Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for
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[This column is a
continuation in our current series on abortion providers.]
Violence done against human beings involves
three types of people: the Perpetrator, the Victim, and the Observer. This is
known as the “Tragic Triangle." In child abuse, the child is the victim,
the abuser is the perpetrator, and those who come to know of the abuse as it is
going on are the observers. Abortion also is a tragic triangle. The abortionist,
in collusion with the parent(s), is the perpetrator, the child is the victim,
and the observers are all the rest of us.
Many may conclude that the perpetrator is the
most guilty of the three. Yet in most tragic triangles, the observers carry the
greatest guilt. They are more detached from the tragedy and usually have more
objectivity to assess the evil and the opportunities for stopping it.
Psychiatrist Philip Ney points out, “The Observers in tragic triangles have a
greater responsibility, primarily because they can be more objective, but also
because they often gain by allowing the tragedy to start and to continue”
(The Centurions’ Pathway, p.25). Regarding abortion, he further notes,
“The Observers are just as guilty, [and their] self-justification is more deeply
entrenched and their rationalization more difficult to undo. ‘I personally
don’t approve, but clean, clinical terminations are much better than back street
One of the key responsibilities of the
observer in the abortion tragic triangle, is to reach out to the abortionist.
Dr. Ney, who has worked with many abortionists to lead them out of the abortion
industry, comments, “The abortionist in one way or another is often appealing
to the observers. ‘Surely somehow, some way you could stop this. If you
really persisted you could have stopped me from doing abortions. I may have
resisted you, but I would have listened. At least, I think I could have been
Testimony of former abortionists confirm this.
Former abortion clinic operator Carol Everett relates the story of a preacher
who came to visit her at her clinic. “Through a long period of discussions,
he told me that God had asked him to come into this situation for 30 days, and
that there was indeed someone in there that the Lord wanted out. And we left in
27 days” (Testimony at Meet the Abortion Providers
Former abortionist Tony Levatino had a patient
who witnessed to him regularly before he stopped doing abortions. He relates, “I
can tell you that if enough women come to you and say, "I think you are a
great doctor. We have gotten along very well, but I can't go to you anymore
because you perform abortions." This can have a real effect. As I said, to
most of the average gynecologists in their offices, abortion is not a big part
of their business. If they see another part of their business going out the door
because of it, it will make it cost them more than it's worth” (Testimony
at Meet the Abortion Providers Conference, Chicago).
Observers have the power to stop the
Columns from 2006