I wanted to share this letter, written by my friend Dr. Mary Healy. She articulates very well the situation we face with the upcoming election.
Dear friends and family,
I hope you're all well! I am writing to share some thoughts with you about the upcoming election and an issue that is close to my heart: respect for the dignity of human life. If any of you are weighing the candidates' positions on this along with other important issues at stake in this election, I hope you'll bear with me by reading this letter and consider giving this issue a closer look.
There is no doubt that the next president (along with those elected to lower offices) will have an immense influence on the future of legal abortion in America -- by the weight of presidential words and gestures, by public policy decisions, and most of all by judicial appointments to the Supreme Court and other federal courts.
Senator Obama has made his priorities clear: he has said that the very first thing he would do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would reinstate partial birth abortion, eliminate parental notification, and provide tax funding for abortions. As an Illinois legislator, he opposed the Induced Infant Liability Act designed to protect babies who survived late-term abortions (the federal version of which passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate). He has also stated that his greatest regret as a Senator was not voting against a unanimous Senate vote designed to help save Terri Schiavo.
Senator McCain has a consistent pro-life voting record, and has stated unambiguously that he will work to overturn Roe v. Wade. Sarah Palin's position is made more eloquent by her joyfully welcoming into the world a baby whom our society considers dispensable (some 80-90% of Down Syndrome babies are aborted).
Not long ago, I heard a post-abortive woman weeping as she described how she came to recognize that her adult son, a soldier serving in Iraq, has a better chance of survival than a baby in what ought to be the safest place on earth -- his mother's womb. She, like so many others, was deceived by the veneer of acceptability that legal status has given to abortion. As Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said recently, too many Americans do not seem to recognize that "children continue to be killed, and we live therefore, in a country drenched in blood. This can't be something you start playing off pragmatically against other issues."
It is sobering to think that one day history may look back on our generation the way we look back on World War II Germany, and ask, How could it have happened? How could a civilized society have allowed the killing of so many millions of innocent people in their midst? How could so many good people have been silent, and by their silence tolerated an evil of such magnitude? The answer is perhaps a combination of fear, blindness, apathy, deception, self-interest and confusion. Only God can judge the human heart, but I believe similar factors are at work today.
All of us are deeply concerned about the war, the economic crisis, poverty, health care, and immigration reform. Some of us would no doubt disagree strongly on which candidates promote the most just and effective solutions to these problems. Yet no matter how right a given candidate's position on any of these issues, I don't see how it could outweigh support for an intrinsic evil like legalized abortion, the human rights violation that has led to more than 48 million unborn children killed . . . and many millions of women deeply wounded. Every other human right, and every other value we stand for, depends on society's commitment to protect the right to life.
Please consider these points and take them into your conscience and into the voting booth. And if you are a member of the Democratic Party, I urge you to exert whatever pressure you can to demand that it cease being the party that stands for abortion.
Thanks for listening. I hope to see you soon.
Love and prayers,