the same time, President Gerald Ford, was a pro-abortion rights Republican, so this clearly was a different, transition political era, catalyzed by Roe v. Wade, with regards to abortion.

As Catholics, we are called to be informed voters and obligated to have an informed conscience. We have to think hard about our strategy for saving all the babies that are tragically killed by abortion. If you look at the facts, there simply is not strong evidence that criminalization is the best long-term strategy for ridding the world of abortion. Eventually, maybe criminalization will help, but changing a law alone does not change people’s behavior, just as prohibition did nothing to stop people drinking from drinking.

As Catholics, we have to have a comprehensive approach that is smart, evidence-based, and outreaching. Just as Jesus was cunning, in fact, brilliant in addressing the moral issues of his day, we must be equally ingenious.

In many ways, simply saying you want to make abortion illegal is the easy way out for Christians. It places the blame for this sin solely on those who receive abortions. But according to our faith, we all share in guilt when the least of us does not receive the care they need. And when a mother feels like our society has not offered them the opportunity to bear their children, and adequately feed, cloth, and educate them, then we are all share guilt in this sin. The examples of our inability to care for the poorest among us are blatant and widespread. While many Catholics, especially white Catholics, are now a part of the upper-middle class and are able to afford for our children excellent education, a plethora of clothing, toys, and luxuries, even their own car at the age of sixteen, the least among us fear daily that they will not able to provide basic nourishment for their children.

In our own country, one of the richest countries on Earth, almost 13 million children live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger. WORLDWIDE SIX MILLION CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF FIVE DIE EVERY YEAR as a result of hunger! An additional 10 million or more children die each year from preventable diseases.

No wonder the sin of abortion still exists on Earth. Shame on all of us.

I believe we can defeat these evils—abortion and hunger and other issues facing our innocent babies—but we need to work together to do so, and we need to be smart. PLEASE don’t just vote obvious today, November 2, 2004. I hope you have studied the issues, as I feel I have, and I hope you vote smart.

When you are done voting, I look forward to further discussing your ideas on how we can solve these evils, starting November 3.

In Christ’s Love,

Rob Guinness

Comments (Page 2)
on Nov 16, 2004
That is good, but unfortunately too many christian churches don't.
on Nov 16, 2004
Imagine the good that could be done for this country if the pro life and choice people came together.
What if abortion was legal...but no one used the procedure (idealistic, yes, unrealistic...no.)

What if all of the money directed toward this fight was directed at a safe sex program that gave out all of the necessary information and stressed that abstinance was the best way to go.

The pro-life people need to realize that the pro-choice people are not murderers, nor do they wish anyone to die. They believe that a woman has a right to make decisions that affect her and her body-less government intrusion, if you wish.

The pro-choice people need to realize that the pro-lifers are not zealots out to install their exclusionary religion into our lives, they are sincerely concerned with the lives and souls of everyone.

We need to solve this problem together, with respect, compassion, and compromise. Not posturing, finger pointing, and screaming.
We can do this. Idealistic, yes. Unrealistic...no
on Nov 16, 2004
Abortion is a sad thing.....however, there are some circumstances under which I feel abortion should be allowed....those who have been victims of sexual abuse or rape and have become pregnant as a result...and those whose life is at risk because of a pregnancy. This might not make me a good Roman Catholic, but those are my beliefs and I stand by them. A few years ago, I read an article about a 12 year old mentally challenged Mexican girl who was abused by a relative and ended up getting pregnant. Of course, in Mexico, abortion is outlawed...It Infuriated me that they forced this girl to have the baby ....I wonder how much it affected her...
on Nov 17, 2004

Reply #18 By: InBloom - 11/16/2004 10:53:27 PM
Abortion is a sad thing.....however, there are some circumstances under which I feel abortion should be allowed....those who have been victims of sexual abuse or rape and have become pregnant as a result...and those whose life is at risk because of a pregnancy. This might not make me a good Roman Catholic, but those are my beliefs and I stand by them. A few years ago, I read an article about a 12 year old mentally challenged Mexican girl who was abused by a relative and ended up getting pregnant


This is what started the abortion issue. This is what it was supposed to be.
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