Defending the Most Defenseless

The Seattle P-I (June 12) carried an interesting article by Fr. Michael Ryan, pastor of St. James Cathedral, Sharon Park, O.P., executive director of Washington State Catholic Conference and Michael Reichert, president of Catholic Community Services. They explained why the bishops of our state are calling upon us to sign Initiative 694 which would prohibit the procedure commonly called partial birth abortion and Initiative 688 which would raise the minimum wage from $4.90 to $6.50 an hour and adjust it annually to inflation. While one Initiative might be called "conservative" and the other "liberal," those categories really fail. Rather they should both be seen as expression of the fundamental Catholic social doctrine which calls us to place ourselves on the side of those least able to defend themselves. Surely the most defenseless member of our society is the unborn child. In fact the most dangerous place in our world today is not Bosnia, but a mother's womb. Initiative 694 would at least defend the child's life at the very moment of departure from the womb. The great majority of Americans want the killing of a child at that point to be illegal. In fact some 28 states have already passed laws to prohibit partial birth abortion. If enough signatures are gathered before the end of this month, the voters of our state will also have the opportunity to decide this question. Advocates of free access to abortion, including President Clinton, have dug in their heels on this issue even though they realize public support is against them. The reason is clear enough. If you recognize that the child has rights at the moment of being born, you must ask the next logical question. What about ten minutes--or ten days--before birth? That is a question abortion advocates are afraid to face.

Abortion and Free Choice

Letter from Kirsten on Initiative 694

Yes on Initiative 694