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.