Saturday, November 10, 2012
Ongoing comments on:
THE PROBLEM OF INDUCED ABORTION IN LATIN AMERICA by MARIANO REQUENA B.*, found at http://www.springerlink.com/content/32v4635138162kp8/fulltext.pdf
All penal codes of the Latin American countries condemn the interruption
of pregnancy with penalty of obligatory
imprisonment to the one who carries it
out, as well as to the woman who practices it. Nevertheless, the law is applied
only in those rare occassions in which the
abortion is denounced. The law does not
fulfil its purpose, since it does not succeed
in decreasing the incidence of abortion
How does the author know? Where's the double-blind study? This is just simply stated. The abortion rate in the U.S. pre-Roe and post-Roe would be worth noting here. The author actually undermines here conclusion in the previous statement, noting that the law is rarely enforced. No one doubt that without enforcement laws are useless.
In Latin American the problem is complicated by the illegality of abortion. The
woman knows that this deed has a legal
and social sanction and that, therefore,
she must conceal it, preventing legal punitive actions or sanctions from her social
environment. This is why abortion is
practiced in places and by persons who
deliberately avoid being known.
This is a common belief that has no evidence. In places where abortion is both legal and socially accepted, abortion providers do not normally hang out a shingle advertising "abortion services". Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider purposely and disingenuously calls itself "Planned Parenthood" because it can't say what it really does. Even the most hardened advocates of abortion rarely use the word, having opted for the euphemistic "reproductive rights". So the fact is that legality has nothing to do with the desire not to be known. The fact is that abortion is so heinous, so unjust, so atrocious, that it will always be hidden. It must be.
Friday, November 09, 2012
In a recent conversation, I observed that if Obama gets re-elected it will be due to the “help of the U.S. Catholic bishops - most of them.” My comment was in response to a statement by an Illinois bishop which reads as follows:
"There are many positive and beneficial planks in the Democratic Party Platform, but I am pointing out those that explicitly endorse intrinsic evils...I am not telling you which party or which candidates to vote for or against...But I am saying that you need to think and pray very carefully about your vote, because a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy."
The instruction seems sufficiently stern and consistent with the recent warnings of many of the nation’s bishops. But the word “promotes” as in “promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil” is the wide-open hole big enough to drive an Obama-size bus right through.
Politicians, including Obama, normally don’t actively “promote” abortion. They don’t have to. Abortion is already legal and there are few politicians advocating for it to be MORE legal. They may defend it and fund it (e.g. tax dollars to Planned Parenthood) but this is not seen by the average voter as “promoting” it.
Thus, because Catholics are only advised to not vote for politicians who “promote” abortion, and none actually “promote” it, abortion never makes it on to the moral radar of most Catholic voters, and pro-abortion politicians get elected and re-elected.
By contrast, consider the statement by another Illinois bishop:
"Today, Catholic politicians, bureaucrats, and their electoral supporters who callously enable the destruction of innocent human life in the womb also thereby reject Jesus as their Lord. They are objectively guilty of grave sin."
This bishop hits it out of the park. The key difference is the word “enable”. Pro-abortion politicians know better than to stray into the abortion controversy and especially do not want to be seen promoting it. As mentioned, they don’t need to. They need only protect it, “enable” it.
They “enable” abortion in a variety of ways: by voting against pro-life legislation, neutering it with amendments, inserting provisions which allow the legislation to be enjoined once it has passed, and meddling with its enforcement - all the while covering for themselves with the “personally pro-life” label.
The troublesome USCCB document Faithful Citizenship uses the muddled instruction of the first bishop, which, in the end, leaves the average Catholic voter to decide which issues he actually cares about, or worse, justifies his penchant for sticking with his party regardless of the issues or principles involved.
In addition to the problem with the word “promote”, the first bishop ultimately torpedoes his entire intent when - after a stern instruction about the consequences of the material participation in evil - he tells his flock to “pray about it”. Sadly, for most contemporary Catholics this means “make up your own mind.”
In short, almost all episcopal instructions of the first type, though they employ words like “intrinsically evil” and “gravely sinful”, in effect, achieve the exact opposite of their intent. After several months of similar episcopal warnings, a September 2012 Pew Poll shows the pro-abortion Obama leading the pro-life Romney among Catholic voters 54-39 percent, up from 49-47 in June.
But from whence comes this timidity, this penchant for self-neutering what might have otherwise been a forthright, unequivocal, and magisterial instruction - like that of the second bishop? Some critics think that Catholic leaders pull back at the brink because they don’t want to endanger their 501(c)3 tax exempt status.
That may be. But Dr. Paul Rahe of Hillsdale College traces this diffidence back to the New Deal when the American Church began to accept the notion that public provision was akin to charity, and tax-code mandated redistribution of wealth became an article of social justice.
Rahe observes that the willing embrace of an increasingly paternalistic state by the American Church would one day come with a price, the loss of religious liberty:
"It did not cross the minds of these prelates that the liberty of conscience which they had grown to cherish is part of a larger package – that the paternalistic state, which recognizes no legitimate limits on its power and scope, that they had embraced, would someday turn on the Church and seek to dictate whom it chose to teach its doctrines and how, more generally, it would conduct its affairs."
That day has come.