Jun 272016

WASHINGTON—On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a 5-3 ruling in the abortion facility medical standards case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for pro-life communications at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, reacted to the loss.

“The Court has rejected a common-sense law protecting women from abortion facilities that put profits above patient safety,” McQuade said. “The law simply required abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers – standards like adequate staffing, soap dispensers, and basic sanitary conditions. It required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and that hallways be wide enough to allow emergency personnel through with stretchers, should a life-threatening emergency arise.” USCCB

Because abortion must be protected at all costs, regardless of the cost to women. Because access to unsanitary, unsafe, clinics staffed by “doctors” with insufficient credentials is a “right” don’t-you-know.

Modern progressivism will regulate everything from toilets to lightbulbs and constantly demand more regulation. But in this case “Keep your hands off our dirty clinics!”.

If abortuaries have to shut down because they can’t keep the same standards of ambulatory surgical centers, the problem is not with the law. Remember when Democrats wanted abortion to be safe, legal, and rare? Well “legal, legal, and legal” is good enough.

The Washington Post weighs in with Supreme Court rules against Texas and for science in abortion case. Wow science!

Wow I wish I could be as pro-women as The Daily Show.

As Mary Eberstadt notes:

In the new dispensation, traditional restrictions and attitudes are viewed as judgmental, moralistic forms of socially sanctioned aggression, especially against women and sexual minorities. These victims of sexuality have become the new secular saints. Their virtue becomes their rejection and flouting of traditional sexual morality, and their acts are effectively transvalued as positive expressions of freedom.

The first commandment of this new secularist writ is that no sexual act between consenting adults is wrong. Two corollary imperatives are that whatever contributes to consenting sexual acts is an absolute good, and that anything interfering, or threatening to interfere, with consenting sexual acts is ipso facto wrong.

Note the absolutist character of these beliefs as they play out in practice. For example, it is precisely the sacrosanct, nonnegotiable status assigned to contraception and abortion that explains why — despite historical protestations of wanting abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare” — in practice, secularist progressivism defends each and every act of abortion tenaciously, each and every time.

On a side note, who is writing headlines for the USCCB “Bishops’ Pro-Life Spokeswoman Laments High Court Decision Rejecting Abortion Clinic Safety Law”.

May 052016

Medical book and a skull model for studying medicine
Not surprised, but still horrified to see this story today For first time, scientists grow two-week-old human embryos in lab.

Scientists have for the first time grown human embryos outside of the mother for almost two full weeks into development, giving unique insight into what they say is the most mysterious stage of early human life.

Scientists had previously only been able to study human embryos as a culture in a lab dish until the seventh day of development when they had to implant them into the mother’s uterus to survive and develop further.

But using a culture method previously tested to grow mouse embryos outside of a mother, the teams were able to conduct almost hour by hour observations of human embryo development to see how they develop and organize themselves up to day 13.

“This it the most enigmatic and mysterious stage of human development,” said Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, a University of Cambridge professor who co-led the work. “It is a time when the basic body shape is determined.”

The following would have pleased Doctor Josef Mengele.

But the research also raises the issue of an international law banning scientists from developing human embryos beyond 14 days, and suggests this limit may have to be reviewed.

Zernicka-Goetz, who spoke to reporters in London, said a wealth of new information could be discovered if human embryos could be grown in a lab dish for just a few days more.

What can we discover is the imperative to such research. The Culture of Death has it claws into everything. From corrupting motherhood to corrupting science. Dr. Frankenstein at least had the decency to make a dead thing alive not make a live person dead.

Not surprising this Reuters article does not question at all the evil involved. That this is the direct murder of a human person. They throw a sop to “ethics”

Sarah Norcross, director of the Progress Educational Trust, a charity which campaigns for people affected by infertility and genetic conditions, agreed that the research raised questions around the 14-day limit and said the international scientific community should “decide whether it is necessary and desirable” to extend it, and if so, by how much.

“A public discussion of the rights and wrongs of this would need to follow before any change in law could be contemplated,” she told Reuters.

Worse is that this story will not even make a bump in the Culture of Death. It will be totally lost in the wave of non-substantial news stories that matter not in the least. Scientist creating human persons and bragging about how long they live until they kill them will pass almost unnoticed.

Feb 072016

In the “any stick will do category”, Tina Beattie at CruxNews gives us a total crap article which misrepresents the Church’s theology along with what Pope Benedict XVI previously said. Plus of course includes an appeal to surveys regarding Catholics as if they mattered beyond unfortunately illustrating the ignorance of many Catholics.

This only exposes the weakness in those who can’t grasp that you can’t do evil to do good. What she calls weakness is actually a consistent moral ethic.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

1750 The morality of human acts depends on:

  • the object chosen;
  • the end in view or the intention;
  • the circumstances of the action.

The object, the intention, and the circumstances make up the “sources,” or constitutive elements, of the morality of human acts.

This is an example of the new eugenics where it is better to kill a person or prevent them from every becoming a person than to exist with illnesses and disabilities.

The Catholic tradition has always allowed for some flexibility in the interpretation of Church teaching in particular circumstances — a practice known as casuistry. When the denial of contraception exposes adults or the children they conceive to life-threatening illnesses and disabilities — and when the criminalization of abortion condemns women to carry unwanted pregnancies to term or risk their lives through illegal abortions — we need to navigate a path of careful ethical reasoning through contested areas of human vulnerability, rights, and responsibilities.

Funny how abortion is a cure for “life-threatening illnesses and disabilities”. The new eugenics has been busy wiping out birth defects by eliminating the person who has them. They have done a bang up job with Down Syndrome with 90 percent being aborted and are looking for continued success in other areas.

She sees casuistry as loopholes to help ignore the morality of human acts.

From the Catholic Dictionary.

… casuistry is an integral part of the Church’s moral tradition. Its purpose is to adapt the unchangeable norms of Christian morality to the changing and variable circumstances of human life. (Etym. Latin casus, case, problem to be solved.)

It is not a term that describes changing unchangeable norms to adapt to the situation like she thinks.

As a partial remedy to this article is one surprisingly in the Washington Post “What this amazing mom of two girls with microcephaly has to say about Zika scare”.

“This is the baby I’m supposed to be a mom to,” she said. “I would be missing out on a gift that had been given to me.”

Note: Post title alludes to G.K. Chesterton’s comment in Orthodoxy.

“They burned their own corn to set fire to the church; they smashed their own tools to smash it; any stick was good enough to beat it with, though it were the last stick of their own dismembered furniture.”

Jan 212016

The major snow storm last year affected the March for Life where some groups had to cancel busses of people who had planned to attend. Despite the awful weather conditions people still turned out to protest and pray to end abortion. Really an amazing turnout despite the weather.

Still most were not exactly thrilled with the cold conditions and the snow. Last year we talked to Karon Braswell from South Carolina who paraphrased St. Teresa of Avila “If this is how you treat your friends, no longer you have so few of them.”

This year due to an enterprising pro-life business many of these problems will be minimized despite the weather. During the 2016 march Aaron Horton started thinking about what could be done to increase participation.

“While each year there is a significant turn out, there are still people who don’t participate with the weather being one of the factors. Plus there are many who would love to march to end the scourge of abortion, but just can’t get here. My day job involves helping businesses to facilitate remote working conditions and to provide maximum virtual interaction through the use of telepresence robots. These robots can be remotely driven and display a picture of the face of the person operating it. I realized that this would be perfect for those unable to attend.”

Aaron Horton made available a large fleet of telepresence robots that he ironically calls Roe-Bots. While Roe V. Wade was the landmark decision by the Supreme Court regarding abortion, the anonymous Jane Roe in the decision (Norma McCorvey) never had an abortion and has been active in pro-life demonstrations. His Roe-Bots have been equipped with snow treads for the typical climate conditions in Washington D.C. in January.

Some of this years marchers have wondered if this large number of telepresence robots marching along with the other marchers would be reported negatively by the Press. Some joked that telepresence robots representing reporters would be sent to cover the event. As events unrolled though it was obvious that this years March for Life would once again get the media’s undivided neglect. After this year’s march Perry J. Lambert from Los Angeles, Ca remarked about the media’s refusal to cover this event. “They are like the Eye of Sauron, they are looking everywhere with unblinking intensity except where Sam and Frodo are in their attempt to destroy the evil ring. Hopefully we will one day provide the Mt. Doom to abortion.”

A group of Telepresence Marchers

Aug 112015

At the beginning of the month Archbishop Cupich wrote a column in response to the undercover videos regarding Planned Parenthood and Stem Express. His column started out fine and dissolved to weak-tea moral equivalence.

While commerce in the remains of defenseless children is particularly repulsive, we should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want.

No less appalled?

He is obviously appealing to a previous Chicago archbishop Cardinal Bernardin and the “seamless garment” argument. Unfortunately he is misusing it like so many have that instead of a hierarchy, it is flattened down so that everything is on the same level.

“I don’t see how you can subscribe to the consistent ethic and then vote for someone who feels that abortion is a ‘basic right’ of the individual.”He went on to say, “I know that some people on the left, if I may use that label,have used the consistent ethic to give the impression that the abortion issue is not all that important anymore, that you should be against abortion in a general way but that there are more important issues, so don’t hold anybody’s feet to the fire just on abortion. That’s a misuse of the consistent ethic, and I deplore it.” (June 12, 1988)

That quote is from Cardinal Bernadin who saw the misuse of this idea in his day. Usually we get what I call the “Shameless Garment” argument of moral equivalence totally unlike the Cardinal’s original espousal of the consistent ethic of life with various levels treated separately. This same Cardinal refused an invite to deliver the invocation at the Democratic National Convention because of their support for abortion.

As a remedy to this weak column, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote a column mentioning the seamless garment without the moral equivalence.

Here’s a simple exercise in basic reasoning. On a spectrum of bad things to do, theft is bad, assault is worse and murder is worst. There’s a similar texture of ill will connecting all three crimes, but only a very confused conscience would equate thieving and homicide. Both are serious matters. But there is no equivalence.

The deliberate killing of innocent life is a uniquely wicked act. No amount of contextualizing or deflecting our attention to other issues can obscure that.

… But of course, children need to survive the womb before they can have needs like food, shelter, immigration counseling and good health care. Humanity’s priority right — the one that undergirds all other rights — is the right to life.

As in most cases there is a proper both/and here in that Catholic social teaching is not just one or two issues and that you get to pick which ones you prefer to support.

“Opposition to abortion and euthanasia does not excuse indifference to those who suffer from poverty, violence and injustice. Any politics of human life must work to resist the violence of war and the scandal of capital punishment. Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care … But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life.

Jul 302015

It seems hard to believe that the undercover videos coming from the Center for Medical Progress could keep getting worse. Still the fourth video is worse.

What struck me most was the language they used. In public you hear Planned Parenthood and supporters of abortion use euphemisms for the unborn child.

  • Product of conception
  • Blob of tissue (or cells)
  • Uterine contents
  • Pregnancy tissue
  • Goo

Any word that dehumanizes the child is fine and calling the child a parasite also does not cross some imaginary dehumanizing line.

Yet when you see transcript of the latest video you don’t see the doctor or medical assistant talking about tissue blobs or a product of conception. You hear “Another boy!” and talk about kidneys, adrenal glands, stomach, heart, and eyeballs. There is human specificity. Besides no research lab will pay for an unspecified blob of cells.

I once wondered how the evil of Nazi Germany could have come about? Unfortunately I now understand this much better. The first step is historically always dehumanization. Using language that moves from a defined reality to a more abstract concept. Once that is done you can intellectualize your reaction. To develop a purposeful blindspot as a callus hardening against conscience.

The conversations in these videos shows the “banality of evil”. No maniacal laughs like movie villains. Calmly discussing the parsing of unborn children for parts as if it is the most mundane task. Like they were playing the battery-operated game “Operation” with a comic likeness of an unborn child.

This type of evil is not the evil of the psychopath. It is not that they are hardened to all evil. They can still react quite naturally to other evil acts. It seemed quite hypocritical to many when both Planned Parenthood and NARAL tweeted about the murder of the black driver by a University of Cincinnati officer. Yet I am sure they saw this as the horrific act that it was and that there was a natural reaction to the murder of a person. Their developed blindspot makes them so that they have zero self awareness. Planned Parenthood still names an award (the Maggie Award) after their racist eugenist founder Margaret Sanger. They can tweet the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter with no sense of irony.

Those who are pro-abortion must maintain a rhetorical separation not only to convince others, but to continue to convince themselves. Yet as objectively evil as this attitude is, it is always a good reminder for us not to dehumanize the abortion supporter. To wipe them off the moral slate as if they are incapable of any moral growth. This is why groups like And Then There Were None (ATTWN) started by ex-Planned Parenthood manager Abbie Johnson are so important. Why loving contact between abortion protesters and clinic personnel is always required. It is so easy to be outraged concerning abortion and the knee-jerk reactions by abortions supporter defending selling baby parts. Yet outrage without followthrough in prayer is like hashtag activism achieving nothing.

Jan 222015

Yesterday I saw news that there won’t be a vote today on a 20-week abortion ban.

Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist gives some background in her post Why Everyone Should Be Terrified By The GOP’s Abortion Bill Debacle,

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court legalizing abortion on demand throughout pregnancy. The pro-life movement commemorates this day with marches, worship services and lobbying for bills to protect unborn children. Pro-lifers were promised by the Republican leaders they just helped elect and re-elect that the House of Representatives would pass a bill today banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a point after which infants can feel pain and survive if born prematurely.

The legislation has been passed by the House in the previous Congress and is extremely popular in national polling. “One of the clearest messages from Gallup trends,” the polling firm reported, “is that Americans oppose late-term abortion.” A Washington Post/ABC survey showed that 64 percent of Americans favor limiting abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy or earlier. When just women were asked, the figure jumped to 71 percent. Such measures are popular among independents and Americans of various income levels.

Apparently the reason it wasn’t voted on:

Two of the representatives who caused the biggest stink about the bill were Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina and Jackie Walorski of Indiana. Last week, Ellmers said she didn’t think it was a good idea to vote on the legislation so early in the session (an argument that makes no sense, but let’s put that aside). Yesterday the women pulled their sponsorship of the bill over what they said were concerns over the rape reporting requirement. And yet here are both women speaking in favor of this exact same legislation two years ago:

These women are claiming to all of a sudden be concerned about the reporting requirement — the requirement that has nearly two-to-one support among voters and the one they had no problem with just a couple of years ago. This reporting requirement would keep late-term abortion doctors like Kermit Gosnell or Leroy Carhart from simply checking a box before going ahead with the procedure. Besides, it’s one thing to seek an exception to abortion laws for victims of rape, and entirely another to think that exception must be extended until the baby exits the birth canal. This bill wouldn’t have a reporting requirement for abortions in the first five months of pregnancy.

In fact, even Democrats who think late-term abortion should be legal with no restrictions didn’t make an issue of the reporting requirement in the last two elections. Last year, support for late-term abortion hurt Democratic candidates. But now Ellmers created a controversy where non existed, hereby handing Democrats a way to fight a broadly popular bill.

This sabotage of the pro-life movement over what may have been a power struggle happens at a time when many pro-life activists have grown weary of being used by the GOP for electoral victory only to be forgotten weeks later when it’s time to vote.

This does not surprise me, disappointed certainly. The purpose of politicians is not policy but to be reelected. Even when we think the way they go about this is contrary to being reelected. So anything they see as a threat to this they will avoid. Especially since often no matter how bad they fulfilled their term, people have short memories and vote for them again.

It also does not surprise me on another level. While I’ll grant that many of them would really want to stop abortion. They often don’t have the philosophical conviction behind this. How many of these people do you think are fully pro-life? That is don’t have any exceptions regarding abortion. That would also object to IVF and to abortafacient drugs. I can’t thinks of any currently in office that believe so or at least admit it in public. Thus they can easily cave on pro-life issues since they don’t really understand the evil of murdering the innocent except in a general way.

Now if I had my limited way I think every such cowardly politician should have a troup of minstrels following them around singing of their cowardly misdeeds.

Brave G O P ran away.
Bravely ran away, away!
When danger reared its ugly head,
They bravely turned their tail and fled.
Yes, brave G O P turned about
And gallantly they chickened out.
Bravely taking to their feet
They beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, G O P!

Jan 282014

One of the most consistent complaints of the pro-life movement is the dismal coverage of the March for Life and the number of offshoots it has spawned across the country. There is the obvious element of unfairness where Wendy Davis and her tennis shoes can be loads of coverage, but a massive amount of people braving the elements protesting abortion does not even get a reporter to cover it at all.

We saw this during the very disturbing Gosnell murder trial that got relegated as a “local story.” This total lopsidedness on the part of the media is certainly upsetting.

Yet it seems like we have become repeatedly surprised at this. Of course the secular media is not going to cover the pro-life movement positively. Even painting with a broad brush sometimes that is the right brush to describe the secular media which is overwhelmingly in favor of abortion and pretty much the whole Democratic Party agenda. They have a narrative and will only cover what meets that narrative. Sometimes they are forced to cover something because of an obvious disparity.

Somehow we have developed the myth of the scrupulously fair journalist or media outlet only concerned with the truth. A myth not really born out by history at all. The only surprising thing is not that people have world-views and narratives, but that a profession could be so dominated by so many fellow-travellers.

One of the temptations regarding complaining about media coverage is that we think if this was corrected it would solve so many problems. If only they covered the March for Life and other positive pro-life stories the pro-life movement would grow by leaps and bounds. The secular media provides a tempting target for complaints and an outlet that makes it much easier than actually getting out there on the front lines of the pro-life movement. Complaining about media bias is much less painful than talking to others about why you are pro-life. Easier than showing others the face of the pro-life movement that puts a lie to so many caricatures about it.

Although maybe the amazing story is not how obviously biased the secular media is, but that despite that the pro-life movement is growing and is a multi-generational movement from the young to the old. Many people have done exactly as I suggested in the last paragraph. Despite the efforts from the secular media and the cultural elites – they are losing. More abortion clinics close every year along with the conversion of former clinic workers.

Sure it annoying to see so many examples of bias or the fact that you can’t even watch an awards show without being assaulted culturally. Still nobody said fighting evil was easy and prayer and fasting on the surface does not seem as satisfying as griping about media bias. Or even writing a blog post about it.

Jan 222014

One of the interesting things about President “selfie” is how all that self-absorption is devoid entirely of self-awareness. Not an unusual connection. He isn’t really a hypocrite when he released a proclamation regarding Religious Freedom Day on 15 Jan, 2014 while eighty plus groups are suing his administration for violating their religious freedom. He has so little self-awareness that he can’t detect such discrepancies and his bubble world does not allow for facts to the contrary.

More evidence of this:

Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health. We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom. And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children. Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.

He can use the word “everyone” and the phrase “all our children” with no bothersome nudges of conscience since he has relegated persons in the womb to a status that even Dred Scott did not attempt.

What he is telling persons in the womb is that “If you like your life, you can keep it – period.” That being able to have “the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams” includes being sliced and diced in the womb.

Hat tip: Creative Minority Report

Jul 012013

It says a lot about the Democratic Party by the women they account as heroes.

Last year it was Sandra Fluke, then a 30-year-old law student at Georgetown, who was invited by Democrats to speak at a hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on new Administration rules concerning the Conscience Clause exceptions. We learned that a student paying $60,000+ tuition wanted taxpayers to pay for her contraception. She told a tale of woe of poor Ivy League students not being able to afford the costs of contraception. That somehow something that costs $9 a month at a Target store now required the Taxpayers to pick up the tab. So ridiculous, yet became a Democrat folk hero.

Now we have Wendy Davis a State Senator in Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas, June 26, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Amidst a mob of shouting pro-abortion advocates, a Texas bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks failed to pass despite securing the needed votes because the voting concluded two minutes after the session’s midnight deadline.

Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis successfully filibustered the bill Tuesday for eleven hours. After that a large crowd of abortion advocates, led by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, took over and interrupted the proceedings by shouting. State troopers were called in and at least one protester was arrested.

On Twitter, the bill’s opponents urged fellow abortion advocates to “rush the floor” in order to stop the vote. Richards herself egged them on, tweeting: “Make some noise – louder!”

The maneuvering won approval from President Obama, who tweeted Tuesday night that “something special” was happening in Austin. (source)

Although I think this was intended more as a “fetusbuster” than a “filibuster.”

The connecting piece to become a Democratic women folk hero is of course tied to the prevention of birth. That anything that helps women to be more man-like is to be applauded. Women have to have contraception so that nothing might interrupt a career. Women have to have abortion as backup contraception for the same reasons. Feminism has come to mean sterile women or fertility with an on/off switch.

Yes you can advocate for the murder of a 4 1/2 month or older baby or try to get taxpayers to pick up your contraception tab and you’re a hero. The media will fawn all over you and even gush about your pink running shoes.