The Editors: Bipartisanship is the only way forward for the pro-life movement

(CNS photo/James Ramos, Texas Catholic Herald) 

“Appalling.” Thus did Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and chair of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life activities, succinctly describe the U.S. Senate’s failure on Jan. 29 to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. The bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives last fall and which proposed to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, failed to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to avoid a filibuster and proceed to a final floor vote.The tally was 51 in favor and 46 against. Two pro-choice Republicans voted against the bill, while three pro-life Democratic senators voted for it.

The pro-life movement should prioritize expanding its reach across party lines.

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Why 20 weeks? Supporters of the measure have cited medical studies showing that a fetus can feel pain at that point in its development. Additionally, medical advances have pushed back the viability boundary for premature births to 22 weeks in some cases. But even federal legislation outlawing abortions after 20 weeks would leave the United States as an outlier compared to the standards of almost all other developed nations. In most member countries of the European Union, for example, abortion is illegal after 12 weeks except under specific circumstances. These include risk of death or serious illness for the mother. Pro-choice absolutists in the United States are defending a status quo considered extreme in all but six other countries: Canada, China, the Netherlands, North Korea, Singapore and Vietnam.

The hardline approach to this issue by the 46 senators who voted to keep abortion legal past 20 weeks is not even representative of the pro-choice base in this country. A January 2018 Marist poll found that more than three in four Americans, including six in 10 who identify as pro-choice, oppose access to abortion after the first three months of a pregnancy except in extreme cases.

A January 2018 Marist poll found that three in four Americans oppose access to abortion after the first three months of a pregnancy.

The Republican leadership in the Senate clearly knew that the abortion bill had little chance of passing. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that they brought it to a vote simply to highlight the political positions of pro-choice Democrats in red-leaning states. They wanted to remind pro-life voters in those states that their elected senators favored legal abortion. But amid the partisan political maneuvering, three true profiles in courage could be found: Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, all of whom bucked their party and voted for the bill. They deserve the full-throated support of every pro-life American.

The most effective tactical response the Democrats could adopt in the face of Republicans using abortion as a wedge issue in close races would be to stop insisting on a pro-choice position as a litmus test for candidates. Sadly, this is something the Democratic Party is unwilling to do. This refusal among many in the party to accept, or even discuss, any legal restrictions on abortion at all reveals an absolutism that is both an affront to justice and a serious impediment to any attempt at bipartisanship.

As the failure of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act clearly shows, bipartisanship will be absolutely necessary to pass any meaningful federal legislation that changes our current stalemate on abortion. The pro-life movement should prioritize expanding its reach across party lines. It is the only way to bring the possibility of lasting legal protections for unborn children closer to reality.

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Genevieve Burns
5 months 2 weeks ago

No Quarter. Keep up the pressure that Jesus wants of us until not a single pro-choice/death person is deemed within the pale of civility. We’re right and the Democrat position is inherently wrong and sinful. Jesus is pro-life without exceptions! (Democrats would also benefit from dropping their anti-God platform too), as Jesus most certainly doesn’t support those who deny His existence.

rose-ellen caminer
5 months 2 weeks ago

This extreme "feminism" that equates women's equality with a right to kill suffering innocent human beings in the womb, shows the power of propaganda and indoctrination. Its nothing but cold blooded murder.This is why I don't vote. I'm not a Republican, nor am I a purist unwilling to compromise on any strongly held belief, but no way am I voting for anyone or party that believes such atrocities should be permitted!

Gail Sockwell-Thompson
5 months 2 weeks ago

Embracing a bipartisan approach might actually force the ‘no choicers’ into a real prolife position that would broaden their reach.

Randal Agostini
5 months 2 weeks ago

It was a spectacle to see Democrats sitting on their hands during the President's State of the Union speech - a sure sign of unwillingness at any bipartisanship. Catholic Bishops may do well to spend some time explaining to Catholic Democrats the Meaning of Life, for the Glory of God. This may entail a change in their own hearts regarding bipartisanship on several political issues - or we could all just continue worshipping two masters.

Michael Painter
5 months 2 weeks ago

"It was a spectacle to see Democrats sitting on their hands during the President's State of the Union speech"
-------
At least no one yelled "You lie!" at the president.

E.Patrick Mosman
5 months 2 weeks ago

Actually President Obama was lying, the truthful remark was not yelled and the truth must be out.

Kenneth Michaels
5 months 2 weeks ago

The Editors are completely withdrawn from reality on this one. Just look at some of the comments here. The Catholic pro-life movement stopped being about abortion decades ago when the cardinals and bishops sold their souls to the GOP. Now "pro-life" is simply code for the political division ripping our democracy apart. Last year cardinals told Catholics to vote for Trump notwithstanding that he embodies everything Jesus spoke against in the New Testament. In 2008 and again in 2012, cardinals told Catholics not to vote for the black guy. How many people have we lost in our church because our shepherds were too lame not to be hoodwinked? Want to start rebuilding the chuch - start by distancing it from the pro-life movement.

Alex Pugliese
5 months 2 weeks ago

Mr. Michaels, it is apparent that you believe that you believe in abortion-rights. That you believe that killing a baby in a mother's womb is a moral or social good. You further believe, like the Jesuits, that the movement should expand by adding "other issues." You want this movement destroyed. There is no denying that. First off, abortion, euthanasia and infanticide will destroy American society if it continues. Also, The Democratic Party, your party, tells its members what to believe and not believe, what to support and not support, what to think and not to think. That is fascism, sir. Lastly, finally, the Jesuit order, nor you,believe in the concept of "shoemaker, stick to thy last." They do not believe that it is better to be good at one thing than be horrible on all. The pro-life movement is better off at sticking to saving babies and saving those who would be victims of euthanasia like the elderly, the mentally ill and the infants. They should not be forced or goaded into supporting other issues because the Jesuits and the left want to be welcomed in elite and polities society.

Kenneth Michaels
5 months 2 weeks ago

Mr. Pugliese, you are wrong on almost every accusation you make about me or point you try to score here with two exceptions. First, I am Jesuit educated and strongly support Jesuits. Second, I think we can agree that there is nothing you will say that will change my mind and vice versa. Therein, you make my case for me. The Catholic pro-life movement became, and continues to be, nothing more than political tools manipulated by the GOP for their own purposes (which was Nixon's plan for using the abortion issue, as was documented in an excellent law review article a couple years ago by a couple feminists who you may not have read). Abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide are not destroying American society, although I know of no one, including those within the "pro-choice" side of the debate who would promote these occurrences as a social "good." People cloaking themselves in ignorance and obedience to ideology do much greater harm to our country. Several of the other commentators here are correct that we need to look at the whole picture and work to remove the reasons for abortion. In my experience, abortion has much less to do with promiscuity, than violence, poverty, ignorance, lack of access to health care and contraceptives. One precipitant that I never see the pro-lifers discuss is health insurance companies that do not want to pay decades of future medical costs for humans who will be born with certain physical or mental conditions. Thank you for your assistance in making my case.

Alex Pugliese
5 months 2 weeks ago

The GOP supports the pro-life movement out of the goodness of its heart, To believe, as you do, a couple of Feminist lawyers, that Nixon was using the movement is sadly mistaken. It is obvious that you believe anything that the left tells you. Nixon, even in his later years out of office supported the pro-life movement. That is one. The other thing, I might add, is that I have no love, nor one ounce of respect for the Jesuit order. For over 45 years, this order has insulted and degraded members of the pro-life movement and have tried to undermine its efforts at enacting reasonable restrictions and laws. If I had my way, I would banish this disgusting, vile order to Siberia or to Antarctica. They have refused to work with the pro-life movement because these abominations want to be welcomed among the elites on the far left. Furthermore they talk about both sides of their mouths. On one hand they say they support the movement, and behind their backs stick a dagger when they are not looking. Pope Francis and the left taught them well. Furthermore, the abortion-rights movement has been on record as supporting infanticide, euthanasia for the elderly and mentally ill. I can name three of the groups that come to mind: The ACLU, Amnesty International, Planned Parenthood. I do not cloak myself in ideology, sir. It is obvious that you do. One day, the pro-life movement will get their victory. It will be a great day then. When that happens, the Jesuits and you better be ready to apologize to the movement for the crime of slander and degradation.

Michael Appleton
5 months 2 weeks ago

In its efforts to oppose abortion, the Church elected to align itself with some of the worst elements of evangelical fundamentalism in this country, including groups that are virulently anti-Catholic and that wholly reject the Church's teachings on social justice, treatment of the poor, immigration policy, healthcare and the treatment of refugees. As a consequence, the hierarchy has become, in the minds of many Americans, an extension of right-wing Republican ideology and a one-trick moral pony. One of the results of this moral near-sightedness is Donald Trump. It's time for the American bishops to do some serious soul-searching.

Alex Pugliese
5 months 2 weeks ago

That is not the case Mr. Appleton and you know it. Many Evangelicals support helping out the poor, support fair immigration policies, healthcare and treatment of refugees. To say and slander them like you have is despicable. The Bishops are critical of Donald Trump and are critical of some of his policies and tell him so. In politics you do not get 100% at times, so you get what you get. I am tired of the left ruining my church.

Karen Olson
5 months 2 weeks ago

Some evangelicals do, true. But it is hard not to notice the degree of anti-immigrant sentiment of many, which is deeply disturbing. Second, Mr. Appleton is hardly despicable -- he's here writing because he cares. Third, it was completely foreseeable that the alignment of some Bishops with Trump would prove disastrous and would further damage the credibility of the Church hierarchy. And they didn't just align -- some overstepped bounds in homilies regarding how parishioners should vote. Fourth, it is as true for a Catholic who lands in either party that "you don't get 100% at times." Fifth, while you've undoubtedly served the Church admirably and have sacrificed to advance the pro-life cause, telling Democrats (who could be pro-life) to pound sand and saying they're ruining "your" church may not be the most effective way to win over hearts and minds --- the latter is a skill that Jesuits have pretty much mastered and the Church needs their inspiration. Some are Catholic because of them. Nonetheless, no one should underestimate the gifts that you, or others, bring to the table.

Jim Lein
5 months 2 weeks ago

The Trump way, the Republican way is to cut needed nourishment for the unborn as well as needed medical supervision and care--to cut programs like CHIP, WIC, SNAP, TANF, ACA and Medicaid. That way does not support pregnant women, particularly those in poverty. And you can't support the unborn if you don't support the woman involved. If the woman is inadequately nourished so is the unborn who desperately needs continuous nourishment to develop into a human being. And in our society 95% of food for the poor comes from government programs. Cutting these programs starves the unborn.

In my humble opinion pro-lifers should not accept all of the Republican agenda. They should consider holding off on Caesar's way of the cold hard impersonal law and instead choose Jesus' personal way of love and concern and pooling resources so that needs of the poor are met before their own wants are satisfied. In other words, supporting pregnant women much better than we are now, helping them to feel able to bring new life into the world rather than forcing them to do so--really trying Jesus' way before resorting to Caesar's way.

And if there is any group who should not be forcing women it is us men. We are of course responsible for all unwanted or problem pregnancies. And studies have shown that up to two-thirds of women who have had abortions were pressured to do so by significant others, including, in some cases, the man responsible for the pregnancy.

Alex Pugliese
5 months 2 weeks ago

It is the Democratic Party that has been taken over by the far-left. Its chairman stated that pro-lifers were not welcomed in the Party. That is one. Second, to believe that only government and government services can only decrease or end abortion is wrongheaded. I know a great deal of non-profits that are ready to care for women. However, the left, by government force, are trying to force these centers to promote abortion against their wishes. The case is in the Supreme Court right now. You are right on one thing: it is men who support abortion more than women.

Jim Lein
5 months 2 weeks ago

I think there is a significant number of persons who are pro-life and pro-choice--and this number is growing. In fact, this is maybe the main way for right and left to come together on this issue. The artificial divide between pro-life and pro-choice needs to be taken down; we should not be controlled or constrained by labels. And it seems both left and right are so controlled and constrained.
Both. Not either/or. Agree on pro-life. Then perhaps each side focus on their means to accomplish this, the right through law change and increasing private programs for support of women with problem pregnancies and for their unborn, the left through maintaining and improving government services for these women and their unborn.
Actually, I would suggest the right drop the focus on law change for a certain period--say 6 months--and just focus on improving services. It's been, what, 44 years of effort to change the law, effort that could have gone into services for women and unborn. The country is not all Catholic and evangelicals. It seems a futile and misguided effort, in my opinion, to have everybody governed by Catholic beliefs.

Lisa Weber
5 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you for a thoughtful commentary. Women have children when they feel wealthy and secure. The Republican efforts to take support away from women and families go directly against their "pro-life" stance. A woman who struggles to make a living, has no guarantee of healthcare, no support for food or childcare, and no assistance in getting an education is a woman likely to see bearing a child as a one-way ticket to lifelong poverty. One can opine forever about morality, but the day-to-day consequences of childbearing are the factors a woman considers in deciding whether to get pregnant and whether to carry a pregnancy if she becomes pregnant unintentionally.

MaryfromMaryland .
5 months 2 weeks ago

It would be wonderful to have a bi-partisan discussion but unfortunately the Pro-Life movement has devised a solution and strategy that ignores the needs of women and the rights of women to self control based on a mistaken idea that women largely abort because they gave into sex without being careful. Cutting off support for contraception and criminalizing medical help for women is the wrong way to do it. Supporting laws that control women's bodies and decisions and punish medical professionals and deny contraceptives is the wrong way to do it. Bi-partisan discussions should look at ways to teach women how to feel empowered in the workplace, empowered to say "no" to men "sowing their wild oats", able to use contraceptives to avoid becoming pregnant and providing medical and adoption services (not of the hands off kind) that would allow women to interrupt their lives to carry and deliver unwanted children. Bi-partisan discussions should consider how to support extra mouths in families who are at or below the poverty line. Bi-partisan discussions should talk about long term medical care for children, particularly disabled children.

Alex Pugliese
5 months 2 weeks ago

Wrong, it is the Democratic Party, your party, that stated that pro-lifers were notr welcomed among their ranks. You can look it up.

MaryfromMaryland .
5 months 2 weeks ago

Alex, you are a one person reason why there can be no dialogue. Your comments are all over this post - one more negative than the other. It is sad that you feel compelled to attack people who truly would like to discuss and resolve issues rather than give up your "sure and always correct" positions.

Keith Kurak
5 months 2 weeks ago

In my personal experience, I have always noticed the clergy around me to take special care to avoid endorsement of a political party or candidate. I could probably name more disagreements the USCCB has with the Republican Party than I could agreements. However, at far too many organized pro-life events I've been at or am familiar with, there's this thick-in-the-air assumption that we all must be conservative through-and-through. From leaders wearing their politics on their sleeve to highly-partisan speakers being invited to talk of "thwarting the left" or the inherent badness of being liberal. I sit there thinking that, even if they were very pro-life, a liberal would likely feel quite uncomfortable coming here. There will never be enough converts to the right wing to turn the tide against abortion. We need a ton of people who disagree on plenty of other things but agree on this one big thing, and those people need to not feel overwhelmed by the feeling that being pro-life is just for conservatives.

Alex Pugliese
5 months 2 weeks ago

Again, the left and the Democratic Party have made it abundantly clear that pro-lifers are not welcomed among their ranks. You can look it up.

Mary Jo DiRe
5 months 2 weeks ago

Thank you so much, America, for being a voice of reason on a topic that all too often devolves into partisan finger-pointing armed by misrepresentations of the truth. There are 60 million consequences resulting from that division.
It is indeed “appalling” when the partisan divide is so wide and the influence of powerful lobbies so deep that our representatives in the House and Senate can’t vote beyond the constraints of party platforms to recognize inherent inhumanity.
One would hope that the moral and ethical implications of issues such as sex selection abortions, partial birth abortions, and born-alive infant protection would be clear to anyone of any party, yet votes on these issues once again were along party lines. This leads me to wonder, what would it take, what additional lines of morality would need to be crossed for lawmakers to vote their conscience on abortion? The Pain Capable Child Protection Act reflects medical and scientific facts that children in the womb experience pain at 20 weeks and that abortions at this stage and later involve barbaric procedures such as dismemberment. Is this not egregious enough?
Hope for change always resides in truth, and perhaps that is the where future efforts of the Church and the pro-life movement must double their efforts on this issue. A start is to read the words of one of the founders of the abortion movement in the United States:
https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/abortion/articles-and-addr…
Thank you for acknowledging the courageous votes of the three Senators who stood against the tide and voted with discernment and conscience. Their ability to find common ground based on humanity, over party, is laudable. We can only hope and pray that their ranks will be increased and that voices, like the one of your editorial, will resonate in the hearts of your readers.

Dan Acosta
5 months 2 weeks ago

"Appalling."? I'd rather have heard Cardinal Dolan say, "Excommunicated."

E.Patrick Mosman
5 months 2 weeks ago

Perhaps to obtain "bipartisanship" from the pro-abortion Catholic members of Congress,the UCCB should issue a directive that all Catholics, in particular Catholic politicians, need to be warned by their bishops that by calling attention to their Catholic faith and in the same breath voicing support for abortion rights, same sex marriage and other acts contrary to Catholic teachings a public act of scandal — as defined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Nos. 2284-6) — is committed. Paragraph 2286 is directly applicable to people in political positions. It reads: "Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion. Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structure leading to the decline of morals" and excommunication is a possibility.

Douglas Fang
5 months 2 weeks ago

As I said before and I say here again – the slogan “pro-life” from POTUS Trump and the right wing Republicans is just used as a pure lip service to throw some “bones to the dogs”. They are not pro-life. They are just pro-birth. All they want to do is to ready to throw many poor and unfortunate women to jail to show how tough they are. In the meantime, they don’t do anything (lift a finger) to help to reduce abortion rate by making pregnancy become more “affordable” in America compared to the rest of other advanced countries. Compared to those countries, pregnant women in America have the highest risk of health problems and babies in America have one of the highest mortality rates. Shame on America! Actually, with their recent Darwinist (survival of the fittest or the winner take almost all) economy policy from tax cut to health care change, it would make life even more difficult for these poor and unfortunate women.

In the end, this is the real tough question that “pro-lifers” need to ask – what is the best policy to avoid abortion? A legal ban is just a naïve and no-brainer solution and an easy way out that require no sacrifice from the pro-lifers. Me? Why do I need to worry because I am not the unfortunate woman who just happens to have an unwanted pregnancy? I am good and clean, dear God. I have nothing to do with those sinful women. Throwing them to jail or persecuting them is fine with me, dear God…

Alex Pugliese
5 months 2 weeks ago

The Pro-Life movement has supported crisis pregnacy centers , have supported homes for pregnant women, have supported pre-natal heathcare for women as well as financial support and more. It is obvious, Mr. Fang, that you do not know anything about the pro-life movement. Furthermore, to say that Republicans or conservatives want to punish women for having an abortion is flatly and totally false. I suggest, sir that you do research on the subject and stop listening and reading left wing dribble.

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 2 weeks ago

If 183 Democratic Members of the House could vote AGAINST a Bill (House# 4712) that requires abortion physicians and assistants to provide care and hospitalization to an infant BORN ALIVE during the procedure, then there is no reasonable hope for bipartisan resolution of any aspect of this issue.

Alex Pugliese
5 months 2 weeks ago

While there are many clergy in the Catholic Church that have never supported or gave support to any political party, it is clear that the Jesuit Order supports the Democratic Party and goes out of its way to give its support. There is no denying that. The Democratic Party has been taken over by the far left. They do not believe in dissent, they tell members what to believe and not believe, what to think and not to think, and they have shown themselves hostile to religious freedom. To give a good example of this, there is a candidate in Arkansas that is running for Congress who agrees with 80 to 90% of what the Jesuits support. The Democratic Party is not giving him financial support because he is pro-life. He is raising money on his own, The same with Senator Joe Manchian of West Virginia, Senator Bob Casey Jr, of Pennsylvania and others. The far left, which the Jesuits support, want to drive these pro-life Democrats out of the party. This is has been stated by the Chairman of The DNC, Howard Dean and others in the party, Former Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards stated that she wants to drive the pro-lifers out of the party and will do anything to achieve that goal.

Tomas Faranda
5 months 2 weeks ago

If "we are the Church" then abortion on demand exists because of our tolerating Catholic politicians who vote proabortion. 14 Catholic Senators voted against banning abortion after 20 weeks. While the Bishops wash their hands of the situation.

Alex Pugliese
5 months 2 weeks ago

Mr. Faranda, for over fifty years, the Jesuits order, not the Bishops. have been undermining the pro-life movement. They are jealous and envious of the pro-life movement because the movement has grown, while the causes that they advocate have not. Because of this, the Jesuits, have engaged in a campaign of smearing and slander. They have also called for the movement to encompass other issues like the death penalty, climate change and nuclear disarmament and others so that they can be welcomed among liberal and leftist intelligencia and what they consider "polite society." It is they that have been a bane to the church and it is they that that have attacked many of my friends within the movement. The Jesuits think that everyone in the pro-life movement is "dumb," "backward," and "want to hurt women." They do not go to the pro-life movement for intellectual nurishment. The Bishops (most of them) have tried to help the movement and offer advise when needed. The Jesuits do not do that and never will. That is why I hold the vile, hypocritical and disgusting order in the highest of contempt. If the Catholic Church had any courage, they would excommunicate and banish this vile order to an inferno.

Neil Purcell
5 months 2 weeks ago

The pro-life movement is seen by many of us as an extremist movement aligned with the right-wing in this country. It isn't clear why a pro-life position should fit with a politics that is antagonistic to social spending, immigration and support for refugee resettlement, indifferent to claims of racial injustice, and supportive of tax breaks for rich people, travel bans for Muslims, and shunning of homosexuals. The pro-life movement is at the heart of our partisan divide, so it is almost as laughable as it is lamentable that the editors are imagining the movement making a bi-partisan play. You can't stand with the other side on every question of social justice and then moan and groan about partisanship without seeming a little bit ridiculous.

Alex Pugliese
5 months 2 weeks ago

It is obvious that you do not know anything about the pro-life movement. You are hearing and reading about them through organs that have characterized and slandered them for fifty years. The mainstream press, liberal intelligencia and the filthy and disgusting Jesuit order. He is the truth: the pro-life movement not only includes conservatives, it includes people who fought for civil rights in the 1960s. It includes feminists, gay activists, opponents of capital punishment, atheists and agnostics and many others. To say that this movement is "extreme" is a falsehood. Finally, if there is any group that is dividing this nation in terms of race, religion, sex or creed, it is the left not conservatives. The left believes that they can win by a strategy of divide and conquer. That is how you polarize a citizenry and make them go at each others throats. So, Mr. Purcell, I suggest that you do your research. A good place to start would be to read the report by David Shaw of the Los Angeles Times who wrote about abortion. His series ran in that paper from July 1, 1990 to July 4, of that year. You will be surprised at what you find.

Lisa Weber
5 months 2 weeks ago

A call for a bipartisan approach forward in the pro-life movement is good, but likely to be futile when coming from the Catholic Church simply because the church bans contraception. The most effective way to prevent abortion is to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The most effective way to prevent unwanted pregnancies is contraception. It is hard to be against abortion if you are also against contraception.

The Catholic Church also suffers from a lack of feminine wisdom being spoken in the church. There is a difference between an unplanned pregnancy and an unwanted pregnancy - but I don't hear any discussion of that in the church. There are no women who have borne and raised children who are recognized as having moral authority in the church. A woman in crisis over a pregnancy can talk to a priest, but there aren't any recognized women leaders who have lived her experience, know what she is likely to be feeling, and is living proof that one can get through the crisis and thrive. If the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ, it is a body that is deaf in one ear, blind in one eye, and is able to speak only from a masculine perspective. The church limits itself by refusing to include women in its leadership structure.

MICHAEL CONK
5 months 2 weeks ago

I postulate there is another path forward, which consists of two interdependent steps.
1. We should demand of Pro-Life politicians and religious leaders their plan to overturn Roe v. Wade. Without a detailed plan with milestones and timelines, we may never achieve the goal. Our politicians and religious leaders must do more than make a statement that they are Pro-Life.
2. The Roe v. Wade decision did not initiate abortion. Abortion has been around for millennia. Overturning Roe v. Wade will not stop abortions. They will just move to the proverbial “back alley” again unless we act now to keep that from happening. A plan would involve:
- Detailed studies of why women have abortions
- Development of alternatives to abortion such as medical plans for children born with defects, financial plans to help families (single and multi-parent) provide care for the children, medical plans for prenatal care and labor/delivery for Mom’s without health insurance, streamlined adoption processes, etc.
All of this will take time and funding, but it can run concurrent with the plan provided by the politicians and religious leaders in step 1 above. In fact, the actions identified during step 2 must be integrated into the plan.
The bottom line: when Roe v. Wade is overturned, we need an existing, funded infrastructure to care for the children who will be born. Working together, we can attain this dual objective. Let’s listen to each other with the compassion and discernment outlined by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and then act. Deeds not words.

Jim Lein
5 months 2 weeks ago

The legal system is often clumsy, cold, formal, impersonal and even cruel at times. It is no way to deal with pregnant women who are stressed over an unwanted or problem pregnancy. And it is a cop out, especially for us men who are responsible for leaving women unsupported in a very difficult situation. It is letting the law solve a very personal problem. And we already have more criminals per capita than like any other country. Let's get together and do better for women with unwanted pregnancies. Especially us guys do better. How about a pledge: no more careless sex. We could solve this problem--if we cared more for women including those we are intimate with. The news media is now filled with men behaving badly. Our contribution to the abortion problem should also be discussed in the media.

Tim Donovan
5 months 2 weeks ago

I'm a former long-time Democrat of more than 30 years (I'm now 55) and very reluctantly registered as a Republican several years ago primarily because I support the party's support for laws to protect the innocent unborn from the violence of legal abortion. However, I essentially favor a "consistent ethic of life" that means that both our government, individuals, and houses of worship should vigorously work to protect human life by law both before as well as after birth. I'm very disappointed that the Democratic party favors such an extreme position in its platform denying legal protection for the unborn for any reason up until the time the unborn infant (or fetus, which is latin for "young one" ) is viable.

Vincent Gaglione
5 months 2 weeks ago

Off the topic perhaps, but an appropriate tangent?

The New York Times reported a story on Trump’s Budget Director Mick Mulvaney’s easing of regulations regarding usurious “payday loans.” Apparently tight Obama-era restrictions on such loans are being loosened.

The Second Lateran Council declared in 1139:
“We condemn … the ferocious greed of usurers; …let them be held infamous throughout their whole lives and, unless they repent, be deprived of a Christian burial.”

Mick Mulvaney and a number of other prominent Trump appointees and Republican leaders are products of Catholic education. Does anyone wonder, as I do, how it is that, with the exception of abortion, they can promote policies that contradict Catholic teaching without Catholic censure?

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 2 weeks ago

Vince
Nice try at your " off topic -tangential" put down of Republican Catholics....but you reached back to the 12th century to do it. Had you but checked a bit further you would have found that the 5th Lateran Council in 1514 under LeoX expressly approved of "credit organizations" who provided loans to the poor provided that any interest be limited to credit risk . The papal bull added that it was settling the controversy over charging interest and further stated that "....secular persons who....argue otherwise incur the punishment of immediate excommunication.... ".
I would not go so far as to propose your comment immediately excommunicated you, but if you insist on going back to Midieval Councils for your political cudgels you should be more careful😇.

Vincent Gaglione
5 months 2 weeks ago

Stuart,

Your knowledge of many of the credit organizations that offer and engage in usurious rates for "payday loans" is regrettably lacking. Given some of the rates that they charge, even you would not claim they are in sync with Leo X.

Your immediate resort to the implication of excommunication for my effort to stimulate some "out of the box" thinking about issues is beneath your usual civility. It is such rhetoric that I would argue negates the goal of the Church and our role to evangelize. How about a loan of your usual goodwill?

Vinny

Vinny

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 2 weeks ago

Vince
Lighten up and look at the emoji (😇) I added....should be a hint I was yanking your chain for resorting to 12th century anathemas! I mean really , you were the guy who started by introducing the need for "Catholic censure" and "depriving one of a Christian burial"!

I have a more serious response to your underlying proposition, but determined you were correct in the first place. It is off the Topic!

Vincent Gaglione
5 months 1 week ago

Stuart,

Indeed!

And I had never even noticed the emoji (which I don't use and I don't understand) when I read your reply! Thanks for pointing it out to me. Yep, off the topic for sure but a fun comment to add nonetheless. It gave me a shot at some other issues by which to skewer Republicans! LOL

Vinny

Rosemarie Zagarri
5 months 1 week ago

When the Republicans become bi-partisan on gun control issues, then Democrats should consider becoming bi-partisan on abortion issues. Until then, both parties are implicated in wanton and senseless killing. To demonize the Democrats, however, buys into a narrow, ill-conceived, and misogynistic definition of what it means to be pro-life

Stuart Meisenzahl
5 months 1 week ago

Rosemarie
Your analogy is at best inopposite. A Gun may lead to a death, while abortion most certainly results in a death! Hardly moral equivalents.

Nora Bolcon
5 months 1 week ago

Once again, In Europe, the rules may be on abortion more strict but they are not enforced very strictly. If a women wants an abortion in most Western European Countries, they can just get permission from a dr. that they are not mentally capable of dealing with the pregnancy and they are not generally fought against.

That being said Western Europe also has some of the most easy access to artificial birth control compared to other countries where contraception and abortion are restricted legally, or are expensive. This access to birth control and better social programs for maternity leave and paternity leave and free day care and universal health care have European Countries at a much lower rate than all other countries.

We are attacking this immorality the wrong way. South American Countries have some of the strictest laws against abortion and contraception and have the highest abortion rates.

To cut abortion rates fund women and families for daycare and healthcare and make contraception free instead of jailing women and/or doctors. This is what Jesus would do. Not judge, not condemn but help the person in need.

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