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SMC profs. examine abortion in the election

Sarah Mayer | Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Professor of Justice Education, Jan Pilarski and Regina Wilson from Campus Ministry led a discussion called “What’s the candidates view on…abortion?” as part of Saint Mary’s Super Tuesday events in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 election.

Pilarski presented the Catholic perspective on abortion by using “Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” a document compiled by United States bishops. It is meant to serve as a voting guide.

“Bishops are not supposed to tell you what to do,” Pilarski said. “Being Catholic is about doing good and avoiding evil. If a Catholic supports intrinsically evil acts, the bishops suggest you do not vote for them.”

Intrinsically evil acts according the bishops include abortion, euthanasia, genocide and unjust war among others.

“The Catholic Church wants us to respect life from beginning to end, conception to life’s finish,” Pilarski said. “To them euthanasia and abortion deserve our preeminent attention.”

In the bishop’s document, they said there is no way to completely abolish abortion however. the American people need to work in small steps to stop it.

In the end, it all comes down to personal choice, she said.

“You can vote for a candidate if another intrinsic evil is more of a preeminent issue to you,” Pilarski said.

Pilarski went on to introduce Barack Obama’s point of view on abortion. As in recent years Obama strongly supports Roe v. Wade but Pilarski quoted the Democratic Party Platform as saying “the Democratic Party also strongly supports access to affordable family planning services and comprehensive age-appropriate sex education which empowers people to made informed choices and live healthy lives.”

While remaining pro-choice, the Democratic Party will work to provide resources and healthcare for women who choose to have their child.

“By introducing these health care options for women who choose life or adoption, Obama is trying to find a common ground with the Republicans on the issue of abortion,” Pilarski said.

In closing, Pilarski said it is hard to be a Catholic voter because “no candidate envelopes all issues we hold true as believers.”

Regina Wilson then spoke on the side of the Republicans.

Wilson referred to a question asked to both Obama and McCain about abortion. While Obama’s answer was a bit long, McCain simply said, “I am pro-life and I have been my whole 25 year career.”

“Republicans are concerned with maintaining the sanctity and dignity of life,” Wilson said.”Life is right given to us in the Declaration of Independence along with liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Wilson explained that if John McCain is elected all of his appointees will hold the traditional, family values he holds.

After researching McCain Wilson said she learned he allows abortion in cases of incest or rape but in the case of rape “parental acknowledgement would be necessary.”

“If McCain overturns Roe v. Wade it will be one step in the long path to end abortion,” she said.

“According to McCain we need to empower women who decide against abortion by letting them know it took courage for them to bring a child into the world and we need to be compassionate to mother and child through there struggles,” Wilson said.