|From the Irish pro-life group Youth Defence.|
From the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, written in direct response to Roe vs. Wade, of which the 40th anniversary was noted yesterday, by the order of Venerable Paul VI. This can be found HERE.Of all the diabolically clever moves the anti-choice lobby [A reference to Satan? That's different.] has ever pulled, surely one of the greatest has been its consistent co-opting of the word “life.” Life! Who wants to argue with that? Who wants be on the side of … not-life? [The Devil.] That’s why the language of those who support abortion has for so long been carefully couched in other terms [Which are slowly being moved away from; Planned Parenthood apparently is trying to get rid of 'pro-choice.']. While opponents of abortion eagerly describe themselves as “pro-life,” the rest of us have had to scramble around with not nearly as big-ticket words like “choice” and “reproductive freedom.” [Freedom cannot come from something that works against God.] The “life” conversation is often too thorny to even broach [Because I think you know it's True, deep down, since natural law is written on each and every heart.]. Yet I know that throughout my own pregnancies, I never wavered for a moment in the belief that I was carrying a human life inside of me. I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life [At least she's honest.]. And that doesn't make me one iota less solidly pro-choice.As Roe v. Wade enters its fifth decade, we find ourselves at one of the most schizo moments in our national relationship with reproductive choice. In the past year we've endured the highest number of abortion restrictions ever [Well, since 1973, because it could be completely illegal before then.]. Yet support for abortion rights is at an all-time high, with seven in 10 Americans in favor of letting Roe v. Wade stand, allowing for reproductive choice in all or “most” cases [If this refers to NBC's poll, then it's wrong, as Lifenews reports.]. That’s a stunning 10 percent increase from just a decade ago. And in the midst of this unique moment, Planned Parenthood has taken the bold step of reframing the vernacular – moving away from the easy and easily divisive words “life” and “choice.” Instead, as a new promotional film acknowledges, “It’s not a black and white issue.” [Yes it is, and I'll get back to it in a moment.]It’s a move whose time is long overdue. It’s important, because when we don’t look at the complexities of reproduction, we give far too much semantic power to those who’d try to control it. And we play into the sneaky, dirty tricks of the anti-choice lobby when we on the pro-choice side squirm so uncomfortably at the ways in which they've repeatedly appropriated the concept of “life.” [God is the Author of Life. We didn't appropriate anything. Take it up with Him...]Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal [I don't like saying it is either, for it implies mathematics. Vegetative life should be guarded as we have dominion of the earth, but dogs are the first to go if we need to eat them. However, human life is always worthy of protection, and taking life should never be taken lightly. Hence the Church has the just war doctrine and asks for reasonable limitations on executions. Killing an innocent human being is never justifiable.] That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity [It has a unique genetic code, and is biologically autonomous in the sense that it is growing. It has a soul-and at some point, a rational soul] inside of her. Always. [Wait. So can an abortion be performed at 39 weeks then? That's the logical conclusion of this argument.]When we on the pro-choice side get cagey around the life question, it makes us illogically contradictory. I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn't the same? Fetuses aren't selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.When we try to act like a pregnancy doesn't involve human life, we wind up drawing stupid semantic lines in the sand: first trimester abortion vs. second trimester vs. late term, dancing around the issue trying to decide if there’s a single magic moment when a fetus becomes a person. Are you human only when you’re born? Only when you’re viable outside of the womb? Are you less of a human life when you look like a tadpole than when you can suck on your thumb? [The question from above is now repeated, but expanded: if abortion can be used to take human life in the 9 months in the womb, then when is the limitation on taking unwanted human life ever going to be imposed?]We’re so intimidated by the wingnuts, we get spooked out of having these conversations. We let the archconservatives browbeat us with the concept of “life,” using their scare tactics on women and pushing for indefensible violations like forced ultrasounds. Why? Because when they wave the not-even-accurate notion that “abortion stops a beating heart” [After a point it definitely does, and its suffices in its point for every case. Would you prefer "Abortion Destroys Souls, and Sends Most of Them to Hell."?] they think they’re going to trick us into some damning admission. They believe that if we call a fetus a life they can go down the road of making abortion murder. And I think that’s what concerns the hell out of those of us who support unrestricted reproductive freedom.But we make choices about life all the time in our country. We make them about men and women in other nations. We make them about prisoners in our penal system. We make them about patients with terminal illnesses and accident victims. We still have passionate debates about the justifications of our actions as a society, but we don’t have to do it while being bullied around by the vague idea that if you say we’re talking about human life, then the jig is up, rights-wise. [Shall return to this in a minute as well.]It seems absurd to suggest that the only thing that makes us fully human is the short ride out of some lady’s vagina [It is the infusion of a soul into the form of a human body that makes us human. That happens at the moment of creation; we are never soulless, and I personally believe that a rational soul is present from the beginning. The Church doesn't teach this, but I think it makes the most sense intuitively.]. That distinction may apply neatly legally, but philosophically, surely we can do better. Instead, we let right-wingers perpetuate the sentimental fiction that no one with a heart — and certainly no one who’s experienced the wondrous miracle of family life — can possibly resist tiny fingers and tiny toes growing inside a woman’s body. We give a platform to the notion that, as Christina Locke opined in a recent New York Times Op-Ed, “motherhood had slyly changed us. We went from basking in the rights that feminism had afforded us to silently pledging never to exercise them. Nice mommies don’t talk about abortion.”Don’t they? The majority of women who have abortions – and one in three American women will – are already mothers. And I can say anecdotally that I’m a mom who loved the lives she incubated from the moment she peed on those sticks, and is also now well over 40 and in an experimental drug trial. If by some random fluke I learned today I was pregnant, you bet your ass I’d have an abortion. I’d have the World’s Greatest Abortion. [My goodness. That's almost celebratory, and slightly sick.]My belief that life begins at conception is mine to cling to [It's not, since it's the Truth.]. And if you believe that it begins at birth, or somewhere around the second trimester, or when the kid finally goes to college, that’s a conversation we can have, one that I hope would be respectful and empathetic and fearless [Not gonna happen that way; it's utterly irrational for it is of what God designed.]. We can’t have it if those of us who believe that human life exists in utero are afraid we’re somehow going to flub it for the cause. In an Op-Ed on “Why I’m Pro-Choice” in the Michigan Daily this week, Emma Maniere stated, quite perfectly, that “Some argue that abortion takes lives [It always does!], but I know that abortion saves lives, too.” [Tell that to the Irish OB/GYNs testifying before their Senate, saying it is NEVER necessary in their experience, which is a lot of experience, by the way.] She understands that it saves lives not just in the most medically literal way, but in the roads that women who have choice then get to go down, in the possibilities for them and for their families. [Tell that to the women involved with Rachel's Vineyard.] And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing. [That's not sacrifice. A human sacrifice should only be by the will of the Lord-heck, God didn't even allow Abraham to kill Isaac, and the sacrifice on the Cross was freely offered for our salvation. So basically, human sacrifice is always wrong. Please refer back to my post on abortion and Satan for more.]
The first paragraph is a sufficient response to her point about war and prisoners. Also, the Church has specific instructions on dealing with sick patients...those should be an adequate response to that point.
The problem of procured abortion and of its possible legal liberalization has become more or less everywhere the subject of impassioned discussions. These debates would be less grave were it not a question of human life, a primordial value, which must be protected and promoted. Everyone understands this, although many look for reasons, even against all evidence, to promote the use of abortion. One cannot but be astonished to see a simultaneous increase of unqualified protests against the death penalty and every form of war and the vindication of the liberalization of abortion, either in its entirety or in ever broader indications. The Church is too conscious of the fact that it belongs to her vocation to defend man against everything that could disintegrate or lessen his dignity to remain silent on such a topic. Because the Son of God became man, there is no man who is not His brother in humanity and who is not called to become a Christian in order to receive salvation from Him. [Notice that they reference salvation, which is impossible due to an abortion. Also, that's an important point regardless of the context]The second paragraph contains an attack on this nonsense that there is a right to hold an opinion but not to "legislate morality."
A snippet from paragraph 4:2. In many countries the public authorities which resist the liberalization of abortion laws are the object of powerful pressures aimed at leading them to this goal. This, it is said, would violate no one's conscience, for each individual would be left free to follow his own opinion, while being prevented from imposing it on others. Ethical pluralism is claimed to be a normal consequence of ideological pluralism. There is, however, a great difference between the one and the other, for action affects the interests of others more quickly than does mere opinion. Moreover, one can never claim freedom of opinion as a pretext for attacking the rights of others, most especially the right to life.
It is therefore clear that this declaration necessarily entails a grave obligation for Christian consciences. [And this is why Catholics for Choice members in Lincoln got excommunicated.]
5. "Death was not God's doing, he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living" (Wis. 1:13). Certainly God has created beings who have only one lifetime and physical death cannot be absent from the world of those with a bodily existence. But what is immediately willed is life, and in the visible universe everything has been made for man, who is the image of God and the world's crowning glory (cf. Gen. 1:26-28). On the human level, "it was the devil's envy that brought death into the world" (Wis. 2:24). [The thief comes to seek, kill, and destroy. I come to give life, and to give it more abundantly.] Introduced by sin, death remains bound up with it: death is the sign and fruit of sin. But there is no final triumph for death. Confirming faith in the Resurrection, the Lord proclaims in the Gospel: "God is God, not of the dead, but of the living" (Mt. 22:32). And death like sin will be definitively defeated by resurrection in Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 15:20-27). Thus we understand that human life, even on this earth, is precious. Infused by the Creator, life is again taken back by Him (cf. Gen. 2:7; Wis. 15:11). It remains under His protection: man's blood cries out to Him (cf.Gen. 4:10) and He will demand an account of it, "for in the image of God man was made" (Gen. 9:5-6). The commandment of God is formal: "You shall not kill" (Ex. 20:13). Life is at the same time a gift and a responsibility. It is received as a "talent" (cf. Mt. 25:14-30); it must be put to proper use. In order that life may bring forth fruit, many tasks are offered to man in this world and he must not shirk them. More important still, the Christian knows that eternal life depends on what, with the grace of God, he does with his life on earth.For those who claim that 1st Century Jews, and thus the early Church did not oppose abortion:
6. The tradition of the Church has always held that human life must be protected and favored from the beginning, just as at the various stages of its development. Opposing the morals of the Greco-Roman world, the Church of the first centuries insisted on the difference that exists on this point between those morals and Christian morals. In the Didache it is clearly said: "You shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born." Athenagoras emphasizes that Christians consider as murderers those women who take medicines to procure an abortion; he condemns the killers of children, including those still living in their mother's womb, "where they are already the object of the care of divine Providence." Tertullian did not always perhaps use the same language; he nevertheless clearly affirms the essential principle: "To prevent birth is anticipated murder; it makes little difference whether one destroys a life already born or does away with it in its nascent stage. The one who will be a man is already one."From paragraph 7:
A century later, Innocent XI rejected the propositions of certain lax canonists who sought to excuse an abortion procured before the moment accepted by some as the moment of the spiritual animation of the new being. [This is clearly directed at Justice Blackmun, who specifically cited the Angelic Doctor, Thomas Aquinas, as being one who was not unified on ensoulment, and used the same reasoning as these very incorrect canonists.. Well, the Church isn't unified, but he did condemn abortion as a grave violation of natural law, to borrow from the preceding sentence.]Paragraph 8:
Respect for human life is not just a Christian obligation. Human reason is sufficient to impose it on the basis of the analysis of what a human person is and should be. Constituted by a rational nature, man is a personal subject capable of reflecting on himself and of determining his acts and hence his own destiny: he is free. He is consequently master of himself; or rather, because this takes place in the course of time, he has the means of becoming so: this is his task. Created immediately by God, man's soul is spiritual and therefore immortal. Hence man is open to God, he finds his fulfillment only in Him. But man lives in the community of his equals; he is nourished by interpersonal communication with men in the indispensable social setting. In the face of society and other men, each human person possesses himself, he possesses life and different goods, he has these as a right. It is this that strict justice demands from all in his regard. [This is beautiful in and of itself, without the context of instructing us for why abortion is always wrong.]There are some really good nuggets in the section I haven't cited. If I cited every paragraph, I'd be here all night!
It is true that civil law cannot expect to cover the whole field of morality or to punish all faults. No one expects it to do so. It must often tolerate what is in fact a lesser evil, in order to avoid a greater one... [This is a point so often missed. This is basically a paraphrase of Thomas Aquinas.] Many will take as authorization what is perhaps only the abstention from punishment. [Another good point. This is also relevant to legalized birth control and the removal of sodomy laws.]Canon 915 should be liberally applied to pro-abortion politicians and activists. Pray to the Theotokos, Gianna Molla, and all the saints that the horror of abortion might be ended across the world.