Why are Hispanic Catholics pro-life? What politics can’t explain.

Pro-life advocate Joe San Pietro participates in a 40 Days for Life vigil near the entrance to a Planned Parenthood center in Smithtown, N.Y., on March 26, 2019. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) Pro-life advocate Joe San Pietro participates in a 40 Days for Life vigil near the entrance to a Planned Parenthood center in Smithtown, N.Y., on March 26, 2019. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz) 

Evangelical Christians stood side by side with Latino Catholics during pro-life rallies this summer at the State Capitol building in Providence, R.I. The two groups may not agree on every issue, including immigration, but they found a common foe in Rhode Island’s Reproductive Health Care Act, which codified Roe v. Wade into state law.

“It was nice to see, but unfortunately we could not stop the bill,” said Silvio Cuellar, the coordinator for Hispanic ministry in the Diocese of Providence. Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the bill into law in June.

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This political alliance should not be surprising. A recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute found that most Hispanics who said they were affiliated with a religion were also pro-life, including 58 percent of Hispanic Protestants and 52 percent of Hispanic Catholics. Overall, Hispanics were the only race or ethnicity where a majority of respondents thought that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. By contrast, 41 percent of non-Hispanic white Americans and 42 percent of white Catholics indicated mostly pro-life views.

Most Hispanics who said they were affiliated with a religion were also pro-life, including 58 percent of Hispanic Protestants and 52 percent of Hispanic Catholics.

Given this divide, Latino lawmakers may have a hard time representing their communities. Rhode Island Senator Sandra Cano, an immigrant from Colombia, is a Catholic who describes herself as a “pro-life Democrat.” Yet she voted in favor of the Rhode Island abortion law. “My faith is very important to me. I believe that life is sacred,” she said, according to The Providence Journal. “However, I also believe that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and I can’t impose my faith on others.”

On the other side, a number of Latino Democrats in New Mexico joined Republicans in voting against a bill that would have repealed a 50-year-old anti-abortion law earlier this year. “The state of New Mexico must strive to protect and uphold the dignity of all people from conception to death,” said one of them, State Senator Gabriel Ramos, according to The Las Cruces Sun News.

Source: Public Religion Research Institute

Drill down to subgroups, and the picture becomes more complicated. Among younger Hispanic Catholics in the P.R.R.I. study (ages 18 to 24), 55 percent said abortion should be legal in all or most cases. And while 59 percent of Hispanic immigrants took a pro-life position in the study, 57 percent of Hispanics born in the mainland United States supported legal abortion. (Fifty-three percent of Hispanics born in Puerto Rico said that abortion should be illegal in most or all cases.)

“The first-generation immigrants tend to be pro-life; but as our kids go to college, they become much more secularized,” said Mr. Cuellar, who was born in Argentina and raised in Bolivia.

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Immigration issues can add complications, he said, given that many pro-life Latinos are also supportive of immigrants’ rights. “I feel like none of the parties represent us as Catholics,” Mr. Cuellar said, explaining that Democrats tend to be more pro-immigrant while Republicans are more pro-life. “I feel like we don’t have a place to go. I wish they would resolve the immigration issue so we can move on to other issues.”

“The first-generation immigrants tend to be pro-life; but as our kids go to college, they become much more secularized.”

Immigrants often lead different lives than U.S.-born Latinos, Mr. Cuellar said, which can complicate parish youth outreach.

First-generation young adults might be coming to the church after a long day on a construction site, he said, while second-generation young adults might come after a day of high school or college. First-generation immigrants are more likely to work two jobs, Mr. Cuellar said, and may be less available to pass along their faith to their children.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles acknowledges the vital role of parents in its pro-life outreach. “It’s not helpful to talk about abortion as a stand-alone topic,” said Kathleen Domingo, the senior director of the archdiocesan Office of Life, Justice and Peace. Abortion needs to be addressed “within the context of the family. That’s a totally different conversation.”

Some parish-based groups may struggle to connect with young Latinos, Ms. Domingo said, noting that that pro-life ministry, like many church outreach groups across the United States, is still largely run by “elderly white ladies” from upper socioeconomic backgrounds. “They don’t know how to involve young adults, much less young adult Latinos,” she said.

“How do we not only get Latinos involved but let them lead with their values?” Ms. Domingo asked. V Encuentro, an initiative from the U.S. bishops to better serve the growing Latin American community, has emphasized that the church needs to create more leadership opportunities for young Latinos.

Parishes that are predominately Latino do not always engage in specific pro-life outreach, according to Gina De Los Santos, the parish engagement strategist for Ms. Domingo’s office. Instead, there may be large prayer groups or Guadalupanos, groups dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Latino community’s pro-family culture

Culturally, Latinos are more likely to identify as pro-family than as pro-life, Ms. De Los Santos said, explaining that the term “pro-life” has only really become known in the community in the last 10 years. “We grow up with our grandparents and take care of them until they die,” she said. “And every grandmother understands the value of a child. Our families recognize that the baby in the womb has value, is a human being and is already part of the family.”

At the same time, a number of studies have found many Latino parents are uncomfortable discussing certain topics with their children, like sex, pornography and abortion. Ms. Domingo said that she suspects, for example, that parents do not realize their children as young as 13 could get an abortion without their permission.

Generational challenges are part of the fight against Senate Bill 24, according to María José Fernández Flores, the California Catholic Conference’s legislative advocate for life and immigration. That California bill would mandate that public colleges and universities make abortion-inducing drugs “accessible and cost effective” for their students.

A number of studies have found many Latino parents are uncomfortable discussing certain topics with their children, like sex, pornography and abortion.

“Oftentimes, it is the Latinos who cannot vote that are more pro-life,” she said, referring to California residents who are not citizens. “Younger Latino Catholics are more likely to be pro-choice.”

California Senator Connie Leyva, a Democrat from Chino who is a sponsor of S.B. 24, said the bill was “an important step toward ensuring that the right to abortion is available to all Californians, and that our college students don’t face unnecessary barriers.”

Source: Public Religion Research Institute

“Students should not have to travel off campus or miss class or work responsibilities in order to receive care that can easily be provided at a student health center,” she said in a statement on her website. “This important legislation will help to improve the academic success of students and empower them to make decisions supportive of their own personal and professional futures.”

Yet Ms. Domingo believes the push for abortion-inducing drugs makes the unwarranted presumption that most pregnancies among college students are unintended. “Being a mother is highly valued in Latino culture, and we don’t want to impose our own perspective on people who want to have these children,” she said.

“Women can go to school and be mothers at the same time,” Ms. De Los Santos said. “If you want to empower women, tell them they can be both mothers and students. It’s 2019.”

During visits to parishes last year, she said young college women did share how difficult it was to be pregnant and a college student. But they also shared how, through the support of their parents and grandparents, they were able to make it. The family provided a supportive structure.

S.B. 24 is one of a number of legislative efforts that are complicating the political landscape in California, according to Andrew Rivas, the executive director of the California Catholic Conference. Parties often oversimplify the interests of Latino voters, he said, and fail to appreciate cultural influences.

Political parties often oversimplify the interests of Latino voters and fail to appreciate cultural influences.

“In my experience, the prevailing view of Republicans is that if [voters] are Hispanic, they’re Democrats,” he said. “Yet there are generations of people from other countries who have a disposition to not trust government and are attached to their faith. It’s fertile ground for a conservative mindset.”

Mr. Rivas noted that the political views of Latino voters vary considerably. A Pew Research Center poll found that while only 8 percent of black voters identified as Republican, 26 percent of Hispanics were affiliated with the G.O.P. Sometimes those variations can be understood by their country of origin. For many years, for example, those of Cuban heritage tended to be more Republican, though that advantage may be fading.

Source: Public Religion Research Institute

“We’re not a monolithic group,” said Raimundo Rojas, the director of Latino outreach for National Right to Life. He grew up in Miami’s Hialeah neighborhood, known for being more than 90 percent Hispanic.

Mr. Rojas was not surprised by P.R.R.I.’s findings. Despite the study’s finding that 45 percent of all Hispanic Americans support legal abortion, he said there is a stigma attached to it in the Hispanic community. “It’s something that isn’t done,” he said. “You can’t look at the Hispanic culture without dealing with telenovelas. Women who have abortions in telenovelas are the villains.” “La Rosa de Guadalupe,” a religiously themed Mexican television series that has aired since 2007, is an example of this. In one famous episode, a woman died after receiving an abortion.

This stigma notwithstanding, Hispanic women in the United States have abortions at a higher rate than do white, non-Hispanic women, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights. But social media is changing things, Mr. Rojas said, and Latinos now share 3-D ultrasound images on Twitter, Instagram and Whatsapp. He believes these photos and viral videos are changing minds, particularly among millennials.

“It seems like every month science allows us to show babies in utero are human beings,” he said. “In the end, this is a human rights issue, not a religious one. The single most dangerous place for a Hispanic in the United States isn’t on the southern border, it isn’t in a detention center, it is in her mother’s womb. Today, 538 Latino babies will be aborted.”

About two-thirds of the women who come to First Way Pregnancy Center in Phoenix are Latinas, according to Katie Wing, the center’s executive director. The pro-life clinic offers free free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds as well as diapers, baby clothes and counseling.

“We feel strongly that God has asked us to counsel and educate,” she said, adding that the center never pushes religion. “We give information, provide education and in-depth counseling. Otherwise people will continue to repeat the pattern.”

Agustín Vizcarra, who runs First Way’s men’s program and outreach, was somewhat surprised by the P.R.R.I. study’s finding of pro-life attitudes among Latinos. In the state of Arizona, more than a third of abortions are received by Latina women on an annual basis, he said, noting reports from the state.

That may be explained in part by a general reluctance within the Latino community to consider adoption, a trend noted by a number of workers at First Way. Mr. Vizcarra, who was born in Mexico City, believes “machismo” has a lot to do with it.

“The single most dangerous place for a Hispanic in the United States isn’t on the southern border, it isn’t in a detention center, it is in her mother’s womb.”

“At least in Mexican culture, a man doesn’t want another family raising his child,” he said, adding that men have a great influence on whether a woman choses abortion. “A lot of what we see is a guy that doesn’t want to be committed.”

If a couple does choose to have the baby, First Way supports them with a number of services, including classes and counseling in English and Spanish, as well as a men’s group. If the ultrasound nurse does not speak Spanish, the center ensures there is a translator present.

Source: Public Religion Research Institute

These on-the-ground realities help move the conversation beyond politics and focus on individuals, Ms. Domingo said.

“We talk about immigration and the unborn in the same sentence. We are talking about human dignity in both cases,” she said. “The more we can put these together, the more we can overcome divisive partisanship. We need to focus on the common good. That brings us together.”

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Crystal Watson
3 weeks 1 day ago

It's deceptive to say "Hispanic Catholics are pro-life". Hispanics not born here are more conservative, given the pervasiveness of Catholicism in the countries they come from. But US Hispanics, and the children of immigrants, are mostly *pro-choice* ... "A majority (57%) of Hispanics born in the U.S. believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases .... More than six in ten (63%) young Hispanics ages 18-29 born in the United States support abortion".

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

Well, so white people, and/or contact with the same, especially of the liberal variety, especially of any influence, (educators, faux "ministers" especially of the World Council of Churches [Jesuits?} ilk). are spiritual poison. Or can't one derive that sort of conclusion from the stats you present. Africans are tremedously Pro-life IN AFRICA. But contact with the aforementioned elements will evoke disastrous outcomes.

Crystal Watson
3 weeks 1 day ago

Not contact with white people .... living in a pluralistic country of many races and many religions and none, a country in which the Catholic church doesn't run your whole life from womb to tomb, may tend to allow people to think more critically about their beliefs.

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

You represent which vantage point? I am an ORTHODOX Catholic. I believe in what the church teaches, not from Fr. Frank's homily necessarily, but what the Church IS and has always taught. So, the Catholic Church inhibits one's ability to think/ reason......is that your actual point here...? Just looking for clarity. How would you describe yourself from a religious account and from a personal philosophy account?

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

Oh REALLY? Who are running the NGOs pushing for abortion in Central and South America and Latin America. They are, largely WHITE PEOPLE, mostly of NORTHERN EUROPEAN extraction (or Jews) .... prove me wrong.

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

Abortion has existed since the first time a midwife had to deal with a miscarriage. Indeed, the Book of Numbers specifies a test that would result in abortion If the wife was thought to be pregnant by another, at which time stones would be used to reunite mother and child. That was what the Gospels meant by Joseph did not want to subject Mary and Jesus to the Law.

Abortion only became a prohibition under the Didace and was not a legal issue until obstetrics replaced midwifery. We did not impose abortion on anyway, although they did offer contraception for economic aid and for women to have more reproductive choices. Of course, moving from feudalism to capitalism requires mass labor. Socialism happens when workers demand equality of result with their employers, or at least a basic level beyond subsistence and the right to universal education, health and opportunity. Dangerous things if you want wealth to be a zero sum game. On this question I stand with Pope Benedict on birth control v. Socialism.

Marx's idea of Critical Thinking scared the papacy of his day. St. John Paul was not exactly a fan, both as a Vatican II theologian fighting with Murray, Kung and Ratzinger and as Pope. Benedict is still a social democrat, but he was put off by students who questioned everything, especially authority in the Church. He was and is an organization man. Critical thinking is not rejection so much as reexamination. Every generation does that, although most follow what they are taught. Those of us who question simply ask embarrassing questions rather then accepting what we are taught. Among academics, the good ones believe they know less for certain with age. That is uncomfortable for bishops, who question their faith and fear the question rather than use it to find true faith.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks ago

Yes- Educating people regarding the facts, which are that Africa which is highly Pro-Life has an abortion rate, as a continent, only second or third, to the continent with the highest abortion rates in the world, South America (also highly Pro-Life), does makes all the difference. It should also warn Pro-Lifers from other countries like the U.S. that unless more abortions and often later abortions is what their group members want, then they are on the wrong side of their own goals. Every country/continent of the world with strict anti-abortion laws has much higher abortion rates. Ahh The Truth.

It is godly to teach and support women who choose life but it is ungodly to force women to gestate a fetus against their will. The later is no less evil then demanding anyone with two healthy kidneys either give one up to save another person's life who needs it or be faced with being called a murderer and put in prison for refusing to donate a kidney.

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

We also have the rather new status quo amongst self identified Catholics that most of them DON'T believe in the real presence, by 2-1 margin, but those numbers reverse when we count those who are actually practicing the faith...... see the connection ??? Can one "connect the dots?"

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

Interesting question. I posted comments on the editorial and the earlier briefer. It is not the Real Pressence so much as the magic of Transubstantiation that vexes them. Miracle or Magic? Loyalty or Love? Certainty or Faith? Power or Rights? They are all the same question. Blood Lust for God on the Cross or Vision Quest by God? Ogre or Papa? Basic questions that say more about the Church than God. Which choices are the narrow gate? Self reliance or community? Examine your conscience or show this to your pastor and see what he says.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks ago

Thank God Crystal, someone like you is helping to spread facts instead of nonsense and bent and twisted interpreted data.

Catholicism's effects on Latin America and Puerto Rico have caused these places to have the strictest laws regarding abortion and making it a crime in all their countries resulting in the HIGHEST not lower abortion rates. Strict anti-abortion laws at any stage of pregnancy increase the amount or rate of abortion, they do not lower it anywhere in the world. Meanwhile The U.S. has the lowest abortion rate it has ever had right now and we have some of the easiest access to abortion anywhere. Maybe that is why Pro-Choice is winning the debates and majorities of Latin Americans after they have gone to college. They have not become more secularized, they have become informed of the facts and educated just like colleges are supposed to do.

Jay Zamberlin
2 weeks ago

You're seriously deluding yourself if you think abortion on demand reduces abortions. Look at those stats in USA, are you suggesting we had anywhere near the abortions we have now prior to Roe v Wade, or actually take those stats back a few years prior, when states started to open the abortion flood gates.

Catholicism's effect?? Are you kidding me. This is a Catholic Magazine (at least in name). Really, Catholics imparting the faith to Catholics is the problem? Which propaganda sources are your favs.
Last point: College educated doesn't equal wisdom, in fact, we see the opposite. You would be a prime example, assuming you have some sort of college education. I'd call it indoctrination, of the secular humanist variety.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks ago

Jay, only a fool thinks education is the enemy. Facts don't hurt people - Lies do.

Actually, Yes, to answer your question, we currently have a lower rate of abortion than was recorded in the 1950s before abortion was made legal. This is largely due to greater birth control access but also for whatever reason Countries with greater access to abortion have less abortions, as far as all evidence proves. There was a huge amount of abortion in the 1980s because during that time period the only legal birth control many women could access was abortion. Many states had laws against birth control and access was difficult in many states even in the 1980s for many women.

Guttmacher's Stats on Global abortion rates listed below are accurate, and the are almost identical to the rates that the World Health Organization Reports for the same time period and if you don't believe them most of the countries have websites showing their own abortion rates online. They do not contradict Guttmacher's information below. In fact Guttmacher has left some room for error by probably under-reporting certain poverty stricken areas because they sought to only go by what reasonably good records indicated and some countries did not report all their abortions so these countries rates would be even higher and these are the countries where abortion is most criminalized and punished.

From Guttmacher regarding lack of needed contraception increasing abortion rates - please read the bottom line:

REGIONAL INCIDENCE AND TRENDS:

• The highest annual rate of abortion in 2010–2014 was in the Caribbean, estimated at 59 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, followed by South America, at 48.

The lowest rates were in Northern America, at 17, and Western and Northern Europe—at 16 and 18, respectively.

• Across regions, Eastern Europe experienced the largest decline in the abortion rate, from 88 in 1990–1994 to 42 in 2010–2014. Despite this decline, there is a persistent gap in rates between Eastern and Western Europe (42 vs. 16) likely reflecting lower use of effective, modern contraceptive methods in Eastern Europe.

• The overall abortion rate in Africa was 34 per 1,000 women in 2010–2014. Subregional rates ranged from 31 in Western Africa to 38 in Northern Africa. There has been little if any change in abortion rates in these subregions since 1990–1994.

• For Latin America, subregional abortion rates range from 33 in Central America to 48 in South America. Rates have increased slightly since 1990–1994, but not by statistically significant amounts.

• Abortion rates in Asia have also fallen since 1990–1994, although not significantly. Asia’s subregions all have rates close to the regional average of 36 per 1,000 women.

• Highly restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates. When countries are grouped according to the grounds under which the procedure is legal, the rate is 37 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age where it is prohibited altogether or allowed only to save a woman’s life, compared with 34 per 1,000 where it is available on request, a nonsignificant difference.

• High levels of unmet need for contraception help explain the prevalence of abortion in countries with restrictive abortion laws.
Also of interest beyond Guttmacher is :

Neither WHO or Guttmacher can give us a conclusion as to what happens when countries offer easy access to quality birth control but make their abortion laws stricter. This is due to the fact that most countries either are lenient on both issues or they are strict on access to both abortion and birth control. I would guess that in the countries that had stricter access to both, the abortion rates would come down more and more to where the Western and developed nations are at for abortion rates.

Unfortunately, in the countries where the laws for abortion become much stricter than they were the amount of abortions could increase quite a bit. This is due to the fact that women who get pregnant in their 40s or older often now wait to get an amnio to see if their fetus is healthy, during their 4th month of pregnancy, in these countries. With stricter laws these women may decide they don't want to take the chance the fetus is unhealthy or has downs syndrome, and instead get an early abortion thru more easily, anonimously obtained, although perhaps illegally obtained, abortion pills. These pills become not an option in later months, and testing would put the mother in a position to not be able to deny she is pregnant publicly if she waits.
What is sad in this situation, should it develop, is that 50% of all downs fetuses naturally miscarry in the first trimester, and 40% that make it to the 2nd trimester miscarry then. The amount of downs fetuses that are actually become born infants are very small amounts even for older women. This illness is still quite rare overall. This means many women could end up aborting perfectly healthy fetuses, by the thousands, that they would not have aborted, if the laws still allowed for abortions of downs or unhealthy fetuses in the countries that changed their laws to become more strict. Meanwhile there is no evidence loose abortion laws equate to more abortions, in any country, that has free and good access to birth control.
We could indeed find out that loose abortion laws help more to reduce abortion rates than having strict laws against abortion.

K. Miller
3 weeks 1 day ago

Aren’t all Catholics pro-life? And if you aren’t, are you actually Catholic?

Crystal Watson
3 weeks 1 day ago

Slightly more than half o US Catholics are pro-choice ... https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/religious-tradition/catholic/views-about-abortion/ ... and roughly the same percentage of Catholic women gat abortions as non-Catholics. There are groups like Catholics for Choice.

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

These are people you point to (proudly?) are born Catholics, but NOT practicing. CINO's. The participants in abortion (and one could argue pro-choice voting, to whatever degree) incur a latae sententiae ex communication. Catholics for Choice is actually a scandal and a sort of oxymoron. Catholic is as Catholic does, or DOING as Catholics DO, and pro choice isn't in that list....just FYI.

Antony P.
3 weeks 1 day ago

That is not an answer to the question. Prevalence of a crime or wrong doing does not justify the crime or wrong doing.

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks ago

No one said it did. There are many things that are legal to do in America that should stay legal but are not at all moral. For example, adultery, war, etc.

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

Catholics must not procure a particular abortion or advocate it as a positive good for students, Down's parents or zero population growth for environmental reasons (resource scarcity, climate).Eugenics either. Or NFP, strictly speaking. The right to childbirth must be guaranteed by subsidies if necessary. (Casti Connubii, #119-122) of the Magisterium of Pius XI. Opposing such support or being a Catholic business owner and not providing an adequate income, if not an identical living standard for the children of your workers is more pro-abortion than arguing against the rights of all women to have no investigation when their pregnancies end (unless someone else caused miscarriage). Not forcing society to adopt Catholicism, as opposed to economic justice, was promulgated by Paul VI and Vatican II in Dignitatis Humanae, although the Council Fathers likely did not consider abortion rights part of it. Freedom is messy that way.

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

There is no pro-life voting for legislators. The last 4 GOP justices vote pro-choice. While Box v Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky was denied Certiorari under Rule 10 (no conflicting Circuits), Alito, Thomas, Roberts, Gorsuch and Kavenaugh could have insisted in hearing it to re-examine Roe. No bishop could make them by denying Communion. First, it would be sedition because they were appointed by a foreign government and second, they would have to recuse themselves on either side. No case could be heard and none if the three would repeal anyway. There is no such thing as overturning Roe without repealing the Constitution.

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

HAH!! Is that some sort of Freudian slip....(" there is no pro-life voting for legislator. The last "GOP" justices vote pro-choice.......) well, for your information, justices do not, according to the US Constitution "legislate" anything. The don't "vote"...either, They decide on the Constitutionality of issues involved in certain cases. (Maybe you, indeed, know that, but that is not how I read your here). On the idea of not overturning Roe sans a "repeal" of the Constitution (where do you get this language?) that is just flat out wrong. Roe is questionable jurisprudence, and was from the start, even from the vantage point of "liberal" Constitutional Law professors and other legal experts, and bears no such "irrevocable" stamp. Hardly. Bone up on your facts there.

On the idea of bishops denying Supreme Court justices communion...... who would you deny? If I were a bishop, I would deny ALL defenders of abortion on demand communion. One could certainly argue against that from a prudential POV and also Church Canon Law, but it is not beyond the pale, certainly not. In fact, this country is in the sad shape it is in precisely because of related fecklessness on the part of our bishops, IMHO. WE, as a church, were not beaten back (remember the days when Hollywood would get pre approval from Catholic Church on movies?) we simple left the field of battle, just turned around and left like cowards.

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

There is no pro life option to vote for. Some Republican legislators are badly taught as far as law or they are pandering. No vote you cast can change the legality if abortion. Law is not about the result as much as power v. rights. Overturning Roe would abrogate all federal power under the 14th Amendment. Repealing that reinstitutes Plessy. No thank you.

Again, forcing the Justices or Governor/Secretary Sebelius to chose between her oath and her Church is an abuse of power. Clement of Antiochstarted the practice to make suburban gatherings conform to his authority. It was pernicious then and it is seditious now. You would not pass the bar, either constitutional or canon.

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

There is no pro life option to vote for. Some Republican legislators are badly taught as far as law or they are pandering. No vote you cast can change the legality if abortion. Law is not about the result as much as power v. rights. Overturning Roe would abrogate all federal power under the 14th Amendment. Repealing that reinstitutes Plessy. No thank you.

Again, forcing the Justices or Governor/Secretary Sebelius to chose between her oath and her Church is an abuse of power. Clement of Antiochstarted the practice to make suburban gatherings conform to his authority. It was pernicious then and it is seditious now. You would not pass the bar, either constitutional or canon.

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

And if the Catholics were threatened, they would have to recuse and Roe stands.

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

And don't take the Bar exam. Or the GRE subject test in political science. Or any Canon law final. Or special ethics at a Catholic college.

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

You're points are just gibberish. Please address the ONE main item you brought up, Roe being "set in stone" the dismantling of which would set the Constitution on its ear. This is just false on several levels. Seriously, look all of that up, it's not even controversial. Legal scholars, on both sides of the issue, are not happy with the way Roe was arrived at from a purely legal framework and Constitution jurisprudence, nuts and bolts, vantage point. It's seen as flimsy as hell, a doctrinaire grasp in the wind to satisfy the political rabble of the time, but NOT good law... Don't just ramble on and on about something of which you have no real solid background info. Respectfully, do better.

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 weeks ago

Michael
Your attempted legal conclusion that reversing Roe vs Wade requires “repealing the Constitution” is a whole lot of legal gobble guck. Roe vs Wade is “an interpretation of the Constitution” by the Court. Such interpretations have been reversed and modified by the Court in the past without as you put it: “ repealing the Constitution” .
The very concept of “repealing the Constitution “ is itself is a nullity.
The Constitution can be amended in a very difficult and time consuming process but it cannot be summarily “repealed”.
If this is a demonstration of your “Critical Thinking”, then it dies by your own pen

Nora Bolcon
2 weeks ago

Catholics have to be against abortion morally not legally. I have to believe that abortion is a sin which I do but no Catholic has to believe that making abortion a crime is the right solution in any country. There are other ways of dealing with the immorality of abortion - laws giving universal health care with easy free access to quality birth control, creating laws to extend paid maternity and paternity leaves from work, laws paying for public quality daycare for all children. These remedies are more used by Western and Northern Europe, Canada, and to some degree the U.S. and these countries have far lower abortion rates and maternal death rates and some of the most liberal abortion laws in the world.

Deplorable Me
1 week ago

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the LUSTS OF THEIR OWN HEARTS, to DISHONOR THEIR OWN BODIES between themselves:
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, MURDER, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, INVENTORS OF EVIL THINGS, disobedient to parents,
WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING, covenantbreakers, WITHOUT NATURAL AFFECTION, IMPLACABLE,UNMERCIFUL. WHO, KNOWING THE JUDGEMENT OF GOD, THAT THEY WHICH COMMIT SUCH THINGS ARE WORTHY OF DEATH, NOT ONLY DO THE SAME BUT TAKE PLEASURE IN THEM THAT DO THEM.

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

Most pro-life volunteers, including Latinos and Catholic bishops do not understand that letting states handle abortion laws also overturns federal protected class for them. Hernandez v Texas would fall as well as protection for the Church against states that still believe the Pope is the AntiChrist.

Only Congress can change the status of the unborn in early pregnancy, which would void the Rhode Island law. Federal power on abortion works both ways. Federal status means that anyone who has must get protection as a person and states would have to investigate all of their deaths and try mothers. They cannot selectively investigate abortion and not miscarriage. Privacy rights prevent investigating either. Due process means they must investigate all.

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 weeks ago

Michael
Please explain your somewhat incoherent juggling of the 14th Amendment protections and referring abortion control back to the states = neutering of Hernandez and the protection of the Church from one or more of the States. Similarly confused is your comment the requirement that the states investigate miscarriages if they have any anti abortion legislation

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

Maybe because they're Catholic?

Alan Johnstone
3 weeks 1 day ago

When an abortion is performed, a person is killed intentionally. The person who has done the killing and the people who have procured them are guilty of murder.

No popularity contest, no political drivel, no ethnic particularity will ever change that and the mortal sin of murder is committed by a person who has free will and sins gravely whether or not they are religious, agnostic or atheist.

Evil is evil. Sin is sin. This is absolute truth, no conditions apply.

The community aspect of Catholicism can be harnessed by having most or all Catholics strictly refrain from ever letting abortion be an option in the range of possibilities of responding to a pregnancy however brought about, disapprove of it being done by anybody and pubic disapproval of known offences.

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

Don't you ever, and I mean ever, present such a simplistic declaration of what sin is and isn't. That is simply not part of what we do anymore as Catholics. We must, as a matter of course, and social justice, parse, meet, beg the question, obfuscate, equivocate, run it through the America Magazine editorial board and Notre Dame board of directors, (did I forget anyone??? oh yes, the Unitarian/Catholic Social Justice Union) and THEN, and only then, can we begin to have any sort of glimpse into the "so called" sinfulness of a given social concern. "Sin" as an idea, is also not part of the moral/philosophical lexicon any longer, actually. That went the way of the laughable traditional understanding of "the Real Presence." I mean, how dare you???

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

Murder is a legal term. Killing is the correct o e. You cannot murder someone without rights. The u born have the same right to life (not being executed) as anyone. It is why pregnant women cannot be executed in the USA. Not not being murdered is a positive legislated right under the social contract under which governments are formed by free people. Unless you hold the view that having government is a basic right, which I.plies rights come from the state rather the self, then not being murdered cannot be a matter of right.

Alan Johnstone
3 weeks 1 day ago

Do you really expect mature age professionals to bow to the nonsense of Critical Theory and pay any heed to the consequent drivel?

The Ten Commandments were the LAW of Moses, passed from God to him to the chosen people. The Decalogue was the bullet point summary of the diverse themes of sinfulness possible to the moral beings called humankind; the mysterious conjunction NOT of opposites but of categories of being, living material being and living immortal spirit or an intelligent animal with freedom of will subject to absolute limits of expression.

The Hebrew word used designated that it was forbidding the killing and declaring the killing to be morally forbidden as well as legally forbidden. We do not forget that the Chosen people were living under a Theocracy which is unlike modern America.

The Mosaic law was preceded by what have been called the Noahide laws.
Beginning with Genesis 2:16, the Babylonian Talmud listed the first six commandments as prohibitions against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, and robbery and the positive command to establish courts of justice (with all that this implies).
After the Flood a seventh commandment, given to Noah, forbade the eating of flesh cut from a living animal (Gen. 9:4).

Whichever way you look at it, law is a issue of BOTH the will of God and its constraints on human actions concerning fellow human beings.

Michael Bindner
3 weeks 1 day ago

You are correct, however, that making abortion undesirable is essential. It just cannot be done through the criminal law (except for the law punishing tax evasion).

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

Michael, you have at least some grasp of the subject matter, and some specifics, but really, we had a two hundred year precedent in this country of abortion being illegal, (and people will bring up exceptions, exceptions that mostly prove that rule, btw) so how do you, smart man that you must be, say that with a straight face, that it "cannot" be legislated. It most certainly can. It IS being severely restricted in several states already, and so far, those have withstood, (but not in every case) legal challenges. So, what the hell are you talking about?

Antony P.
3 weeks 1 day ago

Why are Hispanic Catholics pro-life? Perhaps, because they are Catholics?

The more pertinent question should be: Why aren’t all Catholics pro-life?

Alan Johnstone
3 weeks 1 day ago

Spot on.
Unfortunately, we have Judas as well as Peter and Paul known to be disciples, we have baptised people catechised in the Latin Rite and wearing the Catholic identity way out of step in the march from habitual sinner towards moral perfection.

Crystal Watson
3 weeks 1 day ago

Conservative Catholic men opine on what women are allowed to do with their bodies.

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

Liberal, non Catholic men (e.g., Jewish "Village Voice" liberal writer Matt Hentoff), liberal women, conservative women also opine towards that same end. They do so, not with any sort of idea of desecration of another's rights, but the preservation of the rights of those, in a true competition of "rights", who cannot speak for themselves, i.e., the unborn.

Are you actually suggesting that women themselves do not oppose abortions? I think the numbers would actually be MORE women. Without minimizing the impact of child bearing/rearing for women, men have to pay when a woman keeps her child in the US. Who is MORE incentivised to preserve the status quo?

Crystal Watson
3 weeks 1 day ago

I meant here on this post. BTW, while y'all are worrying about the fate of embryos, your "chosen one" is ending a program offering life-saving treatment for seriously ill immigrant children. So pro-life ... https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/08/medical-deferred-action-deportations

Jay Zamberlin
3 weeks 1 day ago

The argument is not one of competing violations of rights, IOW, the greater/lesser of two evils, of 'whatabout-isms.' It is about Catholic ongoing, from the beginning, insistence on the rights of the unborn, acknowledged by parts of society or not, by civil law or not. Those ideas are embraced by adherents to the faith, speaking of those who actually practice their faith, who actually take the Church at her word. I don't pretend to know the sex nor the ethnicity of persons postings, why do you assume such? The Church's claims about the sacredness of nascent life are either true or not true. Your half hearted attempts to muddy the waters are somewhat disengenous, as well as specious and serve only the purpose to give some sort of moral "green light" to abortion on demand as practiced in the USA and similar situations across the globe. If I'm wrong about that, make your case.

Deplorable Me
3 weeks ago

That small "blob' or that fully formed fetus that is removed during abortion IS NOT YOUR BODY.

Crystal Watson
3 weeks ago

Fetuses and embryos are not independent people, they are part of a woman's body and cannot survive without being that. If/when they reach the point that they can - viability - abortions are not performed.

John Chuchman
3 weeks ago

Pro Birth, not pro life.

J Jones
3 weeks ago

I cannot find the words to adequately articulate how egregious and misogynistic I find the quote about the bodies of Hispanic women being the most dangerous place in the United States for a Hispanic human being, how egregious and misogynistic that phrase is each time it is directed at the latest group of women targeted by anti-abortion activists. It seems especially egregious that JD and the editors of America would encourage readers to popularize that saying via Twitter less than a month after the massacre in El Paso; a few weeks after Trump and his administration announced they will not provide life-saving immunizations to human beings held in detention centers; and during the Administration of an American president who laughed when his supporter proposed shooting Hispanic human beings at the Southern border. The quote from the man from the "right to life" organization, stripped of context as it will be on Twitter and Facebook, says "Who cares about all that? It's peanuts compared to those women murdering their children." Shame on you, JD and America's editors, for publishing that quote and encouraging its popularization.

Stuart Meisenzahl
3 weeks ago

J Jones
Odd that you should have just discovered after all these years that the “Tweet This” approach used by America’s Editors is usually just an endorsement of The Editors’ viewpoints with the intellectual content distorted in the absence of its original context and stripped of the qualifications of its original author.
But then again it appears that your attention and ire have only been raised because “one of your favored Oxen” has just been gored.

J Jones
3 weeks ago

Stuart, how are you today?

JOHN GRONDELSKI
3 weeks ago

Sandra Cano, like Andrew and Mario Cuomo and many other "Catholic" Democrats, are Democrats first and Catholics when it promises electoral benefit. The fact that the "bipartisan" pro-life caucus in the House is bipartisan thanks to one member--whom his party tried to destroy in a primary--speaks tons about the possibilities of being pro-life in that party.

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