Abortion, Religious Freedom, and Catholic Politics

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Abortion, Religious Freedom, and Catholic Politics


Throughout its history the Catholic Church has taken positions on many subjects that are in one sense political, but in another sense are primarily moral, such as contraception, homosexuality, and divorce. One such issue, abortion, has split not only the United States, but Catholics as well. Catholics had to confront these issues within the framework of a democratic society that had no official religion. Abortion, Religious Freedom, and Catholic Politics is a study of opposing American Catholic approaches to abortion, especially in terms of laws and government policies. After the ruling of Roe vs. Wade, many pro-life advocates no longer felt their sentiments and moral code aligned with Democrats. For the first time, Catholics, as an entire group, became involved in U.S. politics. Abortion became one of the principal points of division in American Catholicism: a widening split between liberal Catholic Democrats who sought to minimize the issue and other Catholics, many of them politically liberal, whose pro-life commitments caused them to support Republicans. James Hitchcock discusses the 2016 presidential campaign and how it altered an already changed political landscape. He also examines the Affordable Care Act, LGBT rights, and the questions they raise about religious liberty.

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