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"AWAY WITH WORDS"
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9 February 2019
--- PART ONE ---
To Love Our Children
When my wife and I first held our newborn twin grandchildren moments after their arrival, they seemed exquisitely designed to fit into our enfolding arms. Their crinkled, unseeing eyes stared at us, their tiny, dimpled fists opened and closed as they savored life’s first liberating breaths.
For months, my family had monitored the miraculous growth of our twins. We watched their sonograms with astonished delight as they grew each week into distinctly formed little human beings, hearts beating visibly in sync with Nature’s steady, inexplicable rhythms. And now, finally, here they were, in our arms, to be loved for the lifetimes ahead of us.
Their complete vulnerability, their utter innocence and their total dependency were stunning. We were awakened as never before to the gifts of life and hope which these children brought to us. And, as I held them moments after their birth, a door of gratitude and wonder opened wide in my heart in ways I can yet neither explain nor resist. But you who have held a newborn know exactly what I mean: to embrace a baby is to hold the wonder of Creation close to one’s own heart.
For a decade and a half, we have filled several shoeboxes with photos charting their lives, sometimes playfully, sometimes seriously, some with smiles, some with tears. With the grace of God and the guidance of Nature, they continue to grow in health and intelligence and, some day, I pray, in wisdom and insight, as well.
My hopes for them endure as years pass, for no matter how old we become or how much travail we endure, our love for our children is every loving adult’s steadfast priority …
… or so it used to be.
Now Comes “Reproductive Health”
On January 22, 2019, to the delight of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Democrat Party, the New York State legislature passed the “Reproductive Health Act” (RHA). The RHA allows unrestricted, late-term abortions up to the very day of a baby’s birth.
Not coincidentally, the RHA was passed on the anniversary of Roe v Wade by a 32-24 majority of New York’s Democrat-controlled Senate. The Democrat State Assembly passed it 92-47. It was then signed, with enthusiastic élan, by Gov. Cuomo, who ordered state buildings be lit in pink to celebrate RHA’s passage.
The RHA -- and the merciless mentality behind it -- allows termination of a pregnancy through term. It also says that non-physicians (midwives, optometrists, chiropractors, dentists, podiatrists) may perform abortions. Unborn children are no longer recognized as second victims in New York when an expectant mother is murdered (as already happened Feb. 8, 2019). This is a reversal of recognition given to the six children murdered in their mother’s wombs on 9/11.
The RHA goes even further by guaranteeing that a repeal of Roe v. Wade will have no effect … abortion will never be banned in New York. Abortion up to birth is now the legal norm, defended and celebrated -- celebrated -- by Democrats who promote the killing of healthy, living babies under the specious, brutal rubric of “reproductive health.” This is the legal norm. But the moral norm? That is no longer a consideration.
Let’s be clear: RHA now allows abortion up to the very day of birth. Make no mistake – the child to be aborted is a fully formed human person. She, this child, is fully able to live on her own, fully equipped to begin her life outside her mother (as she has been for months). She is a real person, a human being, a citizen of the United States.
But all of that makes no difference. RHA states that this fully-alive human being -- this person -- can be “legally” killed even up to the day of her birth. The law of New York and, in fact, seven other states (the newest is New Mexico) says, “Fine by me; no problem. Let the child be put to death.”
In the same lethal vein, Vermont Democrat Kathy Tran proposed legislation legalizing abortion even after birth, an idea backed by Virginia’s Gov. Northan. In Rhode Island, Democrat Gov. Gina Raimondo promised to sign legislation legalizing abortion even after the child is viable, and Democrats in Massachusetts have also passed such a law.
The State of New Mexico just passed a law which repeats the grisly provisions of RHA -- but also allows abortion for minor children without parental knowledge or consent. Physicians are also compelled to perform abortions or risk the loss of their medical licenses. No faith protections for physicians are allowed.
Furthermore, Congressional Democrats have -- three times so far -- thwarted attempts by Republicans to vote on a bill that would at the very least provide medical care and treatment for babies who survive failed abortions. Democrats refuse to allow such a vote. The message is this: even if the child is capable of living, ignore her cries and let the child die. That is the result of the Democrat’s response.
The culture of death unleashed by Roe v Wade has borne America the shameful legacy of 61 million (and counting) dead children. Such is the moral vision of the Progressive Left.
It is clear (as it has been for years) the Democrat Party is the party of abortion-on-demand for any reason -- or no reason. Love and compassion for children unborn and born, and respect for the dignity of parenthood are of no merit.
The only goal is unobstructed “freedom” to abort and the ludicrous notion that abortion is part of “comprehensive health care” for women.
The words of Isaiah resound loud and clear to our nation: They have no mercy for the infant in the womb, no pity in their eyes for children.”
A Mother’s “Right” To Kill Her Child
We have all heard the rallying cry of abortion supporters: “My body, my choice.” Beyond the angry demonstrations for “women’s reproductive health care” and the deliberately obfuscating verbiage of the Left’s inventive vocabulary, the blunt truth is this:
In America, it’s a woman’s legal right to kill (a harsh word, a harsher reality) her child for any reason at all. It is that simple. Raw emotion and propaganda aside, the law supports a mother’s right to kill her child.
No matter what attempts are made to defend, deny, distort, twist, spin, re-define, re-interpret, lie or simply ignore the legal, medical and moral facts, we are now a nation in which a major political party and millions of our adult citizenry (including some ministers) choose to deny legal facts, medical truths and moral traditions to support the destruction of our children.
Many people ululate about the climate dangers to polar bears and trispot darter fish … but the most endangered species in America is now the unborn and being-born child.
--- PART TWO ---
Elephants And Ice Cream
My wife and I would often babysit our new grandchildren in their earliest years. Gladly did we spend many days feeding and changing them, and laughing with our twins. We took them to their favorite park for swings and jungle-jim, and we went on brief safaris into the underbrush in search of roving elephants.
We picked them up at kindergarten and karate. We subsidized the local Baskin and Robbins and made hungry forays into the Chinese restaurant where greasy, succulent egg rolls awaited.
We watched our twins grow stronger and taller and take on the world and ask challenging questions. They became our friends … and with each visit, that door to our hearts opened ever-wider, where it still stands today, open and loving and hopeful, ever-grateful to God they are alive.
The Demise Of Public Compassion
Support for abortion hinges on the false contention that babies are not human beings (one wonders when any of us becomes “human”). Celebrated abortion spokespersons – Princeton’s Peter Singer, for example - believe parents should have a period of, say, thirty days (some want longer) to decide if they wish to keep or kill their child, especially if the child is ill or retarded or somehow not “normal.”
Such thinking bestows upon parents a fallacious “right” to decide if their child should live or die. After weeks of life, the survival of living children -- who are still not considered human persons -- would be a matter of parental choice.
In all of this, the reality of God is, of course, irrelevant, the Ten Commandments discarded, the Constitutional right to life rejected. Parental responsibility is twisted beyond recognition. We become gods. “Morality” (such as it is) now rests solely on power and on the idea that putting a child to death may sometimes be humane.
The logic of the abortion community fills some of us with horror, especially those of us who value human life from conception to natural death -- and in-between. We are astonished by the culture of abortion which promotes the death of innocent human beings for reasons which trivialize the boundaries of morality, reason and simple honesty.
This is moral madness. And our nation’s readiness to propose the death penalty when convenient is of special concern to elders and dependent persons, i.e., those who are no longer members of the “productive proletariat,” some of whom are already being put to death without their knowledge or will.
Advocates of assisted suicide have also proposed wider latitude for the eradication of elderly persons, of children with Downs Syndrome (all of whom are now routinely aborted in Iceland) and of an assortment of our less-than-fully-human citizenry.
Thus, these questions must be asked:
- At what point in our lives do any of us become fully, acceptably human?
- Where will this culture of death take America?
- How many more innocent people will die?
- What category of unacceptable persons is next?
- Where, pray tell, where will it all end?
Abortion’s Grisly Processes
What specific actions does an abortion involve? For years, I have avoided writing or speaking about the next few paragraphs, but the abortion issue is now fundamental to our status as a civilized nation. Acceptance of abortion is now spreading rapidly across our country. So, I continue reluctantly … but I add a caution to those who find the truth of these procedures distressing or, in my view, heart-breaking.
Let us look only at the dilation and extraction method (D&E, referred to as “dismemberment” abortion for reasons which are obvious).
D&E is customary for an abortion in the second trimester. The intruding “fetus” -- i. e., the child -- is rotated. Forceps grasp and pull the child’s legs, shoulders, and arms through the birth canal. Various body parts (kidney, liver, brain matter, etc.) have pecuniary worth, and are sometimes saved for sale to centers of animal-human experimentation.
A small incision is then made at the base of the child’s skull to allow a suction catheter inside. The catheter removes the “cerebral material” until the child’s skull collapses. The remains of the child are removed.
At this point in every pregnancy, the baby (or “fetus,” as some prefer) has a beating heart and measurable brain waves. The baby’s gender is now identifiable. Her mother will begin to feel the baby move within her. The child produces urine, even practices breathing. Her bones are now clearly forming. She can hear and swallow and suck. Her hair and fingernails and even her unique fingerprints are forming … and she begins to respond to her mother’s now-familiar voice.
These universal biological processes of human growth and development raise so many fundamental issues (all of them moral, as well as bio-medical, issues) about 1) every child’s ability to feel pain, and 2) the indispensable role of every mother in the life and survival of her baby (to list only two) that one hesitates even to pose them.
Our Moral And Legal Imperatives
Given the overwhelming scientific data, the existence of a human person - and not merely a “clump of fetal tissue” - is crystal-clear.
But here is the crucial point: is the “fetus” factually a person?
Judge Andrew Napolitano puts the legality of the issue clearly and bluntly. He says that “… the freedom to kill innocents violates all norms of civilized society. It violates the natural law. It wasn’t even condoned in the state of nature, before governments existed. It violates the 13th and 14th Amendments. Yet, the Supreme Court and numerous congresses have refused to interfere with it. It is a grave and profound evil. It is legalized murder. Is the fetus in the womb a person? Since the fetus has human parents and all the needed human genome to develop into postnatal life, of course the fetus is a person.”
Nevertheless, abortion’s supporters tell us that all such legal facts, bio-medical data and moral concerns are irrelevant when the “human and civil right” of the mother to destroy her child is invoked. After all, they say, the mother is probably suffering, too. They insist the mother’s “comprehensive health care” demands “reproductive freedom,” i.e., the “right” to be rid of this “fetus” (a cold, cosmetic term for the word “baby”).
Proponents -- such as Senator Kamala Harris and her Democrat colleagues -- incorrectly claim abortion is an “embedded” Constitutional right. Harris is an experienced attorney. She knows full-well that abortion is not a Constitutional right. It is a wretched decision, a fiction of an errant Supreme Court; the same Court which guarantees access to abortion throughout pregnancy in its Doe v. Bolton ruling.
True, the Supreme Court did allow the states to set legal restrictions on abortion … BUT for decades these restrictions have been ignored whenever a physician says the mother’s “health” is in danger, whatever that means.
This “woman’s health” provision has been profoundly and repeatedly distorted to allow millions of medically needless abortions, often solely for convenience. “Women’s health” provision is a fallacious key to a profoundly brutal practice.
Abortion defenders further object: What of the rape victim or the victim of incest, unwillingly made pregnant by violence? It is cruel and unjust for her to have to give birth.
Rape is traumatic … yet the victim lives. Abortion is an even greater tragedy in which the death of an innocent child is the chosen outcome. The second act -- violent abortion -- cannot, and will never, rectify nor offset the first violent act.
Rape is surely dreadful but it is survivable -- as is the inevitable and painful death of a beloved, as are all of life’s unwanted sorrows, unexpected traumas and lingering emotional scars which we all bear. We all experience pain and anguish and doubt. But abortion? Abortion is death; there is no recovery.
Should we compound the trauma of rape with an even greater tragedy, the willed death of an innocent?
Should we punish the innocent to assuage the offended? Should one victim choose a second victim -- this time a vulnerable child -- to be sacrificed? To what end? Vengeance? What is thereby accomplished? Certainly not Justice, certainly not compassion or equity or the courage to choose life. What is the point of abortion, when life is still a choice?
Perpetuating pain and inflicting death upon the innocent will never, in any way, relieve or resolve our own suffering.
--- PART THREE ---
Where Are We Heading?
Further issues about abortion continue to plague us. A few examples:
- Body parts severed during abortions are sold for inter-species experimentation; killing babies is profitable, yet those who reveal this fact are being prosecuted;
- An investigative report in 2017 revealed that among 97 Planned Parenthood clinics contacted nationwide, 92 said they would not provide services to pregnant women unless they sought an abortion;
- Last year, Planned Parenthood (which is still subsidized by hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars) performed 332,757 abortions, an increase of 11,373 abortions over the previous year;
- Planned Parenthood clinics perform 118 abortions for every single adoption referral.
Abortion is profoundly evil -- yet it is staunchly defended by many Americans, spearheaded by Democrats, celebrated by politicians, applauded by some entertainers, normalized by media. Even some religionists who claim to live by the Christian ethic to love their neighbor make exception for the helpless child who is to be aborted.
Abortion denies Nature, law, divine tradition, science and morality. So, as rational, intelligent and honest human beings, we simply must ask:
- Is there a greater good to which are we sacrificing millions of babies? If so, what - or who - is it?
- To whose advantage is abortion made legal?
- Where did we get the idea that motherhood must include the choice – the “right” -- to destroy our children?
In his reflective book, "Moments of Reprieve," Primo Levi, a survivor of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, speaks of the "unassuageable sadness that grows on the ruins of lost civilizations." Our civilization – our America -- is losing its sanity. We are crushing our moral identity by our utter disregard for innocent, vulnerable lives. We are committing national suicide.
What sort of country are we preparing for our progeny? Have we have become so morally numb as a nation, so lacking in compassionate generosity and respect for life, that we are unwilling to give of ourselves and honor our most needy and innocent citizens? Is this who we have become as a people?
We are destroying the traditional moral bases of our once-extraordinary nation; a nation handed to us by Our Founders and, before them, by Almighty God, whom our Founders honored.
Will history say of America that we (as other cultures before us) have enshrined calculated inhumanity as our misguided national vision?