http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/images/size340/Supreme_Knight_Dr_Carl_A_Anderson_address_the_129th_Knights_of_Columbus_Supreme_Convention_during_the_States_Dinner_Credit_Peter_Zelasko_CNA.jpgNew Haven, Conn., Aug 18, 2016 / 02:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Since it was first used by Mario Cuomo in 1984, many Catholic politicians have taken up the argument that they are “personally opposed to abortion” but still “pro-choice.” The argument “has always been a poor one, but it has never made less sense than it does today,” writes Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, in an opinion piece published yesterday in The Hill.
In a speech at Notre Dame in 1984, Cuomo famously declared that: “As a Catholic I accept the church’s teaching authority. … I accept the bishops’ position that abortion is to be avoided.” Cuomo added: “My wife and I were enjoined never to use abortion to destroy the life we created, and we never have.” Still, he maintained that abortion should be protected legally.
In his piece, Anderson says the Cuomo argument was never morally coherent, that its premise that opposition to abortion is the minority view is no longer valid, and that the intervening history proves that Cuomo’s claim that such actions will bring tolerance for Catholic positions has been disproven by new attempts to force religious individuals and entities to act against their beliefs.
Anderson notes that if we apply the “personally opposed” rationale to another evil we see how quickly the logic breaks down.
In addition, Cuomo’s logic was based on not imposing his view on the majority of Americans. But, the piece notes, it “simply is not true that legally restricting abortion is the minority view,” and “a broad consensus to restrict abortion” has emerged in the intervening years on that and on the immorality of abortion.
The piece sites Marist polling commissioned by the Knights of Columbus that shows about eight in 10 Americans want substantial restrictions on abortion. A solid majority would limit abortion at most only to rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. And by a margin of 23 points – 60 percent to 37 percent – most Americans now say abortion is “morally wrong.” By contrast, only about one in 10 Americans say they want no restrictions of abortion.
Anderson writes that this means that “pro-choice” politicians who claim to be “personally opposed” now not only violate their own consciences, but also impose on the country a view held by only a “tiny minority.”
Cuomo’s idea is “now bankrupt in another way,” continues Anderson.
In defending his “pro-choice” stance, Cuomo stated in 1984: “We know that the price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that they might someday force theirs on us.”
“Indeed, the opposite has occurred,” writes Anderson. “Catholics are increasingly facing government ‘force’ to commit actions they see as immoral… Cuomo was wrong. Our rights have not been protected as a result of his political strategy – just ask the Little Sisters of the Poor.”