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Evaluate your vote

Observer Viewpoint | Sunday, October 31, 2004

This election year, it is clear that there are many issues that people will consider as they choose a candidate. I have considered the situation in Iraq, the economy, national security and several others. What astounds me is that while there are many, many issues that should be considered, the people on this campus seem to prioritize only one: abortion. To support his claim that abortion is the most important issue in this election, Professor Charles Rice quotes the Evangelium Vitae: abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem-cell research “involve the intentional killing of an innocent human being.” He goes on to quote Archbishop John Myers: “Policies on welfare, national security, the war in Iraq, Social Security or taxes … do not provide a proportionate reason to vote for a pro-abortion candidate.” Rice throughout his letter uses quotations from others to fuel his rhetoric that boils down to if you are Catholic, you have to vote for Bush. Well, I would like to use a quotation myself. Cardinal Renato Martino, the president of the Council for Justice and Peace, was quoted as saying “Human rights are inherent to every human being. They are not a concession.” That’s right, he said every human being, not just unborn fetuses or people with a terminal disease. I find it hard to believe that anyone could denounce a candidate for being pro-choice (which I might add makes little difference, as the laws are currently in place) and then support a candidate who not only holds the record for most executions in U.S. history but also, has caused the death of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

President George W. Bush has now been in office for almost four years and, although he does not support abortion, has failed to reverse Roe vs. Wade. As he has been quite busy with the war in Iraq, how can one blame him? Of course, the 9/11 episode (i.e. national security), the recession, health care and tax cuts have also filled up his agenda. Clearly, although Bush is anti-abortion, he has made other issues his priority. We should all do the same. If our national security is compromised, thousands are at risk for dying. If the war in Iraq is not concluded quickly, thousands – including American soldiers – are at risk of dying. If the health care and Social Security issues are not resolved, thousands are at risk of dying. So when you go to the polls next Tuesday, try to evaluate all the issues and then, and only then, choose the candidate that you feel will best protect the human rights of all human beings, not just the unborn.

Jessica Hornick

graduate student

Oct. 29