Violence Fosters Violence

La violencia engendra violencia

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director of Priests for Life
January 17, 2005

The January 2005 Boston Magazine Online carries the story "Confessions of an Abortion Doctor". The anonymous abortionist says, "I have the utmost respect for life …but also believe that I'm ending it for good reasons." Yet she withheld her name for fear that someone might take her life. The shootings of abortionists years ago, which she recalls vividly, scare her.

But doesn't she realize that the words of those who would justify killing people like her are simply an echo of her own? They say, "I have the utmost respect for life…but also believe that I'm ending it for good reasons."

It's the same argument, and the same fallacy, just applied to a different group of people. It's simply a variation on the old heresy that "the end justifies the means." The "good reasons," whatever they may be, can never justify the direct taking of a human life.

The anonymous abortionist of this article is not the only abortion supporter who admits that abortion is the taking of life. In a February 26, 1997 New York Times article, Ron Fitzsimmons, former Executive Director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, was quoted as follows: "...The abortion-rights folks know it, the anti-abortion folks know it, and so probably, does everyone else. One of the facts of abortion is that women enter abortion clinics to kill their fetuses. It is a form of killing're ending a life."

That same year, Faye Wattleton, former president of Planned Parenthood, said "I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don’t know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say yes, it kills a fetus, but it is the woman’s body, and therefore, ultimately her choice." [Ms., May/June 1997]

I am not arguing in favor of killing abortionists when I ask the question, "What is the difference between the mindset that you can kill a child for good reasons and that you can kill an adult for good reasons?" There's no moral difference when the victim is a different age. The problem is that we think we can kill by choice, and the idea that we can kill by choice has been spread not by the people who oppose abortion, but by the people who support it.

It is time to call for a consistent stand for life. It is self-contradictory to oppose abortion and support the killing of abortionists; it is equally self-contradictory to protest the killing of abortionists and support the right to kill unborn children.

It is time for the abortionists themselves, like the one quoted in Boston Magazine Online, to take responsibility for their own rhetoric, and the poisonous effect it has on our moral conscience. We are called to reject all violence, whether against unborn babies or against abortionists. We are also called to recognize that when we fail to protect any one group of people, we endanger all the rest.

Priests for Life
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