The wrong way to make decisions

The column in the Oct. 14 issue of The Catholic Commentator titled “Pro-life advocates must understand the perspective of the parents” draws extensively from a paper by Paul Swope, published in “First Things” several years ago. Mr. Swope’s paper reports on the results of a study commissioned by the pro-life Caring Foundation on the effectiveness of pro-life outreach to women of child-bearing age who identify themselves as pro-choice. The study did that, and just that.

The Catholic Commentator article relates in detail what “research shows” about how women make unwanted pregnancy decisions. (In only one instance does the article qualify “women” as pro-choice women.) The article describes what might be taken as a norm for women making such decisions, or so it seems. The source study had no such intent.

The problem is that the article goes on at length to describe the wrong way to make these decisions and ultimately to shift blame toward pro-life advocates.

Should it be surprising that, for pro-choice women, abortion is the favored means for resolving unwanted pregnancies? Indeed that likely is why the population was selected for study.

Few would disagree that women in unwanted pregnancies should be offered compassion, support and authentic spiritual guidance. Still, is it not the babies whose lives are at stake?

And finally, speaking of root causes, it is unfortunate the study did not cross-correlate its finding with the church attendance.

We conclude by borrowing the conclusion from Mr. Swope’s paper:

“The terrible miscalculation of young women is that abortion can make them ‘unpregnant,’ that it will restore them to who they were before their crisis. But a woman is never the same once she is pregnant, whether the child is kept, adopted or killed.”

Mary and George Rettig

Baton Rouge

Life major issue

Your editorial of Oct. 28 was an apt description of the importance of this current presidential election. I realize that you may not be able to endorse a particular candidate but I believe as the editor of a Catholic newspaper it is appropriate to mention the major candidates’ stance on the most important Catholic issue.

One candidate (was) very vocal in her plans to “reel in” those Christian beliefs and make “abortions on demand a lifelong law.”

So many who call themselves Catholic (did) not vote according to the (USCCB) guidance. If the Catholic voice was a united voice, we could as a group every major candidate in our country

I’ll be praying that all who live and love their Catholic faith (voted) for the pro-life candidates. No other issue is as important as life.

Tara Messenger

Baton Rouge

Change is consistent

I would like to respond to the Oct. 28 Letter to the Editor in which the writer stated, “The Catholic Commentator has a serious obligation to clearly teach what the Roman Catholic religion has consistently taught for 2,000 years.”

My having taught church history for years has made me very much aware of the fact that what has been most consistent about the Catholic Church has been change.

Sister Joel Goebler OP