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Archive for the ‘Abortion’ Category

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Whether pro-life, pro-choice, pro-family, or pro-homosexual, activists never speak on behalf of only themselves when speaking to issues. They speak for larger constituencies. For years there has been within the homosexual activist community a vocal group with a contempt for heterosexuals in general, and women in particular. “Breeders, ” is their word for us, sneered with a venomous contempt. I’ve heard it uttered since the 1980’s. Thus, the following story from LifeSite News comes as no surprise:

SYDNEY, November 6, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Women should be forced to abort their children for the next 30 years as a part of global population control, homosexual activist Dan Savage told Australian television on Monday.

Savage, whose anti-bullying program “It Gets Better” was heavily promoted by President Barack Obama, made the statement during a four-member panel during the “Festival of Dangerous Ideas.”

Audience member Lisa Malouf closed the program by asking, “Which so-called ‘dangerous idea’ do you each think would have the greatest potential to change the world for the better if it were implemented?”

After a moment’s thought, Savage replied, “Population control. There’s too many G-d d—-ed people on the planet.”

“You know, I’m pro-choice, I believe that women should have a right to control their bodies,” he added. “Sometimes in my darker moments, I’m anti-choice. I think abortion should be mandatory for about 30 years.”

The audience responded with overwhelming applause at the suggestion that the world’s women lose control of their fertility.

There is much, much more in the article. Get the rest here.

So very many thoughts come immediately to mind when I read such sentiments from activists such as Mr. Savage. First, if there are so many people in the world, why do the activists not elect to remove themselves voluntarily? Why must it be that someone else must die, that women be forced to abort their children for the next 30 years, or be forcibly sterilized? Of course, death is never the answer, in any constituency. However, note who Mr. Savage did not mention.

Why has Savage not gone on a rant against the number of people in the U.S. who live with HIV/AIDS and the total cost of their care, especially as he is on record as stating that the majority of HIV cases fall disproportionately among gay/bi men? If one considers the CDC data indicating that lifetime cost of the new HIV cases diagnosed in 2009 will come in at $16.6 BILLION {for a mostly sexually transmitted disease}, or if one accepts the CDC projected lifetime cost per HIV patient of $367,134 (2009 dollars) and multiplies by the 1,148,200 HIV/AIDS patients over the age of 13 that CDC estimates to be living in the US, the total cost is a staggering $421.54 BILLION

No word from Mr. Savage on his constituency. However, by the reckoning of his fellow travelers, if it’s carbon or fiduciary footprinting that is hurting the developing nations, 421 billion dollars could do a great deal of good.

Instead, it must be someone else who dies, someone else who pays the heavy price for the self-loathing of the planetary messiahs. These are frightfully dangerous people, and the wild applause of the audience Mr. Savage was addressing indicates that the societal depravity that makes him a sought-after guest has metastasized significantly.

The grave danger of this new century is that the very vocal, one-world order folks who are on an inexorable march are also the same folks who are busy promoting and legislating one-child policies, forced sterilizations and abortions, and setting up the collapse of the world economy by the middle of this century as populations completely implode. Graver still, there is no longer a world superpower that stands for human dignity. That used to be the United States, who now ties “reproductive health” packaging to US foreign aid in developing nations. Those packages mandate abortion and contraception for cultures that want no part of them.

All of this is driven by the political left, which includes the activists such as Mr. Savage. It isn’t paranoid or conspiratorial to see the political alliances before our very eyes, to see common cause amongst the disparate groups on the left and the social engineering that has toppled the greatest civilization the world has ever known.

A new Dark Age is settling upon us, and it is truly cause for alarm. Look to China’s 336 million forced abortions for proof. While we must use the political machine to assert our values, the values that built the civilization which gave birth to that political machine, we must also become ardent evangelists. The ultimate cause behind this darkness is a people who have lost sight of their great dignity.

The savages of this world are busy spewing hatred and self-loathing and the Church is losing ground, rapidly. The only antidote to their venom is the Gospel, the good news of our true identity. In the Catholic Church today, that light burns dimly under a bushel. That needs to change in dramatic fashion.

Mr. Savage and his fellow travelers have seen to that imperative.

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The battleground for interceding on behalf of babies 20 weeks and older has shifted to New Mexico. Some have questioned why a ban after 20 weeks. It’s because that’s where the most demonstrable evidence shows babies in utero are capable of feeling pain. Let me stress that it is NOT the limit at which they can experience pain. We do have evidence from earlier in pregnancy.

So why draw the line here (or at all)?

It is shifting the debate by focussing the public on the fact that babies in utero do feel pain. It personalizes them. It makes them “human” for those who hitherto have doubted the humanity of the baby. That’s a conversation changer.

It’s a game changer.

In New Mexico, Albuquerque to be exact, they are the late-term abortion capital of the nation, and there is a vote coming soon to enact restrictions on when these especially horrid procedures may be done. Please help these folks get out the vote. Send money, and most of all, prayers.

God Bless all those in this fight for justice, and for those who crafted this beautiful message.

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According to Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue there have been 44 abortion clinic closings this year. That would drive the total number of clinic closings since 1992 close to 75% of that year’s total. That is a monumental achievement for the pro-life movement, the fruit of decades of hard work by thousands. For as monumental as that achievement is, the persistently high numbers of annual abortions in the U.S., and California’s passing into law permission for physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and midwives to perform first trimester surgical abortions suggest that we may have only succeeded in picking the low-hanging fruit from the abortion tree.

In the chart below, Planned Parenthood’s statistician, the Guttmacher Institute, reports on the annual number of abortions since 1973. Notice that between 1990 and 2013 abortions fell from a high of 1.6 million per year to a steady 1.2 million per year. That’s a 25% decrease in the numbers of abortions in the same time period that we have closed close to 75% of abortion clinics. The numbers simply do not add up. There has not been anything close to a corresponding decrease in abortions. There is a very good reason for that, one that is daunting to contemplate.

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Many hospitals are now performing abortions. This new development, attested to by several physicians in personal communication, will make the fight so much more difficult. Currently, pro-life activists keep watch on clinics and record every instance when an ambulance is called in for a botched abortion. As hospitals take up the slack for closed clinics, there will be no such capability for monitoring centers, as patients are already in-house. Worse still non-physicians will now perform aspiration abortions in California, which accounts for approximately 29% of all abortions in the U.S.

The simple truth is that the opponent has adjusted to our tactics. The butchers such as Gosnell needed to be put away for their crimes. Now the challenge will be how to monitor the hospitals as they make a fundamental philosophical shift by embracing abortion in the era of Obamacare. One approach will be to step up the education of women regarding the dangers of abortion, and their betrayal by cynical governors such as California’s Jerry Brown and New York’s Andrew Cuomo.

Forty years ago the argument in favor of legalizing abortion was that women would have real physicians performing safe, regulated medical procedures. How many women are aware that many abortionists are not even trained in Ob/Gyn? Now, the abortionists won’t even be physicians at all. Somehow the assurance that a qualified physician is mere feet away should an artery be nicked or a uterus punctured doesn’t sound like the fulfillment of the 1973 promises.

One thing is for certain. This week Jerry Brown opened a new front in the war, and with new weapons and tactics. We must meet him and defeat this new approach with smart and innovative approaches of our own. In this, we must recognize that the climb just became steeper for the pro-life movement. With love and with prayer, with great intellect and patient persistence, we will consign this ugly episode in the life of our nation to the dustbin of history.

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Conscientiously Objecting to Obamacare

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In the movie Becket, King Henry II of England is trying to raise money for a war with the French and imposes a tax on the Church. After strenuous objections by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other bishops, Henry’s new Chancellor of England, Thomas Becket, barks that it is pointless to continue the discussion. Then, with sweetly sinister cordiality he states,

“The law has given us the means of coercion, we will use it.”

So it is with the pending enrollment in Obamacare. Those who refuse to be enrolled will eventually be fined by the IRS with a fine that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled is not a fine, but a tax. The mgovernment has given itself the means of coercion, and it will use it.

Many pro-lifers believe that they cannot in good conscience pay for healthcare that pays for abortion. Many will declare their refusal to cooperate, no matter what.

Civil disobedience.

While that sounds good, and is most noble, there are hard truths to consider for any contemplating such an action. First, there is the issue of a third of a billion federal dollars annually given to America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. We already fund abortion through this malignant giant.

Then there are all of the states that use federal and state tax revenues to fund abortion through Medicaid. In New York State, more than 40,000 Medicaid-funded abortions are performed annually.

School districts all across the country partner with Planned Parenthood, using tax revenues and school facilities to promote the organization and its agenda.

The list goes on and on, but suffice it to say that Obamacare is not the first large-scale government funding or promotion of abortion. So what is to be the point of civil disobedience here, especially when the government will simply garnish one’s salary through the same confiscatory practice that is used to collect taxes in arrears?

Focussing on the abortion dimension may be the least of all pro-life considerations in this debate, as it ignores the much larger issue of rationing healthcare and the subsequent denial of services to desperately ill people. That is an issue that so very many pro-lifers refuse to engage, and in so doing they alienate large constituencies with whom we could build effective coalitions. It is the trap of being more anti-abortion than being wholistically pro-life.

So what is to be gained by declaring one’s disobedience to a law that gives the government the power to simply garnish wages? Apart from a moral victory, I suspect not much. However, there a plenty of ambivalent, and outright pro-choice folk who stand to suffer greatly under Obamacare as premiums skyrocket to over $20,000 in many markets, who will be denied lifesaving therapies as has been the case for years in Oregon.

It seems that the only way to defeat Obamacare is to rise up at the polls. We’ll get there one way or the other. When we do, it will be less through statements of noncompliance that fail to stop the confiscatory power of the government and more through the suffering of people broken financially by Obamacare’s obscene costs, and emotionally by its heartless parsimony.

Until then the law has given Obama the means of coercion, and he will use it.

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The Problem with Pope Francis

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The people’s pope has been making waves ever since he rode back to his hotel on the bus and tried to pay his bill. False modesty? A swipe at those who came before him in office? Refreshing humility? Inverted pride? There have certainly been no shortage of critics, nor fawning, uber-liberal commenters who have weighed in on the new pontiff.

Are we seeing a shift in teaching, or perhaps a different set of priorities from below the equator? Watching Francis, it has become clear that the Jesuit sitting on the Chair of Peter has jolted the exposed fault lines in the post-Vatican II church. Specifically, by claiming that we don’t need to discuss the issues of sex, abortion, and homosexuality all the time, the pope has carved out awareness of other equally pressing issues, such as the grinding poverty that characterizes life below the equator that affects the world from whence he comes.

In the process, he has accentuated the differences between orthodox Catholics and the liberal/anarchic wing of the church above the equator. The liberal/anarchic wing adopted the issues surrounding global poverty, hunger, homelessness, etc. Not surprisingly, these are the issues championed by the socialist left, which also promotes radical feminism, abortion on demand, gay marriage, and sexual licentiousness: issues near and dear to left-leaning Catholics.

The orthodox tend toward traditional families, pro-life ethics, and a conservative political agenda. If there is a problem with the orthodox, it is that we have allowed concern for the poor to become “their” issue, and not “ours”. The criteria that will be used in our judgement were outlined by Jesus in Matthew 25. The corporal works of mercy are not options.

The truth is that our Catholicism is somewhat bifurcated in the Northern Hemisphere. Essential elements and obligations of the faith have been politicized.

While this bifurcation is very real, the issues of sex, family, marriage, and abortion have a far greater catalytic power at tearing down Weatern Civilization than the issue of grinding poverty, which was omnipresent throughout Western Civilization’s rise. It’s difficult to adress the issues of poverty in a culture where raging hedonism is the new civic virtue.

If there was one nuanced perspective missing in the Pope’s highly nuanced and controversial interview, it is that.

So, when Francis demonstrates a humility whereby he eschews the trappings of office, when he says that we need to expand our focus, he offers us the opportunity to reflect beyond the very real issues that we champion within orthodoxy here in the north. He also offers us the opportunity to reclaim something that has been lost along the way.

However, when we are addicted to tearing our brothers and sisters apart in the womb, using our brothers and sisters as objects for pleasure, and spitting on the natural order created by God, it’s a tough sell to get people behind an authentic vision of being our brother’s keeper.

Perhaps by speaking from within the issues coopted as issues by the left, maybe… just maybe… this pope may be able to break through. Let’s hope so, and let’s lift Francis up in prayer as he tries.

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Having spent yesterday reading the secular news accounts of Pope Francis’ recent comments about abortion and homosexuality, and having also read reports from the uber-right, it is distressing to see that people either can’t read or can’t think. This Pope is being undermined left and right.

Literally.

For the rest of us, we can read the Holy Father’s interview here.

According to the illiterati, the Holy Father doesn’t think abortion and homosexuality are worthy of much time and attention, and besides, as he has already said, who is he to judge? For the left, this distortion serves the purpose of eliminating the only significant barrier to the homosexualist and abortion agendas: the Roman Catholic Church. For those to the right of Mussolini, it serves to discredit “the Jesuit”.

In context, here are the Pope’s remarks, begining with the interviewr’s question which frames the response:

I mention to Pope Francis that there are Christians who live in situations that are irregular for the church or in complex situations that represent open wounds. I mention the divorced and remarried, same-sex couples and other difficult situations. What kind of pastoral work can we do in these cases? What kinds of tools can we use?

“We need to proclaim the Gospel on every street corner,” the pope says, “preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing, even with our preaching, every kind of disease and wound. In Buenos Aires I used to receive letters from homosexual persons who are ‘socially wounded’ because they tell me that they feel like the church has always condemned them. But the church does not want to do this. During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.

“A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being. In life, God accompanies persons, and we must accompany them, starting from their situation. It is necessary to accompany them with mercy. When that happens, the Holy Spirit inspires the priest to say the right thing.

“This is also the great benefit of confession as a sacrament: evaluating case by case and discerning what is the best thing to do for a person who seeks God and grace. The confessional is not a torture chamber, but the place in which the Lord’s mercy motivates us to do better. I also consider the situation of a woman with a failed marriage in her past and who also had an abortion. Then this woman remarries, and she is now happy and has five children. That abortion in her past weighs heavily on her conscience and she sincerely regrets it. She would like to move forward in her Christian life. What is the confessor to do?

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

 “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently. Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things: this is also what fascinates and attracts more, what makes the heart burn, as it did for the disciples at Emmaus. We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.

“I say this also thinking about the preaching and content of our preaching. A beautiful homily, a genuine sermon must begin with the first proclamation, with the proclamation of salvation. There is nothing more solid, deep and sure than this proclamation. Then you have to do catechesis. Then you can draw even a moral consequence. But the proclamation of the saving love of God comes before moral and religious imperatives. Today sometimes it seems that the opposite order is prevailing. The homily is the touchstone to measure the pastor’s proximity and ability to meet his people, because those who preach must recognize the heart of their community and must be able to see where the desire for God is lively and ardent. The message of the Gospel, therefore, is not to be reduced to some aspects that, although relevant, on their own do not show the heart of the message of Jesus Christ.”

Nothing in that quote contradicts the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s own document, Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, promulgated under Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger.

The Pope is also quite correct in saying that we must first address the wounds of people before hammering away at many of the moral issues, and here is where things get thorny.

Doctrinally, dogmatically, the Pope is on solid ground, a groundwork laid by the giants who came before him, from Pius XI to Benedict XVI. He does not need to reformulate what has been articulated so clearly and beautifully. Francis has been sent to show us how to minister to a broken humanity in a way that may well be alien to those whose only approach is moralizing. It begins with the language he employs regarding accompanying the sinner along the road of his life.

That means accepting the person where they are at and then walking the road with them. It means eating and drinking with those whose behaviors are profoundly disturbing to us. Working with street kids for seven years at Covenant House in the 1980’s was a formative experience for me, especially when so many had worked in prostitution. What moved the kids the most was the fact that we were the first people, for many of them, who were nonjudgmental and simply loved them where they were at.

I get where Francis is going with the Church. If John Paul II and Benedict charted the course, Francis is our guide.

Encyclicals are neat, crisp, and clean. Employing their contents with love and not bludgeoning people into submission with them will be the hallmark of this papacy. It is work fraught with the perils of which the Pope speaks when he talks of confessors being too lax or too rigid.

The same goes for the laity.

To those on the right who fear that the situational ethics that tore the Church apart Post-Vtican II has now made its way to the chair of Peter, they need to breathe deeply and accept authentic pastoral direction from the chief shepherd. After all, the Pope is right, we can’t only and always talk of homosexuality, abortion, and contraception. We must address the woundedness that gives rise to these ills.

We in the pro-life movement have prayed for a cure at the root of it all.

Will we now stop our ears and shout down the answer to those prayers?

Will we?

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In her hit piece against the Pro-Life Movement Ms. Elizabeth Jahr, a senior at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., pens a missive about the perceived colossal waste of money spent by pro-lifers in our annual March on Washington, D.C. Read her article here. My response to Ms. Jahr…

Dear Ms. Jahr,

First, allow me to congratulate you on having had an article accepted for publication in a major and widely respected outlet such as the Christian Science Monitor. Such publication is always an immense source of pride and validation when one is still a student, so heartfelt congratulations!

In your article you stake out some extremely caustic assertions regarding the wisdom and prudential judgement, efficacy and vision of the leadership and membership of the Pro-Life Movement. Inasmuch as you didn’t sugarcoat your critique of us, I will pay you the sincere compliment of addressing you less as a student, and more as a peer. It would do neither the pro-life cause, nor you any justice were I to approach your assertions with kid gloves. So here goes.

On the whole, as arguments go yours was rather hackneyed. It resembeled in tone and substance the assertions that all the money spent on the U.S. space programs could have been better spent on the poor. Of course, such arguments never take into consideration all of the many derivative benefits that satellite technology has brought to developing nations, but I digress.

Your claims that the money spent on travel to the Annual March on Washington could be better spent by serving the actual needs of women in crisis pregnancies is so far beyond the pale that you should blush for having said so. Certainly in your scholarly research for the article you looked at the 3,000+ pregnancy centers in this nation whose daily work includes getting housing, prenatal care, delivery services, food, clothing, diapers, supplies, employment, etc for women in crisis pregnancies.

In the ’80’s I worked for five years with homeless teen mothers at Covenant House in Times Square, NY doing just that. It was there that I met my friend, Chris Bell, who was so appalled that most girls in crisis pregnancies gave their babies up for adoption (for want of life skills training and the resources to keep their children) that he began Good Counsel Homes. At Good Counsel Homes, women may stay for the duration of their pregnancy, and for a year afterward. During that time they take daily life skills training in money management, nutrition, cooking, and every aspect of managing a home, as well as parenting classes and finishing a GED or Community College.

After their stay at Good Counsel, they enter into the Exodus program where their mentor visits their home twice monthly for two years to assure that their growth is secure. Chris runs five of close to five hundred such homes in the U.S. It costs some $600,000 annually per house. Were you aware of the scope of maternity homes and pregnancy centers? In your political science studies, had you been made aware of the efforts afoot in New York City to shut down the pregnancy centers here, and how their fate hangs in the balance in the Court of Appeals? It takes money to fight those battles.

It takes money to keep the maternity homes and pregnancy centers open. Millions and millions of dollars are needed.

The March each year continues to grow, and with that growth comes the great entusiasm, the great fervor that drives the raising of far more money than is spent on the March. Beyond that utilitarian analysis there is something more fundamental that you missed in your hit piece.

Published so close to the fiftieth anniversary of Martin Luther King’s March on Washington and “I have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, your article misses the fact that sometimes it just doesn’t matter the cost of calling attention to fundamental injustice and inhumanity. There have been some 57 million babies slaughtered in my lifetime in this country. You would have 600,000 marchers stay home? Really?

You also fail as a political scientist to acknowledge the amount of U.S. taxpayer dollars that already go to supporting women, children and families. Allow me, then, to link to some government data that dwarfs the few million pro-life dollars you place such a premium on.

The tens of millions of dollars donated to pro-life activities is given over and above the trillions of dollars spent annually by the government with the confiscatory taxes taken from pro-lifers and pro-aborts alike.

The first data table comes from the U.S. Department of Agricultire. Expenditures are in $Millions. So take the totals and multiply by $ 1,000,000. I’ll summarize Fiscal Year 2012 here.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program $78.445 Billion

National School Lunch Program $11.578 Billion

School Breakfast Program $3.277 Billion

Special Milk Program $12 Million

Child/Adult Care Food Program $2.855 Billion

Summer Food Service Program $398 Million

Child Nutrition State Administration $203 Million

WIC (Women Infants and Children Supplemental Food) $6.799 Billion

Commodity Supplemental Food $209 Million

Food Distribution on Indian Reservations $97 Million

TEFAP (Emergency Food Assistance) $444 Million

Grand Total: $104.3 BILLION

Then, according to USDA, we spent $78.445 Billion on Food Stamps in 2012.

If that seems like impressive numbers, your weak and anemic argument collapses under the weight of the following numbers whose source is linked here. Based on Fiscal Year 2012, the U.S. Government (not including state and local expenditures) is spending the following:

Welfare $405 Billion (Including $54 Billion for housing and $107 Billion for families and children).

Education $118 Billion

Healthcare $920 Billion

The pregnancy centers never, EVER, turn a woman away and use their funding to help plug women in crisis into these government sources of assistance. So your argument that somehow babies are not being saved for want of resources falls flat. In truth, Planned Parenthhod receives over a third of a billion dollars annually from the Federal Government to keep them afloat. Would that Planned Parenthood did the counseling with that money that pregnancy centers do daily.

No, Ms. Jahr. the issue is not whether we all need to stay home and shut up in January. The issue is not that women are being turned away at pregnancy centers for want of funding. The issue is that our marching has not yet effected the change in law that King’s marching accomplished. But then, it took hundreds of years to end slavery, and over 80 more to end segregation. At age 40, the pro-life movement is only in its adolescence.

The movement is much larger than you might know, very diverse, and quite sophisticated. All on just tens of millions of dollars annually. More marchers attract even more marchers and more money for these groups. I’d be happy to introduce you to several leaders at the national level if you’re truly interested in learning more.

There is no more consequential issue or movement in our time, and your article has placed you on the wrong side of history. We already spend more than enough in tax money to aid women in crisis. We need more centers to reach more women, and fewer abortion clinics to prey on them.

I’m looking forward to your critique of Planned Parenthood and how they spend a billion dollars annually with regard to women in crisis. With so much more money in play, your analysis and proposals should be rather lengthy.

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“Erin Go Bragh,” the Gaelic for, “Ireland Forever.”

Actually, that’s the corruption of the Gaelic, “Éirinn go Brách.” The term, brách, literally translates as, “until eternity,” or “until the end of time.” This more accurate translation shows the richer Catholic soil from which the sentiment springs. It is less a temporal, here-and-now forever, as it is Ireland sharing in God’s eternity.

“Éirinn go Brách.”

The share in the divine eternal as a reward for the fidelity of a nation to her Sovereign Lord and Master. How quickly it can all change.

This week the Irish Parliament voted 127-31 to legalize some abortions, specifically for women who might otherwise commit suicide. What is stunning is the fact that 60% of the Irish people didn’t want this law, which is certain to become the first in a series leading to unrestricted abortion on demand. Equally certain will be the rise in reported cases of suicidal ideation among pregnant women on the Emerald Isle. Given the scarcity of such ideations prior to the legislation, a 5,000% increase in four years of such “ideations,” will undoubdtedly come to pass, as women will seek to save the money spent on passage to England for their abortions.

If there was always something particularly sinister about the density of English abortion clinics along the shores facing Ireland, it is even more tragic that the Irish Parliament voted so enthuisiastically in favor of beginning the process of taking over the slaughter of Irish babies from the same English who have slaughtered and oppressed them for centuries.

Central to this debate has been the assertion that abortion has become possible only because the Catholic Church has lost its hold on the people of Ireland. It is a point of agreement between both sides in this debate, albeit for different reasons.

The pro-aborts argue that the soul-shattering reports in 2009, regarding sexual abuse, have emptied the churches and cut the people off from the “control” of the clergy.

Not really.

Between 1974 and 2008, Mass attendance in Ireland decreased by 50%. A good amount of this is attributable to the slow secularization of Irish society that gained steam with the prosperity of the Irish economy for the past two decades. This secularization amidst plenty has been most pronounced in the twenty and thirty-somethings. It also mirrors a similar trend in Poland. Once materialism grabs hold, babies become the mortal enemy of the “good life.”

All of this is not to say that the Church has not played a role in the run-up to this week’s tragedy. In a sense, the vote is more symptomatic than causal in nature. Abortion grabs hold when people have a sense of helplessness and hopelessness surrounding their ability to make their way in the world with a baby. That’s where the pregnancy centers become so very effective. They give the vision and provide the resources that the churches used to provide and that a largely secularized clergy no longer do.

Helplessness and Hoplessness. They are also the cardinal signs of suicide. How prophetic and ironic that suicide should have been the very issue upon which this vote hinged. A Parliament that has no sense of its own ability to offer help or hope surrendered to despair and consigned its nation to the suicide we embraced four decades ago in the U.S. Suicidal women deserve better from people who know better.

“Éirinn go Brách.”

No more. Ireland’s future will become as empty as the ruins of those ancient churches that dot her landscape. They are a symbolic looking glass into a future without God, and the help and hope He freely offers us all.

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When tsunamis make landfall they can be rebuffed by mighty cliffs of granite, or accommodated by soft sandy beaches which allow the mighty waves to strip them, leaving them disfigured and littered with the tsunami’s wasteful debris and shattered bodies when the floodwaters retreat back into the abyss from whence they came. So it seems that the Church in America, once a towering giant, has become increasingly accommodating to the Culture of Death as it washes over her with impunity.

The examples over the past year alone abound. Revelations in last week’s New York Times that the Archdiocese of New York has been paying for union employees’ contraception and abortion benefits, “under protest,” are just the latest in a string of surrenders.

In this latest disaster, the Archdiocese claims that there is a difference between fighting the HHS Mandate and the union contracts inherited when they got into the latest arrangement. Read the Archdiocese’s refutation here.

Indeed, there is a difference between an illegally imposed government mandate to provide contraception, sterilization and abortion, and willingly staying in the healthcare field where the powerful union drives such services being mandated in the insurance plans.

To what degree is the Archdiocese compelled in all of this? From their statement it is clear that they feel the greater need to remain in the healthcare field because there is a proportionally greater good to be done. The larger moral question is how much good done by the archdiocese washes the blood of a single aborted baby from the diocesen hands that paid for the abortion? How is this argument different from the woman who feels the pressure from family to abort? Or the woman who pervceives the great good that will not be accomplished in her life if the baby prevents her from getting a college education? Is the emotional plight of the abortion-minded woman under duress not more compelling? Yet she incurs automatic excommunication if she knows the penalty. What of those in diocesan offices who maintain the involvement with the unions and write the checks?

Undoubtedly great arguments can be made for all of the good that would not be done if we abandoned the field, but it’s still a proportionalist argument being deployed against moral absolutes. Unfortunately, our opponents have been handed a PR win on this one.

In other matters, the silence of the bishops in the run-up to the scheduled vote in February regarding admitting gay scouts in BSA was deafening. When BSA rescheduled the vote, we had a second chance to speak out against this disastrous move, but neither the bishops, nor the Catholic Commmittee on Scouting condemned it.

A year ago when New York State voted to adopt gay marriage Cardinal Dolan rued that he was caught flat-footed. What can be the excuse of the USCCB on the Boy Scouts? My observations on what is so wrong with that move here.

Through it all, we have witnessed Cardinal Dolan welcoming Vice President Biden to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, going out of his way to assure that he does not declare Governor Cuomo, who is seeking the liberalization of New York’s abortion laws, a Catholic in bad standing. Which means that he is regarded publicly as a Catholic in good standing; abortion and gay marriage notwithstanding.

Are we surrendering on all of these issues? We welcome the “Catholic” politicians with open arms who are at the same time accelerating the implementation of a diabolical agenda.

In this Year of Faith, as our churches continue to empty, an unsolicited thought for our leaders. If fundamental moral truths and goods are not worth fighting for, then don’t be surprised when many find that there isn’t much worth staying for.

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Gosnell Guilty; Now What?

Illustration: Lisa Nolan

Illustration: Lisa Nolan

There is much rejoicing tonight in pro-life circles over the conviction of Dr. Kermit Gosnell on first degree murder charges for his having cruelly severed the spines of babies born alive in his abortion house of horrors. I don’t begrudge folks their joy at justice for the little ones. I’m just not there.

Much as I am opposed to the death penalty, this 72 year-old serial killer should spend the rest of his life on death row fighting off the efforts of those in power over him to take his life. That might bring about some much needed insight into who and what he has become and what it is that he did. Apart from the babies killed in utero, his decades of infanticide, if evidence could show it, would make Gosnell the biggest serial killer in American history. There is less joy and more a sense of relief when a serial killer is neutralized by incarceration.

But this day only serves to highlight the psychosis of American jurisprudence. Were the same spinal cord severings carried out in utero, Gosnell would be regarded as a model abortionist, a man practicing legal medicine.

Location, location, location…

If that sounds glum, it is equally an opportunity moving forward. Having been convicted of first degree murder, Gosnell has perversely catapulted the argument away from justifying abortion on the grounds that we are not sure when life begins, and into its rightful home: personal predilection. If the murder of these babies is indeed regarded as first degree murder because of their location, then their abortions would have been no less an act of murder five minutes earlier when inside their mothers.

If Gosnell is put to death by the state it will not be for taking these babies’ lives at the developmental stages when they were killed. No, Gosnell will be put to death for not following medical protocol as dictated by law, namely failing to call 911 and to keep the baby alive because it couldn’t be murdered in a place prescribed by law.

That’s the true insanity and malignant evil in this case. Are we too far gone to recognize that it is our jurisprudence that is riddled with cancer? Giving abortionists the death penalty is not the answer, and I pray that Gosnell lives thirty years longer with all of his mental faculties intact, that he might repent and atone for his monstrous evil.

Curing the American character after 55 million murders is going to take a bit longer, if indeed we are not already too far gone.

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LiveAction debuts a new investigative report, this one on the fate of babies born alive during abortion. The first installment is an investigation of Dr. Emily’s abortion clinic in Bronx, New York. The young hispanic woman in the white lab coat is interesting. She has been working at “Dr. Emily’s” since she was 16 years old (by her admission). Why is she wearing a lab coat is a mystery. Is she a nurse, or just part of the wider deception? Exactly how does one remove a pregnancy and place a pregnancy in a jar, as she repeatedly states? Her flippant and barely literate counseling are ghastly to behold. More to come.

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Dr. Kermit Gosnell is on trial for his life in Philadelphia because of how he ran his medical clinic, the “Women’s Medical Society” at 3801 Lancaster. That impressive establishmentarian-sounding title belied a business which reflected the abortion philosophy lived to its fullest expression and logical conclusion. In the final analysis, the Gosnell case reveals much more than who Kermit Gosnell is. It has revealed to us who we have become as a nation.

The Grand Jury Report reads like a a horror novel. So callous and cruel is this page-turner that it simply beggars the imagination. In it, the report details how instruments were not sterilized, and were the cheapest disposable instruments reused from patient to patient. In the process, Dr. Gosnell spread disease like a fly. One can only imagine if HIV was spread in his “clinic”.

Women of color were more often than not attended to by Gosnell’s staff of medically untrained and unlicensed personnel, including a fifteen year-old girl who administered anaesthetics, while Dr. Gosnell saw to the white women in slightly less squalid rooms, because as he said, that’s the way the world is. A black man who graduated from Thomas Jefferson Medical College abandoned black women to untrained, unskilled laypeople.

Looking past all of that, the blood-stained blankets, floors, and treatment tables, the toilet bowls women delivered their babies into (A common delivery method at abortuaries elsewhere), there was so much more.

Gosnell was frequently absent as women were being given their abortion procedures, and hundreds of babies were born alive. Here Gosnell would insure that there was no ambulance to come and discover his macabre shop, and here is where his most heartless proclivities became standard operating procedure. He would cut into the backs of these babies’ necks, crush through their spinal columns with scissors, and then sever the cervical spinal cords, essentially producing an internal decapitation. It is not likely that death was instantaneous for all the babies whose brains remained perfused with oxygen until the cessation of heart and lung function.

In the research experiments on rat spinal cords and brains for my MS degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, we worked on rats, and I decapitated quite a few with a special guillotine. Once decapitated, the feet ran in place, the tail twitched violently, and one could see the animals’ eyes still blinking until unconsciousness overcame the animal. It was horrid work and helped motivate me to work with bacteria in my doctoral research. I cannot imagine the pain experienced by these babies undergoing internal decapitation.

Yet, even that begs a deeper analysis. Why are we so repelled by these severings of spinal cords, what Gosnell and his criminal employees glibly referred to as ‘snippings’, as though one were simply gliding through a lock of hair? Why can physicians suck out brains, dismember the babies alive in utero, but be charged with murder for the same barbarism once the baby simply changes location?

Why do we consider the baby a patient in its own right only if it is extruded alive from the birth canal?

Here is where we discover Gosnell the monster is really Gosnell the reflection of American Jurisprudence at its own sublime and depraved worst.

The answer to the questions is simple. We have decided that the same baby, simply by being attached to an umbilical cord is not his/her own person, but an extension of the mother’s body. By that logic, an astronaut doing a spacewalk and connected to the ship by an umbilicus should have no more moral worth than the spacecraft itself. Were a fellow crew member to shut off the air supply intentionally, would they be charged merely with vandalism?

As the major media emerge from their blackout on this case, and the nation tunes in, we find ourselves at an interesting juncture. We are united in horror at the depravity and inhumanity of it all. It is a case that makes us consider the biological reality of the child whose murder would not have been murder if only proper protocol had been followed, and therein lies the madness.

Murder is not murder if proper protocol is followed.

We cannot long survive as a civilization of rational human beings with that sort of mentality. American exceptionalism has been consumed by radicalized autonomy, and in the process biomedical ethics, politics, and common decency have been savaged.

What is sickest about the Gosnell case is that Dr. Gosnell is really us. The only real distinction is that he stepped outside of the boundaries we established for our American psychosis. Abortion can only be permissible if we assuage ourselves with certain boundaries of propriety for the mass murder of our citizens. There is no greater pariah in the asylum than the one who upsets the rhythms of the asylum.

The filthy conditions in that clinic would have been a twenty-four hour news story, as would have been the severed feet in jars. It was the decapitations of babies who could be seen and heard that merited him six of the seven counts of murder. Again, it comes down to a matter of protocol. The baby only becomes a patient when it is extruded from the birth canal, which is a radical departure from the traditional two-patient model of obstretric medicine.

To look into the face of Kermit Gosnell is to look in the American mirror, a rare glimpse of clarity as the fog temporarily lifts from the mirror. With more than fifty-five million babies aborted in forty years, it is time to use the Gosnell trial as an opportunity for some national soul-searching. But will we, or have those parameters for the national psychosis become too fixed and immovable? Will we offer up Gosnell as a sacrificial offering, a way to assure ourselves of the validity and functionality of the boundaries of psychosis that were breached?

One wonders.

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It is difficult to imagine that any public official could possibly march to the left of Barack Obama or HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, but today Federal District Court Judge Edward Korman did just that when he approved the sale of Plan B to children of any age. Previously, Sebelius ordered that based on the science, children were not capable of complying with the directions of safe use of the drug. Here is Sebelius in her own words not too long ago:

A Statement by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Plan B One-Step is an emergency contraceptive, sometimes referred to as the “morning after pill.” Plan B One-Step is currently labeled over the counter to women ages 17 years and older, but is sold behind the pharmacy counter. It is available by prescription only to women 16 years and younger. My decision does not change any current availability of the drug for all women.
In February 2011, Teva Women’s Health Inc. submitted to the FDA a supplemental new drug application for Plan B One-Step. This application sought to make Plan B One-Step available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age. The science has confirmed the drug to be safe and effective with appropriate use. However, the switch from prescription to over the counter for this product requires that we have enough evidence to show that those who use this medicine can understand the label and use the product appropriately. I do not believe that Teva’s application met that standard. The label comprehension and actual use studies did not contain data for all ages for which this product would be available for use.
FDA has recommended approval of this application in its Summary Review for Regulatory Action on Plan B One-Step. After careful consideration of the FDA Summary Review, I have concluded that the data, submitted by Teva, do not conclusively establish that Plan B One-Step should be made available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age.
The average age of the onset of menstruation for girls in the United States is 12.4 years. However, about ten percent of girls are physically capable of bearing children by 11.1 years of age. It is common knowledge that there are significant cognitive and behavioral differences between older adolescent girls and the youngest girls of reproductive age. If the application were approved, the product would be available, without prescription, for all girls of reproductive age.
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services is responsible, acting through the FDA Commissioner, for executing the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Today’s action reflects my conclusion that the data provided as part of the actual use study and the label comprehension study are not sufficient to support making Plan B One-Step available to all girls 16 and younger, without talking to a health care professional. Plan B One-Step will still be available over the counter to women ages 17 and older.
Because I do not believe enough data were presented to support the application to make Plan B One-Step available over the counter for all girls of reproductive age, I have directed FDA to issue a complete response letter denying the supplemental new drug application (SNDA) by Teva Women’s Health, Inc..

Sebelius received Obama’s support for her decision. From news reports at the time of the ruling:

Obama said that as a father of two daughters, he thinks the government should “apply some common sense” to rules governing over-the-counter medicine. He said he understood Sebelius’ concern about letting medication with potentially adverse side effects be available to 10-year-old girls “alongside bubble gum or batteries” at drugs stores.
“I think most parents would probably feel the same way,” he said. Asked point blank if he supports Sebelius’ decision, Obama said, “I do.”

While the Judge today said that his decision was supported by science, it remains for the Judge to enlighten both the regulatory and scientific/medical communities as to what secret studies he was privy to in his decision-making. The truth is that every study, including those by Teva, the manufacturer of Plan B, indicate that half of all women taking the drug were incapable of following the directions on the product insert for correct use of the drug and/or failed to understand that Plan B is not meant to replace regular contraceptives or be used more than once in a menstrual cycle.

Further, studies have indicated that when used by teens the rate of Chlamydia infection rose (presumably from increased sexual activity). Additionaly, studies have indicated that the incidence of teen pregnancy was not lowered by the use of Plan B.

Perhaps even more disturbing is the lack of understanding by the judge that children’s medications are dispensed on a milligram of drug per kilogram of body weight basis. This is because standard adult doses would be double, triple, or even quadruple the necessary amount in children whose bodies are often 1/4 the mass of an adult’s. There are NO KNOWN STUDIES of the effects of the single, adult dose of Plan B on girls under age 18, which makes the specter of girls twelve and thirteen years old purchasing this drug over the counter just as frightening as can be. There are also no long term studies of Plan B’s. effects on adults, either. So the whole enetrprise is one, large human experiment.

It isn’t impossible to imagine a young girl whose body mass is half that of an eighteen year-old’s taking this dangerous hormonal drug after every act of sex, up to several in one month. This drug is several times the dose taken daily by women using oral contraceptives. Recall that half of all grown women studied couldn’t grasp this reality.

Our daughters have become lab rats in Judge Korman’s great experiment. Better he should leave such matters to those of us trained in the field, and that he stick to the law. It is now open season on girls, whose gynecologic standard of care would be improved if they were accorded the same standards that govern veterinary medicine. If vets did to animals what we do to our women, they would lose their licenses and be prosecuted for cruelty. That’s how far gynecologic medicine and its governmental regulation have sunk.

Below, an interview I gave earlier this year at a medical conference in Washington, DC, dealing with this issue of targeting children.

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Caiaphas Then… and Now

Duccio-di-Buoninsegna-Christ-Before-Caiaphas-Oil-Painting[1]

During the singing of the passion today I sat and contemplated something I’d heard a thousand times and never really gave much thought: St. John tells us it was Caiaphas the High Priest who first floated the idea to the Jewish people the advantage of having one man die for the people. Immediately a thousand pro-choice arguments along similar lines crowded in on me.

Caiaphas was the High Priest, the mediator between God and man, the one who offered animal sacrifice for the remission of the people’s sins, for the Mercy of God. Somewhere along the way Caiaphas lost his faith in God, and he eventually became no better than the Canaanite priests who offered human sacrifice to appease the gods. Caiaphas would offer a man to the Romans, and in so doing he would elevate Caesar above the one true God of the universe.

For Caiaphas, Caesar alone had the power to save and deliver, and he would be offered a human sacrifice in exchange by God’s High Priest. That’s stunning.

The complete perversion and implosion of the priesthood. The God who delivered Israel repeatedly, who blessed Israel abundantly was abandoned by his own High Priest.

Why?

It’s easy to cast stones at old Caiaphas. He’s the villain of today’s narrative, but he’s also pretty tame by today’s standard. In truth, we’ve eclipsed Caiaphas long ago.

The main reason(s) for sacrificing the most innocent of our age have much to do with Caiaphas’ theme of blood sacrifice for material benefit. In the inner-city the narrative is that babies keep girls from becoming all they can be, that they hold girls back from completing education. With 20 million dead Black babies in 40 years, the Ivy League colleges ought to have annexes in Harlem, Watts, and Detroit.

Better the babies should die, that the mothers might live.

However, the truth is that these centers of slaughter are more violent, squalid, and desperately poor than ever before. That’s the real payout from blood sacrifice of humans.

Today’s high priest in the White House has ordained through his healthcare plan that people at age 75 or older may not receive cancer treatments or pacemakers if the physicians can’t guarantee at least five more years of quality life. Such rationing also saves quite a bit of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and government pension benefits for a nation that is dead broke.

Better for them to die that the nation might live.

Caiaphas let Satan lead him into the death cult mentality, and we have followed suit. Thirty-seven years after Caiaphas sold out, the Temple in Jerusalem was leveled by those same Romans to whom Jesus was offered as a peace offering. Thirty-seven years after the embrace of legalized abortion (beginning in New York) we were saddled with a president who has torn down the pillars of American society.

That’s the price of embracing human sacrifice to appease Satan and his lies.

That’s the price of turning one’s back on God.

False gods have a nasty way of enslaving their followers, as Americans are beginning to learn.

But Easter’s coming…

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Forestfirehires

There is good news in North Dakota this week as the legislature there has passed two bills: one outlawing gender-selective and eugenic abortions rooted in genetic anomalies, and the other outlawing abortion once a heartbeat is detectable. Get the N.Y. Times story here.

This news comes hot on the heels of Arizona’s banning abortions at 12 weeks, and adds to the victories in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma, which have banned sex-selective abortions. While this is all good news, we must stop and consider what is happening here, what is being accomplished, and how far we have fallen.

There was a time when the American Civil Liberties Union actually championed the rights of the weakest and least among us to the fullest protection of the law. Times have changed, as we’ve seen last week in North Dakota. From the Times article:

“We urge the governor to veto all of these bills to ensure that this personal and private decision can be made by a woman and her family, not politicians sitting in the Capitol,” said Jennifer Dalven, the director of the A.C.L.U.’s Reproductive Freedom Project.

But again, and again, the central issue remains the great unanswered question, one which Ms. Dalven and her organization would have answered with ease in a bygone era:

Do politicians sitting in the capital, or judges in courtrooms have the right to determine who among us is human and what the criteria for being considered human ought to be?

This isn’t a religious question, but a civil one, and hinging on it is nothing less than the fate of American jurisprudence, as well as scientific and biomedical ethics. Before one can pass a law, make a legal judgement, or perform a scientific or clinical manipulation, one must first determine the identity and status of the object under consideration.

People of reason and good will recoil at the consideration of our slave-holding past in America. They similarly recoil at our segregationist past, as well as our past with eugenic sterilization. All of these issues are repellent to the ACLU as well, and as Ms. Dalven would have to agree, these issues scorched the American landscape precisely because the legislators sitting in capitals failed to rein in justices and judges who were out of control.

Ms. Dalven would also have to agree that these issues scorched the American landscape precisely because a political elite arrogated to themselves the power to define personhood criteria. This was done as the sole means of usurping the ability to control those rights defined by the Founders as unalienable and granted solely by the Creator.

Having abandoned the protection of the weakest among us and championing the “rights” of those who prey upon the weak, the ACLU has gutted itself. In championing the right to murder little girls for being little girls, and for championing the murder of the genetically imperfect, the ACLU has become indistinguishible from the slaveholding and segregationist class it once despised and against whom it found its organizational identity.

Such is the malevolent power of abortion to corrupt.

In Roe v. Wade the justices argued that the absence of scientific evidence supporting a definitive beginning of life was their rationale for permitting abortion. Using arguments from the Middle Ages, such as ‘quickening’, they ignored the embryology texts of their day that fixed the beginning of human life at fertilization. With the advances in embryoscopy and ultrasonography today one would think that the last vestige of doubt would have been destroyed by science, warranting a revisiting of Roe by the Court; but that would require intellectual honesty and human decency.

Instead, today, forty years later we are now arguing the right to target what science shows as fully formed human beings because of their genetalia, or because of some atypical genetic constellation.

Instead,, today, forty years later Planned Parenthood has dropped the euphemisms such as “pro-choice,” no longer seeing them as necessary or servicable.

Similarly, the attempts to defeat the fetal heartbeat bills bespeak a duplicity from the outset. What can be more human or romantic than the sound of a beating heart?

Taken together, those are profoundly troubling developments. We have defined deviancy down. We are arguing over a degree of malevolance that makes the original argument pale in comparison.

The Democrat Party defeated attempts in Congress last year to outlaw sex-selective abortions. In those and other similar measures, both they and the ACLU have abandoned the moral high ground. Let’s hope that the Republican governor of North Dakota has the courage to pick up the fallen battle standard of the left and soldier on.

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