May I Humbly Request Hope?

August 4, 2008 09:00 AM

It has been a while since I visited the Colorado Personhood Initiative in this blog, but sometimes things happen tat make you wonder precisely what is going on in the minds of some Catholic leaders.

On July 28, I received a remarkable media advisory from Keith Mason of Colorado for Equal Rights.  The statement conveyed the fact that "over 70 physicians and pharmacists, including neonatologists, family physicians, ob/gyns, pediatricians, and other physicians" have publicly endorsed the personhood initiative.
I thought to myself, what an astounding achievement this is, not only for the group backing the initiative, but for the preborn babies whose lives will be, we pray, spared.

But being the curious person that I am, I had to wonder why that statement did not say that 70 Catholic bishops and prominent pro-life leaders had endorsed the initiative, making it clear that personhood was imperative if the abortion war is ever to come to an end. That's when I recalled the June 5 letter  that the Catholic bishops of Colorado had issued. In that letter, they state,
Unfortunately, even if this year's personhood amendment is passed in Colorado, lower federal courts interpreting this amendment will be required to apply the permissive 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is also likely that the Supreme Court, given its current composition, will either decline to review such a case, effectively killing the state amendment, or worse, actively reaffirm the mistaken jurisprudence of Roe. While the Church respects those promoting this personhood amendment, the Catholic Bishops of Colorado decline to support its passage because it does not provide a realistic opportunity for ending or even reducing abortions in Colorado.

Constructive alternatives to reduce abortions and advance the ultimate objective of ending abortion, however, do exist at the state level.

With all due respect to Archbishop Charles Chaput, Bishop Michael Sheridan and Bishop Arthur Tafoya, I am left speechless by this statement. To project what may or may not occur within the anti-life, politically skewed court system is, to my mind, extremely divisive.

There is nobody in the entire pro-life movement who has the ability to read the future nor are there people who can assure anyone what a particular court will do. After all, I was as shocked as anyone was when the so-called pro-life Supreme Court justices ruled, in Gonzales v. Carhart that, though they could only uphold the grisly procedure in cases where the mother's life was in danger, they were quick to assure abortionists there were other ways to kill the same children.  

Who would have thought it?

So why would Catholic bishops be opposed to a purely principled personhood initiative? The proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution does not allow a single child killing, does not recommend "reducing" murder, but rather addresses this fundamental question: Is the resident of the womb, the petri dish or elsewhere a person?

 It has been the public position of American Life League for the past nearly 30 years that the only resolution to our nation's abortion problem is to affirm the principle of personhood. While we wonder what the Supreme Court may do with this question, we do not work under a black cloud, convinced that they will do the wrong thing.

We have hope – everyone should have hope!

I invite the Colorado bishops to be hopeful in Christ, to either endorse the effort or do nothing to deter it. I pray that every pro-life American will see the value in standing up for the single truth that will turn the tide: Every abortion results in the untimely and cruel death of a human being who is, after all, a brother or sister of ours in Christ.

And may I say that after nearly 36 years of doing everything but pressing for personhood, perhaps it is time to toss aside political opinions, legally nuanced statements and public posturing based on polling data and simply pull out all the stops for personhood.

If you want to learn more about the Colorado initiative, read the names of the professionals who support it or the endorsements of fearless pro-life leaders willing to stand up and be counted, or get to know what Colorado for Equal Rights needs, just visit the web site:

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