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Living the Gospel of Life -- Study Guide

Paragraph Nineteen

Reflection

The quote here from the Holy Father is critical in helping our fellow citizens discern the issues that matter most as they choose candidates. Without defending the right to life, calls for other human rights are false and illusory. Those are strong and clear words that call for our further reflection.

"I stand for adequate and comprehensive health care." So far, so good. But as soon as you say that a procedure that tears the arms off of little babies is part of "health care," then your understanding of the term "health care" is obviously quite different from the actual meaning of the words. In short, you lose credibility. Your claim to health care is "illusory." It sounds good, but is in fact destructive, because it masks an act of violence.

"My plan for adequate housing will succeed." Fine. But what are houses for, if not for people to live in them? If you allow the killing of the children who would otherwise live in those houses, how am I supposed to get excited by your housing project?

This teaching becomes clearer if we pose the hypothetical case of a candidate who supported terrorism asked for your vote, would you say, "I disagree with you on terrorism, but where do you stand on other issues?" I doubt it.

In fact, if a terrorism sympathizer presented him/herself for your vote, you would immediately know that such a position disqualifies the candidate for public office -- no matter how good he or she may be on other issues. The horror of terrorism dwarfs whatever good might be found in the candidate's plan for housing, education, or health care. Regarding those plans, you wouldn't even ask.

The remaining question, then, is whether the violence of abortion is morally any different from that of terrorism. One only has to read the descriptions of abortion as put forth in court transcripts, or view the images of the violence of abortion, to come to a clear answer. (The court testimonies about the abortion procedure are available online at www.priestsforlife.org/pba. The photos of abortion can be viewed at www.priestsforlife.org/images.)

Discussion Questions

In what way can the outcry for human rights become false and illusory?

How can we make people more aware that abortion is in fact an act of violence?

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