December 16, 2005
vol 16, no. 320

Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation

    Supplement to the meditation on the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary and why life is so precious and why St. Robert Bellarmine's words are so poignant: "Unjust laws are, properly speaking, NO LAWS!"

Murder of a Child in the Womb Can Never Be Legitimized! Ever!

    Regarding the hard cases that people bring up to "legitimize" the slaughter of the innocent I will let Judie Brown's American Life League speak provide us with the answers. What about the hard cases-rape, incest or the life of the mother? Shouldn't abortion be allowed under these circumstances?

  • Rape and incest
    • "I see no reason why incest often is coupled with rape in discussions of abortion, except for the fact that both arouse in most people an emotion of revulsion which proponents of abortion seek to divert from parties who are guilty to individuals who are innocent-the nameless unborn."

    • Allowing preborn capital punishment for cases of rape punishes the innocent child more severely than the guilty rapist. An "innocent bystander" (at the time of assault not yet conceived!) is given a greater sentence than the perpetrator of the crime.

    • Allowing abortion for cases of rape or incest effectively blames the preborn for another's (i.e. the father) crime. Killing a preborn because his or her father is a rapist is no more justifiable than killing the rapist's mother or father (perhaps even less so, in that, plausibly, a parent could have in some way influenced, caused or contributed to the son's actions. The preborn child has not yet been created; no causal influence, and therefore culpability, is possible). The perpetrator alone should be punished; punishing the preborn makes him or her a scapegoat and the second victim.

    • The circumstances of a preborn child's conception should not modify, let alone negate, his or her right to life. In other words, the preborn baby has a right to life regardless of the circumstances under which he or she was conceived.

    • If we were to consider two infants, one conceived through marital intercourse, the other through forcible rape, would we say that one person was "more human" than the other?

    • Two wrongs do not make a right. A second wrong makes a bad situation worse.

    • Regardless of the father's identity, the woman is still the mother. The baby is still her child.

    • The "hard cases" represent perhaps only 1 percent of all abortions. Yet we hear about them all the time. To be equitable, there are no doubt "easy cases" which can be brought up against the pro-abortionist. What about abortion performed for sex selection, or under duress, or without full disclosure of fact, or without parental consent or notification? Or abortion for birth control? Or abortion in the last month of pregnancy? Or how about abortions performed on the basis of coin flips, tea leaves, horoscopes, etc.? As upsetting or outlandish as some of these scenarios sound, all are possible. All are legally permissible. And such "easy cases" are no doubt much more prevalent than the oft cited "hard cases."

    • If a rape/incest exception were allowed: How would we differentiate between the rape victim and an abortion-minded liar? Making a woman "prove" she was raped, not to convict her attacker, but to get an abortion, would be disastrous. Surely some women desiring an abortion would feign rape (the plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, Norma McCorvey, recently admitted to lying about being raped). This would cause great damage to the true victims of rape who already risk character assassination by the judicial system.

    • Rape or incest engenders sympathy, and rightly so, for the victim. However, sympathy and concern should be confined to helping and healing the victim; caring for her and the innocent life within her. Caring for the victim cannot justify killing innocent life whether or not the woman - now a mother - desires an abortion. Murder is not a solution, even if the mother at such a distraught time believes it is.

    • While abortion may seem to some like the best course of action for a mother after being assaulted, there is growing evidence that abortion harms the victim physically, psychologically and spiritually in the long term.

    • In rape or incest, promotion of "therapeutic abortion" is derived from an assumption one could refer to as "murder-as-therapy." However, even if an abortion could provide the assault victim temporary relief there is no evidence to support the tenet that abortion provides long term benefits. The unfortunate woman and her sexuality is instead victimized twice. Any negative effects- physical, psychological or spiritual-arising from the abortion can only compound pre-existing problems. Also, destroyed are the potentially positive benefits for the mother which may arise from unselfishly preserving the life of her child. And, of course, one cannot forget the tragedy and injustice of abortion in regard to the preborn child.

    • Our abhorrence towards incest (or rape) engenders sympathy for the victim, and rightly so. However, our sympathy and concern for the victim should not cloud our judgment on what is right or wrong. Also, the preborn baby equally deserves our sympathy and concern, especially under such unfortunate circumstances.

    • We must deal with a tragedy in an appropriate manner. A negative event should be handled with a positive response. Killing a preborn baby is not, and never can be, a positive response to any situation. Also, we must be clear as to what is negative in the case of an incest victim becoming pregnant; obviously, the act (or acts) of incest is what is to be deplored. In contrast, conception, regardless of the precursory circumstances, is not negative: it is the creation of a new, unique and precious human being.

    Life of the Mother

  • In the event that the mother's life is threatened, we must remember that there are two patients involved. Every possible effort must be made to save both.

  • There are virtually no conditions that threaten the mother's life in which abortion is a medically recognized treatment. In some conditions (e.g., an ectopic pregnancy or a cancerous uterus) a treatment may be required which indirectly kills the preborn. But in such cases, the treatment does not legally or morally qualify as an abortion. When removing a cancerous uterus, the intent is to save the mother; every effort to save the child should still be made. Thus even if the child dies, the treatment is still fully justified. The death of the child was never INTENDED. In contrast, for an abortion the intent is always the same: to kill the preborn child.

      Quote from Dr. Alan Guttmacher, pro-abortionist and former head of Planned Parenthood, in 1967: "Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save life."

    • Ember Friday
      December 16, 2005
      vol 16, no. 320
      Faithful to Tradition