Thursday, December 15, 2022


By Tim Rohr

In the previous post, I addressed what St. Pope John Paul II calls "a particular problem of conscience" which "can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on."

John Paul II clarifies that a lawmaker, in supporting a law that does less than fully ban abortion "does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects."

HOWEVER, the pope says, this is only true "when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law..."

Prior to the Dobbs decision overturning Roe, it was "not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law...," and so it was entirely licit to support abortion legislation that attempted "to limit its evil aspects." In fact, The Esperansa Project spent ten years doing exactly this and saw eight of its bills enacted into law. 

But now, post-Dobbs, it is entirely possible "to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law," so the exception set forth in Evangelium Vitae, and the Doctrine of Double Effect upon which the exception is based (see previous post), no longer applies. 

And this is essentially why Guam's Heartbeat Bill is now obsolete if not morally illicit given that it permits abortion after conception and until a heartbeat is detected.

Pro-life lawmakers should have only one aim at this point and that is to completely ban the direct killing of innocent, defenseless, human beings - an opportunity we have not had in 50 years. And that doesn't mean waiting around to see what the incoming AG is going to do about Belle's Law. Nothing is stopping lawmakers from moving forward to do exactly what outgoing Senator Clynt Ridgell said it should do:

Sen. Ridgell said the Heartbeat Act, which was designed as a workaround for the recently overturned right to an abortion, was no longer needed. While he was prochoice, lawmakers could now decide the legality of the procedure without the unusual enforcement mechanism of the bill...I would prefer that we actually voted on whether or not abortion should be legal or illegal.” 

We just need someone to introduce the bill. Who's it going to be? 

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