Letters to the Editor

Poverty, abortion

September 25, 2008


To the editor:

The Catholic Archbishop Joseph Naumann argues simplistically that Catholics should vote in this election solely on the candidate's position on abortion. If his goal is to reduce the number of abortions in the United States each year, I would argue that all voters, including Catholics, need to examine a broader range of issues.

About a fourth of women who have abortions each year do so because they cannot afford a child or another child. That doesn't include the women who say they do not want to be a single mother (about 83 percent of women who have abortions are not married).

If we as a nation work to improve education, increase job opportunities and job retraining programs, allow immigrants to become U.S. citizens, require paid maternity leave, ensure affordable health care and improve the quality of child care options, I believe that fewer women will have abortions. (We could easily pay for these goals if we end the morally unjustifiable war in Iraq.) Unfortunately, however, most of the candidates who are "pro-life" oppose increased government funding for these areas.

As a Catholic, I believe the most practical way to reduce the number of abortions is to improve the economic opportunities for all women so that having a baby does not plunge a woman or family into poverty.

Gina Spade,


rtwngr 9 years, 8 months ago

You want to make all of the issues equal and that is intellectually dishonest in light of the teaching of the Church. There are no proportionate evils equal to abortion that a Catholic can cite that would allow them to vote for a candidate or party that endorses it. If a developmentally handicapped child becomes a financial burden for a family should the child be exterminated? If a senior citizen becomes a financial liability for a family should they be killed? I hope you don't present yourself for communion with that attitude because you are not in communion with our faith at all! What is more, our priests at Corpus Christi and St John's pretty much agree with you and that makes me sick to my stomach.

towanda54 9 years, 8 months ago

craigers (Anonymous) says: Very rich letter indeed.I would be willing to bet that the 83% of women weren't all practicing safe sex. Maybe we should start there.Just, curious, what percentage of men weren't practicing safe sex?

Confrontation 9 years, 8 months ago

It's nice to finally hear from a Catholic with some common sense. That's so rare. Look at all the Catholics who voted for a Repub during the last two elections. Abortion is still legal, the economy is ruined, and it's more expensive to raise a child today than it was 8 years ago. Get a clue. Oh, and for you people who claim that adoption is the answer: How many kids have you adopted? Better yet, how many non-white kids have you adopted? Do you want to really see how well adoption works? Okay, go to this site and go through the list of children who are waiting for YOU to adopt them:https://www.kcsl.org/child_detail.aspx

smarty_pants 9 years, 8 months ago

"I hope you don't present yourself for communion with that attitude because you are not in communion with our faith at all! What is more, our priests at Corpus Christi and St John's pretty much agree with you and that makes me sick to my stomach."I wonder how many times you or other self righteous catholics took "communion" from pedophile priests whose hands were dirty from molesting helpless children?

rtwngr 9 years, 8 months ago

Bossa_Nova,Your reply exposes your religious bigotry. FYI the priests at Corpus Christi parish and St. John's parish NEVER preach against abortion.

craigers 9 years, 8 months ago

towanda, don't twist my words. I know there were men involved. Both should be safe. Don't turn it into something sexist.

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 8 months ago

Gina...as a Catholic too, you must know that raising a family in a home with a good father who supports his wife and family would take care of the problem. Economic reasons for an abortion are bogus. Adoption is available to those who can't take on a child. Where does personal responsibility come into play here too? Please give it some more thought. The Catholic Church does actually have substantiative reasons for what they say. They don't just make this up. They've studied this for a very long time.

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 8 months ago

rtwngrKnowing both priests at both parishes, I don't believe for a second that the priests at St. John's OR Corpus Christi would EVER agree with this statement. EVER. I dare you to ask them though!

David Omar 9 years, 8 months ago

Come on people! THINK! If you work for say Hy Vee, shouldn't you support it? If you work for verizon, I'll bet you have a Verizon phone. If you work or are called to God' work by the church won't you talk about their dogma? Of course. The Catholic Church says no abortion so the priests have to preach that, I would think. Their personal beliefs are off the table as well as everyone else's beliefs. That is their personal property.Roe vs Wade is the US Government saying "you have a choice". I personally don't believe in or support abortion, but must believe that every American has the right to CHOOSE for them selves. R v W is not a referendum on religious beliefs,. it is a law that permits doctors to perform abortions in the USA for those who CHOOSE to have one.

rtwngr 9 years, 8 months ago

Mimis_friend, that is the point. Their personal beliefs are NOT off the table. If their personal beliefs put them in opposition to the Church then they need to go find something else to do. You say on the one hand you do not believe in or support abortion but you believe in the right to choose. Just for the sake of my argument here, substitute the word murder for the word abortion. Now, how does that statement sound to you? You see, I see the two as the same. The unborn child has no one to speak for it. It has been scientifically proven that a human being exists at the moment of conception. This is irrefutable biological fact.Absolutelyrediculous, my point was we never hear a homily against abortion except at St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center.

Haiku_Cuckoo 9 years, 8 months ago

"Nope- rednecks will always want to use thier (sic) guns to force religion up on others."Can you give me an example of a US church that uses guns to "force" scripture on people? Just curious, since you said it always happens.

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 8 months ago

Clint wrote "You are living in a world of delusion where the parasite comes before the host. But isn't that what your religion is all about? Deluding what is right for what is simple?"Who is deluded? I love the misguided self-righteousness you show here. Your ignorance of truth AND YOUR LIMITED WORLD view based purely on the political view of your college biology professor is uncharming as narrow-minded. You always do this to us Clint. Throw your verbose abusive anti-religion bias on these blogs. It shows a lack of intelligence and maturity. Grow up and look at all the sides of the debate. Then you can make an INFORMED opinion on this matter.

rtwngr 9 years, 8 months ago

Smarty_pants, I guess because you have nothing intelligent to add to the discussion you take the opportunity to bash the Church with accusations of pedophilia. FYI, the body of Christ is still the body of Christ when the consecration is performed by a valid priest. Regardless of his sins the blessed sacrament remains the same. Just a side note, not to defend pedophilia, but the Church did what was prescribed by liberal psychologists nationwide. Get these poor men counseling. They can be cured. Who knows what other psychobabble nonsense was bought into instead of having them removed from any contact with young people at all. This does not make the Church less because God's kingdom contains both the wheat and the chaff.

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 8 months ago

rtwngr..."Absolutelyrediculous, my point was we never hear a homily against abortion except at St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center."Totally agree.

craigers 9 years, 8 months ago

Very rich letter indeed. I would be willing to bet that the 83% of women weren't all practicing safe sex. Maybe we should start there.

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 8 months ago

Confrontation...you must have adopted some then? Please tell us how that has worked for you. I personally have pleaded to adopt and unborn baby of a teen girl who decided to abort a non-white baby because her "boyfriend" and mother were pressuring her. They were too ashamed, couldn't be bothered with a baby. It's insane thinking that we would trash a human life over embarassment and economics. I guess that shows our collective priorities. Common sense is just that. Common.

mindylogan83 9 years, 8 months ago

I just want to say that killing a child is no different in the womb or not it is murder. If these familys cant affored them then use protection and common since and also if they believed in god and had the baby god would take care of there needs the think with going into poor is familys dont trust and prey and they try to live like the jones live simply just what is needed not that hummer and 3 story house that you never see cause you are working to hard to pay for it.if these woman would say no tell they are married and wanted kids with one man then there would be less killing of babies and also there is a lot of programs that help unwed and young mothers but i said help not support and i said young cause the state says you are adult at 18 so act like it and be careful and use your brain that GOD gave you.It is a special gift god gives you do kill it cause then god will bring hard times for killing what is his he can give but he can also take.I had a baby at 15 wasn t planned but killing him never entered my mind and now 10 years later i have 3 boys and iam married to the same guy and have been in church for 2 years big difference I would not change one think about the path god puts me on.well god bless everyone

Bossa_Nova 9 years, 8 months ago

let's take away the catholic church's tax free exemption for encouraging its flock to vote republican (oh, did i just suggest that the church is endorsing a certain candidate?) and by the way, hey mr naumann, stay the hell out of my government! you and your mafia have had 2000 years of 10% and bloodshed. it's time for you and your tax free corporation to butt out of our democracies!

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 8 months ago

"Bella" Star Rips Obama over Abortion, Warns LatinosLos Angeles, Sep 24, 2008 (CNA).- The movie star Eduardo Verástegui has recorded a special video message to encourage Hispanic voters in the U.S. to put an end to abortion and to expose the radical abortion position of presidential candidate Barack Obama.Verástegui, who is perhaps best known in the U.S. for his pro-life film "Bella," presents his challenge to Latino voters by calling attention to the fact that most abortion clinics are located in Hispanic neighborhoods and that the Spanish media is saturated with pro-abortion advertising."Abortion is not only a lucrative industry; it is also used by people who are racist as a means to eliminate our people, since they consider us to be a threat to democracy in this country," Verástegui asserts.After noting that more than 3,000 babies are aborted each day in the U.S. and that 650 of those babies are Hispanic, the actor states that abortion is legal "because there are not enough men and women who raise their voice against abortion.""We need to put an end to abortion and political candidates play a very important role in this matter," he continued, pointing out that Obama supports abortions performed during the last trimester of pregnancy, inhuman partial birth abortion," and that Obama "wants to finance abortions with the tax dollars you and I pay."As a lawmaker, Obama "voted on several occasions against a law to protect babies who survived an abortion and were born alive," Verástegui states."Obama is committed to removing all the pro-life laws that in many states currently offer protection to unborn babies and their mothers. Mr. Obama does not agree that the parents of a 13 year-old girl who is pregnant should be notified before she has an abortion," the actor underscored."Obama is more interested in maintaining the legality of abortion that in the well-being of the babies, children and families of this country. Let us unite and do something to defend life at every stage, from conception to natural death," he says.Verástegui's message about Obama is punctuated by clips from the video "The Hard Truth," which shows graphic images from real abortions. The Mexican actor explains that just as teachers in schools show videos of the Holocaust to expose the truth about the atrocities committed by the Nazis, he too is including the video to show the horror of abortion.

Mercy 9 years, 7 months ago

Gina, I had to go back and read what the Archbishop wrote concerning voting on moral principles. He did not limit it to just abortion. He also included euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning, and same sex "marriage". Here's someone who used to agree with you. Hear it from his own words. http://tv.nationalreview.com:80/uncommonknowledge/Perhaps if the single women (the 83% you quote) quit having sex until they were married and ready to start a family. We'd see a tremendous drop in abortions.

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 7 months ago

For those who are interested in learning the truth on abortion: http://www.priestsforlife.org/magisteriumteachings.htmlThis is a good starter if you'd like to get your information from a source that has actually spent more than 5 minutes thinking about it and a source that doesn't use a 5 second sound bite to explain it. Don't trust anything you hear from "Catholic" politicians Biden or Pelosi. They are misinformed. And by the way, if the Catholic Church lost it's exemption status, that would be a glorious day. I say let it be done. Tax me so I can speak the truth.

craigers 9 years, 7 months ago

Defender up to the usual bits of wit and nothingness to add. You are such a breath of fresh air... sorry I just threw up in my mouth.

acg 9 years, 7 months ago

What a load of crap that the catholics give two turds about children. You're so concerned about the children, where were you when your wrinkley old pedophiles were molesting, raping and sodomizing children in the supposed house of the Lord? Catholics have no right to preach to anyone about morals and values. They covered that up for years, shuffling those pricks from place to place so they wouldn't get caught when they should've been shot in the head instead. Thanks, but no thanks, pedophile supporters. Stay away from my body and the laws that govern my body. You people have no right to say boo about it. Your hypocritical organization is one of the most corrupt in the world. Don't even get me started on the whole "I can do whatever I want all week and as long as I tell the twitchy little Uncle Kid toucher in the box on Sunday I'm absolved. He'll tell me to light a candle, fondle my beads and all is forgiven". What a disgusting joke. If there is a God, he's mad as hell about that.

rtwngr 9 years, 7 months ago

Rachelisacancer, your comments bely your ignorance of sin and God. The Roman Catholic Church does NOT teach that all sin is equal in the eyes of God. FYI I am quite happy in my life. If you had met me at St. John the Evangelist church you would have discovered that I am a very loving and forgiving sinner in need of God's love like us all. What I will not do, however, is back down on this issue. These children are incapable of advocating for themselves. Maybe my approach is harsh and abrasive but there is an industry that exists for no other purpose than to dispose of unwanted children. You can call the statement blasphemous but I can assure you that when the time comes for me to stand and answer for my life (and I believe I will have to) I will not have to answer the question, "What did you do to protect or rescue the most innocent of my creations?"

denak 9 years, 7 months ago

I was wondering how many posts this letter would have before I got home. However, as a Catholic, please allow me to throw my two cents in.First, contrary to what seems to be implied in this letter, there is nothing contradictory between Archbishop Joseph Neuman calling for Catholics to vote with the issue of abortion in mind and poverty issues.In fact, the two things are central to the teachings of the Catholic Church.The Catholic Church, via Catholic Charities, is the number one .....that is number ONE.... charity in the United States of America. The Catholic Church has always, and will continue, to support programs that alliviate the suffering of those who are poverty stricken. Catholic Charities sponsor food kitchens and food pantries, literacy programs, supports immigration reform, education through its school system, and health care through its hospitals. Most of the things that the letter writer wants done in order to help allivate poverty and by extension reduce abortion is already being done by Catholic Charities.Secondly, as with many religions, the Catholic Church teaches that its members have an obligation to right wrongs and to help those less fortunate. However, unlike some religions, the Catholic Church teaches that Social Justice is a Doctrine on par with other Doctrines of the Christian Religion. The Doctrine of Social Justice does not suggest, doesn't just hope that you do it, but says, in no uncertain terms, that you have a moral obligaton to advance humanity, to help those less fortunate. Archbishop Naumann would be going against one of the central tenants of the Catholic Church if he were not to speak out against what he ..and the Catholic Church...believes is one of the defining evils of our time. The Catholic Church has always consistantly been pro-life whether it abortion, the death penalty, euthanasia or the war in Iraq, which the Church has called an "unjust" war.So, rather than try to imply through your letter that the Church does not do anything to alliviate abortion or poverty, it would perhaps be better to become just a little bit better educated about what the Church has to say on those issues and then put those words and thoughts into action by working in a food kitchen (I'm sure LINK could always use help) or sort donated clothes at a drop-in center.Dena

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 7 months ago

Let me stop you before you go through the litany of bad Catholics...Are you siding with Hitler? Because we are experiencing a silent holocaust right now. There have been over 48 MILLION abortions since Roe v Wade. Approximately 11 MILLION died in the Holocaust. Don't start on your parasite and host verbage. You were a fetus once. Pearls before swine...oh well.

acg 9 years, 7 months ago

Uh, koolaid, I'm not a liberal. My feelings regarding the catholic church are neither conservative, liberal or moderate, either. They are the feelings of a mother and a citizen who's damned tired of watching children be victims and adults walk away from what they've done. The catholic church has done some atrocious things in their history, but this one, to me is the most heinous of them all. So, when I hear any mouthpiece from that organization start with the "think of the children" rhetoric, it's literally hard for me to not throw up.

Terry Jacobsen 9 years, 7 months ago

Confrontation wrote:Oh, and for you people who claim that adoption is the answer: How many kids have you adopted? Better yet, how many non-white kids have you adopted?Answer, 3. All of them black. I love them dearly and thank God every day that their mother's didn't steal the right to live from them.

rachaelisacancer 9 years, 7 months ago

rtwngr - You clearly don't have the tools needed to argue with anyone about abortion. So let's leave that at that.But your statement, "There are no proportionate evils equal to abortion" is blasphemous. All sin is equal in the eyes of "god", even Catholics know that despite how many people make them out to be nothing but condom-fearing, women-kicking fanatics. Sure, some Catholics are. Some atheists are. Some kind of everybody is. And no one "endorses" abortion. Simple as that. I hope one day you become happy enough with your own life, your goods and your evils, that you stop complaining about everyone else's. And as an atheist - St. John's was one of the only churches where I was welcomed and encouraged to study the word of god despite my beliefs - for the simple good it could do rather than trying to get through the pearly gates. Luckily, I never met you there or else I might have been discouraged to come back and might have missed out on some of those great teachings like "Love thy neighbor" and "do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother" or "judge not lest ye be judged." Your god be with you - and some peace too.

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 7 months ago

logicsound...what is the basis of your question? Sound very Darwinish to me. Did the Holocaust victims have a right to live? Of course! But some nutball decided they didn't. There is the debate that you aren't human until you pass through the vaginal birth canal. That's insane. Go study natural law.

slang4d 9 years, 7 months ago

I was adopted as a baby and I'm thankful every day that my young (and probably impoverished) birth mother did not choose to keep me. My adoptive parents desperately wanted children and she did not- a childhood with her would have been unpleasant. However, I also recognize that carrying a child for nine months, seeing it, and then giving it away is considerably more difficult then having a medical procedure done. I'm happy to exist (mind you I wouldn't have any awareness if I didn't exist), but I'm glad she had a choice. Most people, even those that are religious, agree that women should be free to choose. Where it gets sticky is late-term, multiple abortions, etc. We DO have to think about those things. Perhaps pro-lifers should stop funneling money into pro-life campaigns and start providing birth control to women who can't afford it. That might go a long way towards fixing what they see is a problem.

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 7 months ago

Dena...excellent post. Too many posting here go off topic and refuse to actually consider the Catholic Church's teaching before making a judgement. I would expect better from this crowd but I've learned not to expect anything but bitter, angry, resentful and judgemental from some who post here. Thanks for writing with compassion, intelligence and maturity.

Chris Golledge 9 years, 7 months ago

craigers,I'm wondering if the use of safe sex practices has anything to do with being educated on what those are, how they work, and how they fail.Yet, typically the ones who are telling others not to get an abortion are the same ones trying to prevent the effective teaching of how to prevent them. Face facts, "just say no" doesn't work.

absolutelyridiculous 9 years, 7 months ago

textburgh"I know that so many of the rabidly anti-abortion legislators are also just as strongly opposed to public education, job training, health care for children, child nutrition programs, and on and on."Where did you get this "mis" information? Are you kidding me? This is the biggest bunch of trash I've heard today. And if you understood the Church's REAL stance on abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage, you wouldn't be throwing that link out there. Go check out the real information, your information is distorted.

rtwngr 9 years, 7 months ago

Calliope877, there is an old saying and that is, "Hate the sin but love the sinner." Nobody is judging a person that has had an abortion. The idea is to get people to wake up and understand that these are human beings that are being killed and the only difference between them and us is we have passed through the birth canal (C-section accepted here as well).For those reading these blogs take a moment and read up on the development of a child in the womb. Find out for yourself when they develop a nervous system, heartbeat, suck their thumbs, develop eyelashes, etc. Get beyond the "religion" and look and the human rights side of it for a moment.

texburgh 9 years, 7 months ago

Thank you Gina. You are right on. I read the Bishop's article in the Leaven and, as a Catholic, was appalled. I know that so many of the rabidly anti-abortion legislators are also just as strongly opposed to public education, job training, health care for children, child nutrition programs, and on and on.Please check out the organization Catholics for Choice at http://www.catholicsforchoice.com.

MyName 9 years, 7 months ago

Let's just set aside the posturing about whether this is murder or not and look at the simple facts. Abortion is the lowest it's been in 30 years and has been steadily dropping. So if you want to stop abortions, just keep doing what we're doing and it will eventually go away. If the murder rate was doing the same thing, no one on this board would be complaining. To quote the Economist:"THE abortion rate in America is at its lowest level for 30 years, according to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-health research group. Since a peak in the early 1980s, the rate has dropped steadily: there are now less than 20 abortions for every 1,000 women. Fewer teenagers are having abortions, thanks to higher contraceptive use. Teenagers accounted for 17% of all abortions in 2004, down from a third in 1974. White women, who are on average richer, have fewer abortions than those from minority ethnic groups. In 2004, whites had 10.5 abortions for every 1,000 women, compared with 28 for Hispanics and 50 for blacks."And it's not rocket science here, either. The people who have statistically higher abortion rates also have statistically higher rates of poverty. So if you want to drop the rate even further, reduce the numbers of women in poverty.

Confrontation 9 years, 7 months ago

absolutelyridiculous (Anonymous) says: "Confrontation:you must have adopted some then? Please tell us how that has worked for you."I don't go around screaming at women to deliver their unwanted fetus. Unlike you, I know that there aren't enough adoptive parents or funding to help support women who are pressured to keep a fetus they can't handle.

rachaelisacancer 9 years, 7 months ago

Oh, and Gina Spade - Thank you for your heartfelt use of critical thinking. No one sees enough of that these days.

Calliope877 9 years, 7 months ago

I found Gina's letter to be refreshing. I found it refreshing because it proves that people of faith are still capable of reason and compassion...the two virtues I think God favors the most...and it's the two virtues many people, including people of faith, do not seem to have.The letter expresses reason because no reasonable person would try to hinder free will in a choice that is so intimate to the individual who has to make it.The letter expresses compassion because it offers suggestions that will still encourage the favored outcome (no abortions) but does not hinder an individual's ability to utilize free will.And for those of you who compare abortion to the holocaust: this is not a reasonable argument. The 6 million people who died in the holocaust died because of their race and their creed. Those people died as a result of hatred. The fetuses that are aborted are not done so through hatred -- those lives are lost through a heart breaking choice that is made from desperation, poverty, rape, incest, disease, the list goes on. I don't think it's fair to assume that the woman that is making such a hard choice to abort her child is only doing so because of irresponsibility, and I think it's very unchristian to judge a woman for making that choice.

gr 9 years, 7 months ago

"How can you have a right to live before you've been born?"Next you'll be saying how can you have a right to live before you are 18.C-section?Guess you'd be one to worry about concerning test-tube babies.

texburgh 9 years, 7 months ago

absolutelyrediculous:Good name. Appropriate. I get my information about our legislators by talking to them, listening to them in Topeka, following their voting records. One need only look at former Sen. Kay O'Connor or current House members Anthony Brown and Brenda Landwehr. These legislators argue long and hard against abortion. But they consistently vote against support for children, single parents, or the poor. Brown and Landwehr want to bring every fetus into the world and then let each one fend for itself. At least that is until they commit a crime. Then it's fine for the state to kill them. This is the very reason that Landwehr is finally getting called out by her bishop in Wichita. Sadly, ours is happy to let Anthony Brown slide.

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