As election day approaches, Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila has published an article in his diocesan newspaper, urging Catholics to remember that no issue should be more important to them than the question of life and death for the unborn. While making it clear that he has an “aversion” to both candidates, Aquila nonetheless suggests that the election will come down to choosing the “lesser of two evils,” and for him, that means the party that is most likely to defend unborn life.
Aquila doesn’t leave the matter in the abstract but helps readers analyze the platforms of the two major parties, especially as regards the issues that affect Christians most closely. While Catholic prelates go to great lengths to appear neutral at election time-eschewing the endorsement of any particular candidate or party-Aquila does all but tell his readers that come November, he will be pulling the Republican lever. Referring to a recent dinner party where he was asked for guidance on whom to vote for, the Archbishop laid out what he considers to be the essential facts for Catholic voters to consider.
Beyond the candidates themselves, Aquila said, Catholics “need to reflect on the platforms of both parties, with an emphasis on the human life issues,” because “Catholics in good conscience cannot support candidates who will advance abortion.” Throughout his article, the archbishop seems to take for granted that the election will come down to the two major parties, so he doesn’t even bother speaking about third-party candidates, which many have accurately described as the equivalent of not voting at all. Aquila said that while the Democratic Party has continued to tilt ever more pro-abortion, the Republican platform has become progressively more pro-life.
The most important platform change, he said, is that this year the Democratic party is calling for the overturning of the Hyde Amendment, which “prohibits federal taxpayer money from being used for abortion.” If they succeed, American citizens-including Catholics-will be obliged to support abortion with their tax dollars.
The Democratic platform, he continued, “is aggressively pro-abortion, not only in funding matters, but in the appointment of only those judges who will support abortion.” In other words, when it comes down to the appointment of Supreme Court justices, as well as judges for the lower courts, the Democrats can be counted on to nominate only pro-abortion candidates. This isn’t all, however.
The archbishop added that the Democrats also support the repeal of the Helms Amendment, which “prevents the U.S. from supporting abortion availability overseas.” If repealed, U.S. citizens may not be only funding abortions on American soil, but abroad as well, something Hillary Clinton has pushed for years.
Conversely, he noted, “the Republican party platform is supportive of the Hyde Amendment and just this year strengthened its support for life by calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood, banning dismemberment abortion and opposing assisted suicide.” (Read more.)