Are Catholics forced to vote for pro-life candidates who plan to do nothing to stop abortion?

I don’t want to discuss politics in here, so let’s set up a purely hypothetical situation:

Two candidates are running for president. One is clearly pro-choice. The other claims repeatedly that he is pro-life, but for whatever reason, you just KNOW he will do absolutely nothing to stop or prevent abortions once elected. His pro-life stance is purely a gimmick to pick up the conservative Christian vote. In this hypothetical situation, all other issues of importance in the church are irrelevant.

Would a Catholic be required by church teaching to vote for the pro-life candidate? Or are we only required to vote for a candidate who we believe will actually do something to reduce the amount of abortions?

Now, yes, I am saying this because of our current election. Abortion is always my #1 priority in elections, but in this upcoming election I honestly believe the republican nominee will do nothing to prevent abortions, and that he is only saying he is pro-life to make fools of us by getting our votes by lying to us. I know some may disagree with my observation, which is why we are discussing a hypothetical situation instead of a real one.

So, if a candidate is clearly lying to us about his stance on abortion, are we still required to vote for him? Or are we still allowed to use out best judgement on the issue?

You can’t have it both ways: either this is a hypothetical situation or it is about the current election and whatever the solution in the hypothetical case it does not apply to the real situation. Your assertion about Romney doing “nothing to prevent abortions” is simply wrong. At a minimum he has said he would reinstate the Mexico City accords which bans all NGO’s that receive federal funds from either performing or promoting abortions. The assertion that Republicans have no intention of ending abortion is not made because anyone believes it is true but because it provides cover for anti-abortion Democrats to vote for members of their party.

You are faced with an unpleasant choice. At least make your decision an honest one.


Do you think that having Obama appoint SC judges will help, if you truly believe that abortion is an intrinsic evil? What about gay marriage, cloning, euthanasia and homosexuality? These are intrinsic evils as well. Romney has stated that he will appoint justices in the mode of those who are constitutionalists. Even Justice Ginsberg has said that the Roe v Wade decision was poorly done.

I struggle with this as well. I think Abortion is murder and the civil rights of the unborn child are trampled upon with the legalization of this.


I look at whole package. I first look at abortion and how this candidate could change that law. Can they have influence on the Chief Justices, can they sway state legislatures to a pro-life stance, etc.

If they have very little power in this I look at the other things this candidate can do and weigh them against the other. I hate to vote for pro-choice and I have done it once knowingly.It was a very hard vote but I thought this candidate offered so much more to the country and my state then the incumbant who didn’t do enough and seemed to be a yes man. It was and still bothers me how I voted in that election because of the abortion issue but I truly believe that candidate was the best over all choice for the greater good.

I don’t know why we are talking about Romney and Obama; this discussion is about a hypothetical situation only. The only reason I mentioned the current situation is because people would recognize that I was talking about it anyway, so I wanted to be open about my feelings. Regardless of whether not you agree with my beliefs about Romney, I want to know your opinion about the purely hypothetical situation I have outlined.

So if am reading you correctly you are asking sould I vote for 1 guy that has implemented policies that foster abortion versus another guy that has stated he is pro life but “you know” is lying? (are you claiming you can read the other candidate’s mind?)
People do change their minds about issues all the time look at St. Paul’s example.

:hmmm: (certainty of more abortion) vs (a possibility of redressing abortion policies)

I would give the guy a chance to prove you wrong after all the other guy gives me certainty of evil being perpetuated.

If not voting means that the pro-abortion candidate will be elected or re-elected, then we are to vote NO MATTER WHAT to help ensure the pro-abortion candidate does not get into office.

Yes, you are to vote for the MORE pro-life of the candidates even if to this point, it has only been rhetoric. And continue to press him/her for full pro-life status. You sure can’t vote for the pro-abortion politician no matter what. It’s non-negotiable.

It is not just about voting, it is about CIVIC PARTICIPATION to the deepest level including Catholics running for office ourselves.

But wait. There have been statistically fewer abortions during Democrat incumbancies than Republican mostly because social programs under the Democrats offer alternatives and support to mother/child. Republicans and the dominant party in this country as we are really very conservative. Yet, with all this power and having more years in the White House since Roe v. Wade, they have done nothing to roll back abortion. To my way of thinking, Republicans let Democrats get in, change things and take the heat for that, while Republicans bide their time or shout from the sidelines. When they get back in charge, they do not necessarily change things back, just bring it up at the next election to keep the Dems out. A tricky thing is politics.

Yes, Democrats have taken positions I cannot support, but I am not blind to the evil on the other side either. Democrats at least have some alignment with Catholic social teaching on things like the dignity of work, creating jobs, right to health care, and offering a supportive hand to those in poverty and need as functions government. They do not denigrate the 47% in favor of the 1%. They are welcoming of minorities and appear less to merely use them

Does that include abortifacient drug induced abortions? Probably not, and they are going to be more common under Democratic leadership. Is that talking about abortions worldwide? Probably not because Democrats don’t like the Mexico City Policy. So you can make the case for more government funding for social programs will help lower abortion rates, but don’t make the case that Democratic leadership will actually do anything to lower abortion rates when you take into consideration the other things they encourage/allow along with social programs.

We have not been engaged in the political process as deeply as we should have been all along. That is why political parties have not behaved as they should. We cannot just vote in the Presidential elections every 4 years and then go back to our regular lives - it is going to take more than that from all of us in order to get true pro-life politicians elected.

Tell me, how much have you contributed to any political candidate’s campaign? I suspect that many people are like me - I vote and have for years, but to actually send money? Very little. So that is when the lobbying groups step up to fill the void and THEY take control of our candidates.

We’ve just begun what is going to be a very long fight to get our country back to its founding values. Voting for a pro-abortion candidate is NOT something we can do. No matter what the other party’s candidate isn’t doing, at least he or she is not agreeing to a party platform that proudly includes ALL FIVE NON-NEGOTIABLES for Catholics!

Even if I think that the allegedly “pro-life” candidate will do nothing to stop abortion, it is still my best judgement not to vote for a candidate whom I know will continue to support the abortion industry.

Sorry for nitpicking, but I think there should be 6 non-negotiables: religious freedom. :cool:

OP, you may want to check out the other candidates. I feel that many people forget that there are more than two candidates. Do your research, weigh which is the best option and then make your decision.

False dilemma. Both parties want to help people. Can there be more than one way to help people? Is it possible to help people more efficiently, employing the Catholic principle of Subsidiarity?

Do you truly believ that one party has a monopoly on compassion?
If so, that does not strike me as a particularly realistic outlook, but one based on politically charged motivations…

I agree with Trixie.

FWIW, I think it’s best to follow the code of Cicero, whose moral and civic values influenced the early Church if not Western civilization.

Primum, minima de malis. (First, the least of evils) Of evils choose the least. (This has been translated falsely as “choose the lesser of two evils.”) Do third and fourth-party candidates qualify for the “least of evils”? I think so.

*Meminerimus autem etiam adversus infimos iustitiam esse servandam *- **Let us remember that justice must be observed even to the lowest. **

Does this mean the fetus conceived out of rape and incest, perhaps the very lowest, must be given justice? I think so, and anyone who promotes or allows this through exceptions or otherwise is just as guilty, if not more so, than one who allows women to have her “reproductive rights” IMO.

Even if Romney is completely indifferent about abortion, he would still be a better choice than Obama who is clearly actively for it.

I would not say he’s indifferent. Keep in mind both will say whatever they need to to get elected. This is perhaps the ugliest campaign in recent history where ideological values are pretty much all cast aside.

The child conceived of rape or incest is innocent. This child is no more a piece of property than any other child. It’s not a pretty situation, but neither is the cross.

Ask different questions: Which candidate will aggressively attack my Church? Which will leave it alone. Enough said.

I struggle with this as well. This is why I am not voting for either Romney or Obama Bless

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