Our Catholic faith rightly demands that we protect innocent human life and therefore that we oppose abortion and oppose laws permitting abortion. This is a straightforward matter of justice in service to the common good.
In our complex form of government, as our nearly 50 year battle to undo the damage caused by Roe v. Wade shows, doing this is no easy task when some of our fellow citizens disagree with us vehemently and when many more of them are conflicted and ambivalent. That’s why Catholic teaching, for instance Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical on the Gospel of Life, make it clear that we can pursue this goal of protecting the unborn incrementally, step by step.
But one thing on which polls show broad, bipartisan agreement is that abortion should not be funded by taxpayers. Some polls show more than three in four Americans holding this view, a remarkable number in our divided nation, one that means even many of those who favor some forms of legal abortion oppose public funding of it.
Forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortions is extreme, and not only in the sense of being unpopular. It’s also extreme in that it makes all Americans, including the millions who find abortion abhorrent, participants in actual abortions. It is therefore an attack on conscience rights, as well.
Our state of Minnesota, tragically, already has taken this extreme and wrong step of taxpayer funded abortion, and we should continue to work to change that. We should also make clear to all of our elected representatives that we firmly stand with a majority of our fellow Americans in demanding that our federal government never makes the same mistake.