under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic
By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
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1. Whether the words of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, in n.73 of his encyclical Evangelium Vitae––
. . when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality
––permit an exception to the principle of the moral law endorsed by His Holiness in the previous paragraph of n.73 of Evangelium Vitae––
In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it ?
2. If the response to 1. is in the negative, whether the Pope’s words permit an elected official, as a means of limiting the harm done by such a law, to vote for an amendment to the offending law whose words would permit abortions, albeit less abortions than those permitted by the offending law, and thereby have the effect of prohibiting some abortions?
3. If the response to 2. is in the negative, whether the Pope’s words permit an elected official, as a means of limiting the harm done by such a law, to vote for an amendment to the offending law whose words would not permit abortions but which would prohibit a category of abortions permitted by the offending law?
4. If the response to 3. is in the negative, whether the Pope’s words preclude an elected official from voting on the offending law in any way other than to vote for its repeal?
5. If the response to 3. is in the negative, whether, saving the response to 4., the Pope’s words limit the proposals that an elected official may licitly support to matters ancillary to the offending law such as: just legislation providing for the rights of doctors, nurses and hospital staff not to take part in abortion procedures; the removal of state funding of abortions; the removal of licenses to operate abortion clinics; and the like?