Special Roe v. Wade Anniversary Edition

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. Today is the opposite of a holiday; it is an unholy-day. But we need to mark this day nonetheless.

What abortion has done to America

Can anyone deny these words from Mother Teresa?

“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts—a child—as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters.”

Why do liberals support abortion?

I know the usual arguments–that women should have the right to control their own bodies and no government should be able to force them to keep their babies, etc.–but these are not LIBERAL arguments, as such. It would make sense for an Ayn Rand, laissez faire, virtue-of-selfishness libertarian to talk like this, emphasizing a radical individualism and opposition to all restrictive laws. But liberals, as a rule, believe that the state should take benevolent actions and sometimes limit extreme individualism for the common good. Liberals claim to be on the side of the poor, the marginalized, and the downtrodden. So on what ideological grounds is an exception made for the unwanted child in the womb?

Is it because liberals, in their openness to change, back in the 1960′s embraced the sexual revolution and so reject any thing that would limit or place consequences on sexual freedom? Is that what it is? I don’t see how that is particularly liberal either.

I know a number of the liberals who read this blog regularly are also pro-life, which I think is consistent. Can they or, better yet, a liberal who believes in legalized abortion answer this question? I really want to know.

When the Democratic party was pro-life

Relevant to the topic above, Al Mohler reminds us that many of the icons of the Democratic party were once pro-life:

Most Americans would probably be surprised to know that Sen. Edward Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, and former Vice President Al Gore all were once solidly anti-abortion. That seems almost incomprehensible now, but the record is clear – and the pattern is chilling.

By the time Jesse Jackson and Al Gore came onto the national stage, abortion rights represented a major plank in the Democratic Party platform. Jackson had actually written attacks on the abortion culture, pointing to the disproportionate number of aborted African-American babies as evidence of racism. Al Gore ran for both Congress and the U.S. Senate on a pro-life record. When both men launched campaigns for the presidency, they changed positions on the abortion issue.

As for Ted Kennedy; he was pro-life as late as 1971, after New York had already legalized abortion. As Anne Hendershott documents in her article, “How Support for Abortion Became Kennedy Dogma,” in 1971 Sen. Kennedy wrote to one of his Massachusetts constituents with these words: “When history looks back to this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to halt the practice of war, to provide a decent living for every family, and to fulfill its responsibility to its children from the very moment of conception.”

From the very moment of conception. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Hendershott then explains:

But that all changed in the early ’70s, when Democratic politicians first figured out that the powerful abortion lobby could fill their campaign coffers (and attract new liberal voters). Politicians also began to realize that, despite the Catholic Church’s teachings to the contrary, its bishops and priests had ended their public role of responding negatively to those who promoted a pro-choice agenda.

Now read the article by Anne Hendershott he is referring to, in which she describes how some liberal Catholic theologians met with the Kennedys to give them some theological rationalizations by which they could support abortion.

Abortion & the Early Church

One of the best books I’ve ever read about abortion is Abortion and the Early Church by Michael J. Gorman. It turns out that, far from being a modern medical procedure, abortion was rampant in the ancient world. Especially in Rome. And Christians, as well as Jews, consistently opposed it, standing up for life from the very earliest days of the church. The book was out of print for awhile, so I’m delighted to see it is available again. You can buy it right here:

March for Life

On the mall of our nation’s Capitol, where two days earlier over a million people gathered to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama, pro-lifers will march today to commemorate and mourn the passage of Roe v. Wade, legalizing our national holocaust. Attend in your mind and in your prayers the March for Life.

Madoff debacle hurts Planned Parenthood

According to this report, the Picower Foundation, a $1 billion Florida foundation devoted to supporting “reproductive rights,” has gone under, shutting down completely because its investments were in Bernard Madoff’s ponzi scheme. The foundation was a prime funder of Planned Parenthood. So now Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is having to lay off 20% of its employees!

Darwinism’s pygmy in the zoo

In the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” the protagonist befriends an African pygmy who says that he was once exhibited in a zoo. That is an allusion to something that actually happened to a pygmy named Ota Benga. In 1906, he was put in a cage in the monkey house at the Bronx Zoo. This was the bright idea of the distinguished conservationist and naturalist William Temple Hornaday. He was the great-great-great-uncle of Washington Post journalist Ann Hornaday, who writes about her relative and the sad story of Ota Benga in A Critical Connection to the Curious Case of Ota Benga. In the course of her account, she reminds us that Darwinism is not just a scientific account of the origin of species, but that it has profound worldview and ethical consequences:

It was most likely in the spirit of both Barnum and Darwin that Temple hit on the disastrous idea of putting Benga in the cage. The display, marketed with the right mix of sensationalism and pseudoscientific pretense, would have the double benefit of bringing in throngs of visitors to the zoo and advancing Darwin’s theories, with Benga cast as the missing link. Ironically, it was on both those counts that black church leaders expressed outrage upon hearing of Benga’s captivity. “Our race, we think, is depressed enough without exhibiting one of us with the apes,” one minister wrote to New York’s mayor, George McClellan (son of the Civil War general). Furthermore, he added, “the Darwinian theory is absolutely opposed to Christianity, and a public demonstration in its favor should not be permitted.”

That black minister knew the logical consequences of Darwinism. Yes, materialists CAN treat other human beings kindly, but the point is, there is no basis for doing so. To use the words of Thomas Jefferson, if there is no Creator, we are not created equal, and there is no one to endow us with inalienable rights. Rights no longer have a transcendent foundation; instead, they are “alienable,” something changeable and arbitrary, equally capable of being granted or taken away.

Why Protestants should attend to Vatican’s pro-life guidelines

The Vatican has released a new, authoritative document on the ethics of in vitro fertilization techniques, stem cell research, genetic engineering, and related subjects. For background and the controversy it is stirring up, read this.

We non-Catholics tend to not care about pronouncements from the Vatican, but this is one we could find useful. Interestingly, Roman Catholic ethics these days is based not on supernatural revelations from the papal authority but on reason and the natural law.

This document works from the two moral principles that human life begins at conception and that procreation should only take place within marriage. It then studies which fertility-treatment procedures, for example, are in accord with those moral truths and which are not.

Those who struggle with these issues, especially pastors of any tradition who may have to counsel people confused about such things , would benefit from reading this document, which is entitled Dignitas Personae; that is, “The Dignity of the Person” (click the link for the full document).,

An abortionist goes to jail

From Abortionist faces nine years in prison (OneNewsNow.com):

California abortionist Bertha Bugarin is going to prison.
For at least five years, Operation Rescue has been working to shut down 11 abortion clinics owned by 48-year-old Bertha Bugarin in Los Angeles and San Diego. According to an Operation Rescue press release, Bugarin preyed on the Hispanic community and endangered women’s lives by posing as a doctor.
She was finally indicted and has pled guilty to nine felony counts of performing abortions without a medical license. Troy Newman who heads Operation Rescue, says eight of her staff abortionists have been impounded as well.
“Every single one of these abortionists has lost their [sic] medical licenses. A couple of them are in jail,” he contends. “And the abortion clinic owner, because she was forced to go out and try to find another abortionist and couldn’t find one, she was actually doing abortions herself even though she didn’t have a medical license.”
Bugarin faces up to nine years in prison for her convictions.

And yet, I find it twisted that a medical license has become a license to kill. The calling of a physician, which the state confirms by bestowing that license, is to heal their patients, not kill them. Abortion, among its evils, is a sin against vocation.