In 1984 Ronald Reagan declared that no U.S. foreign aid money would be sent to organizations that perform abortions, provide counseling and referral for abortions, or lobby to make abortions legal or more available. This policy, often referred to as the gag rule, was rescinded by Bill Clinton, reinstated under George W. Bush, then canceled again by Barack Obama. As it’s swung back and forth for the last 25 years, this pendulum of policy on international family planning and women’s health has resulted in unnecessary tragedy. Many health clinics have closed, with women and children as the first to lose.
The murder of abortion provider George Tiller prompts me to do something I do not like to do—venture into the issue of abortion. My hesitation is not because I do not have a position. I do. I believe that matters of reproductive rights and responsibilities are most appropriately left to the woman who is pregnant, her religious and moral conscience and her physician.
The 690-member Refor mation Lutheran congregation in Wichita, a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, was “shocked by the violent murder” of physician George Tiller, 67, a “longtime member,” who was serving as an usher when he was killed on May 31.
The setting of the murder of physician George Tiller—a Sunday morning inside the Lutheran church where he was a member—counters the image of late-term abortion providers as secularists, casting him more as a churchgoing martyr than a godless murderer.
Will President Obama’s plea for common ground on abortion during his speech at the University of Notre Dame persuade ardent abortion opponents to work with the new president? At first glance, it seems unlikely.
Ever since the University of Notre Dame announced that President Obama would receive an honorary degree and speak at its May 17 commencement ceremony, debate among American Catholics has grown increasingly heated.
President Obama’s scheduled May 17 commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame has sparked protests by some Catholics. The local Catholic bishop, John D’Arcy, said he will boycott the event because some Obama policies contradict church teaching.