Abortion is a hideous stain upon the character of the United States of America. Our once great nation has been supplanted by a culture of death, where regard for the sanctity and value of human life cannot be found. For more than 40 years, lawmakers have been incapable of overriding the Supreme Court’s flawed decision to legalize murder. The result, of course, has been one of the greatest genocides in human history, with the destruction of nearly 60 million lives to date. A nation that was once a symbol of freedom for the rest of the world now denies the most fundamental human right to its unborn citizens.
In the face of such evil, the duty to uphold the God-given right to life falls squarely upon the shoulders of morally upstanding citizens. In order to end the inhuman slaughter of the innocents, someone must act as their voice. That someone is you.
Thankfully, in America, the means do exist for the pro-life cause to prevail. In fact, there has been considerable progress since 2010, with many states vastly increasing abortion restrictions. If the date sounds insignificant, look closer. 2010 was the year that Republicans, most of whom are pro-life, began winning elections in droves. The direct consequence of electing pro-life candidates has been the institution of increasingly pro-life laws.
Just as pro-life politicians have been instrumental in the incremental steps toward an abortion-free society, liberal pro-abortion candidates have been key in fighting them every step of the way. In 2003, the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act was overwhelmingly opposed by Democrats, with only a few exceptions, but was passed and signed into law by a pro-life President Bush and a Republican majority. In fact, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year, but President Obama has vowed to veto the bill. As seen by the election of Barack Obama, a pro-abortion candidate will not improve this nation as far as the right to life is concerned. History has shown this to be invariably true.
Often, many Catholics lose sight of the importance of ending abortion. Abolishing the barbaric practice should be the single most important goal of any freedom loving individual, especially Catholics. Because the right to life is, “the first right, upon which all others are based,” according to Pope St. John Paul II, it is of paramount importance for all Catholics to ensure that they vote for candidates that will work to achieve this goal of a pro-life society. As such, it is morally reprehensible for a Catholic to vote for candidates who love and support infanticide. Abortion is a disqualifying issue for Catholic voters, especially in Presidential and Congressional elections.
A Rebuttal to Dissenters
These are just a few of the arguments that have been used by Catholics to justify voting for candidates that want to ensure the murder of infants will remain legal in the United States:
What if I think a pro-choice candidate is better at helping the poor?
In response, I would Like to provide you with a quote from the post synodal apostolic exhortation Christifideles Laici, by Pope St. John Paul II, which states, “Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights-for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.”
In other words, the pro-abortion politician’s claims to care about the poor or underprivileged are patently false because they lack respect for human life in the first place. Even the poor and underprivileged have been given that basic right which the unborn have been denied access to.
While the gravity of abortion is something only God can truly comprehend, be assured that your feelings regarding the matter have no bearing on the reality of the situation. It is absolutely, unequivocally, and undeniably more important to the pro-life cause to stop the murder of unborn children than to cater to one’s own political ideologies. If this right cannot be procured for them, it cannot be guaranteed to anyone. It is a fact that pro-life politicians are working toward this goal, just as it is a fact that pro-abortion politicians are working against it. A Catholic’s power to vote pro-life politicians into office is one of the most effective legal ways to affect meaningful change for this nation. Using that power to vote for a pro-abortion candidate is to willingly support and enable the legislative, executive, or judicial acts of that individual, making you complicit in the act abortion. It is sinful.
We’re already complicit in abortion because our tax dollars fund Planned Parenthood. So why does it matter if we vote for pro-choice politicians?
This is not a valid way to approach the issue. In fact, this kind of mindset is a dangerous and defeatist point of view; one which denies the ability of ever uprooting the problem. First of all, all citizens are required to pay taxes. This is not a willing participation in the act of abortion. In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church has this to say on the matter of taxes:
“Submission to authority and co-responsibility for the common good make it morally obligatory to pay taxes, to exercise the right to vote, and to defend one’s country” – CCC, 2240
A remote material cooperation, that is only brought about by a citizen’s moral obligation to pay taxes, is not morally equivalent to willingly supporting a candidate whose actions in government will most likely end in the advancement of a pro-abortion agenda. Therefore, it matters. It matters greatly. The fact that pro-life congressmen are currently fighting to remove such federal funding for abortion providers is proof that this power to vote matters infinitely.
If I oppose a candidate’s pro-choice stance, but support his views on other important matters, doesn’t that constitute remote material cooperation?
An article from Priests for Life, by then Cardinal Ratzinger, says the following:
[N.B. A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.]
Often, this quote is erroneously used as a proof that one can vote for pro-abortion politicians if they believe other issues to be of greater importance or “proportion.” However, the full context of the article reveals that the issue is not so simple:
2. The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. […] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it” (no. 74).
3. Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
In reality, there is no matter more grave than the evils of abortion or euthanasia. While helping the poor, war strategies, healthcare reform, immigration, and other issues are all important, not one of them is of equal moral proportion to the issues of abortion or euthanasia. In each of those other issues, there is legitimate disagreement on what the moral decision would be. In fact, there is no moral consensus among Catholics for most of those issues. In the case of abortion, however, the Church always has and always will abhor the practice of abortion. Because there is no matter of equal or greater importance than the fundamental right to life, it is unconscionable to vote for a pro-choice politician.
What if all of the candidates are pro-choice? Does that mean I’m not allowed to vote?
In short, this would be a circumstance in which you could vote for the lesser of two evils. You can find out more about this here.
This is an issue that has been nagging at me for weeks, and I am glad to have finally been able to sit down and start writing about it. I hope this clears up any questions you may have about the Catholic’s moral obligation to uphold the rights of the unborn children in America. Above all, pray for Holy Innocents, pray for our leaders in Washington, and Pray for the United States of America. This country needs it.