Monday, March 5, 2012


Perhaps this seems like an “odd couple” kind of match-up, but there is a serious and significant connection here that needs to be illuminated.

First of all, whether or not there is a genuine accommodation for respecting religious freedom with regard to the HHR mandate, the fact remains that abortion is quite legal in our country.  Discussions are now in fact taking place (with brutally logical thought processes) as to why, if 3rd-term abortions are legal, early post-birth “abortions” should not also be legal.  I bow to their argument:  they are logical in their thinking (though terribly wrong in the direction of that thinking).   Abortions are (and will likely remain) legal for the foreseeable future.
People sometimes refer to the Dred Scott decision (a black man is his master’s ‘property’ and not a person) to show why there is precedent for reversing a decision (not necessarily only the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, but also the civil rights legislation of the 1960s), and they argue that the Supreme Court’s ‘separate but equal’ verbiage of Plessy v Ferguson was upended later in their 1954 by Brown v Board of Education—so there is hope for an overturning of Roe v Wade.  It is a beautiful hope for pro-life advocates.  But I respectfully disagree with this hope.

To overturn Roe v Wade it would be necessary to argue (as the original decision in fact kept the door open for) a definition of “person” to include children conceived and not yet born.  Ironically, case law implies that this is in fact the situation when lawsuits can be filed on behalf of pregnant women injured or killed in reckless accidents:  the guilty party can be sued on behalf of mother and unborn child [see the decision of the Alabama Supreme Court in the case of April Mack, as the mother of Baby Mack v. Thomas Carmack, 1091040, dated 9-9-11].  Yet to do this with the broad paint brush of a US Supreme Court decision would say that since 1973 we have had legalized killing of persons in our country.  It would force women who have had abortions, doctors who have performed them, and family/friends who have supported them to face the fact that they should be regarded as murderers.  A pregnant woman must believe all she did was have “a blob of tissue” removed—the alternative would be too crushing.  The reason why some abortionists flaunt the fact that they perform 3rd trimester abortions (including and especially “D and X [aka, ‘partial-birth’] abortions”) is that they must believe (or go insane with guilt) that this is a permitted and morally neutral procedure.  [I prescind from the argument that their motivations are in fact calculated evil.] 

 What I say about individuals is exponentially increased in the case of organizations like Planned Parenthood—they do not perform isolated abortions:  they support the abortion industry (and themselves) on the basis of its legality.  Moral judgment would be the only reason for overturning the law; this would also hold them responsible for the equivalent role of a Dr Mengele in World War II Germany…

What (if anything) will lead to a change?  I want to suggest that legislation could effect the bare beginnings of a change, only if there were a significant groundswell of support for it.   Would it take the moral equivalent of a pro-life leader’s being gunned down, as was Dr Martin Luther King Jr?  Perhaps, but the role of martyr has been co-opted by the pro-abortion lobby thanks to the actions of the far-right pro-life movement and their (happily now put to rest) notion of ‘justifiable homicide.’  It would take another generation of folks living without legalized abortion and who would be brought up to live in sexual restraint, who would ask questions like “Why in the world would anyone kill her baby?”  Until there is a social context in which this question could be deemed rhetorical, abortions (like the poor) will be with us always.

How does this tie in to Thomas Arthur?  He is a man (not an attractive personality) who claims he has been falsely convicted of a capital case—he is scheduled to be executed the end of March.  Not only does he maintain his innocence, but another person has subsequently confessed to the crime, and Mr Arthur’s lawyers are willing at their own expense to pay for DNA testing that could exonerate him.  The Alabama judicial/penal system has said, in effect, “Too bad; you’ve been convicted, and we are going to execute you.”

Like people supporting the abortion industry, our State’s criminal prosecution system cannot listen to any alternative to their complete justification for taking this life—it would raise too many questions (much less the answers to those questions)they would not be able to bear to face.  And so, potentially like a baby of 39 weeks’ gestation having his skull opened and “evacuated,” Mr Arthur faces lethal injection in spite of his pleas of innocence and his lawyers’ offers to prove it with NO expense to the State.  The bottom line here is “If I can, then I may; I am stronger than you, therefore I can work my will on you.”

A true accommodation with HHR’s mandate (which, by the way, is an issue of religious freedom for all and not a specifically “Catholic” issue) would at least be a step on the path of saying that might does not automatically make right.  Why are we so eager to jump on to a philosophical bandwagon that rides toward a new ‘final solution’?


  1. We are truly living in a culture of death, whether it be one innocent soul on Alabama's death row, or the 60 innocent souls of the babies being killed at the abortion mill, and the countless more that will be killed through this mandate, I can thoroughly understand why it is difficult to see how "compromising" in the face of all this slaughter would help. Sadly, the "compromise" that the administration is "offering" is not even a compromise at all. It is the same mandate, stated in a different way. I pray that this incredibly invasive law can be rescinded.

  2. A most penetrating and honest evaluation of our culture, and much of the world's view of aspects of human life. The present legal status of abortion and of capital punishment is a short-cut to clear thinking -
    'clear thinking' in that the end justifies the means. We can undo the clutter of human burdens which take far too much energy to work through and monopolize our time. What each of us wants to do is remove the offending problem so we can be about pursuing our wants and dreams. Thus, the art of rationalization has become the literary acceptance of utopian morality - a secular approach which
    convinces many. It's an interesting evolution that many environmentalists are 'scientifically' aware when a creature is pregnant, there is no doubt that a similar creature is expected at birth. All creation continually evolves life and death of non-humans.
    Rationalization blinds the intellect with a resultant mindset.
    It is a fortunate and blessed happening when a window of the mind opens to the eternal golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you....
    "Lord, hear my prayer. When I call, answer me" Psalm 102