This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Archbishop and the Senator from New York

The AP reports that San Antonio, Texas Archbishop Jose Gomez objects to a campaign appearance by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton at St. Mary's University, which is sponsored by the Diocese (and therefore partly his personal property) due to her pro-choice stance on abortion.

As I have said previously regarding another Archbishop's statements, it appears that his Excellency does not get it.

A pro-choice position is not an endorsement of abortion per se, but a realization that using the criminal law to prohibit abortion is not the right approach. If Senator Clinton were going to the campus to advise a group of pregnant coeds to terminate their pregnancies in order to complete their educations and advance their careers, the Archbishop would have a point. That is not the case, however. She may bring up abortion - in fact she has to in light of this controversy. Hopefully she will remember our conversation last year at this time regarding how some use this issue for political gain with no intent on resolution. If she were to do so, there might be some news in this campaign that we could use - although I don't expect it.

Let me reiterate one thing. The issue is not whether abortion should be made legal. It already is and the current lineup of the Supreme Court indicates it will be for the foreseeable future (Alito and Roberts supported Kennedy's position in the partial birth abortion decision rather than the Scalia/Thomas concurrence which advocated overturning Roe, thus Roe still has a 7-2 majority). States will not get the chance to pass abortion bans any time soon - nor the chance to repeal existing bans that were on the books when Roe was decided.

The legal question is not the morality of abortion, but when and how it can and should be regulated. Overturning Roe would also overturn Federal preeminence in civil rights law, basically putting citizens at the mercy of their state legislatures - which is a violation of republican government (majority rule with minority rights). It would also be ineffective, as women and girls would travel to abortion states for the procedure in much the same way they travel to counties where it is available.

The only way to constitutionally restrict abortion would be to grant citizenship rights to the child. Doing so in the first trimester is dicey - since it would turn every miscarriage into a public event and endow the child's survivors with a tort for its loss. While most such torts would not be successful, giving lawyers an entre' into this issue can hardly be in the best interest of either society or medicine. If you think malpractice rates for OB's are high now, just wait to see what happens if the fetus becomes a legal person.

As I have said several times, the best cure for abortion is the empowerment of women and girls to both say no to sex and to have the economic power to care for the child regardless of circumstance, while still having the ability to pursue an education and a career and the assurance that the child can do so without having to rely on the parents for financial support.

Considering the Church's ownership of probably the largest private educational complex on the planet and its influence with Catholic business owners and shareholders (who could be excommunicated for not providing a family wage), perhaps there are other avenues than GRANDSTANDING which could be used to fight abortion.

(On a technical note, most reported abortions are actually miscarriages - not elective procedures - so the statistics on how many children have been lost to abortion are way off since most of them were DEAD ALREADY).

1 Comments:

Anonymous AntiBVBL.net said...

Mon Mar 3, 2008 at 8:32:34 AM EST
Email: admin@antibvbl.net

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mar 3, 2008

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9:51 AM

 

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