Woman's National Democratic Club

“The Church–State Wall" is Crumbling

by Karen Pataky, Chair, Health Policy Task Force

(based on Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post, July 17, 2020)

Far-right Christians have planned to reverse Roe v Wade since the day of the SCOTUS decision in 1973. Between ex-President Donald Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell, two Supreme Court seats were unfairly ceded to far-right Catholic nominees. All three lied to Congress and stated that Roe v Wade was “settled law” and would be honored. But all three voted with the other Catholic justices appointed by previous Republican presidents.

When news leaked of pending Roe v Wade reversal in October 2021, Chief Justice John Roberts tried to reassure us that “birth control” would remain untouched and that the exemptions of rape, incest, and the life of the mother would be untouched. All lies again.

Only far-right Christian dogma gives “personhood” to the 2-celled zygote from the moment of conception, and therefore forbids abortion from the first missed period. And the promised exceptions of rape, incest, and the “life of the mother” are being ignored.

Tragically, the life of the pregnant woman is also being treated in such a cavalier way that additional legal opinions are necessary to allow physicians to provide life-saving measures. Two frightening examples illustrate:

  • In one case where an ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed, which is 100% fatal to fetus and mother, but abortion is delayed until the woman has bled out at least a full pint of blood.
  • Another woman had a dying fetus, but abortion had to be postponed until the fetus began to decay and the woman almost died of sepsis.

Another problematic area is that of spontaneous miscarriage, which occur in about 15% of all pregnancies. No woman can prove that her hemorrhaging is NOT actually from an abortion. It is up to the emergency room to treat her or send her home to die. And, many women did die via this scenario before Roe v Wade.

Historically, medical providers have not been forced to obtain permission from a lawyer or judge before initiating the medical interventions necessary TO SAVE A WOMAN’S LIFE. This is not “PRO-LIFE” for the pregnant woman.

We must make abortion legal in every state and enshrine the right to an abortion in our Constitution!

2 thoughts on ““The Church–State Wall” Is Crumbling”

  1. The policy statements in the linked article above are well argued and very defensible. The bigoted religious attacks are not.

    I do not think it is appropriate to make denominational statements in such articles. President Biden, Speaker Pelosi and Justice Sotomayer are Catholic. And, of course, in 1960 and 1928, the Democratic nominees for President were viciously attacked with the bigoted claim that Catholics would not think for themselves. It is sad that a group like WNDC would participate in the bigotry that was used against our nominees for President.

    One can make these points without making religious attacks. (BTW, the article implies Justice Gorsuch is Catholic. While he was once Catholic, he is now an Episcopalian. Not that bigotry is often rational or factual).

    It would be my recommendation that this posting be taken down from the website. I also hope that public figure’s position on Middle Eastern politics could be made without reference to their religion as in other obvious extensions of this principle.

  2. Good afternoon,

    Thank you for your commentary on my Political Dispatch article. My apologies to you re: my “espousing bigotry.” I am of an age to recall the difficulty that Pres. Kennedy encountered. We all support and revere Pres. Biden and Speaker Pelosi and many other Catholic figures in public life. And A few years back Sister Simone was a guest speaker at WNDC. My aim was to criticize historic far right Catholic theology, not individual people of today

    It is WNDC’s policy to publish all commentary that is conveyed to the Executive Committee. The author need not be a Public Policy Committee member.

    In closing, I do invite you to attend our next Public Policy Meeting on Monday October 3 at 5PM by Zoom. You will meet a lovely group of knowledgeable and ethical activists and be able share your concerns with us.

    Sincerely .
    Karen J. Pataky,
    Director, WNDC Public Policy and Political Action
    Chair, Health Policy Task Force


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