Tuesday, November 22, 2005


These letters appeared in The Economist

Oct 27, 2005.

Catholic choice

SIR – It is important to note that Colombia's Catholics, who comprise 90% of the population, support the liberalisation of its abortion laws (“Last bastions”, October 8th). A poll, conducted by Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir (Catholics for the Right to Decide), in September 2003 demonstrated that the vast majority of Colombians support access to legal abortion when the woman's life is in danger, her health is at risk, the fetus has severe abnormalities or the pregnancy is the result of rape. The Catholic tradition is based on respect for the conscience of each individual person. Church law recognises the right of Catholics to follow their conscience, even when their decision disagrees with a teaching of the church. The record of respect for human rights demonstrated by the Constitutional Court of Colombia is legendary in the region and in the international human-rights community. We are certain that it will respond to Monica Roa's legal challenge to overturn the ban on abortion with the judicial independence and interests of Colombia's women that have marked so many of its historic decisions.

Frances Kissling

Catholics for a Free Choice

Washington, DC

Seems like "Catholic" is some kinda brand name. I'm sure many of you can spot the half-truth in the blue sentences. The reply is simply brilliant - appearing in a periodical read by many powerful people around the world!

Nov 17, 2005.

Catholics and abortion

SIR – Frances Kissling writes that Catholic law “recognises the right of Catholics to follow their conscience” on abortion (Letters, October 29th). Yet Catholic catechism states: “Since the first century the church has affirmed the moral evil of procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.” And with regard to conscience, it states that: “The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.” Regardless of the findings of certain opinion polls, abortion is not compatible with being Catholic. We are all made in the likeness and image of God, even if unwanted or imperfect, and must safeguard all human life from conception until death.

Dr Kathleen Raviele

Catholic Medical Association

Needham, Massachusetts


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