But Kathleen Buckley Domingo, the respect-life coordinator for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Office of Life, Justice and Peace, told the Register that Catholic social teaching aims to create a society where people can flourish. And even people who identify themselves as “pro-choice,” she added, recognize that “abortion is a terrible process” and represents a failure on the part of society to support women.
The foremost reasons for abortion were documented in 2004 by the Guttmacher Institute: 74% said having a child would interfere with education, work or ability to care for their other children; 73% said they did not have the resources to raise a baby at that time; 48% said they did not want to be single mothers or had relationship problems. According to Guttmacher data, women in their 20s account for more than half of all abortions. Also, more than 60% of women who seek abortions already have one baby.
Domingo said low-income women who get pregnant need affordable prenatal health care, and they need to have confidence they will be able to keep their jobs and put food on the table for their other children by having paid leave when they take time off for birth. They also need policies that encourage the fathers of their children to stay in the home, she added, instead of having to shoulder the burden of raising children on their own. Marriage, she said, greatly reduces rates of children in low-income households becoming trapped in poverty, illiteracy and gang activity.
“Instead of that, [Catholics for Choice] are just telling them that the only thing they’re going to fund is the destruction of their unborn children,” she said.
Pro-life groups also took the opportunity to affirm the Church’s position that opposition to abortion is a social-justice value.
Kristi Hamrick, spokeswoman for Americans United for Life Action, told the Register that Catholics who value the Church’s teachings recognize that opposition to abortion is “a social-justice issue, as every life has value and is irreplaceable, deserving protection.”
She said, “In this election, as in all others, people who understand that without a right to life all other rights are meaningless must seek to elect those who will protect life, from conception to natural death.”
Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life of America (DFLA), told the Register that the main beneficiaries of public funding for pregnant women are abortion businesses. A beneficial use of public funds to “support women in pregnancy,” Day added, would be providing low-income women with paid parental leave and more support to help pregnant women finish their degrees, which would help boost wage levels that they could raise a family on.
Some of these pro-active policies have begun to be adopted late in the campaign by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who proposed legislating six weeks of paid maternity leave and tax credits for stay-at-home mothers in response to his abysmal numbers among women.
Although Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has long proposed legislating 12-week paid parental leave, she has also made public funding of abortion a centerpiece of her campaign.
Democrats for Life has refused to endorse Clinton, and Day noted that Clinton has struggled to gain any enthusiasm for her campaign and that her hard swing to the party’s abortion-rights contingent has not helped either. And, Day suggested, Catholics for Choice now appears to be doubling down on that failed strategy.