Pennsylvania Catholic Politician Regrets Restricting Abortion

News: Government
by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  August 31, 2016   

Lieutenant gov. Mike Stack regrets voting to ban dismemberment abortion

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HARRISBURG, Pa. ( - Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, a self-professed Catholic, is voicing regret over voting for restrictions on abortions as a state senator, in an attempt to dissuade senators from voting for a bill banning dismemberment abortion.

In an op-ed piece published August 30, Stack references Act 122, a law passed in 2011, that provides sanitary licensing codes for abortion providers operating in the state. Lieutenant governor Mike Stack alleges he now deeply regrets having voted for the law. "Of all the votes I cast as a state senator, it might be the one I regret the most."

Stack is making these statements to prevent senators from passing HB1948, which would outlaw dismemberment abortion and all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. "I hope current members of the Pennsylvania Senate don't make the same mistake this year when they consider the oppressive new abortion restrictions contained in House Bill 1948," he remarked.

Stack notes that Act 122 was passed as a response to the unsanitary abortion conditions involving the notorious Pennsylvania abortionist, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, found guilty of murdering infants born alive during abortion procedures and of negligence in the death of an abortion patient.

But Stack says the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a Texas state law regarding unclean abortion clinics changes all that. "Knowing what I know now, I would have voted 'no,'" he claimed. In July, the High Court struck down a Texas law that used similar language mandating that abortion mills maintain the same health and licensing standards as other surgical clinics, and that abortionists have admitting privileges to local hospitals. In Stack's words, such requirements were no more than a veiled attempt to "protect women by shutting down abortion providers."

In spite of the express intention of cleaning up abortion clinics that was written into Pennsylvania's Act 122 and Texas state law, the former senator says he believes the restrictions are all meant to "deny women access to safe, legal abortions."

HB1948, which was passed by the Pennsylvania House in June, now advances to the state senate, which resumes session this fall. Stack, looking ahead to this important vote, urges senators to vote against the bill. "I was in those lawmakers' shoes several years ago, and I made the wrong decision," he remarked. "They have an opportunity to learn a lesson from my experience."

Although Stack is a high-profile Catholic, as evidenced by his membership in many Catholic organizations, including the Knights of Columbus, he's never been censored for his anti-Catholic work involving the promotion of abortion.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church's highest court, instructs that Catholic politicians who vote for laws promoting abortion must be denied Holy Communion per canon 915 of the code of canon law. Speaking of pro-abortion politicians, Cdl. Burke admonishes that, "as long as he continues to support legislation which fosters abortion or other intrinsic evils, then he should be refused Holy Communion."


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