Archive for the ‘Abortion’ Category

Contraception no longer a “non-negotiable” for Catholic bishops

October 31, 2007

This is what one Jerome Donnelly claims in a letter written to the NY Times. He is commenting on an article by Peter Steinfels that talks about the upcoming voter guide being prepared by the US Catholic Bishops.

Donnelly writes that contraception used to be denounced from pulpits as a non-negotiable, but now the bishops seem fixated on abortion:

Catholic practices have apparently led the bishops to become more reticent in denouncing artificial birth control; perhaps a comparable prudence should now be exercised in the case of abortion.

Two problems here: (more…)

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“The Catholic Boom”: some observations

May 25, 2007

David Brooks, writing in the Opinion section on the TimesSelect website (subscription required), argues that the “quasi-religious” have economic and sociological advantages over the truly religious and the truly unreligious.

In making this argument, he seems to insult both Protestants and Catholics even as he praises them for their great financial and educational achievements. You see, quasi-religious people respect history and tradition, and benefit from the stability these afford, but because they are always questioning and dissenting, they don’t get stuck in productivity- and income-quashing ruts.

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Short history of Protestant contraception

May 22, 2007

Why did Protestants forbid contraception, side by side with Catholics, for 400 years, only to repudiate this teaching in the 20th century? Allan Carlson, a self-described “cradle Lutheran”, founder and president of the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society, addresses this question in “Children of the Reformation“, the cover story of the new issue of Touchstone Magazine.

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New generation of Evangelicals smarter than the last

May 20, 2007

Or so the NY Times would have you believe. The article published online today, “Emphasis Shifts for New Breed of Evangelicals,” should be entitled “Emphasis Seems to Shift.”

The article points out that compared to the “old guard” of the so-called “religious right,” the younger generation of Evangelical leaders, including folks like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels, is more likely to be vocal about things like AIDS in Africa, world poverty, and global warming. And unlike their predecessors—the Billy Grahams, Pat Robertsons, and Jerry Falwells—this new group is less likely to speak out about things like abortion and same-sex marriage.

But don’t be fooled: even though Evangelicals are doing the “right” thing by speaking out against global warming, they are still committed to a conservative position on abortion and marriage. Don’t expect their vote, Mr. Giuliani (the authors say twice). But also take note that these younger Evangelicals, while less overtly politically activist than their forebears, nevertheless demonstrate more political savvy in that they don’t shout from the rooftops their opposition to the liberal agenda (they just vote), even as they go about exerting influence on the public through non-political means. By cozying up to “liberal” issues like fighting AIDS in Africa, and fighting global warming, the theory seems to suggest, these new Evangelicals are potentially more dangerous politically than those of the past. The old were black & white; the new are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

The article is fair, I think, for the most part; but is also definitely a subtle dig against the old Evangelical leaders, whom to hate passionately is, I’m sure, a condition of employment at the Times. The use of this quotation from Charles Colson helps: “What’s happening today is the evangelical movement is growing up.” I don’t suspect Colson meant this as an insult, but you can be sure it will be read that way by liberals who dream of a day when to be Christian means to vote like American Episcopalians.

Sick searchers?

May 18, 2007

For a month now, ever since the Supreme Court’s decision in Gonzales v. Carhart, I don’t think a day has passed that someone hasn’t found this blog after searching for one of the following keywords: decapitation, skulls, animated skulls, how to draw skulls, infanticide, sucking.

I’ve also seen multiple hits for the bizarre “INTACT DECAPITATION.” That must be an oxymoron.

How disappointed they must be if they actually click through and read the post.

“Joel Osteel” is another daily source of hits to my blog, thanks to someone misspelling Osteen’s name in a comment from last summer.

Majella Society and Michael Reagan

May 12, 2007

majella_adThe Majella Society is a pro-life organization dedicated to making sure women know that when they are faced with a “crisis pregnancy” they have options other than abortion. It’s ironic that many women don’t know there are any alternatives to abortion until a so-called “anti-choice” organization tells them. This image shows the end of one of Majella’s TV ads, with their hotline number: 1-800-395-HELP. They also run billboards and radio ads. You can watch their ads online at their website, or by following this link to a YouTube search.

They held their third annual fundraiser banquet this past Thursday, and I had the good fortune to be invited by a couple who hosted one of the tables. Michael Reagan was the keynote speaker. Norma McCorvey, who in 1973 was the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade, was also in attendance. Last year the speaker was Zell Miller.

I shot a short clip of Reagan’s address, which I have put up at YouTube for all you MR fans. Pardon the non-embedded nature of this video link—for some reason WordPress seems to disallow embedded YouTube videos.

All hail science and “diversity”—except when they cramp our style

May 9, 2007

An article on Down Syndrome on the NY Times website stimulated a thought about the great present-day mantras of “diversity” and the promise of science to explain all of reality.

It’s well known that diversity is being pushed by the academic elites of the nation as a kind of panacea. Diversity will keep us from the deadening effects of parochialism. It’s better to be a citizen of the world than a patriotic American, after all.

And everyone knows that the key to true peace, freedom, and all other good things is unrestricted funding for every kind of scientific research. In technology, biology, engineering, and all the rest, scienctific knowledge is reliable and objective, setting us free from superstition and irrational prejudices.

But to return to this article on Down Syndrome: the author notes that there is a great push to screen all pregnant women for indicators that their baby might be born with Down Syndrome, and that 90% of women positively diagnosed choose to have an abortion. The author rightly notes:

But as prenatal tests become available for a range of other perceived genetic imperfections, they may also be heralding a broader cultural skirmish over where to draw the line between preventing disability and accepting human diversity.

Yes, where does “diversity” enter the picture? Are we interested in diversity of skin color and sexuality only? Or are we prepared to admit that living with people who have “genetic imperfections” might be a positive thing, for ourselves as well as for those with those genetic conditions? And if we tend to abort those babies, does that mean we are committed to diversity only when it costs us nothing? (I’m not saying I have a committment to diversity—only that it’s undeniable that many who favor abortion, and favor aborting genetically imperfect babies, also are on board the diversity bandwagon, and probably favor other positions primarily favored by the Left.)

And this is where science comes in. Why is it that some people will claim in one breath that science can explain religion, morals, “the mind,” and so much else . . . but then claim in the next that science can’t tell us when life begins?

It seems to me that in both cases, there are those who choose to worship diversity and science when it is convenient for their lifestyles to do so. Not out of any committment to truth—a committment to their own comfort and autonomy.

P.S. Another thing that puzzles me is how many of those who tout “diversity” and its synonym, “multiculturalism,” as great goods, consider Globalization to be a great evil. Are we somehow to become citizens of the world, but limit our buying and selling to our own backyard? There seems to be a contradiction here.

All quiet

April 30, 2007

The wolves have slinked back to their dens, it seems. Haven’t gotten a hostile e-mail for coming on four days now, and it does feel nice.

But I hear now they’re carrying on with one of my friends, who, though he disagrees with my position on abortion, spoke up in my defense since he thought my public treatment on the e-mail list last week was uncalled for.

I have to say: I have an increased respect for Rick Santorum after having borne the blind liberal fury for several days. Santorum must have gotten death threats for the abortion legislation he championed. I thought someone was going to try to come after me, and I barely said anything. But Santorum, being the leader of the pro-life movement that he was in Congress, . . . it’s inevitable that some crazy liberal would have threatened his life. Excelsior, brother.

Supreme Court bans infanticide and brain vacuuming

April 18, 2007

Reading how matter-of-factly the Associated Press talks in this article, you’d think the topic was something mundane, like comparing the rainfall on two relatively unrainy days:

The procedure at issue involves partially removing the fetus intact from a woman’s uterus, then crushing or cutting its skull to complete the abortion.

Abortion opponents say the law will not reduce the number of abortions performed because an alternate method — dismembering the fetus in the uterus — is available and, indeed, much more common.

But in the world of partial-birth abortion, crushing babies’ skulls and sucking the brains out with a vacuum IS mundane. Nothing remarkable. And for the description of the procedure, note that it’s a “fetus” being removed from the uterus. I suppose that being only part-way outside the mother means it’s not yet a baby? Does an obstetrician deliver fetuses? If so, when does it become a “baby”? If you ask Barbara Boxer—as Rick Santorum did in 1999, in a chilling exchange that made it clear that Boxer believes that female empowerment mandates giving women the power of life and death over their offspring—Boxer would say that it becomes not only a baby, but a human being with rights “when you bring your baby home.” Read the transcript at the Library of Congress website. Here is an excerpt:

Mr. SANTORUM. But I would like to ask you this question. You agree, once the child is born, separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed? Do you agree with that?

Mrs. BOXER. I would make this statement. That this Constitution as it currently is—some want to amend it to say life begins at conception. I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born—and there is no such thing as partial-birth—the baby belongs to your family and has the rights. But I am not willing to amend the Constitution to say that a fetus is a person, which I know you would.

Boxer went on to say that not allowing women to kill their babies at the moment when they are seconds from full delivery was going to endanger the women’s life and health. This seems to me downright ludicrous. For there seem to be two reasons why crazy people like Boxer want partial-birth abortion: first, they say that it’s sometimes safer than regular abortion, which involves chopping up the baby’s body in utero, and involves inserting a blade, the creation of sharp bone fragments, and possibly other conditions that could harm the mother. Clearly, this is a bad idea all around, and not just for the baby who’s being cut up. Second, I believe they sometimes claim that PBA is necessary when the baby’s head is too big for the birth canal. But in cases like these, we have the Caesarean section procedure, which avoids scalpels, bone fragments, and the vacuuming of brains, and promotes the continued life of the child.

But back to the news article: Ginsburg called it “alarming” that women will no longer be able to legally vacuum their babies’ brains out at the point of birth. She also said that the decision “‘tolerates, indeed applauds, federal intervention to ban nationwide” the puncturing of infants’ skulls with scissors and the sucking out of their brains, often resulting in decapitation (warning: links to graphic image), “a procedure found necessary and proper in certain cases by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.”

Whatever. She and those of like mind are interested in power and radical autonomy, not in protecting the “health” of innocent pregnant women. If they were interested in protecting the innocent, they wouldn’t be pushing for the ongoing legal genocide of the most innocent members of our society.

Fetus hit man

April 5, 2007

Teen gets 76.5 months in jail for trying to hire a hit man to “to injure his estranged 17-year-old girlfriend so badly that her fetus would die.” According to the article, the law in Washington state provides for charges of “first-degree solicitation to commit manslaughter . . . when a viable fetus is the intended target.”

Yet according to our “liberal” and “progressive” laws, had the woman offered an officially-licensed fetus hit man money to do the job, her boyfriend likely could have been thrown in jail for obstructing the abortion. She wouldn’t have been punished, at any rate.

It would be nice if the laws on this matter were consistent with each other. And better if they protected fetuses no matter who was attacking them.