Not For A Single Innocent Life
by Thomas A. Droleskey
A number of articles on this site in recent months have dealt with the statism represented by ObamaCare, which is, all protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, is a nationalization of the health-care industry in the United States of America. The most recent piece on this site to review ObamaCare was Missing the Really Big Picture, which discussed the support of the conciliar "bishops" of the United States of America for ObamaCare as long as the nationalization of the health-care industry, replete with government regulations that will indeed institute a British-style of socialized medicine that will deny medical care to people over the age of sixty, does not include Federal taxpayer funding for the surgical killing of innocent preborn children.
Many well-meaning readers have sent me links to sign petitions in support of amendments to make it possible for citizens to choose a health-care policy that does not fund surgical baby-killing. Petition drives of this sort are usually generated by professional fund-raising machines that have a vested interest in conflating facts and making it appear that some legislative initiative is worth support when it actually is immoral in and of itself. It is, I must admit, very tiring to have to point out the fraudulent nature of almost every piece of legislation that is said to be "pro-life."
Alas, it is necessary once again to point out a basic fact that so few well-meaning Catholics want to consider, no less to accept: no one who supports a single, solitary abortion, whether chemical or surgical, under cover of the civil law is "pro-life." Such as person is simply less pro-abortion than those who support baby-killing at all times in all circumstances. No piece of legislation is "pro-life" if it concedes as a matter of principle the "right" of women to kill their babies. We cannot allow ourselves to be so caught up in the emotional pull of a particular battle to lose sight of the fact that professional politicians and most professional lobbyists do not realize that the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law forbid the direct, intentional killing of any innocent human being at any time for any reason and it is never permissible to point to the "availability" of baby-killing under cover of the civil law to justify permitting some Americans to choose insurance policies that do not provide coverage for baby-killing.
To wit, Representative Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) introduced an amendment in the United States House of Representatives to forbid the use of Federal funding for surgical baby-killing in the House version of Obama Care that was under consideration last month. The amendment passed to a chorus of applause from many well-meaning "pro-life" Americans, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
Unfortunately, however, Representative Stupak, who is a Catholic, has justified his amendment on the basis of the ability of women to pay for the killing of their preborn babies with their private insurance policies, making it appear as though the only issue at hand is who pays for the killing of babies, not the fact that the killing of preborn babies is forbidden in all cases no matter who pays for it. And it should be pointed out that we, the taxpayers, do indeed fund surgical baby-killing by means of Medicare payments in the so-called "hard cases" and that we pay for the chemical assassination of children every day by means of domestic and international "family planning" programs.
Representative Stupak has a notice on his own website to state that his amendment will in no way limit the availability of "abortion services" in the Untied States of America:
NARAL falsely claims Stupak is trying to make it more difficult than ever before for women to buy insurance coverage for abortion in the new health care system, even if they use their own money. Yet, nothing in the Stupak amendment prevents women from purchasing abortion coverage with private funds. In fact, no matter which plan a person chooses they may purchase additional abortion coverage using private dollars.
Under the Stupak amendment, only the public health insurance option and private plans that receive federal subsidies will be prohibited from covering abortion. It does not prevent individuals or private plans within the health insurance exchange from purchasing or offering abortion services when paid for with their own money.
NARAL falsely claims the Stupak amendment imposes one of the worst restrictions on a woman’s right to choose in a generation.
The Stupak amendment is in line with current law, as well as public opinion and does not restrict any woman’s ability to obtain abortion services. Current law prohibits federal funding of abortion and insurance policies that cover abortion through programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program. The Stupak amendment is continuation of this policy – nothing more, nothing less. (Stupak Refutes False Claims in NARAL Ad.)
Representative Stupak made this exact argument in an op-ed commentary, False Alarm on Abortion, published in The New York Times on November 25, 2009, that caught the attention of Mrs. Judie Brown, the founder and president of American Life League, who wrote the following commentary on the absurdity of Stupak's justification for his amendment on the basis that it would "interfere" with the ready availability of baby-killing in the United States of America:
Congressman Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat and the darling of many American pro-life organizations, recently wrote a commentary for the New York Times that literally took my breath away. Entitled “What My Amendment Won’t Do,” Stupak panders to the abortion culture while attempting to defend his ethically deficient health care reform amendment. Regardless of public statements to the contrary, his amendment would not ban taxpayer dollars for all abortions. If the preborn child is scheduled for execution for reasons of rape, incest or life of the mother, that’s fine, according to the Stupak language. And that’s not the worst of it.
In his editorial, Stupak provides public assurances to those who argue that health care reform proposals must include preborn child murder because such programs must protect every aspect of women’s so-called reproductive health choices.
Disgusting as Stupak’s remarks are, I must share a portion of them in order to make my point perfectly clear:
Under our amendment, women who receive federal subsidies will be prohibited from using them to pay for insurance policies that cover abortion. The amendment does not prevent private plans from offering abortion services and it does not prohibit women from purchasing abortion coverage with their own money. The amendment specifically states that even those who receive federal subsidies can purchase a supplemental policy with private money to cover abortions.
If you were to read this paragraph with a proper understanding of the fact that abortion is an act of killing, rather than a simple surgical procedure similar to a nose piercing, you would have to admit that Stupak’s political posturing is anything but pro-life. Here is how that paragraph should read, if Stupak were honest about it:
Under our amendment, women who receive federal subsidies will be prohibited from using such funds to pay for insurance policies that cover any act that would result in the death of their baby prior to birth. The amendment does not prevent private plans from offering surgical, medical or chemical killing services, and it does not prohibit women from purchasing insurance coverage that would pay for the killing as long as they pay for such coverage with their own money. The amendment specifically states that even those who receive federal subsidies can purchase a supplemental policy with private money to pay those who would perform acts that would result in the death of their child or children prior to birth.
Some opponents of the amendment have tried to argue that it would effectively end health insurance coverage of abortion in both the private and public sectors. This argument is nothing more than a scare tactic.
The language in our amendment is completely consistent with the Hyde Amendment, which in the 33 years since its passage has done nothing to inhibit private health insurers from offering abortion coverage. There is no reason to believe that a continuation of this policy would suddenly create undue hardship for the insurance industry—or for those who wish to use their private insurance to pay for an abortion.
Reading such deluded jabber sickens me beyond belief. But it also reminds me of the biblical story of 1 Kings: 3, in which two women who lived together had a devastating experience because one of them lied. To reprise the story, each of them bore a child within three days of each other. As it turned out, one of them apparently inadvertently rolled over onto her baby, who was consequently suffocated to death. This woman proceeded to sneak into the other mother’s room in the middle of the night, place the dead baby on her bosom and take that mother’s child. She subsequently claimed the living child was her own, and the two women wound up in King Solomon’s court, begging him to resolve the conflict.
King Solomon, being the wise man that he was, made a startling recommendation for resolving the dilemma: Simply cut the baby in half and give each woman half of the body. Oh, the baby would be dead, of course, but then both women would be satisfied! This prompted the real mother to plead for her son’s life, and that is how the king knew who the rightful mother was.
Stupak’s double-talk, obviously designed to reassure his pro-abortion colleagues, reminds me of the mother whose child died at her own hand. She lied in order to get her own way. But at the last moment, it was her own lies that exposed her.
No matter how you look at it, a lie is a lie and telling the truth is the only way one can achieve genuine peace, whether one is a politician, a deceptive woman standing in King Solomon's presence or an abortionist.
Stupak created the slippery ground on which he is now standing; his dilemma is of his own making. Had he been honest from the start, he would have made it clear that as a pro-life politician, he would insist that there is no reason why any insurance policy, government program or charity should be paying for or providing murder as a service to an expectant mother. The problematic nature of positions such as Stupak’s exposes the sordid underbelly of the political compromising that frequently occurs in the highly deceptive political pro-life movement.
The Stupak Amendment has received rave reviews from the National Right to Life Committee, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and many others. It has been touted as totally pro-life, as an absolute ban on tax-funded abortion and so on. It makes good fundraising copy to make such claims, but look where it is taking us! Who will be cutting those babies in half if any sort of "health care reform" actually comes to pass in this nation?
And why is a halfhearted half-measure proclaimed a victory? There is no logical response to this rhetorical question, but there is a comparison I would like to offer for thoughtful reflection.
Today I listened to a Planned Parenthood abortionist tell a young expectant mother (actually a very good actress) that her baby was not really a baby “or anything like that.” Thanks to the creative genius of Lila Rose and Live Action Films, the world can listen to this abortionist’s lie and the many other lies contained in this just-under-six-minutes-long video.
But I have to ask, what is so different about this abortionist’s lie and the Stupak lie? When is an abortion not really an act of murder? When private money pays for it? When it is alleged to be needed because of rape, incest or the life of the mother?
Come on, people! Wake up and smell the coffee! We are talking about babies, not politically motivated vacuous rhetoric.
Until we pro-life Americans, as a group, come face to face with our own cowardice, our own lack of resolve, our own inability to stand for truth and never back down, regardless of what it might cost us, this sort of atrocious, mind-bending gibberish will continue to be passed off as pro-life!
And all the while, the killing and the profiteering will continue. (STUPAK REDUX: POLITICAL LIES AND MANIPULATION.)
It is never any kind of victory for the cause of fundamental justice founded in the splendor of Truth Incarnate to concede as a matter of principle that a particular course of legislative action is justified because it will not interfere with the ability of people to engage in evil acts under cover of the civil law that are illicit of their very nature. While it might be morally permissible to limit certain species of immoral acts (e.g. to end all late-term abortions without exception) without banning them at all once, it is quite another to concede that legislators do have the right from God to seek to work to ban them all as hearts and minds are converted over the course of time. There is no concession at all in anything that Representative Bartholomew Stupak has written to the truth that it is necessary to seek to end all abortions, whether chemical or surgical, under cover of the civil law without any exception whatsoever regardless of who pays for the killing of babies.
Representative Stupak's line of illogic is very similar to the case made by the administration of former President George Walker Bush when arguing the case of Gonzales v. Carhart before the Supreme Court of the United States, namely, that the partial, conditional ban on partial-birth abortions would not make it impossible for women to kill their babies in the later stages of pregnancy as two other methods of baby-killing (the hysterotomy and the dilation and evacuation methods) remained perfectly legal, an argument that was accepted in toto by Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, a Catholic, who wrote the opinion for the Court in the case whose outcome was announced on April 18, 2007:
D&E and intact D&E are not the only second-trimester abortion methods. Doctors also may abort a fetus through medical induction. The doctor medicates the woman to induce labor, and contractions occur to deliver the fetus. Induction, which unlike D&E should occur in a hospital, can last as little as 6 hours but can take longer than 48. It accounts for about five percent of second-trimester abortions before 20 weeks of gestation and 15 percent of those after 20 weeks. Doctors turn to two other methods of second-trimester abortion, hysterotomy and hysterectomy, only in emergency situations because they carry increased risk of complications. In a hysterotomy, as in a cesarean section, the doctor removes the fetus by making an incision through the abdomen and uterine wall to gain access to the uterine cavity. A hysterectomy requires the removal of the entire uterus. These two procedures represent about .07% of second-trimester abortions. Nat. Abortion Federation, 330 F. Supp. 2d, at 467; Planned Parenthood, supra, at 962-963. . . .
(a) The Act's text demonstrates that it regulates and proscribes performing the intact D&E procedure [partial-birth abortion]. First, since the doctor must "vaginally delive[r] a living fetus," §1531(b)(1)(A), the Act does not restrict abortions involving delivery of an expired fetus or those not involving vaginal delivery, e.g., hysterotomy or hysterectomy. And it applies both previability and postviability because, by common understanding and scientific terminology, a fetus is a living organism within the womb, whether or not it is viable outside the womb. Second, because the Act requires the living fetus to be delivered to a specific anatomical landmark depending on the fetus' presentation, ibid., an abortion not involving such partial delivery is permitted. Third, because the doctor must perform an "overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered fetus," §1531(b)(1)(B), the "overt act" must be separate from delivery. It must also occur after delivery to an anatomical landmark, since killing "the partially delivered" fetus, when read in context, refers to a fetus that has been so delivered, ibid. Fourth, given the Act's scienter requirements, delivery of a living fetus past an anatomical landmark by accident or inadvertence is not a crime because it is not "deliberat[e] and intentiona[l], §1531(b)(1)(A). Nor is such a delivery prohibited if the fetus [has not] been delivered "for the purpose of performing an overt act that the [doctor] knows will kill [it]." Ibid. Pp. 16-18. (Text of the Court's Opinion.)
In other words, as I have been arguing in various journals and on this site since the time the conditional, partial ban on partial-birth abortion was introduced in the United States Congress in 1995, the legislation that was heralded by so many as a "triumph" in the battle against abortion was merely a means by which phony "pro-life" politicians could burnish their credentials by making it appear that the killing of a baby in the later stages of pregnancy was a more morally heinous act than killing a baby in his earlier stages of development in his mother's womb. While it is true that the civil law can provide greater penalties for a particularly gruesome form of murder, the moral gravity of killing an innocent human being is the same no matter the age of the person killed, whether that person be six weeks old in the womb of the one hundred year-old woman who was killed recently by her ninety-eight year-old roommate in Massachusetts (see Woman, 98, charged with murdering 100-year-old roommate). The moral crime of killing an innocent human being is the same no matter the age of the victim.
Yet it was the case, sadly, that so many believed that the partial, conditional ban on partial-birth abortion represented a "success" when it was nothing of the sort (see
An Illusion of a Victory). Similarly, the Stupak Amendment is not "pro-life" and must be termed as such by any right thinking person as its sponsor goes out of his way to demonstrate that it is not his intention to "interfere" with the availability of "abortion services."
Although I know that I will sound like the proverbial broken record once again, it is important to emphasize the truth that the principle purpose of the civil government is to pursue the common temporal good in light of man's Last End as its office-holders seek to foster those conditions in civil society wherein citizens can better sanctify and save their souls as members of the Catholic Church. The madness of the present moment which sees many well-meaning Catholics thinking that a particular course of legislative action represents a "victory" when it is nothing of the sort is the direct result of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolt and institutionalized by the rise of Judeo-Masonry.
A world shaped by the Catholic Faith would be one in which the civil government was limited as its leaders respected the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law, recognizing that the Catholic Church possessed the right--exercised rarely and judiciously only after the exhausting of her Indirect Power of teaching, preaching and exhortation--to interpose herself with them if the good of souls demands her motherly intervention. Men who lived in a Catholic country would, despite their own sins and failings that serve as the proximate causes of social disorder and wounds to justice within their society, seek to live for the honor and glory of God as they saw as their own duty, not that of the government's, to provide for those who could not care for themselves. Medicine and law and education--indeed, every aspect of popular culture and civil life--would be defined by the Faith as men went about their business on earth as they pursued their Last End as members of the true Church, namely, the possession of the glory of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity in Heaven.
The following passage from the late George Augustine Thomas O'Brien's An Essay on the Economic Effects of the Reformation has been used on this site in many articles. It is worth doing so again to explain that the whole economic system that has spawned a health-care industry based on utilitarian principles and a governmental system based on a rejection of the Social Reign of Christ the King are the direct result of the nefarious work of one Martin Luther and his compatriots:
The thesis we have endeavoured to present in this essay is, that the two great dominating schools of modern economic thought have a common origin. The capitalist school, which, basing its position on the unfettered right of the individual to do what he will with his own, demands the restriction of government interference in economic and social affairs within the narrowest possible limits, and the socialist school, which, basing its position on the complete subordination of the individual to society, demands the socialization of all the means of production, if not all of wealth, face each other today as the only two solutions of the social question; they are bitterly hostile towards each other, and mutually intolerant and each is at the same weakened and provoked by the other. In one respect, and in one respect only, are they identical--they can both be shown to be the result of the Protestant Reformation.
We have seen the direct connection which exists between these modern schools of economic thought and their common ancestor. Capitalism found its roots in the intensely individualistic spirit of Protestantism, in the spread of anti-authoritative ideas from the realm of religion into the realm of political and social thought, and, above all, in the distinctive Calvinist doctrine of a successful and prosperous career being the outward and visible sign by which the regenerated might be known. Socialism, on the other hand, derived encouragement from the violations of established and prescriptive rights of which the Reformation afforded so many examples, from the growth of heretical sects tainted with Communism, and from the overthrow of the orthodox doctrine on original sin, which opened the way to the idea of the perfectibility of man through institutions. But, apart from these direct influences, there were others, indirect, but equally important. Both these great schools of economic thought are characterized by exaggerations and excesses; the one lays too great stress on the importance of the individual, and other on the importance of the community; they are both departures, in opposite directions, from the correct mean of reconciliation and of individual liberty with social solidarity. These excesses and exaggerations are the result of the free play of private judgment unguided by authority, and could not have occurred if Europe had continued to recognize an infallible central authority in ethical affairs.
The science of economics is the science of men's relations with one another in the domain of acquiring and disposing of wealth, and is, therefore, like political science in another sphere, a branch of the science of ethics. In the Middle Ages, man's ethical conduct, like his religious conduct, was under the supervision and guidance of a single authority, which claimed at the same time the right to define and to enforce its teaching. The machinery for enforcing the observance of medieval ethical teaching was of a singularly effective kind; pressure was brought to bear upon the conscience of the individual through the medium of compulsory periodical consultations with a trained moral adviser, who was empowered to enforce obedience to his advice by the most potent spiritual sanctions. In this way, the whole conduct of man in relation to his neighbours was placed under the immediate guidance of the universally received ethical preceptor, and a common standard of action was ensured throughout the Christian world in the all the affairs of life. All economic transactions in particular were subject to the jealous scrutiny of the individual's spiritual director; and such matters as sales, loans, and so on, were considered reprehensible and punishable if not conducted in accordance with the Christian standards of commutative justice.
The whole of this elaborate system for the preservation of justice in the affairs of everyday life was shattered by the Reformation. The right of private judgment, which had first been asserted in matters of faith, rapidly spread into moral matters, and the attack on the dogmatic infallibility of the Church left Europe without an authority to which it could appeal on moral questions. The new Protestant churches were utterly unable to supply this want. The principle of private judgment on which they rested deprived them of any right to be listened to whenever they attempted to dictate moral precepts to their members, and henceforth the moral behaviour of the individual became a matter to be regulated by the promptings of his own conscience, or by such philosophical systems of ethics as he happened to approve. The secular state endeavoured to ensure that dishonesty amounting to actual theft or fraud should be kept in check, but this was a poor and ineffective substitute for the powerful weapon of the confessional. Authority having once broken down, it was but a single step from Protestantism to rationalism; and the way was opened to the development of all sorts of erroneous systems of morality.
It doesn't get any clearer, does it?
Pope Leo XIII, writing in A Review of His Pontificate, March 19, 1902, emphasized that we had to pray and to work for the restoration of Catholicism as the only foundation of personal and social order, a plea that would be made by his successor, Pope Saint Pius X, many times between 1903 and 1914:
Just as Christianity cannot penetrate into the soul without making it better, so it cannot enter into public life without establishing order. With the idea of a God Who governs all, Who is infinitely Wise, Good, and Just, the idea of duty seizes upon the consciences of men. It assuages sorrow, it calms hatred, it engenders heroes. If it has transformed pagan society--and that transformation was a veritable resurrection--for barbarism disappeared in proportion as Christianity extended its sway, so, after the terrible shocks which unbelief has given to the world in our days, it will be able to put that world again on the true road, and bring back to order the States and peoples of modern times. But the return of Christianity will not be efficacious and complete if it does not restore the world to a sincere love of the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. In the Catholic Church Christianity is Incarnate. It identifies Itself with that perfect, spiritual, and, in its own order, sovereign society, which is the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and which has for Its visible head the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Prince of the Apostles. It is the continuation of the mission of the Savior, the daughter and the heiress of His Redemption. It has preached the Gospel, and has defended it at the price of Its blood, and strong in the Divine assistance and of that immortality which has been promised it, It makes no terms with error but remains faithful to the commands which it has received, to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time, and to protect it in its inviolable integrity. Legitimate dispenser of the teachings of the Gospel it does not reveal itself only as the consoler and Redeemer of souls, but It is still more the internal source of justice and charity, and the propagator as well as the guardian of true liberty, and of that equality which alone is possible here below. In applying the doctrine of its Divine Founder, It maintains a wise equilibrium and marks the true limits between the rights and privileges of society. The equality which it proclaims does not destroy the distinction between the different social classes. It keeps them intact, as nature itself demands, in order to oppose the anarchy of reason emancipated from Faith, and abandoned to its own devices. The liberty which it gives in no wise conflicts with the rights of truth, because those rights are superior to the demands of liberty. Not does it infringe upon the rights of justice, because those rights are superior to the claims of mere numbers or power. Nor does it assail the rights of God because they are superior to the rights of humanity. (Pope Leo XIII, A Review of His Pontificate, March 19, 1902.)
Please note that Pope Leo XIII stressed that the Catholic Church "makes no terms with error but remains faithful to the command which it has received, to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time, and to protect it in its inviolable integrity." Anyone who says that this has been done by the counterfeit church of concilairism, which has made its "reconciliation" with the false principles of Modernity that leave no room for the confessionally Catholic civil state and the Social Reign of Christ the King, is not thinking too clearly (and that is as about as charitable as I can put the matter).
There is little hope, humanly speaking, of large numbers of people recognizing and accepting these basic truths in the midst of the insanity of the moment. So be it. However, what we can do is present those who are open to looking at the truth of the world as it can be viewed through the eyes of the true Faith, trying to plant a few seeds as the consecrated slaves of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ through His Most Blessed Mother's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to help more and more people to see that the world in which we live is constructed on one artifice after another, some of which are collapsing right before our very eyes. Every Rosary we pray will help to plant a few more seeds that might, please God and by Our Lady's maternal intercession, result in the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
We must never forsake a single innocent life to applaud measures that concede a nonexistent "right" of human beings to pursue evil under cover of the civil law. Not once. Not ever.
Catholicism is the one and only foundation of personal and social order. Never forget this fact. Never be distracted by the sideshow that is the naturalistic farce of American electoral politics and public policy decision-making and the artifice of a national economy based on the unfettered greed of men who live only to have more of this world's goods and who recoil in horror when these words are spoken from the lips of anyone who dares to utter them:
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!