Tuesday, November 11, 2008

From The Moment Of Conception

I noted with some interest that in congratulating minority populations for passing Prop 8 in California, that Cardinal George and Archbishop Neiderauer completely overlooked some other propositions which failed. Those would be all the propositions which attempted in some form or another to limit a woman's access to legal abortion. They had plenty of words directed at President elect Obama on this issue, but were deafening in their silence towards the American electorate.

There were a couple of these anti abortion initiatives which I followed with a great deal of interest, but Colorado's Amendment 48, which sought to define a full person from the moment of conception, held the most interest. It failed 73% to 27%.

Colorado, the state which includes Colorado Springs and Archbishop Chaput, overwhelmingly voted down a constitutional amendment to define a full person as existing from the moment of conception. I think this result is perhaps more important than the lack of commentary would suggest.

I've often wondered if people really believe that a full person exists from the moment of conception. I've wondered if people had a chance to vote on this idea, if they would they support it. It seems that even in the epi center of the pro life movement, they don't really believe this enough to change their constitution to support it.

Born again Evangelicals supported it by a 51-49% margin, although it was defeated in the Colorado Springs area. CNN did not have a breakdown for Catholics, and so they are lumped into the Non Evangelical category which went 80% against. Must mean a lot of Catholics voted against Amendment 48. Maybe this means a lot of Catholics aren't too sure about this notion that a full human person exists at conception. They may believe life begins at conception, but aren't too sure what that 'life' means relative to a full person.

It seems to me this is the part of the abortion debate which recieves little attention. I understand why Catholic leaders insist human life begins at conception because that's a given in order to support the birth control ban. But out in reality, where real women and real couples have to deal with this issue for entirely different real reasons it doesn't seem to be a given.

I would suggest that while all the bishops are gathered for the USCCB meeting in Baltimore they might want to stop congratulating themselves on the passage of the anti gay marriage initiatives and spend some time on their stunning losses on the abortion intiatives. Especially Amendment 48, which spoke to the heart of their life begins at conception theology. I doubt they will though, this might be too much reality. Better to focus on the successes of what amounts to church sponsored constitutional bigotry, than the losses of church sponsored constitutional theology.

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