NEW YORK, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- A split has developed in the U.S. Catholic Church over abortion, with some bishops taking a harder line while some Catholics argue for a soft approach.
Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, the leading Catholic prelate, declared abortion "no less heinous than what was perpetrated by Hitler and Stalin," the Boston Globe reported. The newspaper column was illustrated with a picture of a 20-week fetus.
Bishops in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, have warned Catholics against voting for any politician who supports abortion rights.
Others say the anti-abortion movement has failed to overturn the landmark Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling or to win a legislative ban on abortion. They say trying to reduce abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies convincing women not to end their pregnancies would be more effective.
Nicholas Cafardi, a professor at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, said he still finds abortion evil but believes the fight has been lost "permanently."
Mark Silk of the Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., calls the argument "an emerging civil war within the upper reaches of American Catholicism."
Polls show a majority of Catholic voters plan to vote for the Democratic presidential ticket of Barack Obama and Joseph Biden. Both are pro-choice -- and Biden is a Catholic.