It is not a liberal cause to support abortion:
An essay by Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss, Archdiocese of Omaha
After Hitler gained political power in Germany, he made the Jews the scapegoat for all the economic woes that assailed the country following its defeat in World War I; he persecuted believers who had the audacity to place religious values over those of the state when there was a conflict; he sought to control all youth movements through the state monopoly of education; he stifled political dissidents who would not accept total party supremacy; he sought to systematically eliminate everyone with physical and mental disabilities; he sought to control all non-Aryan peoples through enslavement and 'selective breeding' this was survival of the fittest taken to its ultimate conclusion. It would have been the brave new world, the Nazi utopia, without racial strife, without undesirable people, without intellectual dissent, without religious interference and without population pressures from inferior peoples.
It is a good thing for most of us that the Allies were able to stop Nazi military power before Hitler conquered the world. But this does not mean that certain Nazi ideas and policies have not survived to our present day.
Official support for partial-birth abortion
A disturbing example of current state-sanctioned elitism is the determination of our present federal administration and the majority of justices of the Supreme Court to refuse to let states ban partial-birth abortions. Infanticide the deliberate killing of babies outside the womb has been condemned by the moral law (you shall not kill) and most societies in the world throughout recorded history. When the killing of innocent human beings by other human beings is justified by law then, in the long run, no one is safe from violence, and the good order of society is undermined. In time, following the same logic, babies totally outside the womb will be in danger, especially if they have some physical or mental defect. If a woman has the right by law to destroy her baby even when it is partially out of the womb, then why should she not have the right to destroy the baby when it is totally out of the womb if she decides she cannot care for it, or it will cause her emotional stress, or the baby is defective in some way. The issue of abortion is not simply a religious issue but a human life issue.
We are entering into a culture of death that has its roots in a discredited political system. We are allowing by law the wanton destruction of beginning human life in the womb and partially out of the womb. We are beginning to encourage the sick and elderly to end their lives (so-called death-with-dignity laws) if they become burdens to themselves or to others. We are continuing to limit medical care to people most in need of protection. Our administration promotes population control to limit birth rates, especially among Third World peoples, so that populations will stabilize. But what our government means by stabilization is zero population growth already in some countries the elderly are outnumbering the young. This is the reason that euthanasia will gradually become the preferred method of population control instead of abortion.
Strange reversal of roles
It is a strange reversal of roles these days for people who call themselves liberal to be supporters of abortion while those who are opposed to abortion are called conservative. Traditionally liberals have championed the cause of people in need, people who fall through the protective social net provided by government. Liberals have supported the working poor and those who cannot compete in the marketplace. They have championed individual rights against economic and political pressure, and provided a voice for those who were voiceless in our society.
This is the reason that most immigrant Catholics were at one time members of the Democratic party in this country. This was the party that looked out for the interests of minority people and their security in a highly competitive society so that the gap between the wealthy and the poor would not continue to widen. This effort resulted in a coalition of different movements in this country labor unions, liberal politicians, and social activists in the Church.
But then a strange development began to take place. Somehow the issue of women's rights became linked with the issue of abortion. It became a liberal issue to promote equal rights for women, and the right of a woman to control her own agenda and her own destiny and her own body. The Church was generally supportive of this liberal development as long as Catholic women maintained objective moral standards regarding sexuality and human life. But the issue of abortion was another matter. Once a distinct living person is formed in the womb, the mother does not have absolute right over this separate person. The fetus is not just a glob of protoplasm or an 'intrusive biological force,' a term I heard the other day on the radio. It is a distinct living person with a soul. To say that this distinct person has no rights is not a liberal position, but an elitist one. To rid the world of unwanted people is a totalitarian principle, not a democratic one.
Party platform regarding abortion
And so for the first time, the platform of the Democratic Party introduced a pro-abortion plank that was clearly anti-life and therefore anti-Catholic. The protection of pre-born human life, the most vulnerable of all human life, was discarded in favor of a woman's right to do whatever she wants with the developing human life within her because it is in her body. The party went on record discriminating against a group of human beings babies in the womb who had no protection and in fact could be destroyed at any stage of development (witness Clinton's refusal to support state laws against partial-birth abortion). Instead of promoting a liberal cause in support of birth mothers and their babies, the Democratic Party embraced an elitist cause by promoting the destruction of pre-born and partially-born human life.
Catholic Democrats, therefore, have an obligation in conscience to do everything they can to reverse the pro-abortion policy of their party and to support those candidates who will protect human life in the womb.
Catholic Republicans, on the other hand, have the obligation in conscience to see that their party plank against abortion is acted upon rather than ignored in legislative processes across the nation.
Fidelity of Catholics to Church teaching
Abortion is a major issue for anyone who embraces the Church's teaching regarding the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death. To dissent against a major teaching of the Church regarding sexual morality is a serious breach for Catholics and a cause for scandal for people who become aware of it. Any Catholics who support direct abortion as a viable option for ending a pregnancy participate in the serious objective evil of abortion and give aid and comfort to the enemies of the Church regarding human life ethics. Their position needs to be publicly condemned by Church leadership so that the scandal does not continue to be compounded.
You can be assured that I will challenge any Catholic in Northeastern Nebraska who claims to be a member of the Church and at the same time supports abortion. It is not a liberal cause that is being supported but an elitist anti-Catholic one. There is no place for discrimination against pre-born or partially-born babies in the Catholic Church. Catholics who are against the Church on this important issue are in serious dissent against the Church. They and everyone else need to be clear about this breach with the Church. It is not a liberal cause to support abortion it is anti-life and anti-Church.
Used by permission. This article was published on August 18, 2000 in the online issue of Catholic Voice. The URL for Catholic Voice is www.tcvomaha.com