Archive for February, 2011

Redefining the Abortion Debate

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Public opinion about abortion in America can best be described as ambivalent: uncomfortable with unrestricted abortion, yet unwilling to ban it totally.

Another word for public opinion on abortion is “stalemate.” It has not moved much over the years since Roe vs. Wade. One time it did move was when partial-birth abortion was being debated publicly in the late 90’s. People were more willing to identify with the pro-life position during and after that debate, because the debate focused on abortion itself, rather than on abstract issues of freedom and choice.

And it is only in the specific arena of partial-birth abortion that our nation has succeeded, at any time since Roe vs. Wade, in actually prohibiting an abortion procedure in many states and on a federal level, and have that prohibition upheld by the highest court in the land.

When the question is, “Should we allow abortion?”, the debate is unwieldy and ambiguous, catching people in a seemingly endless and wearisome maze of arguments and counterarguments. But when the question is, “Should we allow a child to be pierced in the skull with scissors while still alive and partially delivered?”, the public comes much more quickly to a consensus. And that consensus in turn affects their view of the overall abortion question.

Now it’s time for Act 2.

The most common abortion procedure performed after the first trimester of pregnancy is the “D and E” (Dilation and Evacuation), a procedure which is legal throughout the nation, and which the Supreme Court itself described in this way:

“The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix …, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues until it has been completely removed.”
(Gonzales vs. Carhart, April 18, 2007)

Now is the time to ask the American public, whether pro-life or pro-choice, a simple question: Should dismemberment of a living child in the womb be permitted? Let’s go beyond the all-encompassing question of “Should abortion be allowed?” and ask, “Should this specific procedure, in which a child’s arms and legs are ripped off, and head crushed, be allowed?”

As we saw in the partial-birth abortion debate, we will see again that many people who consider themselves “pro-choice” and who would want abortion to be generally available will nevertheless oppose this specific procedure and even work with us to prohibit it by law. It is time to mobilize that segment of the public.

Every abortion is wrong, no matter what method is used; every child must be protected. We do not in any way retreat from that principle and goal. But helping people focus on one procedure at a time is a quicker way to get there. See StopDandE.com for more info.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Today is Valentine’s Day, when many messages of affection are exchanged. It is therefore a good day to reflect on how holy human affection is. The emotions and attractions God has given us are not bad. But they are given to us to be governed by reason and grace. If we do not govern them, or if we always let them have the last word in our decisions, we will end up going against reason and grace alike. A culture of life is a culture that avoids two extremes – one, which looks down on all affection and thinks that the only good things are the things of the spirit, and the other, which allows the emotions to run out of control, with no discipline. On this Valentine’s Day, may God give us understanding, balance, and grace.

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Lead Us Not Into Temptation

Friday, February 11th, 2011

In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask, “lead us not into temptation.”

Every temptation is a lie, that makes something evil look good. Among the most masterful temptations of the evil one is to make the killing of a child seem better than the birth of that child. This is the lie that leads each day to thousands of abortions. As we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” let’s keep in mind the need to protect all pregnant mothers from the deception of abortion. Let’s also pray against the temptation to be silent and passive in the midst of this holocaust. Sins of omission are the most frequent sins, especially in regard to the culture of death. Let’s say more, do more, and sacrifice more for life! Lead us not into temptation!

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Forgive Us Our Sins

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

In the Lord’s prayer, we ask that we may be forgiven our sins “as we forgive those who sin against us.” We are asking the Lord to use us as an example of how readily and generously He should forgive our sins.

He is more eager to forgive our sins than we are. This should not only give us confidence, but should help us inspire confidence in those who despair. One of the hardest sins to confess is abortion. And even there, the Lord is ready to pour out His mercy on those who repent.

Nothing can minimize the horror of abortion, and nothing can justify it. Yet countless people come each day to the cross where they find that even this sin is washed away in the Blood of Christ.

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Silent No More to hold peaceful gathering outside NARAL luncheon

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

As abortion advocates gather Thursday, Feb. 10, in Washington, D.C., to “celebrate” the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that has killed 52 million unborn children, women and men of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign will be there to remind them that every abortion has more than one victim.

For the sixth consecutive year, Silent No More members will greet NARAL supporters outside their annual luncheon at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, located at 2500 Calvert St. NW, holding signs that say “I Regret My Abortion” or “I Regret My Lost Fatherhood.” The pro-life advocates also will be there as people leave the luncheon.

“We feel it’s important to have a presence when they’re celebrating, to show that there’s another side to this” said Nancy Tanner, Silent No More regional coordinator for Northern Virginia. “Many of us are hurt by abortion and regret that decision.”

All pro-lifers are welcome to join the peaceful protest.

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign was co-founded by Janet Morana, executive director of Priests for Life, and Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life.

The campaign’s most visible outreach takes place every year immediately following the March for Life in Washington, D.C., when women and men gather in front of the Supreme Court building to tell the many ways their abortion experiences hurt them — emotionally, physically and spiritually.

“These women and men are tired of having pro-choice advocates pretend to speak for them. They want to tell the world, in their own words, that what is too easily celebrated as a ‘choice’ and a ‘right’ is in fact a painful burden,” said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

To speak with Nancy Tanner, contact her at 703-731-2431 or nantan38@gmail.com.

To speak with Father Pavone, call Daniel Matejek at 888-735-3488, ext. 251, or email media@priestsforlife.org

For more information about the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, visit www.silentnomoreawareness.org or www.priestsforlife.org

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Give Us Our Daily Bread

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The Lord taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We ask Him for the provisions we need each day to live and to serve Him. We ask Him for the spiritual strength to resist the temptations that will certainly come our way, and for the grace to advance His Kingdom.

This also means we are praying for the graces we need to advance the protection of human life. We may be tempted to compromise with the culture of death. We ask for the daily bread of strength to defend life, to speak up for the helpless, to intervene to save the weak. We pray also that those tempted to abort their children because of economic reasons may experience the help of God’s people, the daily bread of their generosity.

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Thy Will Be Done

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

One of the shortest and most powerful prayers we say, taught and used by Jesus Himself, is “Thy Will be done.” Union with the will of God is the heart of salvation and the essence of holiness. It is also the soul of the Culture of Life, where we do not pretend that human life is subject to our will. Rather, we welcome human life because it is God’s will to create and to entrust the lives of others to our care.

Not only accepting, but eagerly yearning for the will of God, causes us to serve the weak, and to work to see that human law reflects God’s will by protecting the vulnerable. Saying “Thy will be done” also helps us avoid the temptation to throw life away when it is afflicted with illness.

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Thy Kingdom Come

Monday, February 7th, 2011

When Jesus began His preaching He declared that the Kingdom of God had come among us. Yet in the prayer He taught us, He instructed us to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come!” The kingdom, indeed, is already here. The Kingdom is Jesus Himself, united with His members who, together with Him, make up His Body, the Church. Yet the kingdom is not yet here in all its completion. It continues to grow, and it continues to strive against many enemies. God’s Kingdom, as the liturgy says, is a kingdom “of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace.” This kingdom defines the culture of life, where the unborn and frail are welcomed and protected. Each time we pray the Our Father, let our longing for that kingdom increase.

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Hallowed be Thy Name

Friday, February 4th, 2011

In the Our Father, we pray “Hallowed be thy name.” When the People of God live in a way that reflects the holiness, justice, truth and love of God Himself, then God’s name is honored. In other words, God’s people give God a good reputation, and the word “Christian” is something people want to identify with. But when God’s people are unfaithful, God’s name is dishonored.

This is what happens when God’s people turn the other way and ignore the abortions that kill thousands of babies every day – or even participate in them. This dishonors both the rights of that child and the honor of God. Hallowed be thy name, through our commitment to life. Hallowed be thy name, through the sacrifice we make to defend life, and the care we give to mother and child alike.

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The Model of All Prayer

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

The Lord gave us the Our Father as the model of all prayer. The first two words of that prayer tell us why we are pro-life. There is one Father of us all, the One who gives both divine life and the natural human life which is its prerequisite. The Father is the Creator, and if He is “our” Father, then what does that make us? We are all brothers and sisters in one human family. One Father entrusts us to the care of each other. We are to seek the good of one another. This is why Paul exhorts us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to weep with those who weep, and to bear one another’s burdens.

The first way we do that is to safeguard the most basic good each person has – life itself.

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