"Abortion is a blessing!"

You know, it’s so sick, I really didn’t want to write about it. I linked to Amy Welborn and figured I’d let you folks find this monstrosity on your own, but I want to make sure you read it.

These remarks were made before a NARAL audience, in 2007, but are only just getting some reaction, perhaps because of the current movement to suppress the conscience clause that protects doctors, nurses and pharmacists from losing their jobs, and Catholic hospitals from closing their doors.

Or, perhaps her words are becoming more widely distributed because The Rev Katherine Hancock Ragsdale has just been named Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massacusetts.

If you do not mind, in the interests of space, I am going to put Ragsdale’s sermon in bold, and I’ll respond here and there, in italics

Too often even those who support us can be heard talking about abortion as a tragedy. Let’s be very clear about this: When a woman finds herself pregnant due to violence and chooses an abortion, it is the violence that is the tragedy; the abortion is a blessing.

If you actually talk to women who have kept the babies conceived ‘due to violence,’ as I have in my life, you would more likely find that their allowing their child to live has delivered them from their trauma, and brought love, healing and light into a very dark reality. When “violence” has been done to someone, it seems counter-intuitive to suggest that further violence – via both penetration and a ripping, violent murder done deeply WITHIN her body – can be a blessing…unless you subscribe to the odd two-wrongs-make-right equation.

When a woman finds that the fetus she is carrying has anomalies incompatible with life, that it will not live and that she requires an abortion – often a late-term abortion – to protect her life, her health, or her fertility, it is the shattering of her hopes and dreams for that pregnancy that is the tragedy; the abortion is a blessing.

These two young mothers and their babies belie the idea that doctors are always correct in their predictions about sustainable life. With extremely rare medical exception, a woman never “requires” an abortion, and even the AMA has testified that late-term abortions are unnecessary, given the availability of safe Cesarean sections, to protect “life” or “health” or “fertility.” It is certainly a crushing and painful thing for any pregnant woman to learn that child she is carrying and nurturing in her womb has a problem and may not live, or may live “differently” than most of us. But healing is a funny thing. It only comes when you walk through the fire rather than by attempting a detour around it. I wonder if Rev. Ragsdale has ever talked to women who have delivered children destined to die, who have managed only to swaddle them, name them and kiss them before burying them. She might learn something about what a powerful, and unending – Eternal – love comes with those experiences. It is the difference between being able to say “I know you and you know me”, and not knowing, at all. Blessings, indeed.

When a woman wants a child but can’t afford one because she hasn’t the education necessary for a sustainable job, or access to health care, or day care, or adequate food, it is the abysmal priorities of our nation, the lack of social supports, the absence of justice that are the tragedies; the abortion is a blessing.

Certainly there are women who struggle with these issues, but there are pretty extensive government programs in place to assist them, and I have never heard of a church that has refused help when a need has been made known. And I reject out of hand the notion that if someone is poor, they should simply kill their children. Barack Obama’s mother surely had few social “justice” mechanisms in place when she chose to give birth to him!

But if Ragsdale is really worried about women being forced to abort because of insufficient government or community help, and if she is sincere about the notion of “informed choice” – including the “choice” not to abort, then perhaps she will head into the monied enclaves of the pro-choice, on the Upper West Side, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Hollywood and elsewhere to urge the establishment of a “Pro-Choice Mother’s Help Foundation,” so that more women have even more resources to help them. It seems to me the pro-abortion side raises enormous amounts of money to support their facilities and their lobbying efforts. Why not spend some of it putting some money on the “life” side of the “choice” they’re so very, very “pro” about? I’d donate to it – a show of good faith.

And when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight — only blessing. The ability to enjoy God’s good gift of sexuality without compromising one’s education, life’s work, or ability to put to use God’s gifts and call is simply blessing.

Actually, in this scenario, there are several tragedies “in sight.” There is – lest we forget – the ripping and shredding up of a human life (come on, Rev. Ragsdale – it’s a baby – a living being, species human, not vegetable, not wolvine), and more tragically a weird societal validation of the supremacy (and stagnation) of the beloved self, which compromises for no one and nothing, and puts nothing else before it. This is the ultimate, intimate idolatry, whereby one has made oneself a godling, a facsimile I AM. It is very tragic, indeed. It is also a lie and an illusion.

These are the two things I want you, please, to remember – abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Let me hear you say it: abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done. Abortion is a blessing and our work is not done.

Oh…boomers….they do love their group chants.

I want to thank all of you who protect this blessing – who do this work every day: the health care providers, doctors, nurses, technicians, receptionists, who put your lives on the line to care for others (you are heroes — in my eyes, you are saints); the escorts and the activists; the lobbyists and the clinic defenders; all of you. You’re engaged in holy work.

As you see, Rev. Ragsdale and I have very different ideas as to what constitutes a saint, and holy work.

Anyway, that was Ragsdale’s big finale. Earlier in the piece, she had another message to deliver, and you need to read that, too, is because we’re going to see doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others being told to go against their consciences or lose their livelihoods. Indeed, talk in that direction has already begun, and Ragsdale delivers the moralistic (and quite specious, condescending and adolescent) “talking points” for her crew:

Let me say a bit more about that, because the religious community has long been an advocate of taking principled stands of conscience – even when such stands require civil disobedience. We’ve supported conscientious objectors, the Underground Railroad, freedom riders, sanctuary seekers, and anti-apartheid protestors. We support people who put their freedom and safety at risk for principles they believe in.

But let’s be clear, there’s a world of difference between those who engage in such civil disobedience, and pay the price, and doctors and pharmacists who insist that the rest of the world reorder itself to protect their consciences – that others pay the price for their principles.

This isn’t particularly complicated. If your conscience forbids you to carry arms, don’t join the military or become a police officer. If you have qualms about animal experimentation, think hard before choosing to go into medical research. And, if you’re not prepared to provide the full range of reproductive health care (or prescriptions) to any woman who needs it then don’t go into obstetrics and gynecology, or internal or emergency medicine, or pharmacology. Choose another field! We’ll respect your consciences when you begin to take responsibility for them.”

As Rev. Ragsdale likes to say: Let’s be clear: this is genuine disorientation, species diabolical. The only consciences that will be respected are the ones that are aligned with the agenda. This is what “tolerance” has devolved to. “Tolerate me; but I need not tolerate thee.”

Or, to put it another way: Obey;your conscience means nothing to me.

And now, good people, if you would – I have received an email from a young woman who is 7 months pregnant with her first child and who also has been told by doctors that her daughter will not live past her birth. This mother and her husband are prepared to hold and love and kiss this child, and then let her go. But they also believe that – as the angel told Mary – with God nothing is impossible. I have written back to ask her if I may give you more details but in the meantime, please pray for them. As she wrote in her email, “I believe God uses others to keep His children going…”

How funny…in ten words, she articulates the whole mystery of life and love, better than Rev. Ragsdale or I ever could.

Women are screwed up if they think they do not have power:

By the world’s measure, the power of a woman lies in what she “does.” By Christ’s measure – by God’s – woman is intrinsically powerful, simply in her being. She is afforded the power, freedom and respect to “make” or “break” mankind’s connection to the Creator.

Check back. If I can, I will give you more details.

Also writing: Damian Thompson
Kim Priestap
The Midwest Conservative
Resisting Termination
Your life, or your baby’s
No greater love…
Zeke lived 1/2 Hour…Love lives on
When a woman chooses not to abort

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • kritlar

    I think I’m going to be sick. Is it any wonder that my husband and I felt compelled to leave the Episcopal Church?

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  • MuscleDaddy

    These are the words of a woman who hates deeply – maybe herself, maybe someone in her family or past – and who wants everyone else to hate the same way.

    That someone in a position of religious leadership can sa that the taking of the most innocent life is a “blessing” – makes me wish God were still in the overt-smiting business.

    – MuscleDaddy

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness into light, and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!” Is 5:20

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  • Genevieve B

    It is difficult to read words of such sick, twisted thinking. More painful is the thought of this woman’s worldly “prestige” in her Church-related position and how she is using it to influence other people. I have always thought it interesting that pagans/child sacrificers/tree worshippers have historically all gone together and here is someone who once again WORSHIPS with child sacrifice, a practice that she probably decries when she is told it is practiced in, let’s say, Africa, as I have heard recently. Prayers for your friend, and courage to her; her baby’s life is not without meaning, in no small thanks to you as well.

  • MrsFairfax

    I spent some time on baby Faith’s blog last night (thanks to your link) and was struck by how actively hostile the medical professionals were to her birth. The neonatologist wanted to know why he would bother to suction the baby’s nose and mouth! I’m sure the young mother who has contacted you is going through the same pressure to end her pregnancy now. Please let her know we’re praying for her.

  • http://jmbalconi.stblogs.com Jean Balconi

    I was not as shocked as I might have been about her “blessing” shtick, having heard similar stupid comments from so-called intellectuals likening pregnancy to a hostage situation and marriage to a concentration camp.

    What floored me was her take on consciencious objectors: If you won’t perform an abortion, don’t become a doctor. If you won’t provide a deadly cocktail of meds, don’t become a pharmacist.

    The obvious extension is this: If you don’t want to have children, don’t have sex. Or have yourself sterilized.

    I don’t agree with sterlization, but I admit I’m curious: Why aren’t the “choice” crowd promoting a voluntary sterilization? I can understand that PP is so dependent on repeat customers that they wouldn’t suggest killing their cashcows of birth control and abortion. But why haven’t the so-called feminists latched onto the idea of “liberating” women by making them no more likely to give birth than men?

  • Jim Hicks

    Like kritlar wrote above, my wife and I left the Episcopal Church in the early years of this decade and have never looked back. The problem for TEC is that most of the faithful have left, so those that remain are radicals for whom true faith is not on the “agenda.” Increasing the numbers of openly gay clergy and bishops, a push for abortion on demand and worship that is as far from Catholic as possible, are their goals.

    While I am still interested in Anglican going-ons and still use the Anglican Breviary for my daily office (don’t like the modern language in the LOTH), I can only sorrow and pray for the faith community of which the Queen must remain titular head.

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  • http://newine.wordpress.com ultraguy

    When I first began watching ‘The Dog Whisperer’ on the National Geographic channel, it confused me when he would say, “this is good, this is good,” just at the moment when some lunatic mutt went from calm and quiet to baring its teeth and lunging at his jugular. What I came to understand was that the acting out — or in human terms, the emergence of the ugly vitriol — was essential to resolving the underlying problem.

    So too here, I suspect. As the other side gets clearer and clearer about the dark, ugly things that it stands for, the contrast with God’s view becomes ever clearer. Thus the Isaiah 5:20 quote, above, is apt. When what is being chosen is obscured or apologized for, it is easier to blithely go for the idea of ‘choice’ in the abstract. Once it is made plain in all its awfulness, the world is that much closer to seeing the stark distinction between God’s kingdom and the other one.

  • KIA

    A few days ago over at Dcn Greg’s blog I posted one of my many warnings on WHY the abortion and stem cell debate will determine our OWN lives down the road. Below is an excerpt from my post. If anyone wondered if we are in the rage of the “spirtual battle”, we now have confirmation. This stuff is from the gates of hell. We can still stop these confirmations via our elected officials. It’s been known to work!

    Example one: Dawn Johnson is up for confirmation for Obama’s legal counsel. Dawn Johnson is past counsel of the ACLU and legal director for NARAL. She is well on record of her undermining of the Catholic Church. See the latest news on the Catholic League website for more info, or Google her.

    Example two: Kathleen Sibelius, partial birth abortion advocate (refused communion from both the Kansas and DC bishops) is also up for confirmation next week. She’s even scarier because she will oversee Health and Human Services. I keep trying to warn that the average American has no idea what is about to be unleashed on ALL HUMAN LIFE.

    Between the wild Wild West UNREGULATED biotechnologies that I predict will be greatly MISUSED; we are headed for a place no man has even gone, ethically or scientifically. This is all going on while much of America is distracted with their finances.

    Obama’s lift of the ESC was TOTALLY for political reasons, (the technology was outdated almost 2 years ago). After all, if we “keep the embryo sacred”, how can we ever proceed with all of the human manipulation, forced abortions, fetal farming (not “wasting” aborted babies will be next), and of course, euthanasia. If you think after national health care kicks in, especially with Sibelius at the helm, you or I will have any chance of getting chemo past age 60 or having a bad knee or hip replaced good luck!

  • http://thecafeallegro.com RandomThoughts

    It was all I could do to read Rev. Ragsdale’s message. What an abomination. What a horrific, despicable abomination, presuming to stand in some sort of psuedo-Christian authority.

    It’s important though that we know what darkness we’re up against. Ultraguy said it perfectly, “As the other side gets clearer and clearer about the dark, ugly things that it stands for, the contrast with God’s view becomes ever clearer.”

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com/ Bender B. Rodriguez

    and of course, euthanasia. If you think after national health care kicks in, especially with Sibelius at the helm, you or I will have any chance of getting chemo past age 60 or having a bad knee or hip replaced good luck!

    Here we see the arbitrariness of “choice” and when a health provider’s conscience must be respected. If the choice is to kill the child in the womb, or even outside it (known as a “fetus ex utero”), or in the petri dish, then the choice MUST be respected and providers and insurers and taxpayers compelled to make it happen, even against their own choice to be involved or not. But if the choice is to receive some kind of life-sustaining treatment, then the health provider has the fundamental right of professional judgment and conscience to refuse to provide the treatment, including such “treatment” as food and water, if he or she personally deems it inappropriate.

    Most assuredly, the triage approach to caregiving will be implemented more and more, as some patients are deemed worthy of medical care, and others are deemed to be unacceptable burdens to society who would be better off dead and, thus, should be “mercifully” freed from their “suffering.”

    It is indeed a culture of death.

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