After 30 years, bishops, politicians, voters vexed by abortion

Posted September 11, 2008

By Thomas C. Fox - The National Catholic Reporter
September 11, 2008

The U.S. bishops' administrative committee announced Sept. 10 the bishops’ conference will take up the enduring and vexing issue of politics and abortion in America when it meets in Baltimore next November.

The meeting, which will come one week after the national elections, will take place an urgency generated by a series of critical statements bishops have made in recent days of major Democratic Party political figures.


A Million Doors Open for Peace

Posted September 10, 2008

By Michael Humphrey - The Nation
September 10, 2008

At this moment, when the mainstream media has largely abandoned coverage of the Iraq War and the majority antiwar opinion, the presidential campaign is underwhelming in offering any vision of peace, and the antiwar movement clearly needs to redouble its efforts, an exciting mobilization is reenergizing the peace movement--the Million Doors for Peace campaign.

On Saturday, September 20, 25,000 volunteers across the country will contact one million people in their neighborhoods and ask them to sign a petition urging the next Congress to bring US troops home from Iraqin one year. (The timetable is based on a new report from the Center of American Progress--coauthored by Dr. Lawrence Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration – that suggests "an orderly and safedrawal is best achieved over an 8 to 10 month period.") This campaign is different from previous antiwar efforts because volunteers will be talking to their own communities instead of gathering in one place--such as the National Mall--for a traditional protest.


Pelosi, Niederaur meeting to spur debate, resolution or both?

Posted September 09, 2008

By Michael Humphrey - The National Catholic Reporter
September 9, 2008

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer to discuss Catholic teaching on abortion, at least two paths could emerge. The strongly pro-choice Catholic politician might vigorously debate Augustine and church history her archbishop. Or the two will try to put their heads together to create a public resolution that is acceptable for everyone. Or maybe they will do both.

But two Catholic scholars who know about butting heads the church agree on this: The controversy that brought this meeting about could have been avoided.


Seeking political guidance at church

Posted September 06, 2008

By Rich Barlow - The Boston Globe
September 6, 2008

John McCain's nomination this week officially launched the last lap in our lengthy presidential race, the Arizona senator and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois having less than two months to make their respective cases to the voters.

Undecided Americans can find guidance from an ancient, hierarchical institution millennia of experience pondering the common good - the Roman Catholic Church.


Editor of Kansas City Diocesan Newspaper Launches Smear Campaign against Catholic Social Justice Groups

Posted September 05, 2008

I had a disturbing conversation today Jack Smith, editor of the Catholic Key – the official newspaper of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. On Wednesday, Sept. 3rd, Mr. Smith posted a factually inaccurate and misleading story about Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Catholics United on the Catholic Key’s blog. Apparently, Mr. Smith is now actively pitching his story to other Internet news outlets.


Can Palin also galvanize the U.S. left?

Posted September 04, 2008

By Ed Stoddard - Reuters
September 4, 2008

ST. PAUL (Reuters) - Sarah Palin is the magnet John McCain needs to attract religious and social conservatives who are not convinced he's one of them.

But the little-known first-term Alaska governor is a big risk for McCain who had hoped to market his brand of maverick Republican politics to Democrats and moderates in his party.


Criminalizing versus reducing: The abortion debate continues

Posted September 04, 2008

By Michael Humphrey - The National Catholic Reporter
September 4, 2008

St. Paul, Minn.

Wednesday, in a conference call from Washington, D.C., Catholics United unveiled a new study stating that overturning Roe v. Wade would not be an effective way to reduce the number of abortions.

But back in St. Paul, Minn., where the Republican National Convention reaches its final day today, the study was not exactly dampening passions about making abortion illegal. Just as Catholics United was finishing up their call, the Catholic Working Group was beginning a meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown St. Paul. The speakers at that meeting made it clear that changing the makeup of federal courts, and passing antiabortion laws at the state and federal, will remain a top priority.


Catholics United Study Finds that Overturning Roe v. Wade Will Have Minimal Effect on U.S. Abortion Rate

Posted September 03, 2008

Catholics United today released a study analyzing the likely effects overturning Roe v. Wade would have on reducing the actual numbers of abortions in the United States. The study challenges the conventional wisdom that pursuing strategies to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision protecting abortion rights constitutes an effective means of reducing or ending abortions.

According to the study, entitled Reducing Abortion in America: Beyond Roe v. Wade, there are only 16 states where over 45% of the adult population self identifies as “pro-life.” Enacting total bans on abortions in all of these 16 states would only affect 10% of all abortion decisions in the United States. However, many women in states where bans were enacted could still travel across state lines or procure illegal abortions in their own state. Therefore, the actual number of abortions affected by state bans would be less than this 10% figure. Even under an unlikely best-case scenario, if the 25 most “pro-life” states enact abortion bans, the study finds, overturning Roe v. Wade would affect less than 37% of all abortion decisions, leaving 63% unaffected.


K Street Files: Way Beyond the Beltway

Posted September 02, 2008

By Kate Ackley - Roll Call
September 2, 2008

If you thought the trek from D.C. to Minneapolis-St. Paul was a long one, one “delegation” came all the way from Georgia.

That’s Georgia the country, which has made headlines in recent weeks after it was invaded by neighboring Russia.


Catholics United Calls on Republican Party to Embrace Common Ground Abortion Policy at Convention

Posted September 01, 2008

Catholics United is calling on the Republican Party to reinstate language deleted from its proposed platform aimed at uniting Americans behind common ground solutions to reduce abortions. The draft platform, which the party will vote to ratify in St. Paul today, originally contained the following language:

“We invite all persons of good will, whether across the political aisle orin our party, to work together to reduce the incidence of abortion;”

The GOP’s movement away from bi-partisan efforts to reduce abortion comes at a time when the Democratic Party is increasingly embracing “common ground, common sense” means of addressing the issue. Last week’s Democratic convention included a call for abortion reduction efforts by pro-life senator Bob Casey, Jr., as well as historic platform language calling for “ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs.” In his nomination acceptance speech, Senator Barack Obama stated that “we may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country.”