Terri Schiavo’s death last year would not have occurred if 45 million babies in the womb had not been killed since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.
“It was not a question of deciding whether a treatment was worthless. That was a case of deciding that a life was worthless,” Father Pavone said of Schiavo during a speech he gave at St. Cecilia Academy on May 24.
“She (Schiavo) was living, healthy, wasn’t dying, had no terminal illness, had no machines hooked up to her. She was not on life support. She was disabled,” Father Pavone said. Schiavo’s death “was about the killing of a person whose life was deemed unworthy of living, exactly the same mistake thrust onto these unborn children.”
Roe v. Wade was, he said, “without exaggeration, not only the most tragic decision of the United States Supreme Court but of any human authority of any nation at any time in history. …
“This is not just about a bad policy or a bad platform of a political party, or an issue of a candidate with which we disagree,” he said. “This is about the disintegration of the state. This is about the erosion of the very foundations of civilization. That’s how serious this is.
That is why you should never be afraid, never feel ashamed, never feel out of place when somebody tries to call you a ‘single issue’ voter.” A change in the abortion law is only going to come with a change in the Supreme Court, Father Pavone said.
It is not a question of if Roe v. Wade will be overturned but only a matter of when, according to Father Pavone. “We are one vote short” of having the decision reversed, he said, but the process of changing the Supreme Court can be a long one.
Although justices are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, Father Pavone said, it is the voters who decide who sits in the White House and in the Senate. More changes to the Supreme Court, he said, require voting, which, according to the teachings of the church is a moral obligation.
“The opportunity to vote, the ability to cast our ballot is simply another way of worshipping God, an exercise in service one to the other because the ones we elect, we all live with the consequences,” Father Pavone said. “So little physical things like the pressing of a lever on election day matter in the transformation of society into the new heavens and the new earth.”
Those who come forward looking for votes and say at the same time that they uphold Roe v. Wade believe in a different kind of government, Father Pavone said.
A politician might have a policy on a person’s right to work, on war and peace, on the war on terrorism, on health care, and education, but if they believe in abortion at the same time, “They don’t really believe in those other rights in the way that they want you to think they do,” Father Pavone said.
“If a politician cannot respect the right of a little baby how is he suppose to respect yours? What are the foundations of your human rights and the guarantee that you are going to keep them?” he added.
Rights come not from governments, he said, but from God. “That means nobody can take them away from us and we can’t even throw them away ourselves,” Father Pavone said.
“Don’t let experts rob you of your common sense regarding what the United States of America is all about and what our Constitution means,” he said. “To think that anything about the Constitution requires us to stand back and let a person tear a child limb from limb in the womb is an absurdity beyond description.”
He said that a very important vote on partial birth abortion will be coming up soon in the Supreme Court. “There is not a single medical situation that has been identified by anybody on either side of the abortion controversy for which a partial birth abortion is the only remedy. There has not been a single medical instance identified because none exists.”
Today to say that an abortion is done for the health of the mother is like saying that the earth is flat, Father Pavone stated.
Father Pavone encouraged those in the pro-life movement to keep working. “Jesus Christ, working through us makes us work. Jesus Christ acting through us tells us to act. Jesus Christ enlightening and converting our minds and hearts converts us to a position where we say we’ve got a responsibility here,” Father Pavone said.
“In other words the conversion of minds and hearts makes us aware of our responsibility to go in and change the political scene.”