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Saturday, 25 October 2008

It's not the economy, stupid!

About a quarter of the USA’s bishops say the forthcoming presidential election is about abortion, according to a story in today’s Tablet, the Catholic weekly.

This finding may help to boost the chances of the Republican hopeful John McCain, it says.

“Some 50 out of the nation’s 197 active bishops have published articles or given interviews during the run-up up to the election urging abortion as the key issue on which voters should decide which way to vote,” says the paper, adding:

Senator McCain opposes the 1973 Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, which legalised abortion in the US, but has refused – most recently, at last week’s final television debate between the presidential candidates – to impose an abortion-based “litmus test” on his Supreme Court nominees. The Democratic candidate, Barak Obama, has repeatedly indicated his support for the 1973 ruling alongside a pledge to sign a proposed Freedom of Choice Act that would invalidate any state or local ordinance intended to “deny or interfere” with a woman’s choice to have an abortion.

The US bishops issued some guidelines for voters last year, the story says. These were approved by 98 per cent of a bishops’ conference.

But the 30-page text has been seized upon by lay-led Catholic interests supporting both Mr Obama and Mr McCain. As Mr McCain’s backers have sought to focus on the document’s assertions that “intrinsic evils” such as abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research and human cloning “must never be supported”, Mr Obama’s advocates emphasise passages that state Catholics “are not single-issue voters” and “should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity”.

Euthanasia, abortion, stem-cell research are evil? The ending of suffering and possibilities for discovering how to prevent more suffering? And these people call themselves lovers of mankind? Gawd ’elp us!

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