Reviews | Biden, abortion and the Catholic Church

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These measures would prevent most abortions in the United States.

In addition, free home exams by a public health nurse for pregnant women and visits to mothers and babies in the first six months of life would help prevent the tragedy of poor maternal health outcomes and childhood associated with race and amplified by poverty.

Carolyn Foley
El Sobrante, California
The writer is a registered nurse.

For the publisher:

Re “Between the Bishops and Joe Biden” (column, June 23):

Ross Douthat seems to agree with the use of the Catholic Eucharist as political football. His question is whether the time has come for American bishops to use it to fight abortion.

Pope Francis described Holy Communion as the “bread of sinners”. The contrast to the conservative view Mr. Douthat endorsed, that this is a price that must be defended against those deemed unworthy, could not be more striking.

This goes to the heart of the serious differences among Catholics over the meaning of their faith; that it emphasizes inclusion and mercy, in accordance with the Jesus of the Gospels, or that it maintain the defensive withdrawal of exclusivity that Mr. Douthat describes for questions beyond abortion .

Mr. Douthat frames his argument against abortion as a crusade against moral decay without mentioning women’s health as part of the problem. The church continues to refuse to admit women to the priesthood and other frontline church roles, and the likely celibate male clergy dictating reproductive health policies will continue to invite accusations of hypocrisy.

Michael crowley
Washington

For the publisher:

Ross Douthat says denying communion to politicians who support abortion rights is a “pastoral act.” In addition, he says that no Republican failure to fund health care has had the “fatal consequence” of taking millions of innocent lives that abortion has had. It is myopic vision.

What about the Republican-backed gag rule that withdrew funding from healthcare organizations in developing countries if abortion services were mentioned? This affected not only contraceptive services, but also general health care, including treatment and prevention of HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.


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