Daniel Boland Ph. D.




Daniel Boland Ph. D.

Photo by Robert Phelps





Commentaries and observations about the conflicting moral beliefs and psychological issues facing our culture.


New essay every week

Subscribe to


You will receive an email announcing future posts to "Today's Ideas."

Your email address is safe with us, it is held with strict confidence and is not shared.

Sign up now


13 October 2020

I  Speak  For  The  Child
Part  Two

Pro-abortion convictions rest on the belief that we can do as we wish where human life is concerned. Abortion proponents hold that we are not obligated to God or any person. We - and only we - decide. The norm is this: “I will do it because I have a right to do it - so I will.”

This specious doctrine of unlimited “rights” was given impetus in 1992 when Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote: “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe and of the mystery of human life.”

The pro-abortion community now focuses solely on a woman’s right to control her own body, on her right to control her decision to have a family … on her “right” to kill her child when that child intrudes on the woman’s other rights.

Notice – the abortion culture never speaks about a woman’s responsibility to control her body, her responsibility to have a family without killing her child, her responsibility to honor the mystery and gravity of her power over human life.

Rights  Without  Responsibilities

Abortion proponents say nothing about the child’s right to live and the responsibility of mothers to protect and nurture their children. This responsibility seems so obvious to right-thinking persons that it is astonishing it has to be said aloud and is, even then, denied.

The consequences of pro-abortion rhetoric are deadly. Moral considerations are eliminated. The survivor’s mantra of “Me-First” is brought into grim focus - and labeled woman’s “right.”
Abortion promoters consider the religious and ethical beliefs of pro-lifers to be delusionary, repressive superstitions. Moral objections are archaic tools of dominance by male elites, denials of women’s “contraceptive rights.”

These adherents insist that the findings of medicine and science, tenets of tradition and morality, the ageless suasions of religion and the lessons of history are irrelevant to the “rights” of women to abort. Abortion’s lethal message to women and to our entire culture is that natural law, divine revelation, fundamental biology, empathy, mercy, concern for children born and unborn, even the urgings of incipient motherhood intrude upon women’s “rights.”

In fact, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and their allies vehemently deny that a "fetus" is even a human being. The baby is not a living baby, not a growing and already-maturing child. She is not entitled – has no “right” - to her own God-given life.

Abortion  Rights ?

Let’s be clear about basics.

Pro-abortion dogma stems from 1) what proponents believe about human nature, 2) and the doctrine of “rights-without-responsibility.”

The abortion community proposes dreary assumptions about what it means to be human and about life’s purpose. They minimize both our moral obligations to one another and the innate dignity of every individual, at every age and condition. They dismiss built-in limits of human nature and our status as creatures of a Personal God. Dismissing God-as-Creator is essential.

Abortion thrives because our “woke” culture (including some religionists) pursues an array of specious “freedoms.” Abortion’s virtue-signaling adherents are enamored of the endless parade of cavalier “rights” which have arisen in the last fifty years - except the rights of a child.

To maintain belief in abortion as a woman’s right, adherents must:

  • Dismiss the cautions and restraints of scientific evidence.
  • Disregard well-aged traditions and sage affirmations of good old common sense which God and Nature put daily before us and patiently reinforce throughout our history of uneven allegiance.
  • Deny that God-given limits to our choices actually do exist.
  • Refuse to accept that we are subject to God’s Law of Love for our neighbor and must do no harm to anyone.
  • Separate rights from pre-existing and inseparable responsibilities. Responsibility always precedes a right!

False  “Freedoms”

Abortion culture is also spurred on by its deeply flawed notion of human nature. As Dr. Leon Kass writes, “faulty anthropology makes for faulty law, especially when the subject is human life itself.”

Instead of reverence for life, our nation has chosen to destroy it. Our Supreme Court (NOT our Constitution) says, “Go ahead, kill the innocent child; it is your Constitutional right to do so.”

This colossal lie nudges America into accelerating self-destruction and casts us ever deeper into barbarism as a culture --- as profound moral changes and the rise of godless Marxism in our nation now tell us.

Clearly, then, abortion supporters pursue a false “freedom” which is hostile to human welfare in so many ways.

Hostile? Why?

Because in God’s good time, we are by our nature, meant to love and to be loved; meant to share ourselves in trust and hope and kindness, always honoring our divinely-established human limits.

We open our national borders to millions of outsiders. We say to the world, Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free ...  and yet we fatally reject our neediest citizens even as they are being born or, incredibly, after a successful birth - when they are left alone to die.

Vulnerability  Is  Normal

The truth of human life is this:

  • We are meant to set an example of goodness for one another, to love and welcome our most vulnerable neighbors.
  • We are meant to embrace sacrifice, even at personal cost, especially when we are responsible for another person’s existence.
  • We are meant to teach our children by word and virtuous example how to live in goodness - starting with Nature’s irreplaceable bond between a child and her loving mother.
  • We are meant to honor our God-given purpose, to become humbly aware of our mutual limits.
  • We are meant to accept, not run from, our vulnerabilities and our reasonable dependence on others – from conception, all through life, into adulthood and beyond.
  • We are meant to realize the redeeming truth that we are all vulnerable – all of us, even in our maturity.
  • We are meant to run Nature’s course, vulnerable from conception into childhood, then into elderhood’s eventual dependencies – in short, to be humbly human.

The  Courage  To  Be  Human

To admit that we are this human is to admit our vulnerability and our human weaknesses. But when we are weak, then (as Paul of Tarsus says) are we strong - as the gifts of insight and humility reveal our utter dependence on our Creator, Who sustains us.
And, in the course of facing life’s inevitable urgencies, wisdom should eventually teach us (if we are open) that we are not autonomous beings with unlimited “rights.”

True, we may achieve what we want (often at considerable cost to self and others). But wisdom teaches that, by ourselves, we do not possess the power to get what we truly need.

Wisdom will eventually expose us to our excessive individualism and tell us: “Grow up; accept the limits of God’s creation. Be grateful that you are alive to give honor to your Creator; grateful that you were not aborted to suit the wayward wants of another.”  

This grateful vision of human nature will never abuse nor assault a vulnerable and dependent person, especially a child, a disabled neighbor or an elderly person.

Legal  Deception  And  Social  Conditioning

Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute rightly points out that nowhere in the text of the U. S. Constitution can the “right” to abortion be found. She adds this observation:

John Hart Ely, former dean of Stanford Law School, former Yale and Harvard law school professor, and former clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, wrote, “What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the U. S. Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure … It is bad because it is bad constitutional law, or rather because it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”

Despite Roe v Wade’s contrived origins in judicial activism, the abortion culture has heavyweight support for its denial of a child’s right to life.

One example: In the Supreme Court decision of Box v Planned Parenthood (May 2019), Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg criticized Justice Clarence Thomas for his use of the word “mother” in regard to pregnancy. Ginsburg held that any woman who exercises her constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy is not a “mother.” There is no “mother” and no “child” in any pregnancy, she contended.

In addition, Justice Ginsburg’s denial of the child’s rights was revealed in her comments in Gonzalez v Carhart (2007). She wrote that any restriction on partial-birth abortion was an “alarming” interference with a woman’s “control over her destiny” and obstructed the woman’s (not the mother’s) right to “participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation.”

The message to women: Let not the child interfere with your routines. In this view, “economic and social life” are the participatory goals of American womanhood; more so than God’s creative gift of motherhood and the giving of life to a child.

The truth, once again, is that a massive lie has been foisted upon our nation -- in the guise of a “right.”

Let that idea sink in ……  

Moral  Challenges  To  Mind  And  Heart

Surely there must be instances of medical crises where abortion is honestly considered … right?

Such instances are very rare, but they do arise … or so we are told. Yet some physicians hold that abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life.

Occasionally we read of a child born with little expectation of survival – yet that baby does survive, much to the astonishment of physicians and the joy of parents. Here is a link to a rewarding story of twins whose survival chances were about 10%:

But supposing a newborn survives only a short while and does die soon after birth. Sadness will befall her parents. But what parent would abort their child to prevent, rather than compound, their sadness?

Some women find pregnancy frightening, especially women who feel emotionally weak and vulnerable, unready for single motherhood. But one might ask, how many women (and men) feel truly prepared for the sacrifices and changes of life which every child demands?

What of the rape victim, the victim of violence forced upon her? Is not abortion then understandably justified? Many people would say yes, abortion is certainly justified. In such an instance, one must still seriously wonder if one act of violence favors a second, far worse, act of violence - terminal violence - resulting in death to the innocent child?

Does one unjust action justify an even more serious reaction - a lethal reaction - by the survivor? Are there no life-giving options? Is death to the child the only response? Does the enwombed - and innocent - child deserve to die, even if she is unwanted?

Content  Of  Our  National  Character

Forty-four years ago, Representative Henry Hyde said to his Congressional colleagues, "Enough." Abortion destroys not only an innocent child but "the moral foundation of our democracy." "We risk our souls," he warned. "We risk our humanity."

For every Catholic, the Month of October is “Respect Life” Month.  Catholics are called to cherish, defend, and protect our most vulnerable persons. The Church asks us all to reflect deeply on the dignity of every human person, from the beginning of our lives to our natural end, and every point in between.

Dedication to the lives of innocents is especially concerning when we realize that the number of abortions in our nation since Roe v Wade in 1973 now exceeds 60 million innocent children … and rising hourly.

To  Be  For  The  Child

Motherhood and fatherhood demand sacrifice. Right? Of course.
Raising children is a challenge. Right? Of course.

To pro-life persons, the choice to love and raise a child is natural. Abortion is unthinkable, especially to persons:

  • who make sacrifices, accept challenges, and face their own inadequacies so they may love and raise a child;
  • who suffer inevitable self-doubt … and yet persevere to love and raise a child;
  • who sustain their faith and hope as they love and raise a child;
  • who grapple with disappointment and weariness as they love and raise their child, a child whose reciprocal love one day overwhelms all fear and doubt;
  • who unite themselves with God, participate in His mystery of Creation and enhance the beauty of human life … as they love and raise their child.

Sacrifice? Of course - but what is life for, if not to be shared together in delight and confusion, in pain and hope, in seasons of light and times of ambiguity - as we seek to love and to be loved?

But . . .  no matter what we say in defense of the child, it’s quite evident that some persons will vehemently insist that abortion is a “civil right” which no one should criticize, challenge or judge.

They will insist abortion is solely between a woman and her physician - even though abortion drugs can be ordered on the internet and abortions can be procured without medical intervention. But, as one adherent angrily told me, it’s none of a man’s business; it’s a woman’s prerogative, a woman’s right !!

After all the rhetoric is said, we cannot escape the truth that loving and living are never without some sacrifice. Sacrifice is of life’s essence, even when it is painful and unexpected.

So, to save a human life, at what point do we say “No, I will not”?

Finally, being a truly loving person means we give from our hearts for the good of others. Sacrifice is the essential cost of loving and being loved, the true test of our character, a test which is never more blessed than when we love a child.

Thus do I speak for the child, as many others also do … as I wish every man and woman would do. I pray we would all speak … speak for the child ….