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Personhood Amendment: Winning the Abortion War Without Exception

Since 1973, many different tactics and approaches have been put forward by the Pro-life movement here in the United States.  I think it can be safely stated, that as far as these approaches and tactics have concerned making abortion illegal in this land, they have all been an unmitigated disaster.  37 years later, we are farther away from making abortion illegal in this country, and the more the years go by, the farther and farther away we go.  Can we really say that the approaches we have taken are even slightly successful, when there is still debate about whether taxpayer money should be used to kill the innocent?  The fact that it is still debateable should be a sign to all of us who deeply care about the unborn, that what we have been doing to accomplish our goal is not working.

So what needs to change you ask?  I think the only approach that will finally and once and for all end the killing is a constitutional amendment granting “personhood” to all from conception to natural death.  However, this idea of a personhood amendment is not new.  In 1974 a New York Senator named James Buckley brought a human life amendment to the Senate, and a quick search on this topic shows that 12 other human life amendments have been presented to Congress from 1973-2003.

The most outspoken proponent for a “Personhood” Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is Jude Brown of the American Life League.  Jude Brown has been at the forefront of the Pro-Life movement since before Roe v. Wade became the desecration and abomination of the land.  Mrs. Brown has on many occasions clearly articulated the reasons why a personhood amendment is the only way to win the abortion war going on in this country.  In this article, Mrs. Brown further states the reasons as why the amendment process is the only way to proceed at this point.  Further, and more to the point, Mrs. Brown discusses the reasons why allowing exceptions to our cause, has doomed us to failure.  We cannot allow “exceptions”, such as the “health and well-being of the mother” or “in cases of rape or incest”, to be used any more in pro-life speak.  Those “exceptions” are not Pro-Life!  We are being hypocrites when we say that abortion is wrong, but it is okay in these instances.  We must now take a firm inventory of ourselves and the pro-life movement and decide what we really want.  Do we want to limit abortion?  Or do we want to end abortion?

As Catholics we are all called to end abortion.  Limiting abortion may sound good in practice and at cocktail parties, but in reality, innocent life is still being murdered, and mothers womb’s are still being ripped apart.  We must do all we can to end the horror.

So, can a personhood amendment achieve the end to abortion?  I believe it is the only way we can win the war.  But, we won’t win with the “exception” mentality.  As mentioned above, Sen. Buckley’s amendment in 1974 was the first human life amendment proposed in the Senate.  The “exceptions” were of course debated at that time.  The cardinal from Boston,Humberto Cardinal Medeiros, made the following statement at the time:

“As for an amendment which would generally prohibit abortion but permit it in certain exceptional circumstances, such as when a woman’s life is considered to be threatened, the Catholic Conference does not endorse such an approach in principle and could not conscientiously support it.”

Interestingly enough, and despite the good Cardinal’s reiteration of Catholic teaching, guess what was in Sen. Buckley’s human life amendment?  You got it, an exception to abortion in the case of the life of the mother!  If you look at the other 12 proposed human life amendments, most, if not all, had language providing “exceptions” to abortion.  Is it any surprise that none of these proposed amendments had any success?

The pro-life movement needs to unite around this personhood amendment strategy in order finally and forever, defeat the culture of death.

I am well aware that the majority of Americans support abortion; either outright, or within one or more of the “exceptions”, but that should not matter when trying to prevent an abhorrent evil.  We cannot compromise with evil, lest we condone evil ourselves.

It is my belief that we are not winning, or even on the verge of winning this war, because too many good people in the pro-life movement have bought into this incrementalist approach that allows exceptions to abortion or worse, abortion itself, because the legislation may limit abortion in some unforeseen way.

These good people also believe that taking the “all or nothing” approach is too extreme and too hard a fight to see any results.  However, what results have we seen with the current approach?  In 37 years there have been over 40 million abortions in this country!  It is plainly obvious we need to reorganize our attack and focus all of our efforts on promoting and passing a Personhood Amendment that would protect all life from beginning to natural end.

To that end, California is in the process of gather petitions to place a Personhood Amendment on the November 2010 ballot.  Please go to this website for further information: http://www.californiahumanrightsamendment.com/

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Social Justice Encyclicals

NO REPLY REQUIRED –FYI ONLY

Summary of the Main Encyclicals and Documents

Rerum Novarum: On the Condition of Labour (Leo XIII, 1891)

Lays out the rights and responsibilities of capital and labour;
Describes the role of Government in a just society;
Condemns atheistic communism;
Upholds the right to private property.

Quadragesimo Anno: On Reconstructing the Social Order (Pius XI, 1931)

Condemns the effects of greed and concentrated political and economic power and proposes that social organisation be based on the principle of subsidiarity.

Mater et Magistra: Mother and Teacher (John XXIII, 1961)

Identifies the widening gap between the rich and poor nations as a global concern of justice;
Raises concerns about the arms race;
Calls upon Christians to work for a more just world.

Pacem in Terris: Peace on Earth (John XXIII, 1963)

Focus on human rights as the basis for peace;
Calls for disarmament;
Stating the need for a world-wide institution to promote and safeguard the universal common good.

Gaudium et Spes: The Church in the Modern World (Vatican Council document, 1965)

Clear recognition that the Church is immersed in the modern world;
Condemns poverty;
Warns about the threat of nuclear war;
Christians must work to build structures that uphold justice and peace.

Populorum Progressio: On the Development of Peoples (Paul VI, 1967)

Focus on human development – ‘development is the new name for peace’;
Condemns the situation that gives rise to global poverty and inequality;
Calls for new international organisations and agreements that promote justice and peace.

Octogesima Adveniens: An Apostolic Letter: A Call to Action (Paul VI, 1971)

Calls for political action for economic justice;
Develops the role of individual local churches in responding to unjust situations and acting for justice.

Justice in the World (Synod of Bishops, 1971)

States that “action for justice” is a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel.

Evangeli Nuntiandi: Evangelisation in the Modern World (Paul VI, 1975)

Links the work of doing justice with evangelisation;
The Gospel is about liberation from all oppressive structures;
Respect for cultures.

Laborum Exercems: On Human Work (John Paul II, 1981)

Affirms the dignity of work and the dignity of the worker;
Affirms the rights of labour;
Calls for workplace justice.

Sollicitudo Rei Socialis: The Social Concerns of the Church (John Paul II, 1987)

Includes the “option for the poor” as a central tenet of Church teaching;
Also develops the notions of ‘solidarity’, the ‘structures of sin’ and ‘the social mortgage on property’;
Suggests that the resources used for the arms race be dedicated to the alleviation of human misery;
Nature must be considered in development.

Peace with God the Creator, Peace with Creation – Pastoral Letter (John Paul II, 1990)

The ecological crisis is a moral crisis facing humanity;
Respect for nature and ecological responsibility is a key tenet of faith;
The integrity of creation must be upheld;
Ecological education to nurture a new global solidarity that takes account of nature.

Centesimus Annus: One Hundred Years (John Paul II, 1991)

Reaffirms the principles of Catholic Social Teaching over one hundred years;
Celebrates Rerum Novarum;
Identifies the failures of both socialist and market economies.

(This Summary has been adapted and developed from NETWORK 1998,  Shaping a New World, pp 5-11)

(ALSO GO TO

http://www.sao.clriq.org.au/cst/cst_intro.html

First Post

Okay, here we go.  

 

Stephen