I am a pro-life Democrat. I believe that life begins at conception and ends when we draw our last breath and that we must protect life at every point in that process.
My actions as a U.S. senator have been consistent with this philosophy. I have voted against federal funding of stem cell research that would destroy living embryos.
I have voted to codify the federal regulation that provides unborn children with health coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
I have voted to prohibit funding to organizations that support coercive abortions.
I have voted to prohibit circumvention of parental involvement in abortion decisions.
I have consistently supported the Hyde Amendment and the Helms Amendment regarding federal funding of abortions or abortion-related services.
And I have worked closely with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other faith groups to introduce S. 270, the Pregnant Women Support Act — last year and again last month. This legislation would reduce the number of abortions by providing health care, education, counseling, nutrition, pre-natal care, and information for pregnant women.
And he voted against bringing back the Mexico City Policy. So he is not exactly telling the truth calling himself pro-life when he voted against a bill that would stop the U.S. funding organizations overseas that provided abortion that the President allowed. Bishop Martino has written two letters to Sen. Casey about this and as far as I know he has not responded. In 2007 Sen. Casey voted against and amendment by Sen. Brownback that attempted to undo the damage by a bill from Sen. Boxer also regarding the Mexico City Policy. Sen. Casey also supported Sen. Obama’s run for president because Obama “thinks we shouldn’t be deaf to the voices of the next generation.” – irony indeed. He also supported the so-called morning after pill Plan B. If you want to call yourself pro-life Senator than stop supporting federal funding of abortions and thinking contraception is find for a Catholic to support.
Many pro-life activists talk about one strategy only — the appointment of a justice who may tip the Supreme Court against Roe v.Wade. I understand this approach. I, too, believe that Roe was wrongly decided. I strongly oppose the Freedom of Choice Act which would codify the Roe decision. While this bill has not been introduced, I will oppose it if it is introduced.
Strawman alert: I don’t know of any pro-life organizations whose only strategy is changing the law. The pro-life movement has been the force around the crisis pregnancy centers that have multiplied throughout the nation. This sounds oh so familiar to the phony complaint by pro-abortion types that we only care about the unborn and not the born. Glad to hear that he is still strongly opposed to FOCA, we will have to wait and see how he votes on President Obama’s first Supreme Court pick when it happens.
Sen. Casey was sorry to hear when pro-abortion Catholic Tom Daschel had to withdraw as a nominee to head Health and Human Services. So far he has not said anything about whether he will support pro-abortion Catholic Gov. Sebelius. Though his bishop has urged him not to.
What we don’t often hear is the reality that overturning Roe will not outlaw abortions — it will send the question to state legislatures. Many states will legalize abortion in some or most circumstances. And that is assuming that five justices will put aside the principal of stare decisis and overturn a 35-year-old ruling.
As if pro-lifers don’t know this.
What are we doing now to help the unborn? Does the fifth-justice strategy help support pregnant women who need help in order to choose life? Does it help women think through their options? Does it provide assistance to teenagers and college students so they can have their babies and stay in school? Does it help pregnant women who have abusive partners get the support they need? Does it eliminate pregnancy as a pre-existing condition in the individual health insurance market? Does it provide home visitation to young mothers without support? The answer, sadly, is no. Neither party does enough What are we doing now to help the unborn? Does the fifth-justice strategy help support pregnant women who need help in order to choose life? Does it help women think through their options? Does it provide assistance to teenagers and college students so they can have their babies and stay in school?Does it help pregnant women who have abusive partners get the support they need? Does it eliminate pregnancy as a pre-existing condition in the individual health insurance market? Does it provide home visitation to young mothers without support? The answer, sadly, is no. Neither party does enough to help pregnant women.
The problem with this thinking is that it assumes an either/or attitude when we can both help to change the Supreme Court and to help pregnant women. Without government funding we are already creating and supporting crisis pregnancy centers within are area. We are already providing support for those who think they have no other choice. We can certainly do more in this direction. We have to work towards changing the culture, changing the courts, and at the same time providing care and hope for pregnant women, but they are not equally exclusive operations.
He goes on to talk about the Pregnant Women Support Act which he has reintroduced. This is actually a pretty good bill and in the past had the support of solid pro-lifers and the USCCB. Though for the most part I think that we can do more in our local communities than any government program ever will do.
I wish that we had actual pro-life Democratic Senators, but the ones who call themselves so are not consistent and mostly will put the party over their pro-life convictions and in the case of Catholic Democrats they put the party over their faith. I get so tired of Catholics who say they are pro-life and then find every excuse to go along with the Democratic party. The Notre Dame scandal seems to be right along party lines where the defenders are known apologists for excusing the Democratic Party for their Molochian support while pretending that their policies will make things better. Within the Catholic blogosphere I was quite happy to see Catholics criticize Republicans when they support the culture of death. The large outcry that there was over Mayor Giuliani’s candidacy. I wish that the pro-life Catholics of a Democratic persuasion would be just as critical when their party does something evil. Unfortunately the same individuals and groups who supported President Obama as being “more pro-life” don’t have anything contrary to say when he funded abortions overseas or declared that a class of human persons could be killed and experimented on. There is no perfect political party, but that does not mean we don’t hold their feet to the fire when they are supporting evil and in no way should make excuses for them.
The closer abortion gets to being perceived as an “inalienable right” the harder it is to distribute information about gestational stages of development, assistance for women in crisis pregnancy, adoption options, etc. I think overturning Roe V Wade would make a big difference in public perception, and thus, clear more avenues of pro-life communication, among other things.
At this moment in our history, it is not possible at the national level to claim to be a pro-life Democrat with any integrity. To be a Democrat means to caucus with the Democratic party –which means to campaign and raise funds to support all Democratic candidates, to campaign for the President, to vote for Pelosi to be Speaker of the House, and send pro-abortion Congressmen to head up the House & Senate Judiciary committees where laws are written or blocked. In other words, you can proclaim that you are pro-life, but by the mere claim of the title Democrat, you automatically place the law in the hands of the most radical pro-abortion members of Congress.
I have nothing but respect for the grassroots effort to change the Democratic party from within, but right now, there is simply no way to be a pro-life Democrat in Congress in any meaningful way. I am speaking of a practical situation caused by the leadership of the Party itself. This is not so true in the states: it’s perfectly possible to be a pro-life Democratic governor (although I can’t name one off the top of my head other than the late Gov. Casey). But it isn’t possible in the Congress today.
Interestingly, pro-choice Republicans have the same problem in reverse. They may vote wrong on everything concerned with life, but by caucusing with the pro-life (by platform) party, they place the congressional committees –particularly the Judiciary committees– in the hands of committed pro-lifers (or would, if the GOP were to take over the Congress in the 2010 elections, eg.)
There is also no evidence that the Pregnant Woman Support Act or things like it would actually reduce abortions, or at least not by much. Saying so is like saying that “better” sex education and more access to free birth control would lessen abortion — it sounds good but it does not match the facts. Of course there are sad exceptions, but most women who have abortions know all about birth control methods and have access to them, but are either not using them (in many urban areas, having sex without using any birth control is a sign of wanting a “serious” relationship — on that does not include marriage), are actually attempting to conceive, or are using birth control methods but not every time they have sex. Add that to the error rate of using birth control methods correctly, and you get a lot of pregnancies.
Promiscuous sex, easy access to abortion, and a societal acceptance of abortion are the reasons abortion rates are high. No one seems willing to discuss that, or the strange blindness in our society for the biological fact that sex is SUPPOSED to make babies. It’s not a mistake when that happens, it’s a mistake when it doesn’t happen.
As for Casey — well, I lost all respect for him when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention after it was obvious that Obama’s “respect for other views” extends only as far as letting people have their say and then ignoring them. That is not respect, that is a supreme form of arrogance that means, “Say what you want, no one is going to listen anyway.”
So he’s pro-life, except for furriners.
Does that mean he’s also a Catholic, except for furriners?
As far as I know, Ben Nelson of Nebraska is the only Democrat in the Senate with a consistently pro-life voting record (how I miss Zell Miller!); but like Casey, he undermines this with his indirect support of candidates and measures that do damage to the pro-life cause.
We cannot let the pro-abortion lobby trick us into moving the abortion debate onto political turf. As with everything else, enemies of the faith would have us believe that the laws of men are on equal footing with the law of God. Abortion is and always should be a moral rather than a political issue, and we must be adamant in our stance that the laws of men have no bearing on this fact. If we don’t incorporate this into our debate, enemies of truth will simply continue to do what they do best: bog us down in irrelevant tangential arguments (“choice,” “women’s health,” etc.) to distract us from the real issue: namely, the humanity of the unborn child. They know that without subterfuge they cannot win the debate.
Case in point: the example set by Senator Casey above. I can’t imagine how aggrieved the late Bob Casey Sr. must be by the betrayal of his legacy.
you cannot be pro-life and a democrat. its just not possible, since the democrats stand for everything that pro-lifers (and those who believe that god, not the gov’t, can fix everything) are against.
This is a national (54%) catholic scandal, not merely the ND Scandal. ND furher trivializes/back burners the life issue.
“Hell is filled with good intentions.” St. bernard de calirvaux.