DAILY CATHOLIC THURSDAY November 5, 1998 vol. 9, no. 217
NEWS & VIEWS
PRO-ABORTION ADS LAUNCHED IN MASSACHUSETTS WHILE CONTROVERSY SURFACES IN VANCOUVER OVER CATHOLIC EDITORIAL ON ABORTIONIST MURDER AND COURT SUSPENDS PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION BAN IN WISCONSIN
BOSTON (CWNews.com) - The National Abortion Access Project launched a national media campaign in Massachusetts this month with a series of newspaper ads that seek to lessen the stigma of abortion.
The group said it chose Massachusetts as the test site because there are large areas of the state without an abortion clinic. Abortion groups plan to run the ads in California, Maine, and New York next year. The black-and-white ads feature women who have had abortions talking about the procedure.
The creators of the campaign admitted that it was difficult to counter pro-life advertisements that show happy, pregnant women, beautiful babies, and sonograms of unborn children. "I don't think that they are sending the right message," said Maryclaire Flynn, a director at the Massachusetts Citizens for Life group. "There should be a stigma attached to abortion. I think it's natural that the pro-life advertisements have been effective because motherhood is more of a natural choice for women."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the continent in Vancouver, remarks by a Catholic newspaper editor this week on the shooting of an American abortionist caused controversy among Catholic and non-Catholics.
Paul Schratz, editor of the British Columbia Catholic, condemned the shooting of Dr. Barnett Slepian in Amherst, New York, but added: "Murders of abortionists just might have some positive side effects." He said, "Fewer doctors are willing to face the stigma, and now the threat of personal harm, associated with performing abortions. It just goes to show that our all-powerful and all-loving God can bring good from any evil situation."
Abortion supporters said such comments help justify violence against abortion providers. "We are sort of realizing the impossibility of having a dialogue with these people," said Joyce Arthur of the Pro-Choice Action Network.
Schratz said the editorial does not necessarily reflect the view of Archbishop Adam Exner of Vancouver, the publisher of the newspaper. "The editorial says very clearly what my views are," he said on Tuesday. "That is that good can come out of an evil situation and that says in no uncertain terms that killing abortion doctors is an evil situation."
Meanwhile, US law enforcement officials issued a warrant for James Charles Kopp of St. Albans, Vermont as a material witness in the shooting. Police believe the pro-life advocate has information that would help in the investigation. Kopp may have been the Vermont man that a local newspaper said was seen near Slepian's home on the day the abortionist was killed.
The fallout continued In Chicago when a federal court blocked Wisconsin from enforcing a ban on partial-birth abortions on Tuesday while opponents pursue a legal challenge.
The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals granted the petition by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and six abortionists who are challenging the law. Jim Haney, a spokesman for the Wisconsin attorney general, said the state had not decided how to respond to the ruling. "We are still prepared to make the strongest arguments possible in defense of the law," Haney said.
The law, passed in April, banned partial abortions and
provided penalties up to life in prison for abortionists
who perform the procedure. A trial on the challenge is
pending before US District Judge John C. Shabaz, who had
refused to grant a temporary order. The 3-judge majority in
the appeals court decision attacked the law on three
grounds: it contains no exception for cases in which the
child could not survive outside the womb; it contains no
exceptions for "the health of the mother"; it is vaguely
worded and could make abortionists afraid to perform legal
Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
NEWS & VIEWS