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The issue that won't go away

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jul 23, 2010

Reprinting some of Phil's best pieces while he's on vacation leads us to this commentary on pro-abortion "Catholic" Joe Biden's presence on the Obama ticket, from August 23, 2008.

With another pro-abortion Catholic on the Democratic national ticket, we can be quite sure that the issue will not go away this year.

It's remarkable: 25 years after Roe v. Wade, there's no realistic prospect for overturning that appalling decision, at least in the short term. There's no federal legislation currently under consideration that would ban abortion or even significantly curtail the slaughter of the unborn. Nevertheless it continues to be an important issue in every national campaign. 

In an odd way, the Obama-Biden ticket might be helpful to the pro-life movement, insofar as both Democratic candidates have been willing to discuss the question of whether or not human life begins at conception. (Biden has acknowledged that it does.) Any public discussion of that issue can only help the pro-life cause, because the scientific facts are hard to deny.

Biden's presence on the ticket also ensures a fresh debate on whether or not pro-abortion Catholic politicians should receive Communion. On that issue, too, the discussion can only be helpful. Even if most American prelates shy away from the obligations of canon law, the bold few who recognize their duty will bear powerful witness.

The status quo in American today allows unrestricted abortion on demand. The Democratic standard-bearers will protect that status quo, and it's not at all clear that the GOP contenders will attack it. Still the issue will be discussed. And as long as the discussion continues, the pro-life movement can take hope. Over time, truth inevitably erodes the power of lies. 

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