Kaimi has asked whether a faithful Mormon can be politically and publicly pro-choice while remaining true to his conviction that abortion is an offense against God and life. The debate continues (tentative answer emerging from the debate–No, well, Maybe, well, No, but you don’t have to be an enthusiast).
Catholics ask the same question.
Recently a Saint Louis archbishop has decided to answer it. He has threatened to excommunicate a couple of prominent pols in his archdiocese if they continue to avow pro-choice politics.
The eminent Robert P. George of Princeton, and Notre Dame Law School’s own Gerard V. Bradley have weighed in on the controvery. They mostly address the claim that the archbishop has violated the separation of church and state (taken not as a constitutional mandate but as a desirable public policy:
Many insist that “separation of church and state” means that no religious leader may presume to tell public officials what their positions may and may not be on matters of public policy. But if we shift the focus from abortion to, say, genocide, slavery, or segregation, we see how implausible such a view is. When, in the late 1950s, the Catholic archbishop of New Orleans excommunicated Catholics who opposed the desegregation, liberals rightly applauded him.
I doubt we’ll see anything similar. Our own stake presidents and regional authorities are much less independent than a Roman Catholic Archbishop. Our prominent politicians are also mostly pro-life, so the Church is in no way provoked to do such a thing (some give Gov. Romney as a contrary example, but his position is more an admission of helplessness to change the laws of Massachussetts and less a comment on the undesirability of doing so).
Let us be grateful that on this, as on many other questions, God and his servants have given us guidance and left us agents to ourselves, to do things of our own free will and bring to pass much righteousness.