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Mon May 9, 2022, 01:34 PM

Outlawing abortion is not Catholic



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Timothy Noah
@TimothyNoah1
If the Alito draft stands abortion will be more difficult to obtain if you live in San Antonio than if you live inside Vatican City (where there’s no criminal law against it and a hospital that will give you one is only a few subway stops away).

timothynoah.substack.com
Outlawing abortion is not Catholic
A survey of the most Catholic countries in the world reveals abortion is legal in about half of them, and easier to get in two-thirds of them than it may soon be in the U.S.
10:29 AM · May 9, 2022



https://timothynoah.substack.com/p/outlawing-abortion-is-not-catholic?s=r

Amid discussion of Associate Justice Samuel Alito’s draft ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, much has been made of the fact that six members of the Supreme Court are Catholic: Alito, John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, and Sonia Sotomayor. Four of these six Catholics signed onto the Alito draft—Roberts has not and we can be confident Sotomayor never will—and some folks are saying, “What do you expect when Catholics are overrepresented on the Supreme Court?” Catholics make up only 22 percent of the U.S. population, but fully 67 percent of the highest court in the land.

I get uneasy when people say too many of this or that ethnic or religious minority wield power. Being of Jewish extraction myself, I’m painfully aware of how badly that worked out for Jews throughout history. And anyway, counting Catholics doesn’t get you very far when the subject is abortion. That’s because—hear me out—there’s nothing especially Catholic about banning abortion.

Yes, yes, I know, abortion is still judged a grave sin by the Roman Catholic Church. But I’m more interested in what’s happening in Catholic countries, where there are laws and courtrooms and prisons. And it turns out that even many nations where Catholics exceed about 80 percent of the population make abortion more readily available than will be the case in the United States if Alito’s draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health becomes the law of the land.

Percentagewise, the 15 countries with the highest proportion of Catholics are Vatican City (100 percent), Timor-Leste (96.9 percent), San Marino (90.5 percent), Paraguay (89 percent), Malta (88.7 percent), Andorra (88.2 percent), Croatia (86.3 percent), Poland (85.8 percent), Portugal (84.5 percent), Italy (83 percent), Monaco (82.3 percent), Philippines (81.4 percent), Equatorial Guinea (80.7 percent), Mexico (80 percent), and Ireland (78.3 percent). Nearly half of these very, very, very Catholic countries have laws that are more permissive about abortion than what the Supreme Court is preparing to impose on the United States.

*snip*


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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply Outlawing abortion is not Catholic (Original post)
Nevilledog May 9 OP
Cerridwen May 9 #1
MineralMan May 9 #2
Sympthsical May 9 #3
mopinko May 9 #4
Sympthsical May 9 #5
Oneironaut May 9 #6

Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2022, 01:39 PM

1. The History of the pro-life Movement in America

https://www.oah.org/tah/issues/2016/november/abolishing-abortion-the-history-of-the-pro-life-movement-in-america/
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In the late 1960s a nascent feminist movement began to argue that women could not be full citizens unless they could control reproduction. Together these shifts helped push state legislatures to reform their abortion laws. Colorado was the first to amend its law in 1967, followed quickly by others, most famously California in 1967 and New York in 1970.

In the midst of states’ efforts at abortion reform, the modern antiabortion political movement was born. Small groups of Catholic doctors, nurses, lawyers, and housewives joined together to oppose liberalization. In 1967 the National Council of Catholic Bishops aided their campaigns with support, money, and the formation of the National Right to Life Committee. Early Catholic activists were often joined by a handful of non-Catholics, usually Protestants, Mormons, or Orthodox Christians. Supporters of abortion reform argued that “right-to-life” forces were attempting to push Catholic values on a diverse American populace, and consequently many antiabortion groups worked to present themselves as ecumenical or non-denominational. Most of these early groups failed to stop changes in their state’s abortion law but they did have some successes in the early 1970s, suggesting that not every state was ready for abortion reform.[6]

The 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, legalizing abortion in all fifty states, changed everything and nothing. In the 1970s the anti-abortion movement remained heavily Catholic, and they continued to pitch their issue as a rights issue rather than a religious one. But in other essential ways the movement changed. Before Roe, the anti-abortion movement was very small, geographically disperse, and focused on individual state legislatures. After 1973 activists and state legislators alike worried that Roe prescribed a one-size-fits-all abortion law that could only be addressed at the national level. Thus, in the 1970s, activists promoted the Hyde Amendment (which successfully prohibited federal funding of abortions through Medicaid) and pushed, unsuccessfully, a constitutional amendment banning abortion. After 1973 the direction of pro-life activism changed, even as its demographics and core political arguments remained the same.

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Much more at link posted above

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2022, 01:51 PM

2. Not so fast. The Roman Catholic Church has been the vanguard in prohibiting

abortion. Even worse, that same church officially was responsible for laws that prohibited contraception for everyone in the past. In California, in the 1950s-60s, condoms could not be sold to anyone under the age of 21 and every package bore a label that said, in all caps, "FOR PREVENTION OF DISEASE ONLY." Until the 1970s, single women could not be prescribed the birth control pill. Earlier than that, even contraceptive devices like diaphragms could not be prescribed for unmarried women, either.

All of those measures were supported by the Roman Catholic Church, which fought hard to keep those prohibitions in place.

So, I'm not thinking you are correct, actually, in your statement.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2022, 02:07 PM

3. The author's trying to parse Catholics with Catholicism

Catholicism, meaning the religion itself and the Church, is very much opposed to abortion. Much of the opposition to abortion came from these spaces, and it isn't useful to deny.

The Catholic laity, however, are a mixed bag.

Catholics themselves are majority in favor of the legality of abortion, with the usual skew that younger Catholics are more in favor of it being legal than older ones. The last poll I saw was a 56/42 split.

Outside of the hierarchy and more conservative spaces, Catholics tend not to get too wrapped up in other people's shit. Not in the way evangelicals do. I was raised Catholic, my parents have always been true believers. My mom got an abortion back in the 50s. She's still Catholic, but she's pro-choice.

If I scan all the people I know, friends and family, who are Catholic, they're an absolute mish-mash of who thinks what should be legal or not, what is moral or not. The hierarchy does not have this crazy God-like grip over its parishioners to impose its views on the majority of the laity. That may have been the case in the 1950s and 60s, but it hasn't been that way for a long time. Certainly not in my lifetime.

What William Donahue and the bishops get up to is removed from your average American Catholic. However, that doesn't mean the Church hasn't played a rather significant role in trying to outlaw abortion in this country.

I know what the author is trying to say. He wants to say that Catholics aren't as anti-abortion as people may think. That's accurate. But saying being against abortion is "not Catholic" doesn't scan.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2022, 02:26 PM

4. one good catholic bishop would like a word-

“THOSE WHO DEFEND THE RIGHT TO LIFE OF THE WEAKEST AMONG US MUST BE EQUALLY VISIBLE IN SUPPORT OF THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF THE POWERLESS AMONG US: THE OLD AND THE YOUNG, THE HUNGRY AND THE HOMELESS, THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT AND THE UNEMPLOYED WORKER. SUCH A QUALITY-OF-LIFE POSTURE TRANSLATED INTO SPECIFIC POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC POSITIONS ON TAX POLICY, EMPLOYMENT GENERATION, WELFARE POLICY, NUTRITION AND FEEDING PROGRAMS, AND HEALTH CARE”

— CD. BERNARDIN
GANNON LECTURE AT FORDHAM UNIVERSITY
DEC 6TH, 1983; NEW YORK



https://catholicoutlook.org/the-seamless-garment-is-the-catholic-position/

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Response to mopinko (Reply #4)

Mon May 9, 2022, 02:38 PM

5. Cardinal Bernardin was extremely beloved in Chicago

My parents adored that man. They liked his successor Francis George decidedly less.

Bernardin was not only one of the first Catholic bishops to take AIDS seriously and set up care for victims, he also took sexual abuse incredibly seriously and set up lay councils to investigate claims. He started removing priests right away. And all this was in the 80s.

By happenstance, I was at the ceremony when Loyola University dedicated their cancer center to him. My mom worked at the hospital until her retirement, and I was with her that day for some reason. It was the week before he died, and people were just a mess. Happy and proud while also grief-stricken since it was known he only had a few days at best.

People seriously loved that guy.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Mon May 9, 2022, 02:43 PM

6. It's about women's growing power.

Misogynist men resent female sexuality because it means that women are more able to choose who they sleep with. They want to lessen women’s social power so that they can force them to be subservient, and as a result, be forced to sleep with them.

They see sex as a power struggle.

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