January 30, 2009

Be Our Guest / Sr. Diane Carollo, S.G.L.

The Mexico City policy, Freedom of Choice Act and our Catholic faith

As pro-life demonstrators marched through Washington, D.C., on Jan. 22 to protest the infamous U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in 1973, President Barack Obama was quoted as saying that Roe v. Wade “stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters.”

The following day, the president chose to reverse the Mexico City policy that restricted taxpayer funding for abortion overseas. This policy prevented abortion from being used as a tool for population control in the developing world.

Interestingly enough, President Obama stated during his campaign that it was his wish to reduce the number of abortions. By executive order, however, he now forces millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to fund overseas abortions of the poor, thereby increasing the number of abortions performed.

In the midst of an economic crisis at home, American tax dollars will be diverted to funding pro-abortion groups in poor countries. One such group is the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). It is a “global service provider” of abortion in more than 180 countries.

In the United States, Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the country. In recent weeks, the organization’s alleged complicity in covering up the sexual abuse of minors continues to unravel in media reports.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, was jubilant when she learned that President Obama fulfilled his promise to protect abortion rights by reversing the Mexico City policy. In one statement, she said, “With President Obama, women in the U.S. and around the world have a president who puts protecting and strengthening women’s health first.”

Sadly, millions of unborn children will be destroyed because of the president’s executive order. Furthermore, the epidemic of

Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) will be spread as more and more women—poor women— suffer the effects of the aftermath of abortion. That Planned Parenthood would seriously claim to put women’s health first, in light of the statistics on post-abortion syndrome, is not only absurd, it is an insult to the intelligence of people of good will.

With the Mexico City policy overturned by executive order, another more serious challenge confronts Americans—the “Freedom of Choice Act” (FOCA). This legislation, if passed by Congress and signed by the president, would make abortion a fundamental right.

The president has publicly promised Planned Parenthood that he will sign into law this radical pro-abortion legislation.

If FOCA were to become the law of the land, Catholic hospitals would have to close because they would be forced to perform abortions. Catholics would be told to violate their consciences as doctors, nurses, social workers and teachers or as other professionals who deal with abortion-minded women.

In a nation that was built on religious toleration, FOCA would not only alienate Catholics from the political process, it would also persecute Catholics and other Christians who refuse to disobey God’s Divine Law.

The time is past due for Catholics to become politically astute, responsible citizens who act as moral compasses in the world. In the years ahead, Catholics must have the courage and spiritual maturity to bring the truth of their faith to the political arena. Only then will our nation’s laws and policies at home and abroad safeguard the dignity and sanctity of human life.

To build a culture of life, we must train, promote and elect to political office authentic Catholics, and others of good will, who will restore respect for human life from conception to natural death.

Perhaps some of these future leaders will be found among our archdiocesan youth and young adults, who marched in protest of Roe v. Wade in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 22 during the national March and Rally for Life.

(Servants of the Gospel of Life Sister Diane Carollo is the director of the archdiocesan Office for Pro-Life Ministry.)

Local site Links: