Deception and pro-life work

Monica Migliorino Miller writes in Crisis, “Were Planned Parenthood Videos Produced Unethically,” a defense of David Daleiden against the accusation that the deception he and his team engaged in to gain the videos of Planned Parentood was immoral because it was lying, which is always wrong.

Contradictions in the Catholic position on abortion?

I ran across this quote on the BBC web page about Catholicism:

Research and publications from the Alan Guttmacher Institute in America illustrate some contradictions in the Catholic stance against abortion.

The evidence is as follows:

Catholic women in the United States are as likely as women in the general population to have an abortion, and 29% more likely than Protestant women.

Catholic countries, even where abortion is illegal, have high levels of abortions: in Brazil, the estimated number of abortions ranges from 1 million to 2 million per year and in Peru, 5% of women of childbearing age have abortions each year, compared to 3% in the United States.

64% of US Catholics disapprove of the statement that abortion is morally wrong in every case (Survey of 493 Catholics, designed by Lake Research and Tarrance Group, for US News & World Report, Sept. 1995, margin of error ± 4.5%.)

72% of Catholics in Australia say decisions about abortion should be left to individual women and their doctors. (Survey for Family Planning Australia and Children by Choice, Melbourne, AGB McNair, Aug. 1996.)

In other words, the evidence that there are contractions in the Catholic stance on abortion is that a lot of Catholics disagree with the teaching.  I fail to see how that is evidence of contradiction in the teaching unless the teaching includes a statement that most Catholics agree with the teaching.

It’s not. The teaching authority of the Church is not based on majority opinion.

Conley on Laudato Si and Integral Econology

UFL member Fr. John Conley, S.J. recently wrote a piece for America magazine called, “An Elusive Integral Ecology.” Conley discusses the approach to the environment that influenced Pope Francis in writing his encyclical, Laudato Si, addressing the relationship between the economy and ecology and the non-economic components of the ecology that focuses on human relations.

Camosy interview

Artur Rosman of the Patheos blog called “CosmosTheLost” recently interviewed Charles C. Camosy is Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at Fordham University. “The Anti-Abortion Supermajority: Beyond the Abortion Wars.” Camosy is the author of Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for a New Generation (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2015). In the interview Camosy discusses whether there is any purely secular argument for the dignity of the unborn and the role of prophetic action in the pro-life movement.

State laws restricting abortions

LifeSiteNews has an article, “Progress: States have enacted dozens of pro-life laws so far in 2015,” by Dustin Siggins, discussing the increase in the number of state laws restricting abortion in the past few years.  They compare and contrast the Guttmacher Institute statistics with the Americans United for Life statistics.  Both show a clear increase in laws restricting abortion, but because they count differently, they come up with different numbers.

Does Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage Cause An Increase in Abortions

There is evidence that legalization of same-sex marriage is associated with higher rates, ratios and rankings of abortion in American States.  That information was compiled and presented to the Supreme Court of the United States in an amicus brief filed in Obergefell v. Hodges by more than 100 scholars of marriage in support of the states whose gender-integrative marriage laws were being challenged.  Attorney Gene Schaerr of Washington, D.C. filed that brief in which he noted that in 2011, states in which same-sex marriage had been legalized “averaged 50.4%  more abortions per 1,000 women, and 71.4% more abortions per 1,000 births” than states in which same-sex marriage was not allowed.  Id. at 19a.  He predicted that a nationwide rule mandating same-sex marriage (as the Supreme Court subsequently ordered in its Obergefell decision a month ago) would result in increased abortions and increased nonmarital births in the USA.

Schaerr wrote: “The logic is simple and intuitive: Fewer opposite-sex marriages means more unmarried women, which in turn means fewer children born, more children born to unmarried mothers, and more children abortion.”

Clearly there is some causal association, some connecting behavioral correlation between same-sex marriage and abortion.  What that connection is, how it works, and why, are matters of speculation at this point in time. However, it would not be surprising to identify some conceptual link between the moral foundations of same-sex marriage and the moral foundations of abortion-on-demand.

That data should give pro-life Americans grave cause for concern about the recent Supreme Court Obergefell ruling that mandated that all American states must allow same-sex couples to “marry.”  One thing that ruling means for certain is that there will be more same-sex marriages in the United States.  And if the past correlation continues, that means that there will be more abortions in the USA as well.

That is a foreboding prediction.  Rates, ratios and numbers of abortions in the USA have been falling steadily for more than three decades.  Since about 1980, abortions have been in free-fall in the United States.  See Chuck Donovan, Why the Abortion Rate is Declining, The Daily Signal (1 Sept. 2014), available at at (1 Sept. 2014).

The correlation between same-sex marriage and abortion suggests that now that same-sex marriage has been declared a constitutionally-protected right in the United States, we can expect to see more same-sex marriages.  Correspondingly, as past data suggests that abortions and same-sex marriages are associated, we also can expect to see an increase in the numbers, rates and ratios of abortions.  That would mean that after more than thirty years, the era of the steady decline of abortion will abruptly end.

Perhaps other factors will disrupt the historic connection between same-sex marriages and abortions.  However, if nothing else, these sobering data must cause pro-life citizens and scholars to recognize that the abortion culture is impacted by many variables and that developments in areas of human behavior that we may not at first associate with abortion (such as same-sex marriage) may have profound, detrimental impacts upon the culture of life and may further stimulate and advance the culture of death and abortion.

by Lynn D. Wardle, 6 July 2015