Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Philadelphia Declares Itself A "Pro-Choice" City

What does this even mean?

City of “Brotherly Love” Declared Officially "Pro-Choice” by City Council

By Elizabeth O’Brien

PHILADELPHIA, June 11, 2007 ( – A motion narrowly passed by Philadelphia’s City Council has given the city the new official title of “pro-choice”.

During and after the contentious vote, a storm of controversy raged in the council and divided city leaders about whether “pro-choice” is a name that truly represents the city. The Philadelphia Enquirer explains that the title supports, “women's reproductive rights and freedom” as well as “the right to choose a legal and safe abortion as a final but critical option for women.”

After much debate the resolution only squeezed by with a 9 to 8 majority.

Archbishop Justin Rigali, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, officially and indignantly rejected the title as being “inconsistent with reality”.

Rigali based his objections on both moral and logical grounds: “In a city where so many people vigorously defend life at every stage, proclaiming Philadelphia ‘pro-choice’ is inconsistent with reality. It unfairly saddles those who support life at all stages with this shameful label.”

He asked “people of good will” to join him in “rejecting the divisive and erroneous label that Philadelphia City Council has forced upon the citizens of Philadelphia today.” He continued, “I reject the resolution because so many heroic efforts are made continually to safeguard unborn children from the evil of abortion, to protect vulnerable children and families and to defend all women and men in crisis.”

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown introduced the new resolution at the request of Planned Parenthood, which organization helped her draft the proposal.

“We wanted to make it clear this city cares about pro-choice,” said Brown. “They asked me to do it. I agreed with their views and I agreed to introduce the resolution. At the end of the day, we have to decide what we want the city to look like and be about.”

Councilman Brian J. O'Neill, on the other hand, rejected the resolution on the grounds of true democracy and justice. “There are people we represent on both sides of this issue. This is a pro-choice and a pro-life city,” said O’Neill, according to The Bulletin. “Both sides represent the entire city of Philadelphia, not just one side. This resolution is disrespectful to taxpayers who are pro-life.”

Earlier this year Archbishop Rigali, speaking to a congregation of approximately 10,000 who attended the Vigil Mass for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, pointed out that America is becoming increasingly pro-life. On the eve of Roe vs. Wade he stated, “More and more citizens are coming to question abortion and to recognize—as a starting point for deeper conversion—that there is something radically wrong with abortion and the support given it by our laws. There is a growing realization that human life and human dignity cannot be suppressed without immense damage to the entire fabric of our nation and numerous consequences.”

So, let me get this straight. Planned Parenthood walks in and says, "Hey, give this city the title: Pro-Choice" and so we say, "Oh, yes, thank you, what ever you say your Majesties!"

I mean, what kind of power do you have with politicians when any request is just simply granted without any regard for the thousands upon thousands who live in the city and find such a title repulsive and insulting?

And it isn't like this is based on some small political issue. It is no secret that the abortion debate has been getting more and more heated in these past years. It has become one of the most divisive political issues around. This move by the Philadelphia City Council is not only insulting to people defending life but it is just a stupid political move. Look at how close the vote was - 9-8. Do you think those 9 are going to get re-elected? Very few will, I'm sure.

This move both shocks and scares me. It shocks me because I'm sure Philadelphia has more important things to be talking about and why they would pull such an odd move, do they really want to divide this city more? It scares me because it almost seems as if Planned Parenthood wanted to flex their muscles to show how really powerful they are and guess what...they succeeded.

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