Home Politics The Guardian Declares The Catholic Church To Be "Extreme Anti-Choice Organisation"

The Guardian Declares The Catholic Church To Be “Extreme Anti-Choice Organisation”



The Guardian might be going out on something of a limb here in describing a group as “extreme anti-choice”. For the group’s actual stance is the straight Catholic Church line. The group at least claims the support of the local Catholic bishop. And the local Catholic university. You know, the local Catholic university that Amy Comey Barrett was a professor at?

The two-page ad, published by the St Joseph County Right to Life group, an extreme anti-choice organization in South Bend, Indiana, is the most striking evidence to have emerged to date of Barrett’s personal opposition to Roe v Wade.

The group is here. As you can see they’re supported by Notre Dame University- that’s the local Catholic one at which Ms. Barrett was a professor.

The group does indeed do that annoying thing of trying to talk women out of having an abortion as they’re going into the clinic to have one. Free speech being such an aggressive thing, eh? And they offer aid to those women who are pregnant and might want to think of alternatives to an abortion, like adoption etc.

But to the Guardian:

St Joseph County Right to Life is considered an extreme anti-choice group by pro-choice activists in South Bend.

Well, yes, let’s go to neutrals to gain our description, shall we?

As to the ad itself:

The first page of the ad, which is signed by Barrett and her husband, Jesse, states that life begins at “fertilization”.

Standard Catholic doctrine. The beliefs of the group:

In an interview with the Guardian, Jackie Appleman, the executive director of St Joseph County Right to Life, said that the organization’s view on life beginning at fertilization – as opposed to the implantation of an embryo or a fetus being viable – did have implications for in vitro fertilization, which usually involves the creation of multiple embryos.

“Whether embryos are implanted in the woman and then selectively reduced or it’s done in a petri dish and then discarded, you’re still ending a new human life at that point and we do oppose that,” Appleman said, adding that the discarding of embryos during the IVF process was equal to the act of having an abortion.

Again, entirely standard and down the line Catholic doctrine. You know, the stated views of the largest organised religion on the planet?

More from the ad:

On the second page of the two-page spread, the group condemns Roe and claims that “the majority of those abortions were performed for social reasons”. It also claims that an “increasing majority” of Americans are opposed to abortion as a “method of birth control”.

Both those statements would appear to be true. Further, Roe was ghastly law. By which I don;t mean, at all, the outcome of it, but the manner of the decision was terrible.

So here’s the scandal then. Known to be Catholic working at a Catholic university signs ad by group advocating Catholic views.

That’s actually it, that’s all there is here.

But then politics, you know…..



  1. “states that life begins at “fertilization”.”

    Which is a perfectly reasonable position (I say this as someone who is broadly pro-choice). There’s no scientific position on whether it’s about fertilization, viability, brain activity or birth.

  2. What, so sperm aren’t alive? So why does it say on the side of a packet of condoms that sperm can stay alive for up to three days?

  3. Anti-choice being the code word for anti-abortion, and the quite reasonable catholic position being life begins at fertilization, I suppose they could be deemed to be at one end of the spectrum. One could similarly point out that abortion on demand was an extreme anti-life position.

    Although I agree that the catholic position is reasonable, this does not mean that I oppose abortion in all circumstances. As I said when someone asked me the question many years ago, I’d certainly nuke a city or turn a flamethrower on a mob if I considered this desirable, so I saw no reason to deprive women of a similar privilege.

    I might add that abortion is relatively modern. In the good old days, infanticide was the preferred option. I do remember reading a tale by Ion Idriess about some aboriginal bloke preparing to bash his child’s head in while mum cried her eyes out. Evidently the poor child was unable to keep up, and of course the resources of paleolithic hunter/gatherers are limited indeed.

    In the more advanced civilisations of Greece and Rome, it was the custom to dump unwanted children on the rubbish heap in the hope that someone wanted to raise a slave from scratch. Perhaps things haven’t really changed as much as some people think.

  4. I went to a DDR doctrinated school in a 99.9% Lutheran country (at the time) and “life begins at fertilization” sure seems to ring a bell.

  5. Peter Singer (moral philosopher and author of Practical Ethics) argues that abortion on demand is ethical at any stage of pregnancy. He goes on to point out that exactly the same argument applies to infanticide up to the age at which earliest memories are formed (say 18 months to be on the safe side).

    • I read a research paper by the American neural scientist and psychiatrist, Dr. A Janov, which he believed proved that memories could be formed pre-natal. If true, and to this non scientist his evidence seemed compelling, the moral dilemmas over abortion increase exponentially.

      • I don’t see that makes much difference. After all, the procedure is pretty effective at erasing memories so what’s the problem?

        If the claim is that something that can form a memory can’t be killed off but something that cannot can be, well, I still don’t see that intuition. That means we can’t kill pigs but can the senile demented. Which doesn’t work as a moral precept to be honest about it.

        • The argument is that personality is (or, at the least, requires) memory. Before permanent memories start to form, there’s no personality to kill. The arguments against killing animals for fun and profit are different (Singer comes down in favour of vegetarianism).

    • Not many mothers that can be bothered to carry to term only to bump off the child. Much easier to maintain your easy virtue lifestyle if you can hoover them our early. Plus there’s the fact you might have to see them before they get the chop which could be distressing.

  6. @ jgh and bis
    I think that the theory is that any human’s individual/independent (depending on one’s interpretation of those words youmay prefer one to the other) human life starts at conception/fertilisation.

  7. I would.say the sperm and eggs are both living but neither human.
    Pro-choice is a lovely bit of marketing, sounds warm and fuzzy, but there are other means of not having a baby, and since few women have either a baby or an abortion every other year most are using them successfully most of the time.
    I notice also the American Liberal trope that all who disagree with them are evil, always.

  8. From this side of the pond I’m surprised by how much UK media worry about US politics, especially getting into the weeds of things like judges. Over here I think we’ll get an occasional bit about BoJo or the president of France, but that’s about it. Anybody got an opinion about why there’s so much attention to another country’s politics?

    • It’s much more true than it used to be. The Guardian, specifically, is trying to build itself as the go to progressive newspaper in all English speaking counties, including the US. So, much more US politics.

      For me, lived over here twice, write often enough for american outlets….

  9. If one believes/claims that once the sperm & egg combine human life is created that makes sense scientifically (to me, at least). What we do about a woman’s desire to abort is another issue, I’ll come to that later, but all the attempts to find a different point to declare it a human life seem specious. It’s a human life when:

    It’s viable on its own – what about adults who can’t live independently any more (permanently or temporarily)?

    Third trimester – what’s magic about that date?

    We think memories aren’t formed until about 18 months – seriously?

    It has defects – so if a two year old is badly injured put it down?

    And so on.

    I believe it’s a human life when they combine, but where we go from there is not simple. Refusing to allow a woman to have an abortion is a significant imposition on her life. But having an abortion isn’t like having a wart removed, it’s ending a human life.

  10. The Catholic Church is indeed extremely anti-choice in one sense. Its doctrine is that people must wholly and completely do exactly what God wants of them and that the Church has a monopoly on knowing what God wants. People have the ability to make a choice only so that they can choose God’s will. If they refuse, they face the consequences, such as an eternity of torture in Hell.

    In the context of a US supreme court judge, the question is whether they are willing to apply the law as written even if this violates their personal (typically religious) beliefs. Since Catholic doctrine says that loyalty to the Church must come first, nobody who has a totally wholehearted and sincere belief in Catholicism should be eligible for a judicial role as they will folow the instructionsof the Pope and not their constitution and legislators. However, the complicating factor is that almost nobody is so fundamentalist in their beliefs that they would blindly follow their religious leaders. Just as many apparently religious people are found to be doing things like stealing, contrary to their religion, many also deviate from their official religion’s teachings when they feel it appropriate, and no church can stop that.

    • The great majority of Catholic women who need it use some form of physical contraception. I assume the observant ones confess this to their priest, who imposes some minor penance.

      almost nobody is so fundamentalist in their beliefs that they would blindly follow their religious leaders
      Except in a cult, where the penalty for apostasy is death. Like Islam, for instance.

  11. Yes Christianity (not just the Roman Catholic Church, but also the Orthodox Church and most, although NOT all., Protestant Churches) is against baby killing – so is Orthodox Judaism and Islam. The Guardian may support excluding believing Christians from public life, but does it also support the exclusion of believing Muslims from public life? Some atheists, such as the late Christopher Hitchens, are also “pro life” – i.e. against abortion – should pro life atheists also be excluded?

    The Guardian might reply that some “Catholics” support abortion – for example Mr Joseph Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but the teachings of the Catholic Church are very clear – what these “pro abortion Catholics” are is FAKE Catholics – i.e. people who are not Catholics, but who pretend to be Catholics to try and get Catholic VOTES (the media help them with their deception).

    However, this does not cover the legal Constitutional point. The United States Constitution does not grant any “right to abortion” – read the document for yourself (it is only a few pages long), anyone who claims there is a right to abortion in the document is a liar (yes – that means that the majority of Justices in “Roe V Wade” were liars, blatant liars). Someone who was ardently in SUPPORT of abortion should still be against “Roe V Wade” on legal, Constitutional, grounds – abortion is clearly NOT a matter for the Federal Government, the “police power” is with STATE Governments.. And people who will lie about one aspect of the Constitution (pretending there is a right to abortion in a document when there clearly is no right to abortion in that document) are likely to lie about other aspects of the Constitution as well – for example Freedom of Speech (against the “Hate Speech” doctrine of the Marxists – Herbert Marcuse and other totalitarians) and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (against the “Gun Control” doctrine). People who pretend that certain rights are in a document when they are not there, are also likely to pretend that rights that actually are in a document are NOT there.


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