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'Abortion Is the Issue'

September 17, 2000

As one of the nation's 15 million Catholics voters, I was pleased to see your Sept. 12 article on the dilemma faced by Catholic voters in the presidential election. For me, abortion is the issue. Since 1956, when I was part of a pro-Stevenson demonstration at the Shrine Auditorium, I have been a Democrat because of the party's social principles.

With each election, as abortion became more and more a public issue, I have felt uneasy being identified with the party that supports abortion. This year, when the delegates to the Democratic convention gave their loudest and most enthusiastic cheers to Al Gore's support for "a woman's right to choose," I knew I could no longer be a Democrat, even though I am in accord with the party on every other issue.

I have changed my registration to "declines to state" and now am struggling to decide how to vote. Not voting is not a choice for me. But how does one reconcile the willful death of millions of unborn human beings with the needs of the living? I pray for an answer.

MILANIA AUSTIN HENLEY

Woodland Hills

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