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  Impossible Laws (Thu Feb 19, 2004  1:26 pm)

We urge our Bishops to serious reconsider their methods of approach to our elected civic leaders to enact laws that are impossible to enforce. Is it morally justified to establish laws the enforcement of which is not possible, or at minimum, which are devastating to the common good? No one advocates death in any form, but we must tolerate some forms of death not only because it is inevitable, but also because the alternative is too costly.

The carnage on our roads, war, the death penalty, death for a good cause, self defense, and to protect others are some examples. States are not bound to do the impossible. They can, and have, enacted laws to regulate abortions, but would any civic leader be justified (no matter what his/her personal opinion might be) in imposing on society the obligation to pursue, identify, arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate all women and collaborating men, single parents, mothers and fathers of families, who chose to have an abortion? Even if it were possible, it would completely destroy our legal and penal system.

Consider this recent announcement: In an unprecedented move to intimidate doctors, hospitals and women who have had abortions, the Department of Justice has subpoenaed the abortion medical records of hundreds of patients around the country. Among the doctors whose records have been subpoenaed are those who filed suit to challenge the recently signed late term abortion ban as unconstitutional. (Act for Change, Feb. 17, 2004)

We urge our bishops to focus their energies and political influence on their continuing efforts to eliminate the social and economic conditions that support the felt need for abortions. We urge them to examine their own consciences concerning the morality of using birth control methods to help prevent the need for abortion, rather than resorting to antiquated, pre-Vatican II, punitive, and ineffective, methods of bygone days.

Other voices

Another Voice

Questions From a Ewe

Challenges Facing Catholicism
(Bishop Geoffrey Robinson in converation with Dr Ingrid Shafer)

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