The media is turning up the volume of a small number of self-labeled Christians (who counter pro-life efforts) in an attempt to convince Americans that advocating legal restrictions on abortion is NOT being pro-life.
-- From "As abortion foes grow more intense, a new view surfaces" by Michael Paulson, Boston Globe Staff 10/30/08
Over the last few weeks, more than 60 Catholic bishops, articulating their traditional views in ever stronger language, have urged voters to make abortion their top priority in an election dominated by the nation's economic turmoil.
But the urgency of the bishops reflects an increasing concern about a new argument posed by some [self-proclaimed] antiabortion [left-wing] intellectuals and organizations: that the legislative battle to outlaw abortion is hopeless and that antiabortion groups would be better off devoting themselves to preventing unwanted pregnancies and persuading pregnant women to carry their fetuses to term rather than trying to change the laws of the land. The discussion is taking place within evangelical Protestantism, as well as among Roman Catholics, but it is more visible in the Catholic Church because of the high profile of Catholic bishops.
The debate, which Trinity College professor Mark Silk termed "an emerging civil war within the upper reaches of American Catholicism," is playing out in diocesan newspapers, speeches, blogs, and op-ed pages. But the bishops' views do not appear to be having much impact on voters.
[These claims by the Boston Globe are absent substantiation.]
Recent polls have suggested that Catholics are tilting increasingly toward Democrat Barack Obama, who supports abortion rights, and some polls have suggested that Obama is also making incremental gains among evangelicals.
"The banning-abortion position, conservatives will admit, is not a realistic one in this country - it's never going to happen, and they admit it's not going to happen," said Jim Wallis, a leading progressive [self-labeled] evangelical. "Maybe abortion reduction could result in a more prolife outcome than taking what have become symbolic stances that are never going to be achieved" in the United States.
[So-called] Antiabortion Obama supporters have been using the Internet to fuel an argument that has captivated a corner of the blogosphere. A new organization called Catholic Democrats has posted a Q&A on its website suggesting that Democrats would do a better job than Republicans at reducing the abortion rate, and Catholics United, another liberal organization, has launched a direct-mail campaign in swing states urging Catholics to rethink what it means to be "pro-life."
Scholars say the idea of abortion reduction is not new. As president, Bill Clinton wanted to make abortion "safe, legal, and rare."
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver addressed the issue in a recent speech, saying, "People who claim that the abortion struggle is lost as a matter of law, or that supporting an outspoken defender of legal abortion is somehow prolife, are not just wrong; they're betraying the witness of every person who continues the work of defending the unborn child."
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