Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Yesterday's Vote and What It Tells Us About Americans and Abortion: Whither U.S. Catholic Leaders Now?

PRRI, 2022 American Values  Survey

As Oriana Gonzalez reports, not only did voters in Michigan, California, and Vermont just vote  for constitutional protections for abortion rights in their states, but voters in the conservative state of Kentucky voted against a proposed amendment stating that a constitutional right to abortion does not exist in Kentucky. The Supreme Court and the Republican party are clearly out of step with where most Americans are when it comes to the issue of abortion rights, but, as Gonzalez also notes, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America (and a Catholic), has stated that if Republicans gain control of either house of Congress, her group's "number one issue" will be to see a national abortion ban enacted.

My question: Where does yesterday's vote leave Catholics in the U.S.? In particular, where does it leave Catholic leaders, especially the U.S. Catholic bishops, who have for years now been rabid about their hope to see abortion banned nationwide, and about their singleminded support of a single party, the Republican party, for that (ostensible) reason?

Where does yesterday's vote leave the many so-called "liberal" Catholics, the so-called "liberal" U.S. Catholic publications, that have been willing to walk lockstep with the bishops in this obsession, who have been willing to follow the bishops in colluding with political leaders whose ethics in no way conform to Catholic moral teaching except in their professed "pro-life" stance?

"Liberal" Catholic thinkers, publications, leaders have been perfectly willing to overlook the deep racism of the Republican party, its attacks on healthcare coverage for lower-income Americans, its hostility to immigrants, its attempt to dismantle social safety nets and to make the grossly rich even more grossly rich, its ugly homophobia, transphobia, and misogyny — because "pro-life." "Liberal" Catholic thinkers have been perfectly willing to turn a blind eye to the attempt to undermine American democracy — in fact, they've applauded this, since the only way to impose their minority position on abortion on the majority is by undemocractic means — because "pro-life."

Yesterday's vote was yet another stinging rebuke of the anti-democratic, ethics-lite approach of one U.S. Catholic leader after another to the issue of abortion. Will that vote give Catholic leaders, especially the so-called "liberal" ones for whom the abortion issue is such an obsession, cause to reconsider their position on abortion and how they've been willing to promote it?

I doubt it.

P.S. If you click the image at the head of the posting, it will open and enlarge and be more legible.

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