Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Right to Choose: As American as Apple Pie

Ya gotta love the Catholic church.

Catholic bishops are vowing to fight Obama on abortion rights. Their logic is that by continuing to support freedom of choice for women, the incoming President will somehow be attacking the church and religious freedom. It remains unclear, however, exactly what their logic is in this matter. If the bishops don't want to have an abortion, well, then they shouldn't have one if by some divine miracle they get knocked up. But what right do they have to force their religious will on other people?

More to the point, why do they think they have ANY moral authority to tell others what is right and what is wrong? For decades they repeatedly went out of their way to cover for priests who were molesting children. These same self-righteous bishops remained silent and merely transferred the guilty priests from one parish to another. Now all of sudden they're going to start spouting moralistic dictates? Give me a freakin' break.

Poll after poll has repeatedly shown that the American people favor giving women the right to choose. That's what made the recent presidential election so important. It's also a big reason the Republicans went down in defeat last week. Abortion is has become the litmus test for GOP candidates. If you're pro-choice, the party simply doesn't want you.

In fact, the people of South Dakota--one of the most conservative states in the U.S.--last week defeated a measure that would seriously have restricted abortion rights. The state legislature put the measure on the ballot knowing that it went against the freedoms guaranteed by the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The hope was that the new law would set up a legal battle that would once again end up before the Supreme Court.

Abortion opponents in South Dakota were gambling that by that time President McCain would have had the opportunity to appoint at least one more conservative justice to the Supreme Court. That would have tipped the balance of power on the court to likely abortion opponents, and Roe v. Wade would have been overturned. That would have been bad for women but great for the clothes hanger industry.

But with Obama as President, any future court appointments are likely to be liberal judges. That insures that the rights of women to choose will be maintained. How is the maintenance of personal freedom an attack on the church? Indeed, by advocating such a hardline position, is it not the church itself which is launching an attack on everyone else's freedoms?

I'm sorry, but when a highly religious minority tries to force its will on an entire country, you end up with Afghanistan under the Taliban.

0 thoughtful ramblings: