On January 22, the 24th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Vice President Al Gore spoke before the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) delivering a decidedly pro-choice speech. Labeling the pro-life side “anti-choice,” Gore insinuated that the Catholic Church was responsible for the large volume of abortions in the U.S..
Gore claimed that those who believe that “family planning in the form of birth control is morally wrong” were culpable for driving up the abortion rate. Referring to this group, Gore said, “If they were willing to abandon that aspect of their common front, then there would be much that we could all do together to make abortions rare.” He left little doubt that it was those Catholics who followed the teachings of the Church on family planning that were responsible for the high abortion rate.
As a result of Gore’s attack, the Catholic League sent the following statement to the media:
“Vice President Gore should have the integrity to simply finger the Catholic Church as the reason why abortions are not rare. Instead, he prefers to assign culpability in an oblique manner. This is regrettable because it precludes a much needed national debate: is it the teachings of the Catholic Church that accounts for the high abortion rate or is it the edicts of the Clinton Administration? Given the fact that Gore, like President Clinton, supports partial-birth abortions, it is difficult to understand what abortions he might oppose.
“There is another problem with Gore’s speech. Both he and Hillary Clinton addressed an organization that was founded on anti-Catholicism. In its early days, NARAL, as one of its founders Dr. Bernard Nathanson has said, `attacked [the Roman Catholic Church] at every opportunity. Our favorite tack was to blame the church for the death of every woman from a botched abortion.’ As such, it is outrageous that the Vice President and the First Lady would dignify such an audience with their presence.”