Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

May 28, 2017

Reproductive “rights” now the litmus test for candidates

by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki
Those who call themselves “pro-choice” indeed have a fundamental choice to make. The culture of death is the path to perdition. The culture of life is the highway to heaven. Please pray for our political leaders to choose life over death.
Series:Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love
Duration:5 mins 28 secs

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is a shame to see the leaders of the Democratic Party sinking deeper into the dark abyss of the culture of death.

Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, promised on April 21 to back only Democratic candidates who hold a pro-abortion position. Perez said the position was non-negotiable. “Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” Perez said. “That is not negotiable.”

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Assistant Democratic Leader in the United States Senate, on April 23rd echoed party chairman Tom Perez in asserting that there is no room in the party for dissent on the abortion issue, saying in an appearance on CNN that he is “committed to women’s rights under the law, reproductive rights certainly, and our party is [committed].” Durbin added, “We’ve made that part of our platform and position for a long, long time. I know within the ranks of the Democratic Party there are those who see that differently on a personal basis, but when it comes to the policy position, I think we need to be clear and unequivocal.” According to Durbin, those Democrats who personally believe abortion is wrong can be allowed in the party “as long as they are prepared to back the law, Roe v. Wade, prepared to back women’s rights as we’ve defined them under the law.” In other words, all members of the Democratic Party are expected to publicly support abortion, regardless of what they personally believe.

Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan quickly jumped on that bandwagon on April 25th, saying that the Illinois legislature’s vote on abortion bill HB40 would be a “litmus test” on reproductive rights. The Democratic-controlled Illinois General Assembly passed that bill, which provides for taxpayer funding of abortion. Governor Bruce Rauner has promised to veto that bill. The Governor is to be applauded for that courageous stance.

Notice that the pro-abortion politicians are using the euphemism “reproductive rights,” yet no one’s right to reproduction is being threatened anywhere in our country. When pro-abortion people speak of “reproductive rights,” what they really mean is simply preventing reproduction by aborting the unborn baby.

There was a time when Democratic leaders were more veiled in their pro-abortion position. The late Mario Cuomo, former Governor of New York, in a speech at the University of Notre Dame in 1984 provided cover for a generation of pro-abortion politicians with his famous statement that he was “personally opposed” to abortion, but would not impose his beliefs on others. That position was likened to Stephen Douglas in his celebrated debate with Abraham Lincoln, when Douglas declared that he was personally opposed to slavery, but he wished to leave the matter to “popular sovereignty.” Now, the Democratic pro-abortion leaders do not even pretend to be personally opposed to abortion.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities, denounced the statement by the Democratic National Committee’s Chairman pledging support only for pro-abortion candidates. Calling the pledge “very disturbing,” Cardinal Dolan said that, “True solidarity with pregnant women and their children transcends all party lines. Abortion doesn’t empower women. Indeed, women deserve better than abortion.” The Cardinal urged party members to “challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position.”

Indeed some party members like Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Nancy Pelosi have rejected the intolerance of their party’s leadership. Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life, criticized Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez for imposing a “litmus test” on potential Democratic candidates. tells #ilwomenmarch that today’s vote on abortion bill will be “litmus test” on reproductive rights. tells #ilwomenmarch that today’s vote on abortion bill will be “litmus test” on reproductive rights.

Pope Francis has been a vocal opponent of the abortion industry and has compared those who kill unborn children to the Mafia and to the biblical figure of King Herod, who slaughtered all the male children two years old and younger around Jerusalem in an attempt to eliminate Jesus before he could grow up to become king. In a special message to the organizers of the pro-life March held this past May 20th in the center of Rome, Pope Francis expressed his wish that the march might “promote adherence to the value of human life and the acceptance of this incomparable divine gift in all its fascinating richness.” The Pope encouraged the pro-life advocates, saying that the “Church must never tire of being an advocate for life and must not neglect to proclaim that human life is to be protected unconditionally from the moment of conception until natural death.”

Those who call themselves “pro-choice” indeed have a fundamental choice to make. The culture of death is the path to perdition. The culture of life is the highway to heaven. Please pray for our political leaders to choose life over death.

May God give us this grace. Amen.  

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