Saturday, March 25, 2023

Some Catholics Are Uneasy About Reversing Abortion Enemy Cry

NEW YORK ( Associated Press) – Top leaders of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops called on believers to pray and fast on Friday in hopes that the Supreme Court is on track to overturn the constitutional right to abortion. Yet even among Catholics who oppose abortion, there is some concern about the consequences of such a decision.

Recently leaked Supreme Court draft opinion Wade, a move that would allow individual states to allow abortions.

Some anti-abortion Catholics say such an outcome would be the answer to their prayers. Others warn that Catholic leaders should distance themselves from the politically partisan wing of the anti-abortion movement and pursue a “pro-life” approach by supporting broad policies that set a safety net for unmarried mothers and low-income families. Expand your concept.

Madison Chastain, a Catholic blogger and disability advocate, describes herself as anti-abortion, yet opposes reversing the row and criminalizing abortion.

Factors that cause miscarriage, she wrote The National Catholic Reporter covers a lack of comprehensive sex education, inadequate health care, and workplace inequalities.

“Make abortion illegal before these injustices are addressed is going to kill women, because women will continue to have abortions, secretly and unsecured,” she wrote.

Sam Sawyer, a journalist and Jesuit priest, says he is a “dedicated pro-life advocate” who supports Roe’s reversal. Yet he responded to the leak with an essay Listing reasons why abortion rights advocates are so concerned with that possibility.

“The pro-life movement and its political alliances are perceived as a threat not only to abortion but to democratic norms, judicial commitments to civil rights, and women’s health and economic security,” Sawyer wrote in America. , the Jesuit magazine for which he is a senior editor.

Republican politicians backed by anti-abortion leaders “have used the life of the unborn as a moral cover to ignore other calls for justice,” Sawyer wrote. “Political allies of the pro-life movement have shut down social safety net programs that would make it easier for women to terminate pregnancies.”

call for one day fasting And prayers came from Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the American Episcopal Conference, and William Lowry, Archbishop of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

He prayed for the cry to be reversed and for “change of hearts and minds of abortion advocates”.

The archbishop echoed the call of other Catholic leaders who, after the Supreme Court leak, suggested that Roe’s reversal should be combined with expanded outreach and support for pregnant women and new mothers.

Lowry highlighted a USCCB program called Walking With Moms in Need, saying that the church should “redouble its efforts to go along with women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, and mothers-to-be. During the father’s early years.”

The Episcopal Conference has designated “the threat of abortion” as its major priority – a view that many Catholics do not share. According to Pew Research Center surveys, 56% of American Catholics say that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

O Carter Snead, a professor who teaches law and political science at the University of Notre Dame, said via email that most Catholics who engage in anti-abortion activism are “not hard-hitting political partisans, but people who care for mothers and children in some way or another.” want. are available.”

As an example, Snead cites Notre Dame’s De Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture – which he directs – and one of its initiatives, called “Women and Children First: Imagining a Post-Row World”. goes. Through teaching, research, and public engagement, the initiative seeks to “strengthen support for women, children (born and unborn), and families in need.”

However, achieving broad bipartisan cooperation on such initiatives may not come too soon, Snead acknowledged.

“It is true, sadly, that the only political party willing to partner in providing legal protection for the unborn is the Republicans,” he said.

Chad Pecknold, a professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, also suspected that the bipartisan rise might be following the cry over abortion.

“As long as Democrats insist on abortion for all nine months of pregnancy, and as long as Republicans recognize that abortion runs contrary to the 14th Amendment, it will remain a partisan issue,” he said via email.

“But the goal of the pro-life movement has never been partisan,” Pecknold said. “The goal is justice for pre-born persons, who have the right to live, be loved, raised in a family.”

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas – a vocal critic of Catholic politicians supporting abortion rights – said abortion opponents “must continue to provide support and care for mothers who find themselves in difficult situations. “

“I pray that we move to a place where both mother and child are considered sacred and society supports the lives of both in every possible way,” he said via email.

David Gibson, director of the Center on Religion and Culture at Fordham University, questions the importance of recent promises by Catholic bishops and other anti-abortion leaders to foster support for single mothers.

“Could this movement, which is so closely associated with the Republican Party and the Conservative movement, suddenly mobilize its people for socially liberal policies?” Gibson asked, referring to programs such as subsidized child care and paid maternity leave.

Steven Millais, a professor of public theology at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, says that bishops take partial responsibility for the intrusive polarization on abortion, which he hopes may even reverse the cry.

“It is unrealistically hopeful to think that the habits of divisiveness will be abandoned,” Millis said, suggesting that Bishop has been working hard for stronger, better-funded social programs to reduce abortion over the years and could do more.

Rebecca Breton Weiss, a writer and digital editor for US Catholic Magazine, said she no longer calls herself a “pro-life” – although she was active in that movement for many years and believes that all lives are safe. is capable.

“Those who are working to reverse the row have made it clear that they are not interested in expanding the safety net,” she said. “They either haven’t thought about the consequences, or they are fine with the consequences — higher rates of infant mortality, more women seeking unsafe abortions, more families pushing for desperate measures.”

Thomas Reese, a Jesuit priest who writes for Religion News Service, suggested in a column Roe’s reversal should be an occasion for reappraisal by the many bishops who embraced the Republican Party because of its anti-abortion stance.

“Catholic bishops will celebrate this victory for which they have worked for decades, but ironically it should lead to a divorce between bishops and Republicans,” Reese wrote. “The GOP has nothing more to offer them. In fact, except abortion, its proposals are contrary to Catholic social teaching.”

Believing that Roe was reversed, Reese said, “The bishop can declare victory over abortion and turn his attention to social programs…”

Yet Reese doubts that will happen.

“My guess is that they will continue to fight until a consensus is reached on abortion in America,” he wrote. “That would mean sticking with Republicans and sacrificing all of your other priorities.”


The Associated Press religion coverage is supported by the Associated Press’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. Associated Press is solely responsible for this content.


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