August 1, 2014

Be Our Guest / Linda Cooper

Democratic Party platform does not ‘embrace abortion,’ letter writer says

In a letter to the editor in the July 25 issue of The Criterion, (“Despite political landscape, we must live as disciples of Jesus”), the writer makes several points about the Democratic Party and Christian discipleship, but one of his views—that Democrats “embrace abortion [and the] destruction of our tiniest neighbors”—is erroneous. No one “embraces” abortion or the destruction of children—including Democrats.

In reference to abortion, the Democratic Party platform states, “We recognize that health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduces the need for abortions. We support a woman’s decision to have a child by providing affordable health care and ensuring the availability of and access to programs that help women during pregnancy and after the birth of a child, including caring adoption programs.”

Unfortunately, abortion is legal, and it probably won’t be illegal in America again anytime soon—if ever. (Twenty-four years of Republican administrations since Roe v. Wade changed nothing.)

So I choose to find a party and a candidate who will vote for programs to reduce the number of abortions through health care, education and training; someone who will talk about the root causes of abortion and find solutions; someone who will educate and help women when they do become pregnant; someone who will give women the education and tools to choose life rather than abortion.

Abortion is a tragic attempt to escape a desperate situation, and some on the left view contraception as one of the tools to help keep women—especially those struggling in or near poverty—out of that desperate situation.

They see the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court ruling as limiting access to contraceptives for those who could not otherwise afford that “tool” to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, and thus, an unwanted abortion.

Neither, as the writer states, does the Democratic Party “embrace” death—as seen by their platform; and it would seem, in my view, their only “social agenda” is putting government to work to help the people who need it, which is not, as the writer believes, something a totalitarian regime would do.

Abortion is not the only important moral issue involving human life and dignity, and until the Republican Party eliminates its position as the party which embraces the death penalty, war, guns, and the wealthy over the poor and helpless, I can never again in good conscience support its candidates.

(Linda Cooper is a member of the St. Paul Catholic Center in Bloomington.)

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