Prez debates and abortion

Here is a great article at NRO, by a Catholic priest Thomas Berg regarding the third rail of American politics, abortion.

Maybe I just don’t get it. As many otherwise pro-life Catholics voting for Obama this time around might want to remind me, “it’s the economy, stupid” — now more than ever, right?

Indeed, the common wisdom appears to be that in election 2008, the economy trumps every other issue in urgency and magnitude — even abortion. If pro-lifers think the pro-choice, pro-Freedom of Choice Act, pro-partial-birth-abortion candidate is more qualified to handle America’s looming economic disaster, why should they hesitate to vote for him?

Catholic bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton responded to this logic in his pastoral letter for Respect Life Sunday (celebrated on October 5th this year in all Catholic parishes in the United States):

This reasoning is sound only if other issues carry the same moral weight as abortion does, such as in the case of euthanasia and destruction of embryos for research purposes. Health care, education, economic security, immigration, and taxes are very important concerns. Neglect of any one of them has dire consequences as the recent financial crisis demonstrates. However, the solutions to problems in these areas do not usually involve a rejection of the sanctity of human life in the way that abortion does.

Do the two issues — economy and abortion — bear the same moral weight? The bishop, standing on the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church, says no. One moral evil, that of abortion, is intrinsically gravely evil. An economic crisis — even one of the current magnitude — is simply not an intrinsic evil. In fact, the sense in which it even constitutes a genuine “crisis” sorely demands further examination.
An economic crisis like the present means that millions of Americans will experience negative, discomforting and, in many cases, dire consequences. But no expert I know of is suggesting the crisis will reach bread-line proportions. And even it if did, the suffering of such consequences comes nowhere close to the moral gravity of human beings directly targeting and destroying the lives of 50 million unborn babies as has been the case under America’s abortion-on-demand regime.


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