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Re "A Catholic choice," Opinion, Oct. 17 Can a...

October 23, 2008

Re "A Catholic choice," Opinion, Oct. 17

Can a Catholic vote for a pro-choice candidate? To quote Sister Mary Katherine from fifth grade, "You can, but you may not!"

Douglas W. Kmiec just doesn't understand what the good sister and millions of genuine Catholics do: A Catholic is, by definition, someone who submits to the ex cathedra authority of the Roman Catholic Church through the pope, whom he holds to be the vicar of Christ on Earth and infallible in matters of faith and morals.

No choice on abortion

Church teaching logically precludes any Catholic from helping to elect a man whose views and public record empowers those who commit lethal violence against innocent lives. There can be no "exercise of individual judgment" for Catholics on the issue of the killing of the unborn.

Kmiec's lawyerly advice to Catholics that Barack Obama's "added words" -- that "sexuality is sacred" and that abortion is a "tragic situation" -- somehow mitigate his continuing support of abortion rights is naive in the extreme.

Yes, the Huffingtonization of Doug Kmiec appears complete. I just hope that his own Sister Mary Katherine didn't have to live to see it.

Timothy Philen

Thousand Oaks

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Kmiec perpetuates a fallacy when he writes that "McCain's commitment, as he stressed in the debate, is to try to reverse Roe vs. Wade. But Republicans have been after this for decades, and the effort has not saved a single child."

The truth is that the efforts have saved children. Self-described pro-lifers (like me) who advocate reversing Roe pursue this goal through state and federal legislation, like the ban on so-called partial-birth abortion, parental consent for abortion by minors and other initiatives that limit the scope and availability of abortion.

The legislation serves two purposes: It creates state and federal opportunities to litigate cases to the Supreme Court (we need a case to overturn Roe); and in the interim before Roe is reversed, it does decrease abortions.

In fact, these laws have been shown to do so just by being debated, even when they don't pass. It seems that when the issue is raised in public, abortions decrease.

Kmiec knows better than to assert that the efforts of the many who seek the reversal of Roe have saved no children. Our efforts have and will continue to save lives -- even if the new president supports abortion rights.

Ed Martin

St. Louis, Mo.

The writer is the founder of Missourians United for Life.

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