Horror show in Philadelphia

Reading Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams' indictment of abortion provider Kermit Gosnell is hard traveling and the 260-page grand jury report is worse. The grisly details of this doctor's "practice" is something out of a Grade B horror film:

Gosnell is accused of causing the death of one of his female patients; and killing viable babies, born alive in the 6th, 7th, and 8th month of pregnancy, by severing their spinal cords with a pair of scissors. A search of Gosnell’s office, called the Women’s Medical Society, in West Philadelphia revealed that bags and bottles holding aborted fetuses were scattered throughout the building. Jars containing the severed feet of babies lined a shelf. Furniture and equipment was dusty, broken, and blood-stained. The doctor himself was seldom present. In his absence, untrained, unsupervised workers, one of them a teenage girl, routinely injected dangerous sedatives into women undergoing illegal late-term abortions.

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The doctor's indifference and depravity (joking about the size of one of the murdered infants, for example) is evident throughout the report. He and members of his staff have been charged in eight counts of homicide for the killing of one patient and the murder of seven infants, born viable and dispatched with a pair of scissors. The DA repots that Gosnell may have "snipped" hundreds of babies in this manner over decades. His clinic has been open for 32 years. It is hard to understand how state regulators could have ignored it for so long. Perhaps Gosnell chose his client base, among the city's poor and immigrant communities, wisely.

From the Grand Jury report:

This case is about a doctor who killed babies and endangered women. What we mean is that he regularly and illegally delivered live, viable, babies in the third trimester of pregnancy – and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors. The medical practice by which he carried out this business was a filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels – and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths. Over the years, many people came to know that something was going on here. But no one put a stop to it.

Let us say right up front that we realize this case will be used by those on both sides of the abortion debate. We ourselves cover a spectrum of personal beliefs about the morality of abortion. For us as a criminal grand jury, however, the case is not about that controversy; it is about disregard of the law and disdain for the lives and health of mothers and infants. We find common ground in exposing what happened here, and in recommending measures to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.

The case of a Canadian couple who opted to "selectively reduce" a perfectly healthy twin because they judged the extra child would overcomplicate their "lifestyle expectations" was enough to shock many Canadians out of a cultural complacency on abortion. Will this gruesome story achieve the same effect south of the border? Reading these tales, it's hard not to feel we are teetering over the edge.

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Bill Collier
6 years 9 months ago
Jeff-
Just my opinion, but I think it's counterproductive to try to pigeonhole pro-life advocates by tags such as liberal, progressive, conservative, etc. Though I consider myself liberal/ progressive in many things, I don't find any disjunct between that political philosophy and being ardently pro-life. If truth be told, I'm trying to move away from such limited political self-identification, telling people when political discussion comes up that I support a consistent ethic of life. That usually gets just a  couple fewer confused looks than when I say I support a seamless garment on life issues, which I define broadly to include the death penalty and environmental issues, too. I have no problem with abortion being a first among equals for the present, but I confess that it bothers me when some who identify as pro-life fail to see the inter-connectedness (and importance) of all life issues. CEL is as much a thought process and a way of living as it is an advocacy movement.    
6 years 9 months ago
So long as it remains a infallible plank of the Democratic party that a woman's right to choose shall be as unfettered as possible, and so long as liberal "lions" like the late Ted Kennedy and, among others, Barbara Boxer resist efforts at ANY reasonable line drawing when it comes to affording unborn life the full protectiono of US law, I find it very useful to "pigeonhole" these people with the appropriate lablel: liberal.  Their liberal philosophy leads them to the pro-choice position from which they CANNOT step back.  I'm sorry if thats "uncivil" but I don't think that calling people anything other is very useful.  The abortion debate is full of enough such "euphemistic" language as is, and this episode serves to rip the gauze away.  If you disagree, I'd urge you to watch the following linked videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoTjb9rzyEo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjEGIlZ7Us0

Finally, if you don't find it helpful for you, as a pro-life liberal, to be pigeonholed in any way, then I urge you to speak up within your chosen political party and press the issue!
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
I'm not certain how this news story would lead one to advocate for the re-criminalization of abortion. This doctor sounds absolutely awful, i.e., a criminal.

Re. Jeff's YouTube links: not a great tactic-pro-choice folks have their own photographs of women who died at the hands of back-ally abortionists and women in other countries who died after being forced to carry the fetus to term.
6 years 9 months ago
Typical from Vince...yes, the doctor is awful AND so is the procedure. 

This is not some one-off incident, abortion is the killing of a child every time.  This instance the doctor was simply more barbaric than usual...

Time to check your conscious/soul if you are liberal (Catholic or otherwise) and this story does not get you to reconsider your support for abortion.
Bill Collier
6 years 9 months ago
Jeff-

Pigeonhole "these people" all you like. Your original post contained the following generalization about liberals and progressives that I thought was unfair: "This should serve as a wake up call to our well-intentioned liberal/progressive (primiarly upper middle class) Catholic (and non-Catholic) friends who wish some of us would just shut up about abortion already." I'm no fan of the Democratic Party's plank on abortion, or of the positions taken by some of the individual politicians. And how do you know what my "chosen political party" is? Frankly, I'm not enamored with either of the major parties, and I chose not to vote for Obama or McCain in the last presidential election, choosing instead to write in the name of a local pro-life advocate who is not a politician. I didn't consider it a wasted vote. I doubt I'm the only pro-life voter who wishes there were a third party more representative of pro-life positions.    
Marie Rehbein
6 years 9 months ago
David, what I meant by my comment was that people seem to have become convinced that women are oppressed by their biology and that being able to become unpregnant is necessary to preserve women's dignity as individuals.  However, the reality of life is that women bear children, and I think it would be a more appropriate assertion of equality to have the special needs of women due to their biology accepted and accomodated as if these were the most significant thing in the world and not some deficiency.  Collectivism is, like you say, usually imposed upon people, and in some ways so is this idea of women as victims and children as burdens.
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
So, Brett- aside from  the snotty comment- do you have any substantial response to my two points?

6 years 9 months ago
What two points, Vince?  The point where you think abortion is A.O.K and that this story should no relevance to the conversation on the ethics of aboriton.

The fact that this act of barbarics does not cause you to blink is truly disturbing.  This case is not abnormal - abortion-on-demand occurs everyday in our country and there is very little difference between the killing of a child outside of the womb or the killing of a child inside of the womb.

Both acts are the wanton destruction of human life with the vast majority done in the name of elective terminations - a la NYC's 41% aboriton rate of all pregnancies...

Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
Take a deep breath Brett and save your outrage for real activism (which, if you are consistent in your belief about what is taking place, should occupy your every waking moment and all of your resources).

I'm assuming you can re-read my post but my two points were:

1. How does the criminal behavior of this awful doctor lead one to conclude that abortion should be re-criminalized?

2. Are grusome photographs and images the best way to win people to your argument?  For every image offered by pro-life folks the pro-choice people have their set of images.
6 years 9 months ago
I answered your first question, Vince:

The action of this doctor is no less barbaric than the killing of a child still in the womb, so this would logically lead one to criminalize the unwarrented destruction of human life.

I know this basic understanding of human dignity from conception to death will not work on you on a hardened pro-abortion/"pro-choice" advocate like yourself, but there it is.

As for #2, I did not use graphic images so you will have to ask someone else.
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
My apologies about the second point-I thought the YouTube links were to graphic photographs of abortion not a Rick Santorium speech.

But Brett, please stop trying to define everyone who post something with which you disagree. It fails on so many grounds, including the fact that you are often inaccurate.  How do you know that I am "liberal" (I'm not-I consider myself a socialist) or "'a hardened pro-abortion/"pro-choice" advocate"? I suppose the demonization of opponents works in the political realm come election time but this isn't that kind of forum and you don't win points that way. I know fellow bloggers and the good people at AMERICA have made the plea to stick to the issue at hand many, many times & they have not succeeded. . .

My main question to you and others (including Santorium) is, exactly how would the re-criminalization of abortion work?  I've never received a compelling response to that question. With nearly forty years of legalized abortion the pro-Life position seems stalled-more like posturing really.
6 years 9 months ago
"My main question to you and others (including Santorium) is, exactly how would the re-criminalization of abortion work?  I've never received a compelling response to that question. With nearly forty years of legalized abortion the pro-Life position seems stalled-more like posturing really."

The point of linking to Santorum's exchange with Boxer is to raise the issue that at some point we MUST draw a line and determine when a fetus is to be accorded full protection of law.  Boxer's consistent retort to Santorum is "I'm not going to delve into gruesome hypotheticals".  Well, now the hypothetical has become reality.  And so the ball is in the court of pro-choice liberal Democrats (or whatever they wish to be called that obscures their positions).  Boxer resists line drawing because she (as others in her camp do as well) that such line drawing will inexorably lead to drawing the line MUCH earlier than even Roe allowed given neo-natal technology etc.  As far as your "question", it is more an attempt at obfuscation and another attempt at saying "No line drawing." We must draw lines.  Let's start with supporting bans on "late term" procedures that differ only in degree from what this Philly doctor did (the difference bn what he did and partial birth abortion is literally a matter of inches, i.e where the babies head is in relation to the birth canal).

And I find it odd that a self-professed socialist suddenly finds it self-evidently true that government action in this one realm is futile, but you retain for you faith in government action in every other realm.
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
Kevin's points are well-taken (Boxer & Santorium were/are engaged in a shopworn debate-there's nothing new here). As to Jeff feckless take on socialism: the government has taken a stand, and so the "futile" point is, well, lame.

If the situation is a dire and devastating as Brett, Jeff, et al. portray it then they must be consistent and call for nothing less than a total ban on ALL abortions. Their every waking moment must be dedicated to stopping what they portray as a holocaust (the occasional marches, a pro-life Mass, and voting for the GOP will simply not do). If you talk the talk, then walk the walk.

But, please, provide details on how this re-criminalization will be implemented. For example-I'm sorry to ask this question since it has been posed many times- will women who procure abortions be brought up on murder charges?  Surely, they must if they are accomplices to murder. 
Marie Rehbein
6 years 9 months ago
David, The Huffington Post had a more complete article about this situation.  It appears that regulators ignored complaints from women who had been injured and only responded because someone died.  Furthermore, the clinic had one waiting room for poor women and a nicer one for wealthier women, so that women who would be more inclined to complain and be taken seriously would not have such a bad experience as the poor women routinely did.
Bill Collier
6 years 9 months ago
The Canadian woman who opted for selective reduction of one of the twins she was carrying:


''You want to be able to provide for your children ... to give them the things they need to become the best adults they can become.''

I find this chilling. The "things they need." Material things? Is that what will help them become "the best adults they can become"? What about the special bond that develops between most twins? That would seem to me to be invaluable. And suppose the non-selectively reduced child (how clinical, sterile, and unemotional the world of artificial reproduction is) were to learn later that his/her sibling was destroyed so that he/she might be provided more "things," what lesson would the parents have imparted about the meaning of life itself? And who could blame the surviving twin if he/she were to conclude that his/her existence was a 50/50 game of chance. I'm sorry, but try as I might, I can't find even a scintilla of empathy for the parents' decision.     
6 years 9 months ago
This should serve as a wake up call to our well-intentioned liberal/progressive (primiarly upper middle class) Catholic (and non-Catholic) friends who wish some of us would just shut up about abortion already.  It also weakens the argument that abortion/infanticide and other forms of "injustice" are of a piece.  Yes, of course, all Catholics are called to work consistently for a culture of life, but it cannot be said that the moral horrors of what happened in Philadelphia are equivalent to the morral horror of, say, global warming.  "Consistent" ethic does not and should not mean no priorities.  Much like the Arizona shooting, I hope this serves as a shock/horror to many who assume abortion should be "safe and legal" as long as they don't have to think about it.
6 years 9 months ago
And Barbara Boxer, the great progressive light, should be forced to read the indictment aloud from the well of the Senate given her refusal to acknowledge the horror of "late term procedures"!
Marie Rehbein
6 years 9 months ago
Marie, do you think that 'responsible individualism' is a contradiction in terms?

David, I am not sure what you mean by "responsible individualism". 
Marie Rehbein
6 years 9 months ago
The "doctor" involved is just like the doctors from the pre-legal abortion days.  We have a long way to go, though, before women come to realize that killing their offspring is a denial of their place in the history of humanity.  The only apparent alternative to individualism in the consciousness of the US is oppression, so it's not likely that this will have any affect except to elicit expressions of denial that border on evil.
6 years 9 months ago
Lines may have been drawn at some point, but they have been consistently weakened and eroded so that we now have a mash of regulations, topped off with the near-meaningless "mental health of the mother". 

Sorry that some don't feel the problem is as pressing as the Philly story indicates.  Pro-life advocates do, should, and indeed I would argue must, look at the Philly tragedy and see the end result of the "pro-choice" logic.  Indeed, we already have a prominent tenured ethicist at Princeton who argues that nothing is wrong (ethically or legally) with what the Philly doctor did.  The same was suggested on the BBC in PrimeTime.  So I'm sorry to disagree with the assertion that the arguments contained in the video and here are "shopworn" or "futile".  The gruesome evidence of Philly strongly suggests otherwise.

As for what the pro-life movement should or must do, it is clear from the assertions made that the posters lack any intimacy with the efforts of the pro-life movement.  Most sane legal options involve "piecemeal" approaches so long as Roe remains the law of the land.  The "big" victory many hope for is, of course, the overturning of that wrongly-reasoned opinion (even as Ruth bader Ginsburg now admits).  As for what the details of stricter abortion regulations would be, seems like Europe would be a good place to start.  After all, liberals/socialists are always preening about how we should be more like Europe!
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
The Philly story tells us very little, except that there was a rogue doctor doing bad & illegal things.


Jeff, with all due respect, you've sidestepped the issues I raised: my point is that the pro-life arguments are stale, and that the most visible pro-life activists in communities (and I've known quite a few) do very little in terms of their time and money in trying to stop abortion. Isn't this THE moral cause of the day? You would never know it from their everyday life. They engage in mostly posturing in the service of conservative political causes.   Your unwillingness to provide a blueprint for how the re-criminalization will occur underscores this lack of commitment to addressing key issues. 
6 years 9 months ago
"Your unwillingness to provide a blueprint for how the re-criminalization will occur underscores this lack of commitment to addressing key issues."

Sir, your "argument" is one in name only.  It consists not of reasonable assertions backed up with facts but merely with castigations against "pro-life activists" based on your perceived examination of how they live their "every day life".  You "assert" that they are simply pawns for some larger political agenda and dismiss them because somehow they fail to measure up to some ill-defined standard you would somehow find acceptable.  So long as as this is your "argument" I find replying to it increasingly meaningless.  I am sorry that you find such hallowness in your experiences with pro-life persons; I have found the opposite.  Nonetheless, I find your dismissals of their commitment to this issue as merely a cynical political ploy to be insulting and frankly crossing the boundary of civility.  I am taught to assume the best in others, even in those with whom we disagree.  YOu apparently do not share this standard, which is sad.  Your statements about pro-life advocates reminds me of teh words of Jesus with reference to planks in our own eyes and splinters in the eyes of others.

Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
If you want to change the system the burden of proof is on you to make your case.

-"Sir" Vince 
6 years 9 months ago
As a counter to the bland (and unsubstantiated) assertion that the Philly tragedy teaches us "little" about abortion, I append some interesting ruminations from from folks much smarter and more eloquent than me.  Perhaps they can prove a re-booting point to silence the ad hominem and callous recriminations against pro-life advocates.  The best post, to me, is from that notorious right-wing source, Slate.

http://www.slate.com/id/2281812?nav=wp

http://mirrorofjustice.blogs.com/mirrorofjustice/

Frankly, Mr. Killoran, as a Catholic Christian (I assume that label is ok), the burden of proof rests with YOU to explain how the current legal regime measures up to the consistent moral teaching of the Church.
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
Well, frankly Jeff, there are no governments or economic systems around the world that "measures up" fully to the Gospels.
 

I don't believe that re-criminalizing abortion in the USA is a compelling route at this time (I would focus on other things-but that is not the topic of this tread); you assert that it would be.  That is why I asked you to explain "why" and "how" this would work. 


My new year's resolution not to belabor a point is in ruins. My apologies for hogging up the blog space.  Have a nice weekend. 
6 years 9 months ago
This will be my last response on this post.  First, the argument in the first instance is about whether or not the CURRENT legal regime in this country is acceptable.  The Church has passed on it and finds it, convincingly in my view, to be unacceptable.  My contention with respect to Philly is that the horrors of Philly are the output of the CURRENT pro-choice dogma that has captured the Democratic Party.  But the focus I am arguing about, again, is the CURRENT situation.

Mr. Killoran asserts that unless he knows in detail what legal regime I would substitute, and assuming my inability to articulate the alternative regime, that the CURRENT regime is all we have and should be retained.  He raises the oft-raised mirage of "locking up women".  I cannot articulate in detail for Mr. Killoran what alternative regime I would enact, but it would certainly begin with basic laws outlawing "late term procedures" (the kind that Sen. Boxer opposes criminalizing).  I would not advocate locking women up, and I would act on the point raised earler that Europe has much stricter provisions for abortion; let's see what they do.

Finally, my main objection to Mr. Killoran's "questions" has been the fact that he seeks to sprinkle these "issues" among a sweeping and insulting condemnation of the sincerity and earnestness of pro-life advocates.  He essentially has called them political pawns in the conservative movement's hands.  Again, I find this to be an unsubstantiated, uncivil and un-charitable accusation.  Furthermore I find it to be an accusation that reveals that whatever argument I might make to respond to his "issues", his mind is made up about people like me, and I need not waste my time.
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
I don't think the foot soldiers of the self-identified pro-life movement are "pawns" of conservatives: I think they-with a few exceptions-are rank-and-file conservatives.


I'm sorry but I thought that you were calling for an end to abortion.  I see now that you just want to phase this in with some intermediate steps.  Given the way you present the evils of abortion this surprises me.


David's suggestion doesn't make sense either, i.e., make something illegal, call it murder, but the person who permits it should not be prosecuted.  This underscores my point about the lack of serious thought given to the strict pro-life position.  I mean, you guys have had nearly four decades and you haven't figured out quite how to re-criminalize abortion?!
6 years 9 months ago
I am not demonizing you Vince, but I do find your pedantic, casual approach to the destruction of human life more than a bit disconserting.  I meant "liberal" in the modern, general sense of the def. and would include "socialist" with the definition so no need to split hairs.

As for the approach to delegitimize aboriton, it should first and foremost be repealed at the federal level and sent back to the states for each state community to decide on the issue.  Also, I agree with David that legal action against doctors that provide abortions and profit (in the millions, as we have seen in Philly).
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
It's too bad that, at the end of a long and frustrating exchange, you choose to attack me  and engage in a little redbaiting. Your tactics, however, don't surprise me.

I raised some important questions.  I really hope the self-proclaimed pro-life folks will think more carefully and consistently about their positions.
6 years 9 months ago
I am not red-baiting you; you claim to be a socialist, great.

As for the issue, I am fine with incremental steps:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/us/politics/22abortion.html?hp

But since you are calling for introspection, why not take some of your own advice and consider what is actually at stake - not a "fetus" - but a human life with all of the genetic material that you and I now posess. 

You talk about rights and process, why not consider responsibility to protecting human life that is at it's most vulnerable rather than making snide remarks and off-handed dismissals.

Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
"I am fine with incremental steps"

"Why not consider responsibility to protecting human life that is at it's most vulnerable"

If the second statement is true, how one earth can you make the first one?

BTW, why do you think that I'm not prolife?
6 years 9 months ago
Vince, the statements are not mutually exclusive simply because one must use the laws of the land to affect change and challange previous (and erroneous) legal decisions.

Do you believe that abortion is the taking of human life? and is it an appropriate simply as "right of privacy"?  Are you pro-life? 
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
Brett: Abortion is terrible, awful-a modern-day holocaust that has gone on for nearly forty years.

Brett: Let's re-criminalize it, except I can't explain how that would work.

Brett: On second thought, I do know how we can re-criminalize abortion-slowly, with incremental steps.


Honestly, Brett, your position would actually be stronger if you had stuck to the strict, no-exceptions re-criminalization stance.
6 years 9 months ago
Your position is the one that is unintelligible...

It is legal now - we are not talking about making "exceptions" but about using the law to chip away at legality until it is no longer considered a lawful action.  There are many ways to achieve this both in the cultural and legal fields.

If you think it is a modern shoa, they why the constant gripping about people actually trying to restrict the killing of these children?  Your position and attitude make absolutely zero sense...
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
Brett, I actually never presented a position but you've done a lousy job of defending the pro-life movement-if the situation is as bad as you and others portray it why propose "incremental steps" and "chipping away" at abortion?  I thought this was the most serious moral issue affecting the U.S. today.
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
Sure, David-I see your point. But nukes aren't killing anyone just now.  And anyways, there are people who actually engage in civil disobedience etc. to counter them in a direct & dramatic way that puts them in serious risk.

I'm not against the approach that sees the issue as complicated and tied to other concerns.  It's just that my fellow bloggers put it in stark terms but seem to do little.
6 years 9 months ago
I am not an expert on this issue, Vince; however, I see that you are simply playing devil's advocate and really are looking to belittle those who have pro-life views rather than ad to anything constructive to the converstation.

You simply play one side and then the next - trying to make it seem as though nothing is getting done  or can even be done to address it - and it appears that you hope that abortion remains fully legal as a "right to privacy". 

It is not the pro-life voices that are static and lacking ideas on here, it is simply you...
6 years 9 months ago
PS - this will be decided through the ballot box, the new additions to the supreme court AND a younger generation who is more pro-life than any other in recent history.

Both legal and the winning of hearts and minds to a culture of life - this is not an isolated issue as it deals with greater ideas and theology of the body, economic justice, natural law etc. 

Lots has to change, lots of evangelization for a holistic Christian approach to culture.

Just because it is complicated (and possibly a losing battle) does not negate the effort to save lives - the same can be said to for the rest of the Church's postions (on the family, marriage etc. etc.. 
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
My aim isn't to belittle people with pro-life views(of which I inlcude myself): it's to ask people who call for re-criminalizing abortion to explain their position more fully.
6 years 9 months ago
OK, if you feel that abortion is the killing of a unique human life, then why do you feel that it should be labeled but criminal?

What is your objection to eventual placement of criminal statues on a barbaric practice that has devestated individuals and communities of this country?
6 years 9 months ago
That is what society and law is for, after all - to protect the common good and innocet life.

Unless, of course it is better to protect the profits of Planned Parenthood or this doctor making millions in Philly (there are many more such clinics making just as much while being "better regulated")  This is what the law does now in our country.

I thought socialists were for the protection of people, not special interests or radical views imposed by a powerful minority?
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
"Powerful minority"?! You do realize that the clear majority of Americans are not against abortion? That shouldn't affect one's position on fundamental issues but let's be clear about the facts: we live in a pluralistic society.


Who is the "criminal" in abortion? Who decides?  Among the many thorny issues is this notion of "unique human life" and how that weighs against the mother's "unique human life." I thought you had a workable plan for re-criminalizing abortion but you don't. I don't think re-crimnalization will "work."

Poverty, workers' rights, the environment, death penalty. Your definition of "pro life" is much different from mine.
6 years 9 months ago
Ah, yes, Vince's true views finally come out...you are not pro-life my friend no matter how much you contort your views:

"Among the many thorny issues is this notion of "unique human life" and how that weighs against the mother's "unique human life."

We are not talking about one life vs. the next as the vast majority of abortions are ELECTIVE!  And only a small minority are due to any medical issues involved.

And, as for as the majority goes, the most recent polling is at 51 percent against abortion.

Happy March for Life Day, Vince.  Look at the quarter of a million kids marching on Washington and look at the future.  Old, liberal/socialist Catholics like yourself are the past.
6 years 9 months ago
PS - I am also anti poverty, death penalty, pro environment and workers - our only difference is your moral equivocation on the slaughter that is aboriton.

Abortion is as much about winning hearts and minds as it is about the law.

You are the inconsistent one, not Catholics faithful to the Church...
Vince Killoran
6 years 9 months ago
Brett:

Fifty two posts and still no compelling explanation for how re-criminalization would actually work.  You couldn't even say if a person who procured an abortion should be prosecuted.

As for why women have abortions, well-surprise, surprise-it's a little more complicated than say the overwhelming do for convenience or lifestyle reasons.  Do we understand all of the reasons ("elective" is a capacious terms)?  See http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html as evidence of their complex reasons (many have to do with poverty and abusive spouses). What happens when you re-criminalize abortion?

I'm sorry that you feel the need to colonize the term "pro-life," but as long as you peddle in alarmist rhetoric and half-way measures about re-criminalizing abortions then you can't really claim that label either. If you're serious about promoting a pro-life culture that you would roll up your sleeves (and put on your thinking cap) to deal with this issue.

The only other thing you seem to weigh in on with the same passion as your narrow pro-life stance is your oppostion to gay rights and serving as an apologist for the hierarchy's role in the sexual abuse scandal.

I am active participant in these blogs but I generally bow out after one or two posts and give others a chance to contribute.  I've kept at this one because I resent the fact that you and a few others need to have the final word-but you will undoubtedly do so again with this discussion.

BTW, according to the most recent poll from CBS from last August only 23% of Americans said that abortion should never be permitted.
6 years 9 months ago
Like I said, the Church is consistent on pro-life in all aspects of policy - whereas you, my confused "socialist" friend, are not.

6 years 9 months ago
PS - I am not opposed to "gay rights" - this is simply your manapulation of language to score points in the conversation.  There are only human rights, not hetero or homo rights created by identity power movements - human rights these should be applied to all individuals in the public sphere.  However, I am opposed to forced acceptance of homosexual marriage on society and/or activists trying to force religious institutions to change their theology and suppress their speech in the name of political correctness and political agenda.
Jim McCrea
6 years 9 months ago
Re #22:
To be clear, the problem with current pro-life political strategies lies exactly here. We Catholics look at a two week old embryo and we see a child at a very early stage of development. Most pro-choice people only see a colony of cells. In order to end the practice of abortion, we have to convince people that life, even at its earliest stage, is worthy of respect. Shouting at them, distorting their position, calling them evil and comparing them to Hitler, these tactics are not likely to persuade them of the radical beauty and truth of the Catholic perspective.  
Sean Michael Winters, America blogsite, 5-5-09   http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?blog_id=2&id=36725928-3048-741E-7670677473590077
 
That having been said, the traditional argument for the Church’s teaching that there is never any justification for abortion; direct killing of the innocent is always and everywhere a sin. During the Second World War, both the British and German air forces deliberately bombed cities with the intention of killing civilians. There was no pretense that these deaths were the consequence of the victims living close to military targets. The use of atomic weapons against Hiroshima and Nagasaki also had the intention of killing civilians. Even if it were argued that the civilian populations contained war workers who were not “innocent” in the context of war, their deaths would not justify the killing of the children and fetuses in these populations. In any case, the prime purpose of bombing whole cities was not to kill workers but to break civilian morale, and/or to bring the war to an early close.
To the best of my knowledge, neither the Catholic hierarchies in the countries concerned, nor the Pope, condemned these bombings. And no Catholic participating in them was excommunicated.
6 years 9 months ago
Jim, I am positive that there are many statements made by the Church regarding the horrors of total, mechanized war in the 20th century and the toll taken among civilians.

Better to look at the leaders of modern, liberal democracies for the blame and silence - FDR, for example in the fire bombings of Japan even before atomic weapons were used.  Or, even today, Obama and the use of leathal drones across the world.

As for specific bombing raids by the Americans or British or Germans - how exactly would the pope know who he should excommunicate without having access to this specific military plans and operations?

Sounds like a stretch.
Mark Harden
6 years 9 months ago
"To the best of my knowledge, neither the Catholic hierarchies in the countries concerned, nor the Pope, condemned these bombings"

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2314 "Every act of war directed to the indiscriminate destruction of whole cities or vast areas with their inhabitants is a crime against God and man, which merits firm and unequivocal condemnation." A danger of modern warfare is that it provides the opportunity to those who possess modern scientific weapons especially atomic, biological, or chemical weapons - to commit such crimes. 

The quotation is from Vatican II, Gaudium et spes, 80 #3

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