Bishop Elect Barron has a post at Catholic News Report that rubs me the wrong way. Here is the beginning:
Just last week, Stephen Colbert gave an interview in which the depth of his Catholic faith was on pretty clear display. Discussing the trauma that he experienced as a young man-the deaths of his father and two of his brothers in a plane crash – he told the interviewer how, through the ministrations of his mother, he had learned not only to accept what had happened but actually to rejoice in it: “Boy, did I have a bomb when I was ten; that was quite an explosion…It’s that I love the thing that I wish most had not happened.”
Flummoxed, his interlocutor asked him to elaborate on the paradox. Without missing a beat, Colbert cited J.R.R. Tolkien: “What punishments of God are not gifts?” What a wonderful sermon on the salvific quality of suffering! And it was delivered, not by a priest or bishop or evangelist, but by a comedian about to take over one of the most popular television programs on late night.
Go here to read the rest. The problem that I have with this is that the Bishop-Elect fails to note that on a crucial issue, abortion, Colbert is in opposition to the Faith. Go here to see a video in which Colbert ridicules the efforts in 2011 to defund
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc. on the grounds that abortions make up only three percent of the business of Worse Than Murder, Inc. There are two problems with this line of argument. First, because it is morally obtuse: “Look at all the good things that Hitler did! Murdering millions of people in death camps was only a very small percentage of what the Third Reich accomplished!” The fact that Planned Parenthood is engaged in killing innocent children in utero should be repugnant to any “good Catholic”, or, indeed, any man or woman of conscience. Second, because it is a lie. Colbert got the three percent figure from Planned Parenthood talking points. The figure is ludicrous. Planned Parenthood performs thirty percent of all abortions in this country. Abortions are a major revenue generator for them. Even the pro-abort Washington Post a few weeks ago, admitted that the three percent figure is deceitful:
The 3 percent figure that Planned Parenthood uses is misleading, comparing abortion services to every other service that it provides. The organization treats each service — pregnancy test, STD test, abortion, birth control — equally. Yet there are obvious difference between a surgical (or even medical) abortion, and offering a urine (or even blood) pregnancy test. These services are not all comparable in how much they cost or how extensive the service or procedure is.
The Church has been against abortion since the time of Christ. Stephen Colbert defends the organization that promotes the ongoing murder of the most innocent among us. Go here to watch a video of his drinking game, with a drink being taken whenever Rick Santorum mentioned partial birth abortion. Continue reading
You’re going from dealing with people to dealing with what most people here at the Center consider a real hurdle, to do sterile room, because you have to deal with the actual abortion tissue. And for some people that’s really hard. They can be abstractly in favor of abortion rights, but they sure don’t want to see what an eighteen-week abortion looks like.
- Anonymous clinic worker Abortion at Work: Ideology and Practice in a Feminist Clinic Wendy Simonds (Rutgers University Press: New Brunswick) 1996 p 69.
Dennis Prager zooms in on the essential question regarding abortion: Is it moral? Legal protection of the unborn is our goal, but winning the moral debate is all important, and the pro-life cause has been slowly winning that debate.
Today I will be driving by Galesburg, on my way to take my daughter back to college. In the Lincoln-Douglas debate held at Galesburg on October 7, 1858, Lincoln got to the heart of the difference between him and Stephen Douglas regarding slavery:
But there still is a difference, I think, between Judge Douglas and the Republicans in this. I suppose that the real difference between Judge Douglas and his friends, and the Republicans on the contrary, is, that the Judge is not in favor of making any difference between slavery and liberty-that he is in favor of eradicating, of pressing out of view, the questions of preference in this country for free or slave institutions; and consequently every sentiment he utters discards the idea that there is any wrong in slavery. Every thing that emanates from him or his coadjutors in their course of policy, carefully excludes the thought that there is any thing wrong in slavery. All their arguments, if you will consider them, will be seen to exclude the thought that there is any thing whatever wrong in slavery. If you will take the Judge’s speeches, and select the short and pointed sentences expressed by him-as his declaration that he “don’t care whether slavery is voted up or down”- you will see at once that this is perfectly logical, if you do not admit that slavery is wrong. If you do admit that it is wrong, Judge Douglas cannot logically say he don’t care whether a wrong is voted up or voted down. Judge Douglas declares that if any community want slavery they have a right to have it. He can say that logically, if he says that there is no wrong in slavery; but if you admit that there is a wrong in it, he cannot logically say that any body has a right to do wrong. He insists that, upon the score of equality, the owners of slaves and owners of property-of horses and every other sort of property-should be alike and hold them alike in a new Territory. That is perfectly logical, if the two species of property are alike and are equally founded in right. But if you admit that one of them is wrong, you cannot institute any equality between right and wrong. And from this difference of sentiment-the belief on the part of one that the institution is wrong, and a policy springing from that belief which looks to the arrest of the enlargement of that wrong; and this other sentiment, that it is no wrong, and a policy sprung from that sentiment which will tolerate no idea of preventing that wrong from growing larger, and looks to there never being an end of it through all the existence of things,-arises the real difference between Judge Douglas and his friends on the one hand, and the Republicans on the other. Now, I confess myself as belonging to that class in the country who contemplate slavery as a moral, social and political evil, having due regard for its actual existence amongst us and the difficulties of getting rid of it in any satisfactory way, and to all the Constitutional obligations which have been thrown about it; but, nevertheless, desire a policy that looks to the prevention of it as a wrong, and looks hopefully to the time when as a wrong it may come to an end. Continue reading
Rush Limbaugh tends to take a lot of grief from Catholic commenters. Some of it is deserved, but much of it is not. When it comes to abortion, he has been one of the major media voices opposing it relentlessly for over a quarter of a century. When he dies he will have his sins to answer for as we all will. He will also have tens of millions, who never got to speak in this Vale of Tears, eloquently pleading his case before the Most High. Here is Limbaugh on the current
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc. atrocity:
Well, now we know why the advocates for the right to choose have been so advocating. Always try to follow the money. Here are these leftists that want everybody to believe that they don’t care about money, that everything they do is charitable because they’re nice people and they are compassionate and they’re understanding and they’re all for protecting the little people who get trampled on by the big people, and look who is doing the trampling.
The greatest example of the essence of innocence that I can conjure, a baby in the womb. I mean, it hasn’t done anything to anybody. It represents and is new life. It is the essence of innocence. It cannot speak for itself. It cannot protect itself. It cannot defend itself. While being the essence of innocence, it is the most vulnerable it will ever be. And here come the people promising and telling and guaranteeing that they are protecting the rights of the little people, that they protecting the vulnerable, they’re making sure that the little guy, the vulnerable, the powerful, don’t get trampled on by who? The rich, the powerful. Usually this means Republicans.
And yet in another case study of reality, exposing fraud, who actually is trampling over the defenseless, the innocent, the vulnerable? The very damn people who claim to be their protectors, the protectors of liberty, individual rights, the right to choose, what have you. The same people who want these body parts for stem cells that have yet to prove worthy of research, worthwhile, any of that. It is just sick and it is completely and totally unremarked upon in the Drive-By Media.
Carly Fiorina this morning on her Facebook released a new video responding to this second and latest Planned Parenthood secretly recorded video.
Somebody just asked me, “Rush, how can these people do this? How can they not know what they’re doing to a baby?” Ladies and gentlemen, I wish I could answer that for you. I mean, these are the people that are extracting what they hope are workable, usable body parts. They’re taking great, great care not to crunch, not to crush, so what they extract are actual what they hope usable baby body organs they can sell.
Now, how a person or the people doing this can then turn around and say that what they’re dealing with is an “unviable tissue mass,” I can only the guess. I think you have to have the concept of evil. You have to understand it, and you have to acknowledge that it exists. It’s a real thing. It’s the same people that say “unviable tissue mass” or it’s actually an illness, pregnancy leads to an illness and so forth.
Every crazy justification they’ve offered for abortion, the very same people doing that are now extracting usable body parts and selling them for profit. I mean, what are they telling themselves about what they’re doing? They’re probably lying to themselves about medical research and saving lives. They probably come up with “one life to save millions.” It’s probably not hard to imagine the contortions they undergo to justify this. But the clearly think they’re doing a service.
They clearly believe they are serving mankind and medical research.
But to anybody with common decency, it’s just sick. And it’s something that I dare say the vast majority of people in this country would never, ever dream would happen here. We went to war to stop people like this before! Continue reading
My favorite liberal, Kirsten Powers, has a first rate column on the
Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc. videos:
Planned Parenthood head Cecile Richards apologized last week for the uncompassionate tone her senior director of medical research, Deborah Nucatola, used to explain the process by which she harvests aborted body parts to be provided for medical research.
Nucatola had been caught on an undercover video talking to anti-abortion activists posing as representatives of a biological tissue procurement company. The abortion doctor said, “I’d say a lot of people want liver,” and “a lot of people want intact hearts these days.” Explaining how she could perform later-term abortions to aid the harvesting of such intact organs, she said, “We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.”
This is stomach-turning stuff. But the problem here is not one of tone. It’s the crushing. It’s the organ harvesting of fetuses that abortion-rights activists want us to believe have no more moral value than a fingernail. It’s the lie that these are not human beings worthy of protection. There is no nice way to talk about this. As my friend and former Obama White House staffer Michael Wear tweeted, “It should bother us as a society that we have use for aborted human organs, but not the baby that provides them.”
Richards worked to discredit the video by complaining it was “heavily edited.” But the nearly three-hour unedited video — a nauseating journey through the inner workings of the abortion industry — was posted at the same time as the edited video. Richards intoned menacingly that the video was “secretly recorded.” So what? When Mitt Romney was caught by “secret video” making his 47% remarks, the means of attaining the information was not the focus of the story. Continue reading
“Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
George Orwell, Politics and the English Language (1946)
Whatever comes of the revelations about Planned Parenthood and its participation in the traffic in fetal body parts, those revelations will have achieved one thing: they have parted the veil of antiseptic tidiness behind which the abortion industry has for so long operated. The sight of a senior Planned Parenthood official, and a doctor to boot, discussing the market for fetal body parts in between bites of salad and sips of wine was stomach-turning.
That’s because it laid bare the essentially brutal nature of abortion. Let’s be blunt: abortion involves the extraction and killing of a human life, which within a couple of weeks of pregnancy has a beating heart. Five weeks in, its hands and legs begin to grow. It is these tiny creatures, and too often ones that are far more developed, that are pulled from a mother’s womb and crushed with forceps.
Oh, but oh-so-carefully, lest body parts that can be sold are preserved. This gruesome procedure shows the extent to which we, as a people, have been anesthetized by the estimated 55 million—fifty-five million—abortions performed since the Supreme Court discovered a constitutional right to that procedure 42 years ago.
Will we as a nation not someday look upon that decision and what it has done to us, not to mention the 55 million, with horror and regret? One can only hope we will.
If any pro-lifers ever get tired or discouraged, please remember that the fate of “Baby Francis”, tossed away at the dawn of life like so much used garbage, is what we are fighting against:
In a simple, but dignified ceremony this morning in a section of Gate of Heaven Cemetery set aside for the repose of babies, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin presided over a Christian burial service for the unborn child he named “Francis,” fulfilling a commitment he made to officials five months ago after a fetus was found floating amid the sewage at a nearby wastewater treatment facility.
A tiny white casket, with “Baby Francis 2015” inscribed on a gold plaque affixed to one end, and flanked by flowers and a small teddy bear, rested upon a portable pine altar as the burial service was conducted under a brilliant blue sky.
“Now, we must entrust the soul of Baby Francis to the abundant mercy of God so that this beloved child may find finally a home in his kingdom,” Bishop Tobin prayed before a gathering of about 20 individuals representing the diocese and its active Respect Life Office and Human Life Guild.
Despite a five-month investigation into the case, not much is known about the circumstances in which the unborn child ended up at the Bucklin Wastewater Treatment Facility on January 12, when a worker saw what at first appeared to be a doll floating amid the slurry in a collection area of the plant’s Screen and Grit Building, according to the East Providence Police Department.
At the time, the Bishop offered a “decent and proper burial” for the unborn child, also offering prayers for his parents and the situation that led them to dispose of a child in such a tragic way. The State Medical Examiner’s Office indicated the child was a male, about 19-20 weeks gestation, but could not release the body while its investigation was ongoing.
Really, does this surprise anyone?
Catholic colleges and law schools can proudly claim 65 alumni in the U.S. House of Representatives—which amounts to 15 percent of the House, about double the Catholic share of four-year colleges in the United States. But The Cardinal Newman Society has found that more than half of these Catholic college alumni—38 in total—have records on abortion that should mortify their alma maters.
Most of them are rated 100 percent by pro-abortion organizations such as the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and Planned Parenthood. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has rated many of them at zero percent on important life issues.
The numbers are bleak, but political science professors from faithful Catholic colleges told the Newman Society that they are hopeful for a new generation of faithfully-educated politicians who are nurtured by proper instruction. Continue reading
This has been on my mind of late because of the kerfluffle about common core and fact vs opinion, so republishing it from Catholic Stand.
“Be nice.” “That’s not nice.” “Wouldn’t it be nice if people would just get along?”
Nice is almost as hard to define as the notoriously subjective “fair,” but I’m starting to think it’s far more dangerous. ‘Nice’ is applied to a standard of behavior that does not raise objection among those who are around to be offended; ‘nice’ is a sort of vague version of ‘polite,’ centered around everyone feeling good.
Most obviously, I’m sure anybody that’s stumbled on to this site has at least heard someone say “I’m not very religious, but I try to be a nice person– and that’s what’s really important, isn’t it?” Those of us who have argued theology have almost surely heard “Well, we disagree about that– but we agree that people should just be nice to each other, and that’s the important thing.” Continue reading
Belying the great progress being made at the state level, the pro-life movement had a bad week on the national level.
The GOP leadership pulled a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks, a piece of legislation that has two-one support in polls, because some House members were nervous about the requirement of the rape exception that the rape be reported to the police. (Really? A woman twenty weeks pregnant who claims to be raped hasn’t yet reported the rape to the police?) Bizarre and cowardly. The House did pass a bill banning abortion funding and credits for abortion, with the usual regrettable exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.
Then we have Catholic prelates attempting to turn the pro-life cause into a giant rally for the welfare state. Frank Walker at Pewsitter has their number:
Here’s an idea. Let’s take the exclusively conservative movement against the uninterrupted slaughter of unborn children and plaster all kinds of leftist slogans to it. Then we can invite Catholic prelates to come advocate for bigger federal programs while they pretend to care about abortion. After all, what is the point of having a Church if isn’t to shepherd Catholics into amoral statist barns and hand power to the enemies of God and man? Isn’t everything about life?
For the pro-life movement to truly succeed, it must fight not only abortion, but also the broader “throwaway culture” wherever life is being discarded, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston at a national pro-life Mass.
“What must characterize the pro-life movement is a special love for the poor, the marginalized, the suffering, and especially human life that is in danger of being discarded,” Cardinal O’Malley said in his Jan. 21 homily at the Opening Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life.
The cardinal addressed an overflow crowd at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., the largest church in North America. More than 11,000 people were estimated to be in attendance.
Cardinal O’Malley, who heads the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee, was chief celebrant at the Mass. Five additional cardinals, 44 bishops, and 343 priests concelebrated the Mass, according to a basilica spokesperson. Some 100 deacons and 530 seminarians also assisted.
Wednesday evening’s Mass kicked off an all-night prayer vigil at the basilica, which ends with a closing Mass Thursday morning. The prayer vigil precedes the annual March for Life, which marks the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that led to nationwide legal abortion. The march routinely draws hundreds of thousands from across the country to pray and witness in the heart of Washington, D.C.
Jesus advocates loving your neighbor and helping those in need. He certainly doesn’t teach legal confiscation of property, ruthless regulation of people’s lives, anti-family laws and pro-death policy all blanketed under the excuse ‘loving the poor’, then calling it pro-life.
In the Gospel story, the young man asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. He “went away sad” when Jesus instructed him to go beyond following the commandments by giving all his possessions to the poor and following Christ.
As we observe the sad forty-second anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that overturned all state laws banning abortions and effectively served as a judicial death warrant for tens of millions of innocents, I think it is appropriate to pay tribute to the two dissenting Justices, Byron White, a Democrat, and William Rehnquist, a Republican. Here are the texts of their dissents:
MR. JUSTICE WHITE, with whom MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST joins, dissenting.
At the heart of the controversy in these cases are those recurring pregnancies that pose no danger whatsoever to the life or health of the mother but are, nevertheless, unwanted for any one or more of a variety of reasons — convenience, family planning, economics, dislike of children, the embarrassment of illegitimacy, etc. The common claim before us is that, for any one of such reasons, or for no reason at all, and without asserting or claiming any threat to life or health, any woman is entitled to an abortion at her request if she is able to find a medical adviser willing to undertake the procedure.
The Court, for the most part, sustains this position: during the period prior to the time the fetus becomes viable, the Constitution of the United States values the convenience, whim, or caprice of the putative mother more than the life or potential life of the fetus; the Constitution, therefore, guarantees the right to an abortion as against any state law or policy seeking to protect the fetus from an abortion not prompted by more compelling reasons of the mother.
With all due respect, I dissent. I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the Court’s judgment. The Court simply fashions and announces a new constitutional right for pregnant mothers [410 U.S. 222] and, with scarcely any reason or authority for its action, invests that right with sufficient substance to override most existing state abortion statutes. The upshot is that the people and the legislatures of the 50 States are constitutionally dissentitled to weigh the relative importance of the continued existence and development of the fetus, on the one hand, against a spectrum of possible impacts on the mother, on the other hand. As an exercise of raw judicial power, the Court perhaps has authority to do what it does today; but, in my view, its judgment is an improvident and extravagant exercise of the power of judicial review that the Constitution extends to this Court.
The New York Times hilariously believes that by agreeing to take up the question of gay marriage, the Court will resolve the issue, the Times assuming, as I do, that the Court is likely to strike down all laws against gay marriage and impose it by judicial fiat.
Such judicial interventions in the governance of this country in regard to hotly contested questions tend to be the starting of debates and not the ending of them. This week on January 22, we will be observing the 42 anniversary of the decision of Roe v. Wade which sought to resolved the abortion issue. The fight about abortion continues unabated, the Court’s pro-abortion rulings notwithstanding. In a democracy, attempts by nine unelected lawyers in black robes to resolve questions of great moment tend not to work in the absence of political power and consensus to support the decision. Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist reminds us that the Court has a long history of inflaming, rather than ending, debates in this nation:
In “Abuse of Discretion,” Clark Forsythe’s comprehensive look at how Roe v. Wade came to be, he notes that advocates of legalized abortion polled a very general question about whether abortion “should be between a woman and her physician.” Four months before the first arguments in Roe v. Wade were made, such a question got 64 percent affirming it in a Gallup poll, perhaps because the wording was so vague. (This is a bit of an aside, but Forsythe notes that abortion is almost never between a woman and her physician. Fewer than 5 percent of abortions are performed by a woman’s regular OB-GYN and almost all are performed by a stranger.)
You’d have to be living in a New York Times bubble to think that Roe v. Wade was either a limited decision or would end debate. In many ways, that decision is what led to many more people thinking deeply about abortion for the first time. And when they did begin thinking deeply about the topic, it frequently benefited the pro-life movement.
In another abortion decision years later, some justices signed onto some serious wishful thinking about court decisions settling the question of whether there is a right to kill an unborn child. Scalia’s dissent in Casey speaks to this and offers yet another example when the court thought it was settling another contentious issue (and that one’s a doozie):
There comes vividly to mind a portrait by Emanuel Leutze that hangs in the Harvard Law School: Roger Brooke Taney, painted in 1859, the 82d year of his life, the 24th of his Chief Justiceship, the second after his opinion in Dred Scott. He is all in black, sitting in a shadowed red armchair, left hand resting upon a pad of paper in his lap, right hand hanging limply, almost lifelessly, beside the inner arm of the chair. He sits facing the viewer, and staring straight out. There seems to be on his face, and in his deep-set eyes, an expression of profound sadness and disillusionment. Perhaps he always looked that way, even when dwelling upon the happiest of thoughts. But those of us who know how the lustre of his great Chief Justiceship came to be eclipsed by Dred Scott cannot help believing that he had that case–its already apparent consequences for the Court, and its soon-to-be-played-out consequences for the Nation–burning on his mind. I expect that two years earlier he, too, had thought himself “call[ing] the contending sides of national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution.” It is no more realistic for us in this case, than it was for him in that, to think that an issue of the sort they both involved–an issue involving life and death, freedom and subjugation–can be “speedily and finally settled” by the Supreme Court, as President James Buchanan in his inaugural address said the issue of slavery in the territories would be. See Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States, S. Doc. No. 101-10, p. 126 (1989). Quite to the contrary, by foreclosing all democratic outlet for the deep passions this issue arouses, by banishing the issue from the political forum that gives all participants, even the losers, the satisfaction of a fair hearing and an honest fight, by continuing the imposition of a rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences, the Court merely prolongs and intensifies the anguish.
I’ll give the New York Times this much: Whatever the Supreme Court decides on same-sex marriage, I bet it will end the debate at least as much as Dred Scott ended the debate about slavery, Roe ended the debate about abortion, and Casey ended the debate about abortion. Continue reading
The Sheriff of Milwaukee has a way of telling the truth bluntly:
Harlow asked the Sheriff, who has been on several news shows on Fox and others, about a tweet he sent out implying that if Black lives mattered the protesters would be outside abortion clinics because of the high numbers of black babies killed by abortion.
The tweet sent by Sheriff Clarke, a black man himself, was sent to Mitch Smith, Journalist in the Chicago bureau of The New York Times and read, “If only these faux protesters were asked by media about all the black on black killing or black babies aborted in US every year.“
He continued, “When I hear these things that Black lives matter, the only people who really believe that statement are American police officers who go into American ghettos every day to keep people from killing each other. Alright, so, yes I did say that and I meant it. Look, the abortions? If Black lives – if they really mattered, that’s where the outrage would be that’s where we’d see protests…” Continue reading
Some good news to end the year:
A new survey conducted by Operation Rescue of all abortion facilities in the United States has confirmed that the abortion clinic closure trend continued strongly in 2014. Operation Rescue is the only pro-life organization that maintains a listing of abortion facilities and tracks clinic closures and its extensive research has provided the most accurate accounting of abortion facilities known to exist.
In all, 73 abortion facilities shut down for all or part of the year. The total number of all remaining abortion clinics in the US is currently 739. Surgical abortion facilities account for 551 of that total while the number of medication-only abortion facilities stands at 188.
Out of 60 surgical abortion clinic closures, 47 were permanent. This represents a 23% decline in surgical abortion facilities over the past five years.
Thirteen surgical facilities were allowed to reopen after initially closing, primarily due to court action that enjoined abortion safety laws that had shut down the substandard facilities.
Thirteen facilities that provided only medication abortions account for the remaining closures in 2014. That more than doubles the number of medication abortion facilities that closed in 2013 when six were shuttered.
While the abortion clinic closures did not eclipse the high water mark of 93 total closures in 2013, the 73 closures this year far exceeds the two dozen closures recorded in 2012.
The 2014 figures represent a net decrease of 31 surgical abortion facilities nationwide. even though the number of medication abortion facilities increased by 11 over 2013 numbers, they still remain below the high of 196 facilities in 2012.
“We are continuing to witness the implosion of the abortion cartel in America,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “The only things that are preventing total collapse are court injunctions that are blocking several state abortion safety laws from being enforced. Once those laws clear the courts, we expect to see even more dangerous abortion facilities close. This is great news for women and babies because when abortion clinics close, lives are saved.”
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The greatest number of closed facilities took place in Texas as the result of the 2013 abortion law known as HB2. Eleven surgical and three medication-only facilities shut down permanently over the course of 2014.
Closures far outpaced clinic openings. Fifteen facilities either added surgical abortions or opened for the first time. Thirteen clinics, primarily Planned Parenthood centers, added medication abortions to clinics that previously did not provide them. Eight clinics that formerly provided surgical abortions made the decision to halt those procedures, but continue to sell medication abortions.
“As new states laws add safety standards for surgical abortions, we are seeing the beginnings of a new trend. Abortion providers who cannot or will not comply with the higher standards have, in some cases, dropped surgical abortions in favor of medical abortions so they did not have to become licensed,” said Newman. “This allows incompetent abortionists to continue exploiting women for money while evading the need to increase patient safety.”
Some of the more notable abortion facility closures included:
• Outpatient Services for Women, Oklahoma City, OK: This surgical clinic shut down after the arrest on December 9 of clinic owner and operator Naresh Patel on charges of fraud and racketeering after Operation Rescue filed complaints. Patel had been caught selling abortion pills to women who were not pregnant.
• All Women’s Health, Chicago, IL: Clinic owner, abortionist Mandy Gittler, closed this facility after local activists protested there over the death of Tonya Reaves, which was killed by Gittler in 2012 at a Chicago Planned Parenthood clinic.
• Novi Laser and Aesthetic Center, Novi, Michigan: This facility shut down after being evicted from two locations this year. After the last eviction in November, owner Michael Arthur Roth had nowhere to go.
• Aid for Women, aka Central Family Medical, Kansas City, MO: Operation Rescue discovered evidence of multiple abortion abuses and lodged complaints. This facility was best known for suing in court for the right to stop reporting child sex abuse. Under pressure from the medical board and struggling for business, Aid for Women, finally shut down.
• Affiliated Women’s Services, Indianapolis, IN: This facility, associated with the infamous late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart shut down in July due to financial woes and a lack of demand for abortions.
• Femcare, Asheville, NC: Its shut down earlier this year for two dozen serious health and safety violations caused an outcry from abortion supporters since it was thought to be the only facility that could pass new safety standards. It reopened briefly before permanently closing after its abortionist, Lorraine Cummings, announced her retirement and placed the building for sale.
Anti-Catholic bigot, homosexual activist and Episcopalian minister Harry Knox is back in the news. Long time readers of this blog will recall that President Obama appointed Knox to his Advisory Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships back in 2009. Go here to read a post on that appointment.
Knox became the head of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice back in 2012. He had a post on the Huffington Post explaining why religious people should support the slaying of children in the womb, a post which proved, once again the truth of Socrates’ adage that an unexamined life is a tragedy.
Now, just in time for the Christmas season, Susan Michelle at Live Action News brings us up to speed on his latest antics:
The not very reverent Rev. Knox heads up the largest faith-based pro-abortion organization in the nation, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). Churches like the United Methodists, Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian USA, and Episcopals, as well as a host of more well-known liberal churches, are the composite of this campaign for death in the name of the One who came to bring us life. The RCRC is a shame to the reality of Christianity as it manipulates the truth of the faith.
Knox sends many letters, all in an effort to campaign for abortion rights by asking people for money — echoing the letters of Planned Parenthood, who at least doesn’t use Jesus to fundraise, as Knox does. Earlier in December, he sent what was perhaps the most abhorrent letter of all. In it, he lamented that abortion access in the United States is so limited now that “it’s as if the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade didn’t happen.” Women don’t really have a choice, Knox says, when they can’t get to an abortion clinic easily. Sounds like Planned Parenthood, right? But wait! Knox wants you to know that true Christians support abortion. He says:
[T]he majority of people of faith, and the majority of Christians support legal access to abortion. And so they wrap their anti-choice ideology in something that sounds warm and fuzzy.
The Christian tradition says that Jesus advised his disciples to, ‘Watch out for false prophets. They come to you dressed like sheep, but inside they are vicious wolves. You will know them by their fruit.
Stunning words coming from a man who leads an organization advocating death of innocent children for any reason whatsoever. Indeed, Knox shows us what a false prophet actually looks like. RCRC and its members are the ones actually walking around with fuzzy sheep coats, but underneath the costume is a vacuum that sucks a living life from the womb of a mother who’s been led to believe that death is acceptable if she can’t see the baby, doesn’t want the baby. But no, Knox says, we are the real wolves. He continues:
These laws, and the anti-abortion legislators that promote them, are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They say one thing that sounds very nice, but we know them by their fruit. They want nothing more than to deny women the right to decide to have a child on her own terms.
They’re telling a lie. In biblical terms, they’re bearing false witness. Where I come from, that’s a sin.
These false prophets – these vicious wolves – are tearing women’s rights to shreds. And they need to be stopped.
Sometimes I read words that are difficult to take seriously. I wonder how anyone with a faith in Christ and a belief in the Bible could possibly be blind enough to read a letter like this and nod in agreement or click a link and donate money at Christmas to kill a baby.
The reality is that many believe this guy, the one actually bearing false witness. The witness of Christ is the purpose of His life. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (John 10:10-11, ESV)
The witness of Christ is the reality of giving His own life so that others may live. The witness of the enemy Knox mentions, whom Jesus addresses in this text, is destruction, such as that of abortion. This seems so obvious. Somehow, to these folks, it’s not. Somehow, they neglect to see that if Mary were carrying Jesus in today’s culture, many would suggest she abort her baby and go on with her life.
Knox ends his letter with a live link that says, “Click here and make a donation because the wolves are circling and we need your support today.” Continue reading
Hattip to Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report. Comedian Steve Crowder gets serious in the above video, looking at the havoc that abortion wreaks on the population of kids with special needs. He is correct that such children and adults tend to be abstractions until you get to know them, and you then realize that each one of them is unique, just like the rest of us. As my family approaches our second Christmas without our beloved Larry, that is a truth that rings home with me. In my memories of him his autism hardly enters in as a drawback. What I tend to recall are things like the artistic way he would arrange food on his plate when he made his snacks, his ability to always know what the date was without reference to a calendar, his habit of playing certain scenes in videos over and over again on his computer as he saw and heard things that obviously eluded me, his snickers when he realized one of his siblings was in trouble, his impromptu midnight strolls without telling anyone, the way he would always circle around the house to go in the backdoor, etc. My life was immeasurably richer for his presence and is immeasurably poorer for his absence. At Christmas time let us renew our commitment to end abortion, that robs us all of encountering so many people who, in the most unlikely ways, could light our own path through this Vale of Tears. A babe born in a stable 2000 years ago irrevocably changed for the better the path of mankind, God’s majestic way of underlining for us that each life is a precious gift, and usually not just to the recipient of life.
The new Archbishop of Chicago has a long history of hostility to the pro-life movement. Brian Williams at One Peter Five notes that he seems much happier with pro-abort politicians:
In a homily this past June, Monsignor Henry Kriegel (pastor at St. Patrick Catholic Church in the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania) referenced an evening spent dining with the well connected Catholic blogger Rocco Palma of Whispers in the Loggia. Regarding the impending episcopal appointment in Chicago, Msgr. Kriegel said at the time:
“…(Palma) told us who’s going to be the next archbishop of Chicago; a position which will be filled in September. And if he’s correct, it’s going to be the beginning of a whole new style of episcopal leadership in the American Catholic Church, away from these bombastic, confrontational, counter-cultural bishops to bishops who are much more conciliatory and overflowing, as Francis says, with mercy.
On Sunday’s edition of Face the Nation, recently installed Archbishop Blasé Cupich demonstrated that Chicago is indeed being introduced to a new style of episcopal leadership. This was nowhere more evident than the archbishop’s response to host Norah O’Donnell’s question regarding pro-abortion politicians and the reception of Communion:
O’DONNELL: So, when you say we cannot politicize the communion rail, you would give communion to politicians, for instance, who support abortion rights.
CUPICH: I would not use the Eucharist or as they call it the communion rail as the place to have those discussions or way in which people would be either excluded from the life of the church. The Eucharist is an opportunity of grace and conversion. It’s also a time of forgiveness of sins. So my hope would be that that grace would be instrumental in bringing people to the truth.
In other words, those who persist in mortal sin and public scandal through their continued political support of abortion should still receive the Eucharist. This very topic has been thoroughly addressed by canon lawyer Dr. Edward Peters when discussing the specific case of U.S. Congresswoman and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:
“Canon 915, as I and others have explained many times, is not about impositions on individual conscience, it’s about public consequences for public behavior. It’s about taking people at their word and acknowledging the character of their actions. It’s about not pretending that people don’t really mean what they repeatedly say and what they repeatedly do.
“As a canon lawyer, my view is that Nancy Pelosi deserves to be deprived of holy Communion as the just consequence of her public actions; as her fellow Catholic, my view is that Nancy Pelosi deservesto be deprived of holy Communion to bring home to her and to the wider faith community the gravity of her conduct and the need to avoid such conduct altogether or, that failing, at least to repent of it. Quickly.”
Mark Shea has taken his agree-with-me-on-these-issues-or-you-are-not-really-pro-life routine to the pages of the Jesuit rag America:
But weirdly, when the topic is not the unborn, many allegedly pro-life people often forget their wisdom. Result: on many issues ranging from war to torture to refugees to the death penalty, it is extremely common to run into people who are anti-abortion, but not pro-life.
And so self-identified pro-life people, in a solid majority, favored the launch of the Iraq War, despite the fact that it failed to meet a single criterion of Just War teaching, was sternly denounced by Pope John Paul II, warned of by the world’s bishops, and dismissed as folly by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who famously remarked that the “concept of a ‘preventive war’ does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church” and who warned that it would result in catastrophe—as the destruction of the Chaldean Church, the deaths of at least 100,000 people and the transformation of Iraq into chaos eloquently attests.
Relatedly, self-identified pro-life Christians supported, in greater percentages than the general U.S. population, the use of torture against prisoners. Indeed, along with Evangelicals, self-identified pro-life Catholics may constitute the single most enthusiastic supporters of torture in American public life. This is despite the fact that the church describes torture as gravely and intrinsically immoral—exactly the same terms in which she describes abortion.
Similarly, the death penalty is sometimes treated as an issue in which the church’s guidance to inflict the punishment only if absolutely necessary is rejected on the theory that God “commands” rather than reluctantly permits the death penalty. Some even go so far as to declare the church, not merely entitled to an opinion from which they dissent, but actually “wrong” and work to execute as many victims as possible.
Finally, there is the strange spectacle of some Catholics opposing pre-natal help for low income women (thus increasing the likelihood of abortion for poor families who fear they cannot afford another child) and the even stranger spectacle of self-identified pro-life people brandishing guns and screaming for desperately poor refugee children from Central America to be sent back to the extreme dangers of rape, sex slavery and murder.