Letters to the Editor: How to be an antiabortion, pro-choice Catholic

·3 min read
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez stands for a portrait at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels on Monday, November 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, Calif. An advocate of immigrants concerned about President-elect Donald Trump's immigration policies, archbishop Jose Gomez was elected vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops earlier this week. (Patrick T. Fallon/ For The Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez has led the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to speak more forcefully against Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

To the editor: I am a practicing Catholic. I believe abortion is murder and a grave sin. If I had the opportunity to vote on the issue, I would vote to keep the right to abortion. ("I'm a Catholic kid who supports abortion rights — thanks to my church's catechism class," column, June 24)

Here is the reason: The sin of abortion lies with the mother who chooses to end her pregnancy, not with me. There is no civil law or canon law that compels me to interfere with her decision.

Moreover, a major tenet of my religion is to love all people whether sinners or saints. To interfere with a woman's choice to her God-given right to exercise her free will would definitely be unloving.

If I were to interfere with her choice for her own life, the sin would be mine.

Ronald C. Rossi, Carlsbad

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To the editor: Thanks to Gustavo Arellano for writing about his disgust as a Catholic with the church's antiabortion indoctrination. I am a "cradle-Catholic," still practicing, as is my husband of 36 years. I am also mixed-race Hispanic and Black, and a registered nurse.

Nearly 20 years ago, we faced one of our worst fears when our teenage daughter became pregnant. As a family, we decided to place that child with another family through open adoption. While that decision worked for us, and I do believe life begins at conception, I don't believe abortion rights should be determined by the legislature.

My devoutly Catholic mother is likewise outraged, and I'm certain my late father is spinning in his urn. Years ago, I noticed he was no longer taking Eucharist. When I asked him why, his face turned angry and he told me he was protesting the stance that would deny his young granddaughter an abortion even in the case of rape by an escaped prisoner.

I echo the sentiment that, had the church fought other societal ills as much as abortion, what might we have accomplished? Gun control? Homelessness? It astounds the imagination.

Here's what is also astounding: For all the time and energy the church has expended on this cause, it has yet to even peripherally address its stance on contraception. Words fail me.

Carmel Farnsworth, Valencia

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To the editor: Thanks to Arellano for highlighting the revolting and very faked "abortion murder porn" used by the Catholic Church and antiabortion activists.

I became an activist with reproductive rights pioneer Bill Baird during college after a terrifying time saving a girl — hemorrhaging from a botched abortion — who was not allowed into the hospital emergency room during a blizzard. One of our main focuses with Baird's activism was debunking the kinds of films and photos Arellano was forced to watch as a young Catholic.

Did the church sanction killing a fetus on camera? I don't remember from that time the specifics of how the photos were faked. But if it was not a fake, the church, by its own teaching, murdered intentionally and overtly on camera.

Fran Offenhauser, Los Angeles

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.