The full page Sept. 12 ad in the Star Tribune from Catholics for Choice is entirely based on falsehoods.
The first glaring falsehood concerns Heather Hirsch, who is depicted in the ad, wherein she claims to be Catholic. In reality, she can no longer speak as a Catholic. Whether she recognizes it or not, she has been excommunicated (automatic, in the case of the promotion of abortion). Still, she speaks in defiance of Catholic Church teaching.
Second, the group Hirsch is speaking for, Catholics for Choice (CFC), has absolutely no standing within the church.
It had its beginnings in Planned Parenthood's New York headquarters. U.S. bishops have publicly denounced the organization. They have rebuked CFC for continuing to falsely represent itself as Catholic.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan quickly responded to this ad, which also ran in other newspapers. He fired back, saying: "CFC's extreme ads promote abortion as if it were a social good. But abortion kills the most defenseless among us, harms women and tears at the heart of families."
Like Hirsch, CFC members are excommunicated. This is a group that has no standing for trying to influence Catholics on how to vote.
Third, CFC's ad trots out the timeworn misnomer "choices," applying it to abortion as if the decision were as simple as choosing a flavor of ice cream. We doubt that there is a child over 10 in the U.S. who doesn't recognize that the only "choices" in abortion are between live babies and dead babies. All of the rhetoric in the world, or in full-page ads, won't change that. There is no such thing, for a Catholic with an informed conscience, as "abortion in good faith."
Fourth, equating public funding for abortion (read Planned Parenthood) with social justice outreach is the most grievous falsehood of all. The church's teaching on social justice refers to our obligation to help the impoverished, the vulnerable and those who cannot help themselves. It even includes the brokenhearted, such as women suffering traumatic physical and emotional aftereffects of abortion.
Social justice's mandate is helping, not killing.
The grossly misguided Catholics for Choice must think American Catholics are gullible and asleep at the switch. Families in the pew are certainly tuned-in and sophisticated enough to recognize the ad's falsehoods for what they are — pro-abortion propaganda. The rhetoric is not new. We've heard it all before.
Val Baertlein is executive director and Marlene Reid is a board member of the Catholic Defense League. This article is submitted on behalf of the board.