WASHINGTON (September 12, 2003) -– Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua has urged the U.S. Senate to work toward final approval of the partial-birth abortion ban-without a Senate amendment that expresses support for Roe v. Wade.
" The one remaining obstacle to enactment of this much-needed legislation is an extraneous 'sense of the Senate' provision added on the Senate floor," the Cardinal wrote (September 10). "This resolution declares that the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision of 1973 'was appropriate,' 'secures an important constitutional right,' and 'should not be overturned.'"
In his letter, Cardinal Bevilacqua explained in detail why "central claims in the resolution are question-begging and false, even in the eyes of judges and legal scholars who favor the public policy created by Roe."
Cardinal Bevilacqua said most Americans and 30 state legislatures favor ending the killing of mostly-born children but have been thwarted by courts invoking Roe. He also asserted that Americans are increasingly declaring themselves "pro-life" as they become aware of the bloody reality concealed by the euphemism of "choice."
"In a representative democracy, our elected representatives in Congress cannot ignore these developments indefinitely," Cardinal Bevilacqua declared. "Here and now, they should not continue to delay a long-awaited ban on the brutal killing of children emerging from the womb, by insisting on an endorsement of the very court decision that has led some in our society to practice and defend such killing."
The Senate's amendment praising Roe v. Wade is the only difference between the versions of the partial-birth abortion ban passed by the House and the Senate. They must resolve this difference before sending the ban to President Bush for his signature. Previous versions of the ban were twice approved by Congress but vetoed by President Clinton.
Cardinal Bevilacqua is Chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
NOTE: The full text of Cardinal Bevilacqua's letter to the Senate is on the Web at www.usccb.org/prolife/issues/pba/pba91203s.htm