Bloomberg’s Blunder

Deal Hudson is editor and publisher of CRISIS, America's fastest growing Catholic magazine. You can email him at

What’s the lesson we’ve learned from our national grief if not the lesson that innocent life must be protected from powers that would destroy it? New York’s new Republican mayor is not only breaking faith with his party, but losing hold of the moral high ground established by mayor Giuliani before he left office.

Bloomberg’s proposal also comes at a time when President Bush has indicated he will cut funding to pro-abortion groups. In the New York Times on December 17, 2001, Bush said, “Organizations that promote abortions are not organizations I want to support” with American tax dollars.

Mayor Bloomberg’s statement should outrage anyone of conscience who cares to read it. His logic leapfrogs from the fact of bio-terrorism to the need for public health to a call for abortion training. How do you get from mourning the loss of thousands of people to Bloomberg’s stated objective of ridding New York City of more of its innocent citizens?

Bloomberg’s transition committee includes Kathy Rogers who is the president of the Legal Defense Fund of the National Organization of Women (NOW). Rogers told The Washington Post that NOW was prepared to file discrimination lawsuits if “women are being shut out of New York’s recovery.”

Why New York City requires more abortions to recover from the Al-Qaeda attack is too convoluted a reasoning for me to follow.

Or, perhaps it is as simple as it appears — the most cynical and banal of power grabs at a time when people's hearts and wallets are wide open to the suffering of September 11th. It doesn’t make any difference that the abortion issue has nothing to do with helping New York, or Arlington, Virginia for that matter. The point is, there are government funds to be obtained by people without moral scruples.

Public funding for abortion has been declining and under the Bush administration, will decline even further. Pro-abortion advocates, as we are seeing, are willing to use any opportunity — no matter how distasteful and disrespectful — to take back a piece of the government pie.

Mayor Bloomberg should reconsider his proposal immediately. New Yorkers are

a tough breed, but deeply sentimental. They will not miss the ghastly irony of his plan. In addition, Catholic hospitals, which have served New Yorker’s faithfully for decades, will be forced to act against Catholic teaching or possibly lose Medicaid patients. For any city hospital to lose patients in this economy can be a death blow.

Mayor Giuliani inspired all of us with his ability to articulate, with exactly the right tone, both the terrible loss and the genuine heroism of September 11th. His leadership in the weeks following the disaster reminded all of us of the greatness that political leaders can reach when history provides the occasion.

It’s sad that Bloomberg, whose reputation was made in the news business, does not comprehend the deep contradiction he represents. Perhaps the next time he visits Ground Zero, the dead will remind him that his job is first and foremost to protect the lives of his citizens.

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