Friday, September 04, 2009

Life Links 9/4/09

Cardinal Sean O'Malley defends his presence at Senator Kennedy's funeral.
Needless to say, the Senator’s wake and Catholic funeral were controversial because of the fact that he did not publically support Catholic teaching and advocacy on behalf of the unborn. ­­­Given the profound effect of Catholic social teaching on so many of the programs and policies espoused by Senator Kennedy and the millions who benefitted from them, there is a tragic sense of lost opportunity in his lack of support for the unborn. To me and many Catholics it was a great disappointment because, had he placed the issue of life at the centerpiece of the Social Gospel where it belongs, he could have multiplied the immensely valuable work he accomplished....

Helen Alvaré, who is one of the most outstanding pro-life jurists, a former Director of the Bishops´ Pro-life Office and a long standing consultant to the USCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities, has always said that the pro-life movement is best characterized by what it is for, not against. We are for the precious gift of life, and our task is to build a civilization of love. We must show those who do not share our belief about life that we care about them. We will stop the practice of abortion by changing the law, and we will be successful in changing the law if we change people’s hearts. We will not change hearts by turning away from people in their time of need and when they are experiencing grief and loss....

I had the opportunity to speak briefly with President Obama, to welcome him to the Basilica and to share with him that the bishops of the Catholic Church are anxious to support a plan for universal health care, but we will not support a plan that will include a provision for abortion or could open the way to abortions in the future.

Doug Bandow comments on Hillary Clinton's statement regarding her apparent opposition to sex-selection abortions.
Yet Secretary Clinton challenged two fundamental precepts of the case for legalized abortion. First, she tied the "infanticide rate of girl babies" to sex selection abortions. If sex-based infanticide and abortion are morally equivalent, then non-discriminatory infanticide and abortion should be morally equivalent as well. Secretary Clinton has raised the core moral challenge of abortion: once we enter the continuum of life, our essential humanity has been established. The moment of birth has no obvious moral distinction. Else why would Secretary Clinton be as upset with those who abort baby girls as with those who put newborn girls out to die?

Second, Secretary Clinton undercuts the essential argument of abortion activists: there is a right to unrestricted abortion (or abortion "on demand"). That means for any reason. However, the secretary has identified, to her, at least, one illegitimate reason. If there is one, might there not be others?...

Secretary Clinton has grasped an essential truth: It is wrong to kill baby girls. But it also is wrong to kill baby boys. The problem is not sex selection abortion. The problem is abortion.

David Bass notes how abortion advocates haven't gained the cultural ground they hoped to with the political victory of having a pro-choice resident in the White House.
On the other side, try as they might, the abortion industry has been unable to brand abortion procedures as the equivalent of getting your appendix or tonsils removed. In reality, Planned Parenthood's campaign to "normalize" abortion (through products such as "I Had an Abortion" t-shirts and "Choice on Earth" Christmas cards) has backfired. Most Americans instinctively recognize that abortion is a moral evil, even if they mistakenly view it as a necessary moral evil.

What must be frustrating for the abortion lobby is that 2009 should be the year of unequaled triumphs, but it's turning into the year of unequaled setbacks. The president, so far, hasn't fulfilled his many campaign pledges on the issue; public sentiment is shifting; and support for abortion among the young isn't the default position it used to be.

In the age of hope and change, it wasn't supposed to happen this way.

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