One question that pro-lifers often pose to pro-choicers is how can they reconcile permitting abortion while still prohibiting the murder of newborns? To put it differently, what is the substantive difference between a newborn child and a child in the latter stages of pregnancy? For that matter, what is the difference between an unborn child at any stage of development and a born child? Evidently this logic hit a Canadian judge pretty hard and she recognized the contradiction in distinguishing the born from the unborn. Continue Reading
Recently on the American history blog Almost Chosen People that Paul Zummo and I run, I wrote a post, which may be read here, saluting the actress Bette Davis for the ardent patriotism she displayed during World War II. In the course of my research however, I came across information which paints a very bleak picture of the famed actress indeed.
In the video at the beginning of the post we see a clip from the movie Juarez (1939) where the Empress of Mexico, Carlota, superbly portrayed by Bette Davis, is begging the Blessed Virgin for a child. This scene is extremely ironic, since throughout the thirties and into the forties, Davis, for the good of her career apparently, and with the consent of her husband, had a series of abortions. She opined in an interview in the eighties that she did not believe that abortion during the first month of pregnancy was the taking of human life, which leads me to wonder if she did not routinely go through pregnancy tests and abortions as a matter of course. The cold bloodedness of this needs no amplification by me. Continue Reading
I was struck by Kyle’s post on Friday “Abortion, Rational Decision-Making, and Informed Consent“, but it took me a while thinking it over to come to an explanation of exactly what I find wrong about it. Kyle is addressing the issue of “informed consent” laws which require a woman seeking an abortion to view an ultrasound of her baby or read an explanation of fetal development at the stage of pregnancy her child is at. He is concerned, however, that such laws miss the real moral point:
Catarina Dutilh Novaes explains her worry about some new laws requiring physicians to show a woman an ultrasound of the fetus and describe its status, organs and present activity before performing an abortion. She writes: “It does not take a lot of brain power to realize that what is construed here as ‘informed decision’ is in fact yet another maneuver to prevent abortions from taking place by ‘anthropomorphizing’ the fetus” and “it is of striking cruelty to submit a woman to this additional layer of emotional charge at such a difficult moment.” She’s right, I suspect, about the underlying motivation behind the laws and the suffering their practice would impose. If the legislators and activists pushing these laws recognize the suffering they may inflict, they clearly see it as justified, weighing, as they do, the vital status of the nascent life as greater than the emotional status of the expectant mother.
There’s something to this. The information the physician is legally required to communicate by these new laws informs in a very limited way: it doesn’t provide evidence of personhood or a right to life or any such metaphysical or moral reality. The sight and description of the fetus may give the appearance of a human life worthy of respect, but, as pro-lifers note, appearance is not indicative of moral worth. An embryo doesn’t look like a human being, but that appearance doesn’t signify anything moral or metaphysical about it.
The woman, for having this information, is not in any better position to make a rational, ethical decision. It may cause her to “see” the nascent life as human, but it doesn’t offer her a rational basis for such a perception. Her consent is no more informed after seeing and hearing the physical status of the life within her, and so these new “informed consent” laws don’t achieve what they are supposedly designed to do.
There are places conducive to informing people about the nascent life’s stages of development and about what exactly, scientifically speaking, abortion does to that life. A high school health class, for example. There, the scientific information about the unborn life and abortion can be more thoroughly considered, and once fully understood, serve in other settings as a reference point for metaphysical and moral considerations. Consent to abortion should be informed, but the information these new laws require to be communicated does not on its own result in informed consent or provide an additional basis for a rational, ethical decision. Why? Because, by itself, appearance is not ethically relevant and can also be misleading.
Now on the basic point, I agree with Kyle: appearance is not moral worth. A person is not worthy of human dignity simply because someone looks at him or her and sees similarity. To say that would be to suggest the converse: that when someone looks at another and sees simply “other” he is justified in not treating that person with human dignity. For instance, one could imagine (though I think it is the far less likely option) a situation in which a woman is leaning against abortion because she thinks that the child inside her will look “just like a baby”, she sees a fuzzy ultrasound of something that still looks like a tadpole on an umbilical cord, and she thinks, “Oh, that’s all? It must not be a baby yet. I’ll abort.” Clearly, in this case, the information would have led to the wrong conclusion. An appearance of similarity or dissimilarity does not a person make.
At the same time, the suggestion that informed consent laws are a bad idea just rubs me the wrong way, not just from a pragmatic point of view but from a moral one, and when I have this kind of conflict between instinct and reason, I tend to poke at the issue until I come up with a reason why it is that the apparently reasonable explanation seems wrong to me. Continue Reading
Oh Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe. God love ya.
But as I was talking to some of your leaders, you share a similar concern here in China. You have no safety net. Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family. The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.
That’s right. The Vice President of the United States of America, a good old Catholic, was speaking in China and couldn’t bring himself to criticize China’s one child policy. No, he went so far as to say that he understands the policy. This comes a mere few moments after he had expended some hot air about human rights.
I recognize that many of you in this auditorium see our advocacy of human rights as at best an intrusion, and at worst an assault on your sovereignty. I want to tell you directly that this is not our intention. Yes, for Americans there is a significant moral component to our advocacy. And we observed where we have failed, as well. But it is who our people are.
As readers of this blog know, I have little use for RINO’s, (Republicans in Name Only), politicians who call themselves Republicans but once in office vote like Democrats. However, every rule has exceptions and an exception to my antipathy to RINOs is the late Mark Hatfield. Hatfield died on August 7 of this year, at 89 years of age. He served in the Navy as a landing craft officer in the Pacific during World War II at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. He was one of the first Americans to see the ruins of Hiroshima after the surrender of Japan.
Beginning in 1950, he embarked upon a 46 year career in politics as a Republican in Oregon. He served in the Oregon legislature and was twice elected governor of the state. He served 30 years in the Senate from 1967-1997. In office his votes were often indistinguishable from a liberal Democrat. He was a dove on Vietnam, supported the nuclear freeze, cast the deciding vote in the Senate that defeated a balanced budget amendment and was opposed to the death penalty. In 1964 he denounced Goldwater conservatives as extremists. Ronald Reagan, who was a friend of Hatfield, once noted in his diary while he was President that with Republicans like Hatfield, who needed Democrats. He was a RINO’s RINO. Of course you know there is a but coming.
Hattip to Mathew Archbold at Creative Minority Report. The poster is funny and devastating. However, I would find it even more humorous if purported Catholic newspapers didn’t publish articles like this, or if articles like this were not dead on accurate as to the attitudes of radical nuns or if so many pro-aborts, an example is here, didn’t end up in positions of power within agencies associated with the Church. The pro-life cause would be so much more effective if so many Catholics in this country were not actively supporting the right to kill unborn kids.
Hattip to Creative Minority Report. In a story that sums up quite nicely so much that is wrong with the Church in America, Lifesite News has the tale of an abortionist on staff at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, Colorado.
After a Catholic hospital in Colorado refused to remove a Planned Parenthood abortionist from its ob/gyn staff, pro-life advocates have organized a protest, featuring Live Action President Lila Rose, on Aug. 4.
“The reason I perform abortions is because I’m a Christian,” Richard Grossman, a Quaker, told the Durango Herald after a similar protest outside Mercy Regional Medical Center last year. “Personally, I believe in the strength, intellect and fortitude of women. When a woman says a fetus is a person, I think it is one. I believe the woman empowers the fetus.”
Last weekend’s Wall Street Journal featured an interesting review of Mara Hvistendahl’s new book Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men. The topic is one that pro-lifers are all to familiar with — the use of sex selective abortion throughout the world which has resulted in the death of 163 million unborn girls being aborted over the last 40 years, specifically because their parents wanted a boy instead. (In other words, over and above all of the abortions going on for other reasons.) The sheer number of “missing girls” is staggering — imagine a number of women equal to the current total populations of France and the UK combined.
Mara Hvistendahl is worried about girls. Not in any political, moral or cultural sense but as an existential matter. She is right to be. In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In “Unnatural Selection,” Ms. Hvistendahl reports on this gender imbalance: what it is, how it came to be and what it means for the future.
In nature, 105 boys are born for every 100 girls. This ratio is biologically ironclad. Between 104 and 106 is the normal range, and that’s as far as the natural window goes. Any other number is the result of unnatural events.
Yet today in India there are 112 boys born for every 100 girls. In China, the number is 121—though plenty of Chinese towns are over the 150 mark. China’s and India’s populations are mammoth enough that their outlying sex ratios have skewed the global average to a biologically impossible 107. But the imbalance is not only in Asia. Azerbaijan stands at 115, Georgia at 118 and Armenia at 120. Continue Reading
One of the consequences of the Republican sweep in 2010 is that the Republicans control many state legislatures by very wide margins. A host of pro-life legislation is making its way through these GOP chambers. One of the latest pro-life bills to be enacted into law is a parental notification law when minors seek to have an abortion in New Hampshire. The text of the law may be read here.
On its way to becoming a law it was vetoed by Governor John Lynch. Lynch is a Democrat, a Catholic and a pro-abort, a combination all too common in our nation. The veto was overridden in the New Hampshire legislature on June 22 by votes of 266-102 in the House and in the Senate 17-7. Continue Reading
President Obama continues to live down to his title of most pro-abort president in our nation’s history. He is now seeking to block implementation of Indiana legislation to deny funding to Worse Than Murder, Inc., a/k/a Planned Parenthood.
The Obama administration today denied Indiana’s use of its new state law that would deny millions in taxpayer dollars to the Indiana affiliate of the nation’s largest abortion business.
Governor Mitch Daniels signed the law, which would cut off anywhere from $2 million to $3 million the Planned Parenthood abortion business receives in federal funds via the Indiana government through Medicaid.
Daniels said that “any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”
However, the Obama administration has told the state it can’t implement the new law, with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick denying a request to deny funds saying the federal Medicaid law stipulates that states can’t exclude providers based on the services they provide. Continue Reading
For many years Catholic universities and colleges have disgraced themselves by honoring pro-abort speakers. The indispensable Cardinal Newman Society has taken upon itself the onerous task of keeping track of this ongoing betrayal of the Church and their latest report may be read here. A prime example was Obama as commencement speaker at Notre Dame in 2009, a debacle which was covered in full by many posts here at The American Catholic. These affairs have often drawn protests by Catholics who realize that honoring pro-aborts is no part, or rather should be no part, of what it means to be a Catholic institution of higher learning.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, a pro-life stalwart and a Catholic, has been invited to deliver the commencement address at Catholic University of America on May 14. 81 professors at Catholic colleges and universities, organized by some CUA profs, have decided to try a little bit of payback by protesting Boehner speaking at CUA by claiming that Boehner, because he is in favor of budget cuts, is against the poor and therefore in defiance of Church teaching. Continue Reading
Right you are Klavan on the Culture! Abortion is a perfect example of the tranformation of a fairly low level debate state by state into a national issue that haunts the nation year after year. As the Supreme Court succeeded so well in resolving the slavery question by the Dred Scott decision, so it has succeeded in resolving the abortion issue by the Roe v. Wade decsion. Of course that is if “resolve” means “transform an issue into a nation wide fierce controversy that will never go away until it is resolved through other means than the courts”.
George Orwell would have loved these bozos. The George Soros funded front group for anti-Catholic bigotry calling themselves Catholics For Choice, in the latest issue of their house organ Conscience have slammed the most pro-abortion President in our nation’s history as not being a big enough pro-abort. Go here to view the rag. Continue Reading
The Miracle of Caring and Sharing – Mark Shea, National Catholic Register
Permanent Deacons Taking Role Away From Priests – Father John Zuhlsdorf
Infiltration Evangelization – Giuseppe Ambrose, The Three Bs
Of All the Rutten Ideas (Tim Rutten of the LA Times) – Phil Lawler, CC/OTC
If JP2 Can Be a Saint, Really, Anybody Can – John Norton, Our Sunday Visitor
Getting Off the Misery-Go-Round of Scrupulosity – Trent Beattie, Cthlc Lane
Vatican Surprises Bloggers with Successful Meeting – Father Tim Finigan
On Infertility and Adoption – This Cross I Embrace
Things are Getting Airbrushed – Rich Leonardi, Ten Reasons
Why Religion Matters – Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
If you liked this roundup of the best posts from around the Catholic blogosphere, visit ThePulp.it for daily updates twice a day.
As faithful readers of this blog know, I am an attorney, for my sins no doubt. It supplies me with bread and butter for my family and myself as well as an opportunity to observe the frailty, follies, crimes and, occasionally, the nobility, of the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve. However, that is just my day job. For over a decade now I have also been chairman of the board of directors of the Caring Pregnancy Center located in Pontiac, Illinois in Livingston County, the county in which I live. There, dedicated pro-life volunteers, almost all of them evangelical women, labor ceaselessly to help women in crisis pregnancies. In the movie the Agony and the Ecstasy Pope Julius II is depicted as saying that when he comes before God he will throw into the balance the ceiling painting of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel against the weight of his sins and he hoped it would shorten his time in purgatory. If such an opportunity exists for me, it will be due to my association with the Caring Pregnancy Center and their truly awe-inspiring and selfless female volunteers.
On April 14th, we held our 25th anniversary banquet which was a grand affair, with our supporters and well-wishers turning out in en masse. I opened with a few introductory remarks where I talked about the Center and its 25 years of service to the women of Livingston County and their babies. I also asked why we did this. First and foremost to protect innocent human life, and, second, because we remember with Thomas Jefferson, “Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.” It will come as a vast shock, no doubt, to faithful readers of this blog that I somehow worked into my remarks the surrender of Fort Sumter 150 years before on April 14, 1861 and Mr. Lincoln’s remarks in his Second Inaugural Address that the terrible war the nation had been through was God’s punishment on both the North and the South for the sin of slavery. I ended by stating that it was still possible for America to turn around and repent for the great sin of abortion and that the great words of the prophet Isaiah, as always, give us hope: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be made white as snow.”
Abby Johnson was our speaker, and she gave the most effective pro-life speech I have ever heard and I have heard many over the decades.
She was funny and moving at the same time. Her delivery was as natural as if she was talking to a next door neighbor, but every word she said was riveting. Continue Reading
The Governor of Illinois is Pat Quinn, a Roman Catholic and 100% pro-abort. He got elected last year by a razor thin margin largely by under the radar last minute internet ads posted by Personal PAC, a pro-abort lobbying group, headed by a Terry Cosgrove. As payback Quinn appointed Cosgrove to a $46,000 a year job on the Human Rights Commission. Lake County Right to Life has good coverage on this story which may be read here. Regular Guy Paul has been on top of the story at his blog here.
Now I happen to know Cosgrove from the days back in the Seventies when we were both attending the U of I. He is a lapsed Catholic, now a militant atheist, homosexual activist and fanatical pro-abort. He was head of the local campus pro-aborts and I was one of the founders of L.I.F.E. (Life Is For Everyone), the campus pro-life group. One time I saw Cosgrove at Mass circa 1980 at the Newman Chapel, at Saint John’s. Puzzled why he was there, after Mass I found out why. At the pamphlet rack in the back I saw that he had stuffed pro-abort anti-Catholic pamphlets. I disposed of them. He also said in one memorable public forum that he carried a gun to defend himself against “militant anti-choicers”, as he phrased pro-lifers. That a bigot like Cosgrove now has a seat on the Human Rights Commission in Illinois has a nice Orwellian touch. Challenged on the nomination, Quinn made the following truly hilarious statement:
There’s a smug view out there that anti-abortion opinions are the purview of the safely bourgeois, and have little to do with the lives of real people with real problems. Calah of “Barefoot and Pregnant” refutes this handily with a powerful post about her experience of being a “woman in crisis”:
Amidst the debates swirling around about defunding Planned Parenthood, some oft-repeated catch phrases are being tossed around like word grenades. One of these are “women in crisis.” I’m sick and tired of hearing about “women in crisis” and how they need access to emergency contraception and abortions. That is a huge, steaming pile of lies, propagated by people who like to murder babies. Women in crisis do not need access to abortions. What they need is love, support, a safe place to live, and people (even strangers!) who will tell them the truth: that they are more than capable of being a mother. That they can do this. That their crisis, no matter how terrible, will be healed in the long, sometimes painful, always joyful process of becoming a mother.
Think this makes me heartless, speaking from my comfortable suburban home, having never known trials in my cushy little life?
When I got that positive pregnancy test, the one that changed my life, I was addicted to crystal meth.
And do you know what the people around me did? They didn’t take the secular line and say, “this baby’s life would be horrible. You’re unfit to be a mother. Better for it to not be born at all.”
But neither did they take the typical pro-life line in that situation and say, “you are clearly unfit to be a mother, but all you have to do is carry the baby to term and give a stable couple a wonderful gift.”
The Ogre said, “you’re a mother now, and I’m a father, and together we’ll raise our child.”
My parents said, “marry that man, and raise that baby. You’ve made the choices, you have to live with them.”
My friends said, “you screwed up, big time. But we love you. We’ll throw you a baby shower, buy you maternity clothes, and babysit while you finish your semester.”
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, being a newly-pregnant drug addict. But it gave me something to live for. Someone to live for….
In all of the furor over Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s bill to curb the power of public employee union to careen the state of Wisconsin into insolvency, other stances of the Governor have been overlooked. Leftist magazine Mother Jones notes in a current story that Walker is an ardent foe of abortion:
Walker, the son of a minister, attended Marquette University in Milwaukee from 1986 to 1990, where he served as chair of Students for Life. He dropped out of the school without graduating in 1990, and unsuccessfully ran for the Assembly that fall. He ran again in 1993 in a special election and won an Assembly seat representing Wauwatosa, a city just outside of Milwaukee. It didn’t take long for him to take up the abortion fight.
In November 1996, Walker and Assemblywoman Bonnie Ladwig R-Caledonia announced plans to introduce a bill banning “partial-birth” abortions, or what’s medically known as dilation and extraction. Anti-abortion groups have condemned the practice, but groups that back abortion rights argue the procedure could save a woman’s life in the case of severe late-term complications during a pregnancy. Walker said partial-birth abortions are “never needed” to save lives, adding, “This procedure is not a medically recognized procedure.” Continue Reading
“You’re really anti-choice on every other consumer item that you’ve listed here, including light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets – you name it, you can’t go around your house without being told what to buy. You restrict my choices, you don’t care about my choices,” Paul said to her. “You don’t care about the consumer frankly. You raise the cost of all the items with your rules, all your notions that you know what’s best for me.”
Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house. And I blame you and people like you who want to tell me what I can install in my house, what I can do. You restrict my choices. There is hypocrisy that goes on when people claim to believe in some choices but don’t want to let the consumer decide what they can buy and put in their houses. I find it insulting. I find it insulting that a lot of these products that you’re going to make us buy and you won’t let us buy what we want to buy and you take away our choices.” Continue Reading
Every now and then someone writes a blog post or column where my response is, “Man, I wish I’d written that.” Pat Archbold has written such a column on the National Catholic Register. Normally I’d highlight just the best parts, but then NCR might sue me for copying and pasting the whole thing. So go read it.
I finally got around to reading Amy Chua’s stirring defense of the “Tiger Mom” approach to parenting. For those unfamiliar with her parenting techniques, she sums it up for you:
Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:
• attend a sleepover
• have a playdate
• be in a school play
• complain about not being in a school play
• watch TV or play computer games
• choose their own extracurricular activities
• get any grade less than an A
• not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama
• play any instrument other than the piano or violin
• not play the piano or violin.
Chua proceeds to justify this approach both in this article and in her book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. On the surface this strict approach seems to work. Her children and a staggeringly high proportion of Chinese-American school children perform remarkably well in school. Furthermore, her comments about western parents’ obsession with the self esteem of their children are not completely off the mark.
Let’s assume that this strict approach is the best way to ensure that a child achieves academic success (ignoring for the moment that I was permitted to do all of the things that her children were not and I still managed to earn a Ph. D). Setting aside any reservations one has about this almost totalitarian style form of parenting, my question is: and then what? Continue Reading
A reader asked me to take a look at this study (abstract here) and see if it reaches a valid set of conclusions. The study was conducted in California among ~80,000 women who receive birth control pills paid for by the state as part of a program for low income women. Previously, women in the program have received a 1 or 3 months supply of birth control at a time, and then have to go in to the clinic in order to receive a refill. In the study, a portion of these women were given a full year’s supply instead of one or three months, and state medical records were then used to see if this resulted in a change in the rate of unplanned pregnancy and abortion among the women who received a full year supply of birth control.
Researchers observed a 30 percent reduction in the odds of pregnancy and a 46 percent decrease in the odds of an abortion in women given a one-year supply of birth control pills at a clinic versus women who received the standard prescriptions for one – or three-month supplies.
The researchers speculate that a larger supply of oral contraceptive pills may allow more consistent use, since women need to make fewer visits to a clinic or pharmacy for their next supply.
“Women need to have contraceptives on hand so that their use is as automatic as using safety devices in cars, ” said Diana Greene Foster, PhD, lead author and associate professor in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. “Providing one cycle of oral contraceptives at a time is similar to asking people to visit a clinic or pharmacy to renew their seatbelts each month.”
Oral contraceptive pills are the most commonly used method of reversible contraception in the United States, the team states. While highly effective when used correctly (three pregnancies per 1,000 women in the first year of use), approximately half of women regularly miss one or more pills per cycle, a practice associated with a much higher pregnancy rate (80 pregnancies per 1,000 women in the first year of use), according to the team. [source]
The details of that decrease are as follows: Continue Reading
But the session ended with a dramatic fight over the emotional issue of abortion rights, as Republicans maneuvered the Senate into an unwanted late vote on a bill that requires abortion clinics to be regulated as hospitals.
Democrats were unable to stop two of their conservative members from voting with all 18 Republicans to approve the bill, handing antiabortion activists a victory they had sought for two decades. The move, abortion providers said, could force some clinics to close if the new regulations prove too costly.
“Incredibly significant,” House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said of the abortion measure, which he supported.
“A terrible tragedy,” countered Sen. R. Edward Houck (D-Spotsylvania), who voted against it.
I’m going to love to see the pro-aborts fight this one. Planned Parenthood loves to tout all of the marvelous things it does aside from killing unborn children, as this ad linked to at Creative Minority Report indicates. Gee, it almost sounds like they’re providing an array of services also provided at . . . hospitals.
One of the great strengths of the pro-life cause is its ability to make converts among its adversaries. Bernard Nathanson was a prime example. An obstetrician\gynecologist, Dr. Nathanson became an abortionist out of ideological committment to what he perceived as a necessary element in the liberation of women. During his career as an abortionist, he took the lives of 75,000 unborn children. One of them was his own child: “In the mid-sixties I impregnated a woman… and I not only demanded that she terminate the pregnancy… but also coolly informed her that since I was one of the most skilled practitioners of the art, I myself would do the abortion. And I did.” He was a founding member of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws.
Unlike most of his colleagues in the abortion trade, Nathanson was not a marginally skilled doctor. He was highly trained and kept up with medical developments. When ultrasound came along in the seventies he began to use it and quickly reconized its worth in pre-natal examinations. It also revealed to him something he had done his best to ignore: the humanity of the unborn. Continue Reading
Something for the weekend. A tribute to our 16th President to the tune of Ashokan Farewell. Today is the 202nd birthday of Abraham Lincoln. As faithful readers of this blog know, I write quite a bit about him. I do not do so only out of historical interest, but because I also believe that Lincoln, and his fight against the great moral evil of his day, slavery, is highly relevant to our own time. Lincoln noted time and again that the pro-slavery forces, by their defense of slavery, were attacking the foundation of American liberty, the Declaration of Independence, and “blowing out the moral lights around us”.
Now, if you are opposed to slavery honestly, as much as anybody I ask you to note that fact, and the like of which is to follow, to be plastered on, layer after layer, until very soon you are prepared to deal with the negro everywhere as with the brute. If public sentiment has not been debauched already to this point, a new turn of the screw in that direction in all that is wanting; and this is constantly being done by the teachers of this insidious popular sovereignty. You need but one or two turns further until your minds, now ripening under these teachings will be ready for all these things, and you will receive and support, or submit to, the slave trade; revived with all its horrors; a slave code enforced in our territories; and a new Dred Scott decision to bring slavery upon into the very heart of the free North. This, I must say, is by carrying out those words prophetically spoken by Mr. Clay, many, many years ago. I believe more than thirty years when he told an audience that if they would repress all tendencies to liberty and ultimate emancipation, they must go back to the era of our independence and muzzle the cannon which thundered its annual joyous return on the Fourth of July; they must blow out the moral lights around us; they must penetrate the human soul and eradicate the love of liberty; but until they did these things, and others eloquently enumerated by him, they could not repress all tendencies to ultimate emancipation.
I ask attention to the fact that in a pre-eminent degree these popular sovereigns are at this work; blowing out the moral lights around us; teaching that the negro is no longer a man but a brute; that the Declaration has nothing to do with him; that he ranks with the crocodile and the reptile; that man, with body and soul, is a matter of dollars and cents. Continue Reading
There are no easy answers but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.
Today is my 54th birthday. I am pleased that I share my natal day with the man I consider the greatest president of my lifetime: Ronald Wilson Reagan, who was born one hundred years ago today in Tampico, Illinois. I greatly admire Reagan for many reasons: his wit, eloquence and good humor; his prime role in bringing about the destruction of Communism as a ruling ideology in the former, how good it is to write that adjective!, Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; his restoration of American prosperity by wringing inflation from the American economy; his rebuilding of the nation’s defenses; his restoration of American pride and optimism. However, there is one stand of his that, above all others, ensures that he will always have a special place in my heart, his defense of the weakest and the most vulnerable among us, the unborn.
In 1983 Reagan submitted an essay on abortion to the Human Life Review, then and now, the scholarly heart of the pro-life movement. He entitled it, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation. Go here to the Human Life Review’s website to read it.
Reagan in the article attacked Roe on its tenth anniversary and stated that Roe had not settled the abortion fight:
Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court’s result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, now Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion “is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.” Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a “right” so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled.
As an act of “raw judicial power” (to use Justice White’s biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority in Roe v. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court’s decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead, Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.
Reagan saw that abortion diminished respect for all human life and quoted Mother Teresa as to the simple truth that abortion is the “greatest misery of our time”:
We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life—the unborn—without diminishing the value of all human life. We saw tragic proof of this truism last year when the Indiana courts allowed the starvation death of “Baby Doe” in Bloomington because the child had Down’s Syndrome.
Many of our fellow citizens grieve over the loss of life that has followed Roe v. Wade. Margaret Heckler, soon after being nominated to head the largest department of our government, Health and Human Services, told an audience that she believed abortion to be the greatest moral crisis facing our country today. And the revered Mother Teresa, who works in the streets of Calcutta ministering to dying people in her world-famous mission of mercy, has said that “the greatest misery of our time is the generalized abortion of children.” Continue Reading
Some pro-lifers expressed fear that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was a bit of a moderate on social issues, especially with regards to abortion. Well Governor Christie has done something that few other governors and other political leaders have done, namely veto funding for Planned Parenthood. And now he’s done it again.
Following the release of a video that has received nationwide attention showing Planned Parenthood staff at a New Jersey abortion center helping alleged sexual traffickers cover up their crimes with abortions and STD testing, Governor Chris Christie has vetoed a bill funding Planned Parenthood.
A new undercover video shows Planned Parenthood officials in New Jersey telling a pimp and his prostitute assistant how they can get abortions for young teenage girls who, Planned Parenthood officials are informed, are Asians in the country illegally and forced into the sex trade. The staffer was later fired for her actions.
The Perth Amboy abortion center where the video is filmed is the second-largest Planned Parenthood center operated by Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey and the abortion business plans to double its number of abortion centers in the state.
Christie has already yanked state taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood but the state legislature sent him a bill to restore the taxpayer funds.
I’m not sure that this is directly related to the sting videos. As mentioned, Christie had already vetoed funding for Planned Parenthood before and most likely would have done it again anyway. Whatever the case, kudos to Governor Christie.
I also suggest that this this is further proof that economic and social conservatism need not and should not be divorced from one another. In other words, no truce required.
“What we want, and all we want, is to have with us the men who think slavery wrong. But those who say they hate slavery, and are opposed to it, but yet act with the Democratic party — where are they? Let us apply a few tests. You say that you think slavery is wrong, but you denounce all attempts to restrain it. Is there anything else that you think wrong, that you are not willing to deal with as a wrong? Why are you so careful, so tender of this one wrong and no other? You will not let us do a single thing as if it was wrong; there is no place where you will allow it to be even called wrong! We must not call it wrong in the Free States, because it is not there, and we must not call it wrong in the Slave States because it is there; we must not call it wrong in politics because that is bringing morality into politics, and we must not call it wrong in the pulpit because that is bringing politics into religion; we must not bring it into the Tract Society or the other societies, because those are such unsuitable places, and there is no single place, according to you, where this wrong thing can properly be called wrong!”
Abraham Lincoln, speech at New Haven Connecticut, March 6, 1860
Thirty-eight years ago today, the US Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade struck down the laws against abortion throughout the country on the grounds that they were unconstitutional. The decision was, as Justice White noted in his dissent, a “raw exercise in judicial power”, as there was no basis at all in the Constitution to support the ruling. Since that day approximately a million, on average, unborn children have been put to death each year, and a large and powerful faction has championed these deaths as right and proper and opposed all efforts to ban or restrict abortion.
It is fitting that as we observe this dreadful anniversary, the nation is shocked by the revelations at the murder mill run by abortionist Kermit Gosnell for over three decades. As Paul noted in his post on Gosnell here last week the grand jury described his activities in gruesome detail and noted that he was able to do this only with the complicity of the local authorities:
We discovered that Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service providers. Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.
The State Legislature has charged the Department of Health (DOH) with responsibility for writing and enforcing regulations to protect health and safety in abortion clinics as well as in hospitals and other health care facilities. Yet a significant difference exists between how DOH monitors abortion clinics and how it monitors facilities where other medical procedures are performed.
Indeed, the department has shown an utter disregard both for the safety of women who seek treatment at abortion clinics and for the health of fetuses after they have become viable. State health officials have also shown a disregard for the laws the department is supposed to enforce. Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design. … Continue Reading
Every now and then we need a reminder that true evil exists in this world.
An abortionist arrested in Philadelphia faces eight counts of murder, one for the death of a patient, and the other seven for killing babies who survived his botched abortions. The district attorney alleges that Kermit Gosnell used a pair of scissors to sever their spinal cords.
Ed Morrissey links to the Grand Jury report. It is truly gruesome.
One woman, for example, was left lying in place for hours after Gosnell tore her cervix and colon while trying, unsuccessfully, to extract the fetus. Relatives who came to pick her up were refused entry into the building; they had to threaten to call the police. They eventually found her inside, bleeding and incoherent, and transported her to the hospital, where doctors had to remove almost half a foot of her intestines.
On another occasion, Gosnell simply sent a patient home, after keeping her mother waiting for hours, without telling either of them that she still had fetal parts inside her. Gosnell insisted she was fine, even after signs of serious infection set in over the next several days. By the time her mother got her to the emergency room, she was unconscious and near death.
A nineteen-year-old girl was held for several hours after Gosnell punctured her uterus. As a result of the delay, she fell into shock from blood loss, and had to undergo a hysterectomy.
One patient went into convulsions during an abortion, fell off the procedure table, and hit her head on the floor. Gosnell wouldn’t call an ambulance, and wouldn’t let the woman’s companion leave the building so that he could call an ambulance.
And to cap things off: the state did nothing to stop this.
We discovered that Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service providers. Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.
The State Legislature has charged the Department of Health (DOH) with responsibility for writing and enforcing regulations to protect health and safety in abortion clinics as well as in hospitals and other health care facilities. Yet a significant difference exists between how DOH monitors abortion clinics and how it monitors facilities where other medical procedures are performed.
Indeed, the department has shown an utter disregard both for the safety of women who seek treatment at abortion clinics and for the health of fetuses after they have become viable. State health officials have also shown a disregard for the laws the department is supposed to enforce. Most appalling of all, the Department of Health’s neglect of abortion patients’ safety and of Pennsylvania laws is clearly not inadvertent: It is by design. …
Starting at page 99, the Grand Jury report details of the killing of viable babies. I do not recommend you read this unless you have a very strong tolerance. In short, these murders were so awful that even staff began to question the practices of this doctor.
These killings became so routine that no one could put an exact number on them. They were considered “standard procedure.” Yet some of the 100slaughtered were so fully formed, so much like babies that should be dressed and taken home, that even clinic employees who were accustomed to the practice were shocked.
Ross Douthat, like many who find their way as the “house conservatives” of highly liberal organs such as the NY Times where he currently makes his home, is not necessarily beloved by hard-driving conservatives. He is far less likely than those who write as independant columnists or for conservative organs to thunder our denunciations with fighting words like “liberal fascists” or “femi-nazis”. And as a fiscal and cultural conservative, I at root disagree with the approach of his how-can-we-find-a-way-to-offer-more-government-benefits-to-the-middle-class wonkery in Grand New Party. However, I do seriously admire the extent to which, on hostile soil, he is able to compellingly lay out Catholic/conservative principles on essential moral issues in a way which is, though soft-spokely polite, nonetheless seriously compelling. A good example of this is yesterday’s column in which he writes aboout the contradiction in American culture of how the unborn are treated sometimes as a disposable “choice” and at other times as a precious commodity desperately sought after through fertility treatments and surrogate parents:
The American entertainment industry has never been comfortable with the act of abortion. Film or television characters might consider the procedure, but even on the most libertine programs (a “Mad Men,” a “Sex and the City”), they’re more likely to have a change of heart than actually go through with it. Reality TV thrives on shocking scenes and subjects — extreme pregnancies and surgeries, suburban polygamists and the gay housewives of New York — but abortion remains a little too controversial, and a little bit too real.
Faithful readers of TAC will recall that Steve Driehaus is the Democrat Congressman of Ohio 1. (Soon to be former Congressman since he had his walking papers given to him by the voters of the District on election day. ) Prior to the election Driehaus sued the Susan B. Anthony list over this ad:
As I stated at the time this was a classically stupid move on the part of Driehaus:
“He doesn’t want you to see the ad above. He is desperate because he trails his opponent Steve Chabot by double digits according to a recent poll. He is one of the incumbent Democrat Congressmen who have been cast adrift by the Democrat party because their re-election races appear hopeless. He is also one of the “pro-life” Democrat Congressman who voted for ObamaCare. The Susan B. Anthony List paid for a billboard to remind the constituents of Driehaus that ObamaCare allows for public funding of abortions. Driehaus complained to the Ohio Election Commission, claiming that the ad is misleading. A hearing is scheduled for the end of October. The attorneys for Driehaus strong armed the owner of the billboard not to allow the ad until the Commission has issued a ruling. The President of the Susan B. Anthony List Marjorie Dannenfelser has stated in regard to Driehaus and his lack of familiarity with the first amendment:
The Ohio Elections Commission has allowed Steve Driehaus to achieve his strategic objective of preventing constituents from learning the truth about his vote in favor of taxpayer funding of abortion in the health care reform bill. We are disappointed and surprised that the complaint was not immediately dismissed. The fact that the health care reform bill allows for taxpayer funding of abortion has been agreed upon by every major pro-life group in the country, including National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Focus on the Family, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The larger problem here is a public official’s attempt to use a criminal statue to silence legitimate debate on his record. The proper place for public policy debate is in the public square, not in an Elections Commission or criminal court. The SBA List will see this process through to the end and vigorously defend our position that the health care reform bill, supported by Steve Driehaus, allows for taxpayer funding of abortion. Moreover, we will use every vehicle possible within our First Amendment rights to communicate this message to the people of Congressman Steve Driehaus’ district between now and the hearing.
Of course by attempting to suppress the billboard, Driehaus has ensured that it has been seen by far more people over the internet and in newspaper and television stories than would have ever seen the billboard. Brilliant. Desperate and stupid is a poor combination in politics.”
Well, the election is over, so one can assume that Driehaus is busy seeking honest employment? Of course not! As Christopher Johnson at Midwest Conservative Journal, a blog I peruse every day, notes: Continue Reading
Reason TV has fun with recent statements by Veep and National Clown Joe Biden that the lame duck Democrat 111th Congress should stay in session up to Christmas in order to pass legislation now that would not have a prayer of passing after the 112th Congress is sworn in next month. I think Reason TV is being unfair to Jolly Joe. I think he loves Christmas with all of its bright lights, colorful presents and good food, not to mention the day off. Joe has always been up for a good party, and to say otherwise is simply not true. Continue Reading
I have managed to come upon a fund-raising letter sent out by Planned Parenthood. It is a fascinating look inside an insidious organization, and it’s quite revealing. It is a paper copy, so I unfortunately can’t link to it (if only my PDF-making and linking skills were superior). The intro is quite unintentionally hilarious in its over-the-top rhetoric.
Let’s be clear about what we’re facing in America today. Over the past year, the divisions in this country have grown sharper, uglier, and increasingly dangerous.
Anti-choice, anti-women rhetoric that once was considered wildly extreme has seeped into the mainstream. And, following the November 2nd elections, the national anti-choice movement is not just a potent lobbying force on Capitol Hill – anti-choice members have increased their ranks in Congress itself – a Congress soon to be led by a virulently anti-choice Speaker of the House.
Already, some of the Congressional opponents of women’s health [ed: I simply love this part. We’ve managed to go from anti-choice to anti-woman, and now, anti- women’s health. I wonder if this includes female opponents of abortion – whoops, I said the a-word. But more on that in a moment.] are organizing to defund Planned Parenthood. Their goal: make it virtually impossible for Planned Parenthood to play the critical role we have in millions of women’s lives. [Of course we’re talking about federal funding of Planned Parenthood. How many other organizations get to enjoy the comforts of tax-payer subsidies? I mean if what they do is so critical and vital to women’s “health,” I’m sure they’d be able to survive solely off of the generosity of their millions of supporters, not to mention the fees paid by its victims clients.]
These developments threaten to undermine the work we do every day. And they make it absolutely essential that you make Planned Parenthood a high priority in your personal year-end giving. [Yes, certainly Planned Parenthood has got to be at the top of anyone’s list for Holiday-season giving. Tricycle for little Bernadette? Check. Gifts for all my nieces and nephews? Check. A little extra for the Church? Check. Money to fund the murder of unborn children? Triple check!!!]
And it goes on and on and on. It’s actually quite predictable that Planned Parenthood would rely on scare-mongering to rally the base and solicit funds for . . . what exactly is it soliciting funds for? Let’s look at some of the language used in the remainder of this lovely letter.
A small group of antiabortion-rights advocates are hoping to recruit a presidential candidate so they can run graphic ads showing aborted fetuses during the Super Bowl, Congress.org reports.
The group hopes to employ the same tactic used during the midterm elections by Missy Smith, an antiabortion-rights activist who unsuccessfully ran for Washington, D.C., delegate. Smith “took advantage of federal rules that prevent broadcasters from censoring election ads unless they defame others or violate copyright,” according to Congress.org. In the early 1990s, the Federal Communications Commission and federals court ruled that graphic abortion images are not indecent.
I happen to think there is a place for graphic images of aborted fetuses in an effort to dem0nstrate the brutal and inhuman nature of abortion. This, though, is not an appropriate venue. While this is the most highly-watched television program of the year and an event that would guarantee maximum coverage, it would be more likely to turn off and offend viewers than to convince them of the moral depravity of abortion. As several commenters noted, this is a family viewing event, and I don’t think I’d want small children of my own subjected to those images quite yet, and certainly others who are on the fence on this issue would feel the same.
Hattip to Rich Leonardi at his blog Ten Reasons, a blog I read every day. Pope Benedict in his current visit to Brazil gives all the Faithful in the US food for thought as we go to the polls next Tuesday:
“First, the duty of direct action to ensure a just ordering of society falls to the lay faithful who, as free and responsible citizens, strive to contribute to the just configuration of social life, while respecting legitimate autonomy and natural moral law”, the Holy Father explained. “Your duty as bishops, together with your clergy, is indirect because you must contribute to the purification of reason, and to the moral awakening of the forces necessary to build a just and fraternal society. Nonetheless, when required by the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls, pastors have the binding duty to emit moral judgments, even on political themes”.
“When forming these judgements, pastors must bear in mind the absolute value of those … precepts which make it morally unacceptable to chose a particular action which is intrinsically evil and incompatible with human dignity. This decision cannot be justified by the merit of some specific goal, intention, consequence or circumstance, Thus it would be completely false and illusory to defend, political, economic or social rights which do not comprehend a vigorous defence of the right to life from conception to natural end. When it comes to defending the weakest, who is more defenceless than an unborn child or a patient in a vegetative or comatose state?” Continue Reading
Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson, tireless crusader for the unborn, died on Saturday October 16, 2010 at age 84. Born in Carthage, Texas in 1927, she overcame all the disadvantages of being black in the Jim Crow South to be the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School in 1951 and, additionally, the first female surgeon to graduate from that school. She was professor of surgery at Boston University. After Roe she helped found the National Right to Life Committee and was President of the Committee for three terms. She never ceased to speak out for the unborn. Continue Reading
With an economy that stinks, and after two years of a Congress ramming unpopular policies down the throats of an unwilling public, Democrats around the nation are in electoral trouble. What can possibly save them? They know! Roll out the abortion ads!
Republicans have won points with many voters by promising a conservative overhaul of taxes and spending, but Democrats are working hard in the closing weeks of the campaign to convince voters that a conservative social agenda is waiting in the wings, too, should Republicans be elected in large numbers.
Abortion rights is the flash point, being wielded by the left in hard-fought races from New York’s contest for governor, to Senate races in Florida and California, as Democratic candidates or groups try to rally their base and attract moderate Republican or independent women — a slice of the electorate that is even more coveted than in years past. Continue Reading
By Charles E. Rice
Fr. Norman Weslin, O.S., at the complaint of Notre Dame, was arrested in May 2009 and charged as a criminal for peacefully entering the Notre Dame campus to offer his prayer of reparation for Notre Dame’s conferral of its highest honor on President Obama, the most relentlessly pro-abortion public official in the world. The University refuses to ask the St. Joseph County prosecutor to drop the charges against Fr. Weslin and the others arrested, still known as the ND 88 although one, Linda Schmidt, died of cancer this past March. Judge Michael P. Scopelitis, of St. Joseph Superior Court, recently issued two important orders in this case.
The first order denied the State’s motion to consolidate the cases of multiple defendants. That motion would have denied each separate defendant his right to a separate jury trial. The order did permit consolidation of the trials of twice-charged defendants on the separate offenses with which that defendant was charged; a defendant charged, for example, with trespass and disorderly conduct would therefore not have to appear for two trials. Judge Scopelitis also denied the prosecution’s attempt to force each defendant to return to South Bend for each proceeding in the case, which would have coerced the defendants to abandon their defense. Instead, the Judge permitted the defendants to participate by telephone in pre-trial conferences.
And they cried with a loud voice, saying: How long, O Lord (holy and true) dost thou not judge and revenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? Apocalypse 6:10
If you listen closely you can hear the attendants (which include the mayor of our fine city of Houston Anise Parker) at this “dedication” commenting on their newly “sacred and holy” ground. They are speaking of the largest abortuary in the United States.
If we are moving toward, or already in, a post-Christian civilization then should we be surprised that those who promote and support abortion and other anti-life policies impart a religious sheen on their actions? After all, human sacrifice was present in almost all pagan religions to some extent with the Aztec sacrifices being among the most infamous. These people are willing and proud worshipers of Baal and, unless we pray, fast and offer Masses in reparation for these sins, we will only allow this evil to grow and ever more innocents slaughtered at the altar of “Choice”.
One of the great actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age has died, Patricia Neal. I have always found her performances riveting. The video at the beginning of the post is from The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), one of the many films her acting helped make memorable.
A Catholic, Ms. Neal wandered from the Faith as a young woman. She had an adulterous affair with Gary Cooper. After she became pregnant, Cooper convinced her to have an abortion, something she bitterly regretted for the rest of her life. Monsignor James Lisante, a good friend of hers, discussed this several years ago:
“I met Patricia Neal over 20 years ago, and we have become good friends ever since. One time when she was on my television show, I said to her, “Pat, in so many ways you are a female Job.” She had, as you know, several strokes which put her in a coma for a month. She had a daughter who died of the measles at the age of seven. She had a son who was hit when he was an infant by a car in New York City, and he remains alive but brain-damaged and will be forever. Another daughter who suffered from drug and alcohol addiction; a husband who was great to her once she had the strokes, but he ultimately left her for a younger woman.
And I said, “In your life, Pat, if there was one thing you could change, what would it be?” And Patricia Neal said, “Father, none of the things you just mentioned.” But she said, “Forty years ago I became involved with the actor Gary Cooper, and by him I became pregnant. As he was a married man and I was young in Hollywood and not wanting to ruin my career, we chose to have the baby aborted.” She said, “Father, alone in the night for over 40 years, I have cried for my child. And if there is one thing I wish I had the courage to do over in my life, I wish I had the courage to have that baby.””
Patricia Neal has put herself on the line in saying to many, many women who have experienced abortion or thought about abortion, “Don’t make my mistake. Let your baby live.” What’s particularly painful, but poignant in this story is that some years later, Patricia became good friends with Maria Cooper, the only child of Gary Cooper and his wife. And Maria Cooper said, “You know, I know you had the affair with my father and I have long ago forgiven that. But one thing I find it hard to accept is that as an only child, I so wish that you’d had my brother or my sister. Because in so many ways, I wish so much that you had chosen life.”
In a completely predictable move, ObamaCare will pay for abortions. Lifesite News is on the story:
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Obama administration has officially approved the first instance of taxpayer funded abortions under the new national government-run health care program. This is the kind of abortion funding the pro-life movement warned about when Congress considered the bill.
The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new “high-risk” insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March.
Occasionally pro-aborts make the argument that no one is pro-abortion. Anglican priestess Katherine Ragsdale is Exhibit A that this is rubbish. Christopher Johnson, a non-Catholic who I have designated Defender of the Faith for his spirited defenses of the Church, at the Midwest Conservative Journal examine Katherine Ragsdale’s views on abortion as a blessing in a post simply entitled “Monster”:
Abortion is a blessing — sometimes a joyful relief; sometimes a painful choice — but a blessing still.
Why is that so hard to see? How can anyone not understand that unless women can control our reproductive lives we can’t control our economic lives either, we can’t be fully functioning members of the commonwealth or stewards of the gifts God has given us unless we can decide when or if to have children?
There is, of course, one simple way around that little problem. It’s a very old idea that has a number of names. Keeping your clothes on, locking the barn door, keeping it zipped up, keeping the one-eyed snake in the cage, viewing men/women as human beings rather than ambulatory narcotics, saving yourself for marriage, etc.
I have been stunned, since all the uproar, to hear self-described feminists – feminists – say, “oh, abortion is always a morally complex tragedy but it’s sometimes a necessary evil and so must remain legal.” Is it any surprise that people are becoming less and less willing to call themselves pro-choice if even feminists are lamenting a necessary evil rather than celebrating a means to our own liberation and empowerment?
“You use the phrase ‘killing every single Jew in the entire world’ like that’s a bad thing.” – Heinrich Himmler.
Look, the only way abortion is a tragedy or an evil is if a fertilized egg is a baby. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that (and they’re entitled to) but science doesn’t, most theologies don’t, and common sense doesn’t. Why should we believe that? Yet every time we called abortion a tragedy we reiterate the position that a zygote is a human being of equal moral standing with a woman. We create an antiabortion climate and I fear it has come back to bite us.
Two things. Katie Rags was a fertilized egg once. So was her entire audience and so was every single person reading this. And as far as Rags is concerned, you’re still a “fertilized egg” nine months after one of your dad’s swimmers made it inside one of your mom’s eggs, as demonstrated by her lionization of Old Partial-Birth Abortion.
It is only this that makes it possible for people to be as outraged as many have been by the characterization of George Tiller as a saint and martyr. Dr. Tiller — like most if not all people who work in clinics that provide abortions — did difficult, demanding, and dangerous work under constant threat, harassment, and terrorism. He did it even though he could make more money doing easier, and certainly safer, work. He did it because he believed it was the right thing to do. It was his ministry. He spent and gave his life on behalf of others. That’s a saint and martyr. The only reason anyone could question that is if they thought abortion was a bad thing. The only way they can think that if they believe a fertilized egg is a baby. And we contribute to that whenever we try to compromise and be conciliatory by calling abortion a tragedy.
Says here that participation in the Einsatzgruppen during the Second World Was was terribly stressful on the German soldiers involved. But the fact that they needed copious quantities of booze to get through the day didn’t make those bastards virtuous. Continue Reading
Hattip to Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Secretary of State Clinton has been at war with Prime Minister Harper of Canada in regard to abortion and the G8 summit meeting, which just concluded yesterday, for months, as the above video from March indicates.
These efforts continued up to the G8 summit, as Clinton wanted to hold any aid hostage until woman’s health was defined as including a right to slay the unborn, as this post by Anna Halpine and Greg Pfundstein at National Review Online indicates:
On the agenda at the G8 summit in Canada is promoting maternal and infant health in the poorest parts of the globe. The high rates of maternal and infant mortality in many countries are an impediment to democracy and social development, to say nothing of a human tragedy for these communities. Commitments of resources from the G8 countries to address these problems should be welcomed and commended. Why, then, is the Obama delegation threatening to derail these agreements? Continue Reading
Godfried Cardinal Danneels home was raided in Belgium by police searching for evidence in the sexual abuse of children. Belgium police also raided the offices of the Archbishop of Brussels, Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard. This came on the heels of Bishop Roger Vangheluwe’s abrupt resignation after admitting to homosexual relations with a boy this past April.
Cardinal Danneels is well known as creative in his interpretations on Church teachings. Cardinal Danneels participated in writing Sacrosanctum Concilium, a document which influenced the complete rewriting of the liturgy of the Second Vatican Council. Which in turned fueled the liturgical abuse that most Catholic in the West are still being exposed to.
Under his watch as prelate of Belgium, a once devout and vibrant Catholic country, Belgium’s Catholic faith has been all but eliminated. Abortion, euthanasia, and homosexual unions have been legalized under his watch. In addition church attendance and religious/secular vocations are at their lowest not seen since that part of Europe was pagan.
[Continued from Part 1]
Restraint, Relationships and Planning Parenthood
When I say that we “naturally want to avoid having children” at certain times, I would imagine that the image that comes immediately to mind is of birth control, abortion or infanticide, and most traditional societies have seen these in some form or other. However, I’d like to turn our attention to something so basic and so prevalent that we don’t think about it much.
From an anthropological point of view, the entire structure of our romantic and family relationships serves as a way to control childbearing, limiting it to situations in which offspring can be supported. Consider: Requiring that young women remain virgins until marriage ensured that children will not be born without a provider. Nor was the decision to marry, when it came, a strictly individual affair. Marriage was negotiated and approved by the wider families, because the families were in effect committing to help support the new family unit being created. Many cultures also required the husband’s family to pay a “bride price”, not simply as compensation for the lost contribution of the daughter to her own family, but as proof that the husband was of sufficient means to start a family.
Once in place, this set of cultural mores and laws provided an easy way to adjust to want or plenty:
In this spring’s debate over the healthcare bill, one of the disagreements that raised eyebrows most in Catholic circles was that between the US bishops conference and the Catholic Healthcare Association and other similar groups. The bishops claimed that the healthcare bill would lead to federal funding of abortions, while CHA et al. concluded that it would not.
In my opinion and that of numerous observers (including most of my fellow contributors here at TAC), the bishops were correct and CHA was horribly, terribly wrong.
There is another question, though… was CHA disobedient? That is, were they obliged as Catholics to accept the conclusions of the bishops conference? Was the activity of the bishops conference an act of their teaching charism which American Catholics were obliged to give their assent to?
The following is from Florida Right to Life Organization:
“THE MOST IMPORTANT PRO-LIFE, PRO-WOMEN LEGISLATION IN FLORIDA HISTORY WAS VETOED BY GOV. CRIST ON JUNE 11, 2010!
HB 1143 was a pro-life and a pro-choice bill. It required that an abortionist give an ultrasound test before an abortion. 82% of the abortion clinics in Florida already do, but they do not all give the woman the option to see or discuss the ultrasound.
I have to tip my blogging cap to the Lying Worthless Political Hack, aka Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House. Everytime I think she has hit bottom, she somehow manages to dig down a bit further. On May 6 she made this statement in a speech to the Catholic Community Conference:
“They ask me all the time, ‘What is your favorite this? What is your favorite that? What is your favorite that?’ And one time, ‘What is your favorite word?’ And I said, ‘My favorite word? That is really easy. My favorite word is the Word, is the Word. And that is everything. It says it all for us. And you know the biblical reference, you know the Gospel reference of the Word.”
“And that Word,” Pelosi said, “is, we have to give voice to what that means in terms of public policy that would be in keeping with the values of the Word. The Word. Isn’t it a beautiful word when you think of it? It just covers everything. The Word.
“Fill it in with anything you want. But, of course, we know it means: ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us.’ And that’s the great mystery of our faith. He will come again. He will come again. So, we have to make sure we’re prepared to answer in this life, or otherwise, as to how we have measured up.”
A nice reminder of all the positives in the Catholic priesthood- why we need our priests, and why we can’t throw them under the bus when they fail our expectations. (hattip Domenico Bettinelli of BettNet blog).
I had a thought a while back- what if a large percentage of priests went over to the nearest abortion clinic, and just camped out there, praying a silent protest? If Catholics wanted Mass they would have to go to where the priests were; and if the authorities told the priests to move on, and the priests refused, then they would all go to jail, and so the laity would not have Eucharist. Forget about denying Communion to this or that politician- why shouldn’t the priests deny all of us Communion- except for those in prison- until we got serious about stopping abortion. The priest is not ordinarily a zealot, but when a genocide of the unwanted, unborn children gets so little notice by a very distracted society- well it would seem time for Jesus’ priests to overturn some spiritual tables outside the temples worshipping the cult of consumer choice for the life or death of innocent children.
The priest is perfectly suited for such a protest- he isn’t a businessman, he doesn’t have a wife and children depending on his securing money for the day. Yet, he is needed by every Catholic who knows his/her duty to participate in a weekly Mass- what if the priests said – “hold on a minute- you, the laity, need to fulfill some minimal requirements yourselves- you have a primary responsibility to set the temporal order straight- you can’t keep up this killing of our children on America’s Main Street- get hold of yourselves, and take care of these women and children- for God’s sake as well as your own.” The priests and bishops have had their problems- but the laity have a greater scandal to deal with- our lack of seriousness in seeing to it that all children are able to live and thrive- inside the Superpower and in all the world.