Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I am a Catholic Abolitionist by Jason G. Hull

Catholic abolitionist.  That is a label that I would never have given myself even a year ago even though I have been pro-life for as long as I can remember.  As a boy in middle school I was far from being a morally upright individual in many respects.  I did not even know whether or not God existed.  However, by the grace of God unknown to me, I always had a strong aversion to abortion.  Even in my young and uninformed mind, the evil of abortion was very apparent.  How could it not be?  I knew where babies came from, I knew where I had come from, and I had seen babies born into my extended family.  How it was that any person could allow for a child in the womb to be murdered was beyond my comprehension.  Could there be a greater violation of the natural, loving, and trusting bond between a mother and her child?  Could there be a greater betrayal of fatherhood than a father allowing such a fate to befall his child?  Could there be a greater evil in any society than granting legal permission to murder babies in the womb?  Again, the existence of abortion was simply beyond my comprehension.

As I grew older, my knowledge surrounding abortion grew.  I learned about the Roe v. Wade decision and how the occurrence of abortion grew after that decision to the point where this country has consistently performed more than 1 million abortions per year.  I discovered a document from the CDC that reported that approximately 5% of all abortions were performed for some sort of medical reason while 1% of all abortions were performed in cases of rape and incest.  Although I cannot find that report currently, other research indicates similar results: 

All of that information was greatly troubling to me.  The frequency of abortion and the fact that 94% of abortions were elective in nature and not a result of medical necessity or violent victimization made it apparent that what I find incomprehensible society as whole finds quite reasonable.  But how could that be considering the horrible reality of abortion?  My only answer at that time was that it had to be because the legality of abortion established the morality of it in the minds of the people. 

Such a conclusion seemed reasonable considering that the Roe v. Wade decision was based on a Constitutional right to privacy without a serious attempt to determine when human life begins.  One cannot reasonably hold one individual’s right to privacy above another person’s right to life; however that was the practical result of Roe v. Wade.  Additionally, much of the pro-abortion propaganda was aimed at denying either the life or the humanity of the child in the womb while emphasizing the rights of women to make personal and private medical choices.

The tragedy of abortion combined with the idea that a faulty legal decision based on faulty reasoning led to the deception of a populace inspired me to undertake a personal mission to show people the reality of abortion.  I thought that if I could only show people what abortion really is, then people would reject abortion out of a natural aversion to that reality just like I had as a child.  If the truth about abortion started to spread then the legal status of abortion would eventually change as well resulting in the legality enforcing the proper morality of the issue.  Once that occurred, the tragedy of abortion would diminish and justice would prevail. 

However, such idealism and naiveté of youth are quickly corrected by experience.  Over the years I have talked to many people about abortion both in person and over internet venues.  I have discovered that even though there are many who are ignorant to when human life begins, there are many more who are perfectly aware of when human life begins but still hold that abortion is a universal right of women.  I also discovered that abortion is not a recent phenomenon but something that had been around since ancient times.  While some ancient cultures practiced abortion for reasons of convenience just like today, other ancient pagan cultures actually participated in child sacrifices to their demonic deities for favors and wealth. 

Those discoveries provided me with a slightly different perspective on abortion.  I realize now that the issue of abortion runs much deeper than a faulty legal ruling that led a culture astray via legal permissibility.  There is real evil that courses through the history of humanity, the source of which is a spiritual reality that cannot be quantified or explained by scientific observation alone, and abortion is a symptom of that evil.  The sin and evil that resides in the heart of man has given rise to murder since the beginning of time starting with the death of Abel at the hands of Cain.  Today that evil remains and is testified to by the 55 million deaths in this country since the legalization of abortion:  http://www.numberofabortions.com/

Such slaughter of innocence has to stop, and that is why I am here.  That is why I am a Catholic abolitionist.  It is my goal to demonstrate through reason the reality of what abortion truly is and make the argument that all abortion is intrinsically evil and should not be allowed.*  In that endeavor, I will focus on questions that I believe are most relevant to the topic of abortion, questions such as:

What is murder?  How do we define it?  Why is murder wrong?  Is abortion murder?  How do we define human life?  When does human life objectively begin?  What rights do human beings have and at what stage of their life do they have those rights?  How do we weigh the rights of one human life against the rights of another human life and does that balance vary by circumstance?

I hope that illuminating the answers to those questions and exposing the horrific evil of abortion will assist human civilization in rejecting abortion to the point of abolition.  However, even though I still have faith that many people will seek good and reject evil thus rejecting abortion once they are made aware of its evil, there will be many others who will continue to embrace the evil of abortion for the same evil desires that the ancients sacrificed their children to Molech.  With people such as those the battle is a spiritual one that can only be fought with prayer, fasting, the Sacraments, evangelization, the propagation of the Faith, and the proper formation of our children and families.  However, even in the battles of reason and argumentation with those who have hearts open to goodness and truth, prayer and the faith must be clung to at all times because it is God who created man and his capacities, and thus it is God who is most capable of enlightening the minds of men and guiding all of us on proper paths.  

To all readers of this blog, I pray that God bless, keep, and guide you.  Amen.

*Please note that I hold the point of view that abortion does not include instances of medical treatment to preserve the life of the mother that consequently results in the unsought death of the unborn child.  Those cases are not abortion as the intent was not to end the pregnancy but to preserve the mother from a life threatening illness.  Such activities are legitimate medical practice consistent with the Hippocratic spirit of “do no harm” and the Catholic spirit of doing good while avoiding evil.  Abortion is not legitimate medical practice as it seeks both to harm a human individual and to commit an intrinsic evil.  However, it is of key importance that any medical treatment sought for the mother’s sake that could potentially endanger her unborn child only be taken with the utmost consideration for the needs and necessity of both lives in question.

Monday, November 26, 2012

An Illogical and Foolish Argument and the Battle for the Youth by Amber Masterson

Included in this blog are references to Dennis M. Howard’s article “Economic Impact of Abortion.” I would highly recommend reading his article in full and sharing it with others. I thank Mr. Howard for giving me permission to use a small portion of it for this blog. 

I felt compelled to issue a response to a pro-abortion blog which I recently stumbled upon. I have only pulled out a few parts however (in purple), because I feel these issues specifically, are not discussed enough in the abortion debate. This particular blog was written in 2009 and posted to a site aimed at educating the youth. 

 “The politicians “pro-lifers” so ardently support are only after one thing: self-interest. The majority of them are not “pro-life” because they agree with you; they are because they know you will continue to vote for them—and they know that making women remain pregnant not only takes away their power, but it also keeps them busy, in line, controlled, as well as a baking factory for their failing economy. The more people they have to rule over, the more they have to work and buy. Period.” 

You have to appreciate the imagery here. Women lined up on an assembly line having tiny babies inserted into their womb by some mechanical apparatus; controlled probably by greedy white conservative men, looking for more people to dominate, control, and extract taxes from. The message being sent out to kids: stick it to the man; undermine the capitalist system by aborting your children. 

However, for once I do agree with a “choicer” on something. Most pro-life politicians are not wholeheartedly pro-life. They tend to leave behind the 1% of abortions that take place due to pregnancies that result from rape. Many self-proclaimed “lifers” make this exception, and it pokes a huge hole in pro-life logic. If all life is precious and worthy of protection, wouldn’t a child conceived in rape be equally precious and worthy of protection? Pro-lifers who make this exception undermine their stand. No one is going to take seriously circumstantial moral arguments. If it is wrong to unjustly, and brutally dismember a pre-born human life, it is always wrong, even when that pre-born human life was conceived in rape. The rape exception is what led to abortion on demand, and it is not going to undo it.

But the author’s more remarkably noteworthy admission here is that of a failing economy.

Since Roe v. Wade, about 55 million pre-born citizens have been aborted, a number that increases by about 1 million a year. 

On the economic impact of abortion Dennis M. Howard writes “The estimated loss in U.S. GDP already exceeds $38 trillion -- more than twice our current national debt. That's why, even if abortion ends tomorrow, it will still take more than a generation to recover.”  

With an increasing number of individuals making more demands for Government programs and entitlements, the population loss becomes more evident. Who is going to support the cost of such Government spending? Or more to the point, how is Government going to make up for the loss? 

Dennis M. Howard goes on to write As baby boom nurses and teachers retire, we face a looming shortage of 1 million nurses and 2 million teachers. We also face critical shortages in key professions such as science, medicine, and higher education."

 "Abortion and more efficient birth control together have wiped out about half of our future human resources. With a growing number of older baby boomers in need of critical care, the only way to ease this crisis is to end abortion or drastically reduce health care for the elderly. Liberal politicians would rather cut Medicare than adopt a pro-natalist policy that would restore demographic balance.” 

Not all abortion advocates will admit to the social economic consequences of abortion, but you can be sure they are waiting with an answer to the problem. Today it is abortion, tomorrow it is infanticide and euthanasia; all legislated through government healthcare. There is a reason for the rhetoric we hear. More critical, is that the youth hears it, and hears it often. It is important the culture accepts the principle that some are lesser than others. It is the standard that will be applied to all persons, in or out of the womb, when rationed care makes such distinctions an economic necessity.

 Religious ideology is no foundation for any law. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to any citizen in the United States; so why would the beliefs and values of one religion mandate actual laws for all citizens? It would be unfair, unjust and immoral. We do not have laws against eating fish, nor do we have laws that declare it is legal to sell one’s daughter, rape someone, or keep a person as a slave—all things that are promoted in religious text.”

I almost didn’t know where to begin with this gem of an argument. I wonder if the author actually bothered to do any research before she posted this, or considered her own hypocrisy. The Declaration of Independence states quite plainly who guarantees our right to life, liberty and property; and let me clue you in, it didn’t come from Government. But let’s look at this within the context she has provided us.

If she had actually read the Constitution she would know that the 13th amendment prohibits slavery.  And yes, it is a crime to rape, sell children, and own slaves. Is she suggesting that the religiosity of these beliefs make them immoral laws? If it does not violate ones conscience to rape or own a slave, should we allow it? By this logic, no one should be prohibited from acting out on their own free will, regardless the harm to another human life. Since we are discussing abortion here, it makes perfect sense that this would be the underlying ideology. 

This is progressive and pro-choice logic being very honest about its intent, and selling it to young kids. 

The fact that she employs the word “immoral” reveals secularism is in itself is a sort of religiosity, possessing a greater relevance and moral superiority than other forms of religion; forcing all other beliefs to take a back seat.  

Reproductive restrictions do not end with abortion. Many people also argue that contraception itself is wrong—another mainly-religious philosophy—and will deny women the protection they need based on this belief. There are legislative acts that allow actual pharmacists to deny women their birth control because of their beliefs; does this not violate the Hippocratic Oath, especially if thousands of women are on birth control because their very lives depend on it? Also, since it is my belief that men should not rape women, if I were a pharmacist, would I have a right to deny a man his Viagra just in case he uses it to rape? You never know.” 

In 2009 when this blog was written, the HHS mandate was still in the works. What’s so revealing in the argument is the level of malice toward the exercising of one’s conscience.

That is quite a change from the author’s previous assertion, that it would be unfair, unjust and immoral to impose on others anything which violates their religious beliefs. 

We do as citizens have a right to exercise our faith, and our conscience. This means just as well, that if it violates your conscience to pay for abortions and contraceptives, the Government should have no right to mandate that you do; or otherwise threaten you with suffering some sort of civil consequence if you don’t.  

What is this author telling kids about their right to their own beliefs? 

 “Most people who are against abortion will never even become pregnant. If a law would never, in any circumstance, apply to a man, a man creating that law is preposterous. It is akin to men creating laws that ban women from voting, owning property, or showing skin in public—only much more deadly.” 

I will get on board with this one. Roe v. Wade was determined by 5 out of 9 male judges; throw it out! 

Doctors, not governments, should always be the people to make medical recommendations and opinions. Would you allow the government to tell you if you could have a kidney transplant or a blood transfusion? Of course not. The fact that we even consider, let alone allow, governments to regulate a medical procedure is both illogical and foolish.”

This is an incredible argument from a group of people that just voted to uphold a law that gives government the power to regulate the health care industry. The ones who will suffer the most are the sick and the elderly who need actual medical care. This argument reveals the sheer hypocrisy and uninformed nature of pro-choice logic. I would submit pro-choice is fine with Government having the authority to determine what types of treatments are available to us so long as they are getting free birth control out of the deal. 

In my estimation, the pro-choice arguments presented here conclude that freedom without restraint and something for nothing are more valuable than religious freedom, a stable economy and human life. So I must concur wholeheartedly; it is illogical and foolish. 

But pause for a minute and think about who these arguments are being directed toward. This is the bill of goods being sold future generations by the culture, and the media. A "me first" ideology that cares little for the value of human life, or the preservation of a moral and just society. This is not a battle that is going to be won by political negotiations. We will not abolish abortion until we change the culture, and the most difficult battle we face is for the youth. 

“Self is ingenious, crooked, and, governed by subtle and snaky desire, admits of endless turnings and qualifications, and the deluded worshippers of self vainly imagine that they can gratify every worldly desire, and at the same time possess the Truth” – James Allen