I have mixed feelings on the subject of abortion. But since a ban on abortions will lead to back alley abortions as once existed before abortion was legalized throughout the United States, I believe it is the best policy to keep it legal. Just like prostitution and drugs, when you make something illegal, you throw it in a back alley where it is unregulated and you will see young lives lost.
Simply, women will die with abortion being illegal, because of quacks with hangers instead of qualified doctors performing them. Now, I am not opposed to abortions being reduced through encouragement of the usage of contraceptives or other means. The Catholic Church opposes abortions, as is their right, but do they do so at times at the risk of womens' lives?
In Phoenix, AZ, a hospital with a Catholic affiliation had a woman come in who would have died if she didn't have an abortion. Not only that, but the baby she would have had, would have died no matter what. There was no chance to save him or her, and the only life that could possibly be saved was the woman's life.
To me this seems the clear and only ethical choice. But what happened? Well, the bishop of that region, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, stated that saving this woman's life violated Catholic ethics. He cut all ties with the hospital by to the Catholic church and excommunicated the nun who approved this abortion. To him, it would have been better, it seems, for the woman to die than for her to have that abortion. This, is a religious body that should lecture others on ethics? The same church that tells poor Africans not to use contraceptives, while AIDs runs rampant in that continent?
There are a lot of Catholics (be they clerics or laypeople) who do good. Many fought for civil rights a half century ago. But, it is time we as a society grow away from being lectured on ethics by men who believe that it is better for a woman to die, than have an abortion, even if the child has no chance of living. The Catholic church even continues to oppose tubal ligation, or a woman getting her "tubes tied", because the church only wants you to perform the birth control methods that they endorse. They care about your sex life, in detail. Kind of creepy, huh?
Lastly I find it ironic that a church that organized the Inquisition says the "end doesn't justify the means." In fact, if I wrote this column when the Catholic church was as powerful 700 years ago, I would be in a dungeon. If I belonged to a church, I do not know I would want to be part of one that gave me no say whatsoever in it.