To the Editor:
I found the Jan. 16 letter to the editor with the heading, “Love, not punishment” to be most disturbing, unjust and, it seems to me, sexist. I’m glad the U.S. bishops have designated abortion as a “preeminent priority.” Abortion is the ultimate punishment!
Roomfuls of women in pro-life pregnancy centers across the U. S. work tirelessly to save unborn children from brutal, violent deaths and the mothers from possible injury, death and a lifetime of regret. The late Cardinal John O’Conner invited women with crisis pregnancies to find assistance in his New York diocese.
The Sisters of Life in New York do exactly that. Our bishop has been involved with such centers in the Davenport Diocese. Father Frank Pavone, founder of Priests for Life, stated that we must stand in solidarity with pregnant women. The director of the pro-life pregnancy center in Iowa City told me that she could always count on the support of a local Catholic pastor even though he was busy with a large parish.
Pregnancy is a natural result of sex, not a punishment! Did the writer mean to imply that the baby is a punishment? Women often feel pressured to have an abortion because it is legal.
Poverty is only one factor in the abortion decision. Programs that address only economic needs are grossly inadequate. Crisis pregnancy centers are holistic in meeting the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of women.
Fighting abortion is all about love, not punishment. In charity, we help women with their immediate needs. In justice, we must enact laws that protect the first and most basic right, the right to life. Peace and justice must start in the womb. We should remember St. Mother Teresa’s words, “The greatest destroyer of peace in the world today is abortion.”