I recently read a column from The Hoya published in December that told readers “Catholics must keep open minds in abortion discussion.” Perhaps we should be grateful that the writer, Lukasz Swiderski (SFS ’10), finds it “troublesome” that abortion on demand kills more than 1.2 million innocent beings each year.

To many of us, including the Catholic Church hierarchy, “troublesome” is not the word; “evil” is. The summary of a statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops makes it clear: “There are some things we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. These intrinsically evil acts must always be rejected and never supported. A preeminent example is the intentional taking of human life through abortion.” Vatican II, referenced by Swiderski, was not to the contrary.

Swiderski cites Douglas Kmiec, a Pepperdine Law professor. Swiderski neglects to mention that Kmiec worked on the Democratic Party platform and served as an advisor to President-elect Obama during his campaign. Kmiec stated that overturning the Supreme Court cases that have legalized abortion on demand (Roe v. Wade and its companion case Doe v. Bolton) “does little other than return the issue to the states.” Kmiec’s implication is that reversing these cases would not affect the number of abortions. That is deception, plain and simple.

Polls indicating that the majority of Americans favor “abortion” deal with only three situations: to save the life of the mother (as to which everyone agrees) and in cases of serious fetal deformity, rape and incest. The last three situations comprise only 2 percent of the 1.2 million abortions yearly. Support for abortion on-demand is a distinctly minority position (23 percent in favor in a Gallup poll).

ost states would not enact abortion on demand. The result of a reversal of Roe would be an enormous reduction in abortions. Strangely, Kmiec seems not to realize that. The Left does, and its candidates have made the maintenance of Roe a major issue in the last three presidential campaigns.

Obama pledged he would never appoint someone to the U.S. Supreme Court who does not guarantee a “woman’s right to choose,” Left-speak for abortion on demand.

Kmiec maintains that abortions will be reduced by 95 percent in 10 years! How? Kmiec’s solutions: make the issue a “question of personal responsibility” (when has it ever been otherwise?); and promote “education of pregnant women” – “education,” even before pregnancy, has been in place for decades and has generally failed to reduce abortions.

Pro-life people, including Catholics, already provide options for adoption and help for single mothers if they choose to keep their babies. Crisis pregnancy centers do a splendid job of that, but Obama wants to stop federal funding to those centers. On the other hand, Obama has pledged repeal of the Hyde Amendment in order to permit federal funding for abortions. When has federal funding ever reduced the incidence of that to which it is directed?

The rest of Obama’s record on abortion is equally incompatible with the reduction of abortions. Regarding the Pregnant Women Support Act, Obama opposed key provisions including coverage of unborn children in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and informed consent for women by educating them about the effects of abortion and the gestational age of their child. He continues to oppose the ban on the barbaric practice of partial birth abortion.

Obama goes further and has voted against legislation requiring medical care for babies born alive after attempted abortions. He promised Planned Parenthood, one of the nation’s largest abortion providers, that, as president, the “first thing” he would do is to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law. FOCA would create a federally guaranteed “fundamental right” to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. It would also abolish any existing laws limiting abortion, including parental consent laws, notification laws and bans on use of taxpayer monies for abortions.

Swiderski and Kmiec are working to perpetuate legalized abortion on demand, a position strangely out of sync with support for reducing abortions. It is not an “open” mind that Catholics must keep on abortion, but an informed one.

Richard Coleman is a 1957 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences and the former president of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and of the National Caucus of Metropolitan Bar Leaders.

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