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, January 29, 2010

March for Life coverage in the Arlington Catholic Herald

Last night, the Arlington Catholic Herald came. As always, I turned first to the letters and opinion pages. They did not disappoint. You can read the current letters online at

One letter was from an 8th grader from a local Catholic grade school. He relates his March experience and makes some points that will make the right-wingers a bit uneasy, citing the need for more services to pregnant women and the primacy of economics in the abortion issue. Sadly, he does not go beyond assistance to pregnant women in his remedies, since assistance to all families is what is really needed to really reduce abortions. He does make a fundamental error, which most likely reflects his training. He states that he thinks that "it is important for young people to go on the March for Life because someday we will be the ones making the choices. We will be voting for who is president and whether or not things like abortion should be legal. " This is not, in fact, the case, since the right to abortion is not legislatively based - at least not in the way he, and indeed the Bishops, believe. Abortion rights flow from the fact that under the plain language of the 14th Amendment, legal status begins at birth - although Congress can change this as part of its enforcement powers under the amendment. Outside of California and New York, there was never a law legalizing abortion and at the state level it is not, and should not be, a legislative issue.

A second article was from an opponent of immigration reform, who cites immigration and NAFTA cause of poverty (in reaction to an article which suggested otherwise). He claims to not support abortion, however the policies he suggests would only increase abortions among poor people, both here and in Latin America. So much for the seamless garment of life.

Congressman Chris Smith has an opinion piece which trots out studies, which I believe have been largely discredited, that abortion is harmful to women and girls. For some, it may be, but studies show that for others it is not - especially since there is little difference between a D&C after a miscarriage and an elective abortion. As far as young people being depressed after an abortion, that may be the case - but it may be because they are sexually active too early or in concert with alcohol or drugs, rather than from the fact of their abortions.

Russell Shaw does his part to attack health care reform in support of the Stupak Amendment, which was rejected in the Senate largely because it would have gone beyond abortion neutrality and put at risk funding of abortions now funded by private insurance with government subsidies if those policies move to insurance exchanges. That is not neutrality, that is overreach. One can argue that it would be good to further restrict abortion funding in the private sector - but lying about wanting to do so is not acceptable. It is also likely that most abortions would be paid for with cash as they are now, so that there is no record of the procedure for one's spouse or parents. All in all, even with the Senate bill, abortion will go down, since as our young 8th grader states, most abortions happen because of economic uncertainty or peril. Enacting health care reform would reduce that uncertainty and thus reduce abortions.


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