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Celebrating Human Tragedy in the City of Brotherly Love

Contact: Mark Bradford, The National Catholic Bioethics Center, 215-877-2660


PHILADELPHIA, June 13 /Christian Newswire/ -- The National Catholic Bioethics Center wishes to join its voice of concern for the City of Philadelphia with that of Cardinal Justin Rigali (Archdiocese of Philadelphia, News Release, June 7, 2007). On June 7, the City Council voted to proclaim Philadelphia a "Pro-Choice City." Some would say that this resolution confirms the tragic reality about this great city which is hailed as the "City of Brotherly Love." According to statistics released from the Pennsylvania Department of Health for 2005, over 42.5% of all induced abortions carried out in Pennsylvania were performed in Philadelphia. That represents 14,858 lives violently ended at their most vulnerable stage. The tragedy demonstrated by these numbers increases as we break them down further. Almost half of the abortions performed in Pennsylvania were repeat abortions, with over 1,000 women having been violated by abortion at least four times. It is clear that there is nothing in these facts to be celebrated. At a time when respect for human life in Philadelphia continues to sustain violent blows with an escalating homicide rate (171 homicides so far in 2007, as of June 5), our City Council has the responsibility to foster a culture which respects human life.


The good news concerning this resolution, if there is any, is that the resolution almost failed with a vote of 9 to 8. Those Council Members who refused to proclaim Philadelphia as a city that is committed to continuing this tragic trend in terminating human life should be thanked (see the voting record).


What should be of significant concern to all citizens is that the resolution was crafted with the assistance of Planned Parenthood, the agency responsible for the greatest number of induced abortions in this country? Is it not a conflict of interest for government officials to be advocating for the works of the primary provider of a service? What would the outcry be if a resolution were passed by the City Council which had been crafted by a Pro-Life agency, even a non-sectarian one?


Philadelphia deserves much better. We are known as the "City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection." There is nothing loving about the assault on human life that is abortion. It is a tragic violation of both our vulnerable sisters and their never to be born children.