An authentically Catholic response to a Washington Post article on abortion that falsely claims to be authentically Catholic.

Rebuttal by Doug Lawrence

Me: Jon O’Brien’s views on abortion are neither authentically Catholic or correct.

“An authentically Catholic approach to reproductive health care”

By Jon O’Brien

Abortion is a difficult issue, made even more so by several recent emotionally and politically charged debates. A prime contributor to this noxious environment is antichoice legislation, such as the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (HR 3), which was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).

Me: Abortion is most difficult for the innocent babies who are today, legally slaughtered at a rate of almost 4,000 per day, in the United States. Furthermore, the fact that a totally immoral and illicit, murderous act of abortion is deemed to be legal by the U.S. government, gives the false impression to vulnerable women that such a thing is somehow morally permissible. It is not, no matter what the government (or Mr. O’Brien) says!

Smith has repeatedly shown that he does not respect women’s ability to make their own reproductive health care decisions and believes government should be a party to the private deliberations women and their families make about health care. And, while Smith and his cosponsor, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-lll.), are both Catholics, their proposed legislation runs contrary to the beliefs of American Catholics in regard to abortion access.

Me: Not only do representatives Smith and Lipinski properly respect all women  (including the 50% of aborted babies who are female) and their God given rights, abortion IS NOT and NEVER will be a legitimate form of reproductive health care. Deliberating in order to commit murder is defined as a criminal conspiracy in most states, EXCEPT in the case of abortion. American Catholics who are worthy of the name “Catholic” understand both the evil nature of abortion and of those who falsely promote it, under the guise of women’s choice.

Expressing support for the Smith-Lipinski bill, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities recently wrote to Congress. The letter clearly outlines the U.S. bishops’ opinion, but it does not represent the opinion of the majority of the 68 million American Catholics nor, in fact, the views of the majority of Americans.

Me: Mr. O’Brien has no way of qualifying his speculation in this matter, nor does it matter, since on this issue, the bishops stand on some 2000 years of authentic, consistent Catholic teaching on the matter. Any Catholic who believes otherwise is simply mistaken, and will very likely someday, find it necessary to review the matter with God, himself.

Despite what the U.S. bishops would like us to believe, American Catholics support the right of women and men in good conscience to make important reproductive health care decisions for themselves.

Me: Despite what Mr. O’Brien would like us to believe, there is and can be no legitimate right to abortion (or murder) no matter what mistaken Catholics (or anyone else) of conscience may believe.

The bishops’ position–opposing abortion in every instance, even in cases of rape, incest or when an abortion is necessary to preserve a woman’s health or life–is shared by fewer than 15 percent of American Catholic voters, and according to the bishops’ own polling, by only 11 percent of the American populace.

Me: The bishop’s position on abortion is totally correct, while the position held by various segments of American voters is in serious error, having led to over fifty million innocent deaths over the last thirty eight years. There is rarely if ever, an actual necessity to abort. Instead we have legal and political justifications for a heinous act which is at best, a serious abuse of women, and at worst, murder and abomination.

HR 3 is bad for women’s health. It will enact into law unreasonable obstacles to safe and legal health care for American women–including lower-income and other vulnerable women–who access health care through our nation’s safety net programs. These include women in military families, women who seek care through the Indian Health Service and women whose insurance is in any way affiliated with the government. The effect of this ban would be that women who are already facing challenges accessing health-care services will have to overcome additional delays and costs to receive the health care they need. This would be a major setback for women’s health and for the stability of the families who rely on our nation’s safety nets to bolster them in times of need.

Me: Since when did killing babies turn into a “safety net”? Since when did it become reasonable to slaughter the babies of the poor and the disadvantaged, in order to make it easier for them to meet the everyday challenges of life? Abortion as a health care service is an insidious evil that has already crippled our society and steeped our great country in blood. There is no “safety net” that can protect us from the dire consequences of such uncharitable, immoral, and genocidal behavior.

HR 3 also expands so-called conscience clauses, more accurately called refusal clauses. The bill establishes an unbalanced preference for those who would refuse to provide services over both those who wish to provide comprehensive services to their patients and those patients who need access to safe and legal services and medications. These more stringent restrictions expand the right of refusal to include any health care entity, including HMOs and insurance plans as well as hospitals and clinics.

Me: There was a time (not too long ago) when murder and infanticide were (always and nearly everywhere) rightly recognized as crimes against nature and gravely sinful.  Forcing anyone to participate in the abortion process is in itself an immoral act only slightly less evil than the act itself. No one should be forced by their government to be an accomplice to such crimes.

Expanding the right of refusal and those who could claim this right would result in Americans being denied the ordinary, legal, safe and reasonable health care they need and deserve, and it would tie the hands of doctors and nurses who want to provide that care.

Me: At last, I am able to at least partially agree with Mr. O’Brien … except for the part about ordinary, safe, legal and reasonable! And nobody deserves “health care” that invariably results in the death of 50% of those who are involved in the “procedure”.

On this issue as well, U.S. Catholics disagree with the bishops. A September 2009 poll by Belden
Russonello & Stewart found Catholic voters are against refusal or “conscience” clauses for institutions that take federal funding. Sixty-five percent said that hospitals and clinics that take taxpayer dollars should not be allowed to refuse certain procedures or medications based on religious beliefs.

Me: There is right and there is wrong. On this matter, the bishops are right and the people who responded to the poll are wrong. Federal funding has nothing to do with it. Nor does anything else. And the baby killers know this!

I recognize and support the right of individual health care providers to decline to provide services to which they object on moral grounds. However, it is nonsensical to assert that institutions or health systems or even insurance providers have such a right, as indeed, they have no conscience to protect–only an individual can have a conscience. Not only does this blatantly disrespect the conscience of patients who present in health care facilities seeking care, either by design or by accident as in cases of emergencies. It also replaces the decision of doctors and patients with that of religious leaders without medical expertise. Enacting HR 3 would result in Americans being denied the ordinary, legal, safe and reasonable health care they need and deserve, and it would tie the hands of doctors and nurses who want to provide that care.

Me: Real people provide all of the care and all of the services offered by corporate health care providers. It is hardly nonsensical to insist that the rights of those people be protected. No one should be forced to participate (in any way) in the grisly and totally immoral business of abortion. In so far as the judgment of doctors and nurses: they have no right to decide to kill babies, either! Such heinous acts are never ordinary, legal, safe, or reasonable … no matter what Mr. O’Brien may claim … since the right to life is God given … and not subject to the arbitrary dictates of any government. It’s high time the baby killers and women abusers had their bloody hands tied!

Our Catholic social justice tradition encourages us to advocate for the poor, and our intellectual tradition requires our respect for conscience-based decisions people make about their lives, including decisions about reproductive health. Catholics support policies that enable women to make decisions about whether to become pregnant or whether to continue a pregnancy. Large majorities of Catholic voters support access to and coverage for abortions–either in private- or government-run health systems.

Me: “Our” Catholic social justice tradition has never even entertained the idea of helping the poor and the disadvantaged by killing their children. As for conscience-based decisions: No properly formed Catholic conscience would ever provide the requisite “cover” needed to choose abortion, under ANY circumstances. Mr. O’Brien knows that. He just can’t (or won’t) accept it.

Catholic support for family planning and abortion is grounded in the core principles of Catholicism, which respect the moral agency of all people and their right to follow their consciences on all matters. HR 3 is bad for women’s health and for the wellbeing of American families. The US bishops support legislation such as this because they have failed to convince Catholics in the pews of the value of their antichoice agenda. Legislators should not be taken in by their arguments and should listen to those who elected them, and not a small handful of religious leaders.

Me: Mr. O’Brien (probably deliberately) misunderstands and misrepresents the core principles of Catholicism. Throughout its 2000 year history, the Catholic Church has never supported any form of artificial contraception or abortion, no matter what. All his obfuscations and false justifications aside, Mr. O’Brien advocates abortion on demand, which has already proved to be the bloodiest scourge ever perpetrated upon mankind. Legislators of good conscience know that, and are duty bound to try to prevent it. And it’s about time! God bless Mr. Smith and Mr. Lipinski.

Jon O’Brien is the president of Catholics for Choice.

Doug Lawrence is the director of Alliance for Life.

Link to original article

In His Sign Network Catholic Radio available on-line and over the air

By Doug Lawrence
Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I had the opportunity to spend a pleasant hour on the air today, talking about Catholic stuff with Kathleen McCarthy, President of the In His Sign Network, and host of a twice weekly radio program “What the World Needs Now” (5-6 PM Eastern Time, Tuesdays and Wednesdays). See the official site for times and days of other Catholic programs.

Kathleen is a warm, gracious host, very knowledgeable and strong in her Catholic faith. It was great talking with her, and sharing the faith with so many listeners, in such a public setting.

Kathleen also conducts retreats and workshops, and is available to speak to Catholic groups and conferences . Kathleen’s contact information.

Thanks to Kathleen, for inviting me to be on her program, and special thanks to Harry, who arranged the interview.

I’ve always maintained that good Catholics are some of the nicest people you’re ever going to meet … this side of Heaven … and that certainly applies here!

In the Philadelphia area, tune-in to WTMR-800 AM.

Visit the IHS Network Site

Listen over the Internet

Make a donation to help keep the IHS Network on the air

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