Saturday, August 25, 2012

Republican platform plank opposes all abortion - even to save mother's life

Even the Catholic Church permits procedures intended to save a mother's life when those procedures also bring about the demise of the fetus.

Alternatively, Jewish moral theology is emphatic that the mother's life be valued above that of the fetus. 

To appreciate how religious devotees differ regarding abortion, please see "Judaism and Abortion." 

It is useful to remember that Jesus of Nazareth was a practicing Jew.

Notably, Jesus makes no mention of abortion. 

As an observant Jew, it is reasonable to assume that the carpenter realized this issue was suffused with ambiguity and moral complexity.

It also deserves mention that there is not a single reference to abortion in the entire bible - Old Testament or New. 

For the record, I think abortion is a form of violence that takes human life, but also realize that the trendline of abortion in the United States is downward and likely to become lower than the rate that prevailed before Roe v. Wade. 

Lower abortion rates than those prior to Roe v. Wade already prevail in Western Europe.

The abortion debate would assume "full moral stature" if everyone opposed to abortion became as supportive of comprehensive healthcare (and adequate social/economic support) for all mothers who currently see themselves -- and their in utero children -- destined for misery due to insufficient economic and social support. Cardinal Basil Hume considers such support "obvious" if we really wish to minimize abortion.

Currently, those who oppose abortion without supporting universal healthcare (and other social support) contribute to unnecessarily high rates of abortion.

As a Catholic, I await the day when -- in addition to clear statement of the Church's position on abortion -- every pulpit resounds with unflinching promotion of Universal Healthcare.


Despite conservative America's theocratic inclination, the United States is constituted as a Democracy. In light of our democratic principles, it is important to ask: "How many Republicans agree with Todd Akin?"

Republican plank opposes all abortions

Boston Articles

August 22, 2012|
  • Todd Akin rejected calls from Mitt Romney and other Republicans to end his bid for US Senate.
Todd Akin rejected calls from Mitt Romney and other Republicans to end his… (Handout )

The Republican platform committee approved language on Tuesday seeking a constitutional amendment that would ban abortions with no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to the life of a pregnant woman, a position Democrats quickly labeled the “Akin Plank,” after embattled Representative Todd Akin of Missouri.
The wording of the GOP’s call for a “human life amendment” is no different from what the party approved in 2004 and 2008, but proponents and opponents alike greeted it with renewed zeal two days after Akin said he “understand[s] from doctors” that rape-induced pregnancies are “really rare,” and that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
The remarks by Akin, a Republican trying to unseat Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, placed abortion and rape at the center of the national political scene. Akin rejected calls from presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and others in his own party to withdraw from the race, requesting “forgiveness” in a new TV ad and allowing a Tuesday deadline to pass without removing his name from the ballot.
GOP leaders worry that Akin’s refusal to leave the race will help reelect McCaskill in a close contest that could determine which party has a majority in the US Senate.
Akin’s remarks put a light on the platform’s call for a ban on abortion that otherwise might have drawn little attention. The Republican ­National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, noted that the absolute abortion ban “is the platform of the Republican Party; it is not the platform of Mitt Romney,” though the former Massachusetts governor has said in the past that he endorses identical language.
Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said ­Monday that the GOP presidential ticket “opposes abortion with exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.”
The Romney campaign declined to comment Tuesday on the platform committee’s vote, beyond the distinction drawn by Priebus.
But Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who is defending his seat against Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, called the no-exceptions abortion ban a “mistake” in a letter to Priebus, saying it “fails to recognize the views of pro-choice Republicans like myself.”
“Even while I am pro-choice, I respect those who have a different opinion on this very difficult and sensitive issue,” Brown wrote. “Our party platform should make the same concession to those of us who believe in a woman’s right to choose.”

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