Roundup: Abortion and Social Justice; World Meeting of Families in Mexico City

Emily Douglas

World Meeting of Families underway in Mexico City; breaking the "abortion stalemate"; CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding to resign; Texas anti-choice group to push sonogram requirement on women seeking abortion; Doug Kmiec reflects on right-wing blogosphere.

World Meeting of Families in Mexico City

The World Meeting of Families is underway in Mexico City, a meeting of
thousands of Catholics that will consider issues such as reproductive health
and recognition for same-sex relationships.  "The five-day meeting, the first without the
pope’s presence, is strongly anti-abortion and anti-contraceptive and takes
place in a city that allows abortion, homosexual unions and cutting off medical
treatment for the terminally ill," reports
Agence France Presse

Breaking the "Abortion Stalemate" 

In the Atlanta
, Alexia Kelley, executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common
Good, argues that "[t]he time is ripe to break the abortion stalemate."

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post-election poll conducted by Public Religion Research, and sponsored by
Faith in Public Life, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and Sojourners,
found that the vast majority of voters – including 81 percent of Catholics and
83 percent of all voters – want elected officials to reduce abortions by
working together to prevent unintended pregnancies, expand adoption
opportunities and increase economic support for vulnerable women.

While Kelley does not explicitly call for
broadened contraception access or comprehensive sexuality education, measures
that have been proven to reduce rates of unintended pregnancy, she acknowledges

It’s a mistake to think about abortion and social justice as competing
priorities. Abortion is a social justice issue that must be understood within
the context of strategies to combat poverty and to create a truly pro-family
economy that respects life. Anyone who doubts that making sure workers earn
living wages or that families have health care won’t also help prevent
abortions should remember that the abortion rate for women living in poverty is
more than four times higher than for women earning 300 percent above the
poverty line.

CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding to Resign

Bodies, Our Blog reports
on CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding’s
resignation, effective January 20.  Articles
responding to Gerberding’s resignation have called her tenure "mixed" and "fractured"
and have decried the politicization of the agency in Gerberding’s hands.

Anti-Choice Group to Push Sonogram Requirement on Women Seeking Abortion

The Texas Alliance for Life wants to require women seeking
abortion to undergo a sonogram prior to the procedure, reports
.  "We
already have a 24 hour waiting period. We already have steps in place that
women have to attain a legal service, and we look at this as one more step, one
more hurdle women have to go through," said Carla Holeva of Planned

Doug Kmiec Reflects on Right-Wing Blogosphere 

Catholic law professor and Obama supporter Doug Kmiec
reflects on the right-wing blogosphere’s reaction to his Obama endorsement in Commonweal

To be remade by a hateful blogosphere has its price, I’ve
learned. I worry that such invitations to speak at Catholic colleges, and the fruitful
exchanges these invitations make possible, will be fewer. When I do speak,
contingents of demonstrators often appear, carrying preprinted signs, part of
an orchestrated pressure to disinvite me. In response, it is my practice to
invite the protesters to join us, and they usually do. Yet civil discourse can
be difficult with those misinformed by blog propaganda that you are a proponent
of evil-or worse, its very embodiment. Such attitudes are not limited to
placard- carrying demonstrators. One member of the U.S. hierarchy whom I greatly
admire has renounced our past association, writing, "We are not friends,
professor," and answering my invocation of Christian brotherhood with a curt
retort: "I do see you as a brother in Christ-a brother who is serving an evil
end." The greatest personal price I have paid is the loss of old-and the
preemption of new-friendships.

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