TO THE EDITOR:
Recently, the Rhode Island Legislature, with a final vote in the Senate, voted for elective abortions to be covered by state Medicaid. Previously, the procedure had been covered only in cases of rape, incest and health of mother. State taxpayers now have no choice but to have their tax dollars pay for what many in Rhode Island, including most practicing Catholics, consider an immoral procedure which violates their conscience, faith, and morals.
• In America,the first amendment guarantees citizens freedom to practice their religion.
• Especially here in Rhode Island, Roger Williams founded Providence based on principles of religious tolerance. The state became a refuge for those persecuted for their religious faiths.
• Unfortunately, the president of the state Senate, who cast the vote that brought the bill out of committee for a full senate vote, recently stated to the press “not only as a Catholic, but I am also comfortable as a representative of the 4th Senatorial District. I think this is what people want.”
• The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law” (No. 2271)
• How can elected officials force all taxpayers to fund elective abortion when it goes against the religious beliefs and fundamental values of many? How is this democratic? Why wasn’t this put to a public vote? The outcome might have been far different.
• We who practice and adhere to the tenets of our Catholic faith must be vigilant regarding this and many other cultural issues that are becoming part of the political debate.
• Fortunately, heartbeat laws are replicating throughout the United States, which is certainly a boon for the science and truth regarding life in the womb. Here in Rhode Island, we who oppose the destruction of human life in the womb have had our rights as voters and taxpayers tread upon by a pro-abortion legislative majority. At this time in history, we Catholics, with the help of our bishops, pastors and priests must speak out as Catholic Americans, often and ardently.
• We do not want our taxes paying for elective abortion.
Doreen Ciancaglini, M.D., Dr. Ciancaglini is a pediatrician practicing in North Providence.