Responding to editors’ requests for a regular sampling of current commentary from around the Catholic press, here is an unsigned editorial from the Jan. 25 issue of The Tablet, newspaper of the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y.
As if marking the 41st anniversary of the disastrous Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision wasn’t enough, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has decided to rub salt into the wounds of pro-life advocates by telling them they should leave New York state.
The anniversary of the fateful day that has brought so much grief and destruction to America is not something to celebrate. But it must be remembered and observed lest we forget that evil exists in our everyday existence.
The statistics are frightening. More than 56 million lives have been aborted in America since 1973, all with the blessings of government authorities. After reaching an all-time high of more than 1.6 million in 1990, the number of abortions performed annually in the U.S. appears to have dropped to around 1.1 million a year.
The National Right to Life Committee, the federation of 50 state right-to-life affiliates and more than 3,000 local chapters, has issued a new report, “The State of Abortion in America,” summarizing key legislative developments at the state and federal levels. It finds that the annual number of abortions continues to decline, and shows that a majority of the American people continue to oppose the vast majority of abortions allowed under the doctrine of Roe v. Wade.
The decline can be attributed to many recent state restrictions put on the deadly practice. But it also reflects the growing opposition to the practice, especially among young people in the country. In fact, the annual March for Life in Washington has attracted a growing number of young people to its ranks.
For 41 years, the debate has raged over the legality of abortion. The truth about the inherent evil of abortion is rising, emerging from the constant push and pull of the sometimes raucous encounters.
Politicians, like Cuomo, are threatened by the trend and, like the thug that he is, he has suggested that people who oppose abortion, as well as those who have a moral problem with same-sex marriages, should get out of New York state. And while it’s true that the governor has tried to pull back somewhat from his words, the damage has been done. The suspicion will always be that his first unedited utterances tell more about where he really stands on the matter.
Given his standards, the late Cardinal Terence Cooke, a candidate for sainthood, should have been run out of town for his “dangerous” views on the sanctity of life.
It’s a sad day in America when all honest debate and discussion is no longer encouraged and aspersions are cast upon those who have the nerve to disagree with you. Cuomo’s attitude unfortunately creates that kind of atmosphere and only promotes greater division among those with different points of view.
It’s clear that the governor has national aspirations, but he is only kidding himself if he believes that his tactic of divide and conquer can take him to any form of victory. The American people — especially those outside New York state — are on a different page than Cuomo when it comes to abortion. They value human life, and they are moving closer every day to protecting it, little by little. They also know a bully when they see one, and they will not stand for this kind of threat to American freedoms.
We can only hope that cooler heads will survive and that greater scientific investigation and more honest discussion will prevail.
At the same time, we call upon all pro-life advocates to remain steadfast in their belief that every human life is worth living. And we urge everyone to not only pray that the unborn will be allowed to live but also to put into practice as many good works and encouragement as possible to support the parents of the unborn.
The views or positions presented in this or any guest editorial are those of the individual publication and do not necessarily represent the views of CatholicPhilly.com, Catholic News Service or the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.