by Steven Ertelt
May 14, 2007
Rudy Giuliani Won’t Challenge Pope on Abortion-Communion Comments
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Rudy Giuliani is pro-abortion but he won’t challenge the Pope on comments the Catholic leader make last week saying that politicians who favor abortion shouldn’t take communion and have excommunicated themselves from the church. The former mayor said last week that his differences with the Catholic Church over his support for abortion are between him, God and his spiritual adviser, not Pope Benedict XVI. He sought to avoid a head-on confrontation with the pontiff over the issue that has bedeviled Giuliani’s campaign. "I don’t get into debates with the pope," Giuliani told reporters. "Issues like that for me are between me and my confessor. … I’m a Catholic and that’s the way I resolve those issues, personally and privately," he said. "That’s what religion is all about — it’s something that’s between you and your conscience and God and then whoever your spiritual advisers are." The Giuliani campaign Wednesday night deflected questions about Giuliani’s spiritual advisers and whether he takes Communion — saying, as the mayor did, that those are private issues. Giuliani took a different approach in 1996, when he criticized Pope John Paul II for attacking then-President Bill Clinton’s decision to veto a ban on late-term abortion. Giuliani said the pope’s "direct involvement in politics is not a good idea, because I think it confuses people." Until now, Giuliani has not faced the religious questions that hung over Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, also a Catholic, in 2004. Some American bishops said they would withhold Communion from Kerry because he supported abortion.
Justice Department Seeks Expansive View of Partial-Birth Abortion Ruling
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Justice Department, in its first formal filing in court interpreting the Supreme Court’s April 18 ruling upholding a federal ban on an abortion procedure, told a federal appeals court on Thursday that the ruling sweeps so broadly that challengers should not be allowed to pursue claims that the Supreme Court did not resolve. The government submitted a nine-page supplemental letter brief in National Abortion Federation v. Gonzales to the Second Circuit. In its most significant argument to the Second Circuit Court, the Department suggested that the opponents of the 2003 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act be barred from bringing any new case contending that the ban violates women’s constitutional right to equality. That is an argument that got the implied support of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her dissent from the April 18 ruling. Her dissent might have led pro-abortion groups to try that theory as an alternative way of contesting the ban now that their facial challenge has failed on a due process complaint. Although the Carhart decision did not address the equal protection argument, the Department contended: "The Supreme Court’s decision in Carhart that the Act does not violate the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment does not leave any room for plaintiffs to turn around and argue that the Act violates the equal protection component of the same clause." Moreover, it argued, the Supreme Court has always based the so-called right to abortion on due process, not equal protection, principles.
National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy Changes Name, Broadens Focus
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy is changing its name to the National Campaign and will focus on preventing unintended pregnancies in addition to preventing teen pregnancies, the Washington Times reports. The group launched in 1996 and set a goal of helping reduce the U.S. teen pregnancy rate by one-third, according to the Times. The group last year set a new goal of reducing the rate by one-third after seeing a 36% drop in the teen pregnancy rate and a 50% drop in the teen abortion rate since its launch. Former New Jersey Gov. Thomas Kean, a pro-abortion Republican who is the chair of the group, said the organization’s new campaign will aim to "bring more intentionality and planning into pregnancy." According to the Times, the campaign plans to work with health officials, researchers, the entertainment industry, faith-based groups, responsible fatherhood groups and pregnancy prevention groups, including those that advocate abstinence. Sarah Brown, CEO of the campaign, said that adoptions should be encouraged but that it is unlikely to be a major part of curbing unintended pregnancy because there were only 14,000 adoptions of U.S. infants in the last year.
World Congress of Families Closes After Hearing Strong Pro-Life Speeches
Warsaw, Poland (LifeNews.com) — Among other speakers at its closing session, World Congress of Families IV heard from Cardinal Alfonso López Trujillo, head of the Pontifical Council on the Family, and Margarita Zabala Gomez Del Campo, First Lady of Mexico. The letter from Mexico’s First Lady observed, "Today, more than ever before throughout the world there is a need to think of the family, because when you protect the family, you are protecting society and the nation." The 3,300 delegates to the Congress brought together pro-life advocates from across the globe to talk about the latest political and social issues. Andrea Summers, student at Arizona State University, said she appreciated her time there. "When I go back to my campus in the fall, I’ll be better prepared to confront abortion advocates," she said. That platform has no legal binding but is designed to give family advocacy groups from around the world the backing of a larger coalition as the groups lobby their local and national lawmakers. Sessions included: "Pro-Family Initiatives;" "Marriage As a Social Good – Why Get Married?", "Bioethics – 21st Century Challenge to Human Dignity," "Beyond The Contraceptive Mentality" and "Legalized Euthanasia or Family Care." As a euthanasia panelist, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, the president of Human Life International, stated, "When in any society, the natural family is denied its basic rights to care for its members or when it is deprived of its social and legal protections, it very soon becomes victim of the aggressive forces that promote killing on a massive scale and stands before these forces vulnerable to their depredations." Delegates agreed that much needs to be done to counter deleterious trends and make governmental leaders and the general public aware of the indispensability of the gift of human life.