Kerry, the Catholic

Defending a Catholic politician’s access to the Eucharist (see “Communion Politics,” May 21) is not the same thing as defending his or her support for unrestricted access to abortion. Sad to say, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry’s position on the legal status of abortion is extreme. Senator Kerry voted against the partial-birth abortion ban, a procedure that even staunch supporters of abortion rights such as fellow senators Tom Daschle and the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan disavowed. Kerry has opposed laws requiring that parents of minors seeking abortions be notified. Perhaps most disturbing, he would make support for Roe a litmus test for any justice he would nominate to the Supreme Court.

Kerry’s abortion stance would be highly suspect for any officeholder sworn to protect the sanctity of life, but it is especially so for a Catholic whose church has consistently defended the right to life of the unborn and prophetically warned of the dangers posed to the weak and vulnerable in a society where the logic used to justify abortion is easily extended to other forms of private killing. How best to reduce the incidence of abortion and how exactly the law should regulate or restrict access to the procedure are difficult prudential judgments that people of good will can disagree about. What prolife Catholics and others find so troubling about Kerry, however, is his refusal to criticize abortion practice,...

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