We've heard it before under Clinton, who promised to make abortion "safe, legal, and rare". Back then, Democrat Catholics (which is to say those voters whose allegiance to the Democratic Party takes precedence over their loyalty to the Catholic Church) latched onto the last word. ("See, he said rare!") During the election, nominally pro-life Obamabots parroted the campaign propaganda point that Obama is pro-life since his policies would motivate people to have fewer abortions, at the same time he erases all legal restrictions on doing so. But as things already stand, any mother in need can now get all the aid she wants to raise a kid, and McCain wasn't going to eliminate it.
Q: Therefore, while you would presumably support better health care and anti-poverty measures, in your mind that’s not an alternative to efforts to outlaw abortion?
A: Absolutely right.
In his interview, Bishop Kicanas expressed quite the opposite stance:
Q: If I’m hearing you correctly, you’re saying that for a Catholic who
wants to approach his or her vote in three weeks with the mind of the church,
it’s not a slam-dunk which way that vote should go. Is that right?
A: Yes, and I think that’s what “Faithful Citizenship” is saying. As a disciple, as a citizen, you have to weigh issues, you have to consider the character of candidates, what you think they will be able to do in terms of affecting the society and the culture in which we live. Clearly, the document is saying that to vote for someone who is proposing actions that are intrinsically evil, because of their position on those intrinsically evil acts, is certainly problematic for someone who is a believer in Christ. You don’t believe in Christ and then vote for a person simply, or primarily, because they hold a position that’s contrary to the church. You have to take those positions into consideration, and then make a choice. These are never easy choices.
Sez him. The choice is clear and easy for every voter who cares about ending the intrinsic evil of abortion.
Only God knows whether the bishops' inaction delivered enough critical votes to Obama for him to win the election. Now that abortion extremist Obama won the election, it's come to this:
Along with their theological opposition to the procedure, church leaders say they worry that any expansion in abortion rights could require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions or lose federal funding. Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Chicago said the hospitals would close rather than comply.
Now that the time to put the weight and muscle of the Catholic vote behind defeating Abort-O-rama in the election is lost, the weapons available to the American bishops are issuing statements, pleas, requests, and recommendations, but the real power now resides with Barack Obama and both houses of Congress heavily in control of the Democrats. The bishops conference passed at the first call, and they've raised this round by betting the pot: our hospitals, irreplacable, built with centuries of work and sacrifice. We'll see whether they win, lose, or bluff. But they should not have waited this late to begin to push back.