It is difficult to think of any issue in America today that comes even close to the devastation of abortion.

Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, 62 million unborn babies have been brutally killed by abortions. Every year, nearly 1 million more are aborted – some by being poisoned, others by being torn limb from limb while their hearts are still beating. Until 2007 when the practice was outlawed, thousands of late-term unborn babies were killed after being nearly fully delivered in partial-birth abortions. And hundreds, perhaps thousands, of mothers have died in supposedly “safe, legal” abortions, too.

Yet, some pro-life Americans put other issues first at the voting booth.

Father Daniel Maria Klimek, an assistant professor of theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, said abortion must carry a greater moral weight than other issues.

In a column at The Federalist, Klimek primarily addressed the matter among Catholic voters, but his reasoning applies to all pro-lifers.

“There are some issues, particularly abortion and euthanasia, that always have a higher moral gravity because they are intrinsically evil acts that constitute the direct killing of innocent human life,” he wrote. “Supporting such fundamentally evil acts is a mortal sin.”

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For pro-lifers who are not Christians but also believe that every human life is valuable, no other human rights abuse in America compares with abortion. Each abortion destroys a unique, innocent human being’s life – a child in his/her mother’s womb – and almost every one of the nearly 1 million abortions each year are purely elective.

Klimek said other issues like caring for the homeless, refugees, immigrants and prisoners on death row also are important, but none are as massively destructive or as imminent as “the immediate killing of innocent human lives” in abortions and euthanasia.

He continued with an example:

Suppose two candidates run for office. If Candidate A opposes legal abortion and euthanasia whereas Candidate B supports legal abortion and euthanasia while also supporting benevolent economic and social policies that help the homeless, benefit the environment, and help migrants and refugees, then is it fair to say that there are “proportionate reasons” to vote for Candidate B over Candidate A?

Klimek said no, citing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” on the matter.

“In making these decisions [about voting], it is essential for Catholics to be guided by a well-formed conscience that recognizes that all issues do not carry the same moral weight and that the moral obligation to oppose policies promoting intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions,” the document states.

This year, the bishops also are encouraging Catholic voters to make protections for unborn babies a “preeminent priority” at the voting booth in November.

Klimek said the killing of innocent human beings is a matter of the “highest moral gravity” and voters must weigh the abortion issue heavily against “less egregious (although still important) moral issues” at the voting booth.

Millions of babies’ lives are at stake. Abortion is the greatest human rights abuse of our time, and it must be treated as such at the voting booth.

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