We also want to remember that the moral status of abortion/ESC research does not immediately transfer to the act of voting to support or uphold legal abortion/ESC research (or voting for people who vote to support or uphold legal abortion/ESC research.)
I believe Dr. Stohr is seriously mistaken. Recent statements by Pope Benedict XVI can leave no doubt that a public official who votes to support or uphold abortion or embryonic stem cell research commits a gravely immoral act.
Catholic officials have been debating for some time whether politicians who approve abortion legislation as well as doctors and nurses who take part in abortions would subject themselves to automatic excommunication under church law. The pope was asked where he stands on the issue during the flight to Brazil, in his first full-fledged news conference since becoming pontiff in 2005.
[Reporter] "Do you agree with the excommunications given to legislators in Mexico City on the question?" a reporter asked.
[Pope Benedict XVI] "Yes. The excommunication was not something arbitrary. It is part of the (canon law) code. It is based simply on the principle that the killing of an innocent human child is incompatible with going in Communion with the body of Christ. Thus, they (the bishops) didn't do anything new or anything surprising. Or arbitrary."
Therefore, I repeat my contention, that a public official who supports abortion has demonstrated a significant defect in his or her moral formation. This defect is severe enough to preclude his or her from serving as a role model for Catholic students.