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Article on Abortion by Archbishop Eusebius Beltran

Good News...

The Inalienable Right to Live

Most Rev. Eusebius J. Beltran

Archbishop of Oklahoma City

A BORTION is the killing of an unborn human being. It is always evil, and therefore can never be justified. The barbarism of abortion is especially evident in the so-called partial-birth abortion. How anyone can perform or condone this atrocious execution is beyond my comprehension.

Partial-birth abortion is a procedure in which the torso of the unborn child is delivered through the birth canal before surgical scissors are stabbed into the base of the child's head. The child's brain is then removed by suction, collapsing the head for easier removal. These abortions can even occur on the eve of natural birth.

How anyone can perform or condone this cold-blooded murdering of the unborn (partially born) child is beyond my understanding.

And our president twice has vetoed the ban passed by Congress to eliminate partial-birth abortions. However, not only the president, but also 36 senators and 132 members of the House voted to sustain President Clinton's veto.

Yes, September 18th was a sad day for me and indeed for all Americans. It was especially sad for the little boys and girls nearing birth whose lives will not be spared. Because of a presidential veto more little babies have lost their inalienable right to life.

Congress first passed the federal ban on partial-birth abortions in 1995. It was immediately vetoed by President Clinton. A year later, art attempt to override his veto failed.

Therefore, Congress passed new legislation last year which was again vetoed by President Clinton. In July of this year, the House of Representatives overrode President Clinton's veto with 296 voting to override the veto and 132 voting to sustain the presidential veto.

On September 18th, 64 United States senators voted to overturn the president's ban while 36 senators voted to sustain it. Therefore with three votes short of two-thirds, Mr. Clinton's veto stands and partial birth-abortion remains legal in our country.

It is incredible to me that the president of the United States, 36 senators and 132 representatives in the House would vote to allow the killing of babies through partial-birth abortion.

Is there any wonder then why there is so much violence and confusion in our society?

While I am, and we all should be, outraged at the presidential veto and the 36 senators and 132 representatives who voted in favor of continuing partial-birth abortions, we cannot just sit back and complain.

As Catholics, we are obliged to share the Good News of Jesus. We are supposed to be a light in the darkness. We are responsible for our brothers and sisters, especially those most in need like the innocent children in the wombs of their mothers.

What can we do? I will list five very specific ways that you and I can overcome the current culture of death.

I. PRAYER. We can never underestimate the power of prayer. We can never abandon prayer as an essential way of communicating with God and discovering His Will and having the courage to follow it. We must be a prayerful people who turn to God and seek His help.

II. FASTING. From the earliest days of the Church, fasting has been linked with prayer as a spiritual exercise. It is an opportunity to seek more diligently the Will of God by offering up something like food or drink or legitimate pleasure as a sacrifice to God . Particular acts of fasting can be offered as part of our prayer to end abortions.

III. STUDY. The Church has issued many beautiful teachings and writings on the dignity of the human person. Our present Holy Father has shared a wealth of knowledge by speaking and writing on the beauty of human life and our vocation to holiness. We need to read, to study and to assimilate these teachings. This is the truth found in the Sacred Scriptures. It is the truth by which we should live.

IV. ACTION. There are many, many ways that we can participate in constructive action to bring about an end to abortion. Helping at Birth Choice or Birthright or one of the other pro-life organizations puts our words into practice.

Teaching young people the value of chaste living, helping young couples to appreciate the sacredness of all life, comforting the troubled, are all ways of positively changing this terrible situation today.

V. VOTE. Vote for good and responsible pro-life candidates. Regardless of how talented a doctor, lawyer or politician might be - if they are baby killers by performing, supporting or promoting abortion, they should not be given roles of leadership in our society which is supposed to protect the inalienable right to life of all.

Sooner Catholic Sunday, October 4, 1998

Teachings of the Magisterium on Abortion

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