Letter to the Editor: Questions abortion facts
I read with interest the comments from William Sharp in the April 26 edition of the Sun Advocate on the subject of abortion.
He likes to get after his Mormon neighbors for their lax stand on that "abominable practice." We read in the Holy Bible that "by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matt 7:20).
Let's look at the real situation - the fruits, if you will.
Pope John Paul II was well known for his firm stand against abortion and William states that the Catholic Church "opposes all abortions without exceptions..." I believe that is an admirable position, but we find in actual practice in the U.S that over 25 percent of women having an abortion identify themselves as Catholic (AGI data). That is well over 300 thousand Catholic babies that were not born during each of the years of this present century. At the same time in the highly Mormon states of Utah and Idaho the abortion rate is seen to be the lowest or very near lowest of all the states.
Although William states that "the LDS Church officially allows abortions in the cases of rape, incest, deformity, risk of life and risk of health of the mother." We can see from the very low abortion rate in the areas where the LDS Church has large numbers of members that even though it is "allowed" there is a strong bias against abortion. It is considered to be a very serious matter among the members, and is only performed in rare emergencies.
Here in Carbon County we have had abortion rates as high as 87 for every 1000 live births as compared to the state average of 75 per 1000 live births. If Salt Lake and Carbon Counties (the two most highly Catholic counties) are subtracted from the data for the state, then the abortion rate falls to 36 for every 1000 live births.
I do not intend this as a condemnation of our fine Catholic neighbors because their abortion rate is even lower than the rest of the country where abortion is seen simply as a convenient method of birth control.