U.S. Bishops´ Aide Decries Pro-Abortion ´McCarthyism´

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 17, 2001 (Zenit.org).-

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Abortion advocates are launching a form of «pro-abortion McCarthyism´´ to disqualify nominees for high public office based on their pro-life convictions, a U.S. bishops´ spokeswoman says.

Cathy Cleaver, director of planning and information for the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a statement: «While pro-life advocates are warned not to make opposition to abortion a ´litmus test´ for assessing appointments to public office, abortion advocates employ their own pro-abortion standard with impunity.´´

She continued: «When did a belief in the inalienable right to life become grounds for denying people the opportunity to serve their country? In effect, pro-life nominees for government service are being put on public trial for their beliefs — trails whose tactics resemble those usually described as ´McCarthyism.´´´

McCarthyism, named after U.S. Sen. John McCarthy (1946-1957), is the use of indiscriminate, often unfounded accusations, to suppress political opponents as subversive. In recent weeks, President-elect George W. Bush´s nominee for attorney general, former U.S. Senator John Ashcroft, has come under heated attacks by pro-abortion activists for his pro-life views.

«Efforts to deny highly qualified and accomplished individuals a chance to serve their country based solely on a commitment to the sanctity of human life are offensive to the American sense of fair play and achievement based on merit,´´ Cleaver said. «Now to turn disagreement with Roe v. Wade into disqualification from public office is to demean all pro-life individuals.´´

The anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that led to legal abortion in the United States is on Jan. 22.

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