Abortion issue not going away
By Connie Mackey
It was with some surprise to see Mr. Stevens-Arroyo, a self-proclaimed Catholic, upset that Archbishop (soon to be Cardinal) Raymund Burke told an interviewer that one "can never vote for someone who favors absolutely the right to choice of a woman to destroy a human life in her womb or the right to a procured abortion."
Archbishop Burke, as a bishop, is perfectly in his right to guide Catholics under his purview to follow Catholic teaching. His authority to grant such guidance is reinforced by his current position as the head of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church (apart from the Pope himself).
No American Catholic voter is compelled to take Archbishop Burke's counsel. Yet he is compelled, by the duties of his faith, to give it.
What Mr. Stevens-Arroyo fails to point out is that his problem is not with Archbishop Burke but with Catholic teaching on the issue of life. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church makes clear, 'Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law' (No. 2271)
While Mr. Stevens-Arroyo might think he has "matured" past Catholic teaching on life, it is still a primary issue for not only the Catholic Church but also for many of the voters this past Tuesday. While economics dominated many press reports this election cycle, the overwhelming numbers of new Members of the House of Representatives coming in are unabashedly pro-life and did not hide that fact as they campaigned.
The freshmen class for the 112th Congress increased the number of pro-life members by at least 52 votes. This number includes 38 pro-life members-elect replacing members who voted consistently or mostly pro-abortion and 14 pro-life members-elect replacing Members with a mixed pro-life voting record.
Additionally many of the Members who lost their seats this past week lost because of their votes for President Obama's health care law, which a number of experts, including Factcheck.org and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (the ONLY official representative of the Catholic Church involved in the health care debate), agree leads to taxpayer funding of abortion. After the final health care vote, FRC Action PAC started our "20 in '10" campaign targeting those who voted for the abortion funding health care legislation. As of this writing 19 of those 20 went down in defeat against pro-life challengers. Only one seat, Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz-08), is not fully reported in yet.
Mr. Stevens-Arroyo might wish for the pro-life issue to disappear from elections, as well as Catholic teaching. Until innocent life is no longer taken for granted in the United States and the world, the issue is not going anywhere.
Connie Mackey, a Catholic, is president of the political action committee FRC Action PAC.
By Connie Mackey |
November 5, 2010; 4:50 PM ET
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