Stenberg v. Carhart(2000). The ruling struck down a partial birth abortion ban which was later upheld. “I am optimistic enough to believe that one day, Stenberg v. Carhart will be assigned its rightful place in the history of this Court’s jurisprudence beside . . . . Dred Scott. The method of killing a human child – one cannot even accurately say one entirely unborn human child –proscribed by this statute is so horrible that the most clinical description of it evokes a shudder of revulsion.” The belief that the Constitution “prohibits the State’s from simply banning this visibly brutal means of eliminating our half-born posterity is quite simply absurd.”
Scalia believed that abortion should be decided, “like most important questions in our democracy: by citizens trying to persuade one another and then voting.”
”The issue is whether abortion is a liberty protected by the Constitution of the United States. I am sure that it is not. . . Because of two simple facts: (1) the Constitution says nothing about it, and (2) the longstanding traditions of American society have permitted it to be legally proscribed.”
Seems simple enough to me. Rest in peace, Justice Scalia, thou good and faithful servant. You will be sorely missed.
We all were shocked by the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a stalwart supporter of the right to life on the U.S. Supreme Court. In his 30 years on the court, he dealt with many cases dealing with the issue of abortion. Some of his comments:
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989) Scalia hoped that the court would address Roe v. Wade, but instead they deferred the issue for another three years. Scalia wrote that in kicking the can down the road, the court was guaranteed “at least another term with carts full of mail from the public, and streets full of demonstrators, urging us–their unelected and life-tenured judges who have been awarded these extraordinary, undemocratic characteristics precisely in order that we might follow the law despite the popular will–to follow the popular will.
Hodgson v. Minnesota (1990). The court ruled that parental notification laws are constitutional, but they failed to agreed on what kind of laws, how many parents must be notified, or whether states must allow a “judicial bypass” before they became unconstitutional. Scalia’s answer was pointed. Nothing in the Constitution addressed the issue at all. The justices were making it up as they went along. “I continue to dissent from this enterprise of devising an Abortion Code, and from the illusion that we have the authority to do so.”
Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992). The court upheld Roe but said that states were free to regulate abortion so long as their laws did not place an “undue burden” upon women seeking an abortion. Scalia described this as the “jurisprudence of confusion.”
The words “pro-choice” have become a euphemism for abortion. They are a prime example of how words can be used to defend the indefensible. According to writer Tom Neven in a recent article in First Things, the pro-choice movement is guilty of deceit. “No political system short of anarchy elevates personal choice to an ultimate good, yet the so-called pro-choicers would have us think it trumps every other consideration, whether scientific, medical, or moral. They know they can’t win the debate on any of those grounds, so they hide behind pleasant sounding words.” Examples are everywhere. Kate Michelman, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America likes to refer to abortion as “fetal demise”. Or the procedure of partial birth abortion as the “evacuation of the intracranial contents”. The misuse of language eventually leads to a loss of truth. J Budziszewski, a political philosopher at the University of Texas, wrote in “The Revenge of Conscience,” As any sin (abortion) passes through its states from temptation, to toleration, to approval, its name is first euphemized (pro-choice), then avoided, then forgotten.” (clarification added) A euphemism has been described as a verbal fig leaf named after the Biblical account of Adam and Eve’s fall into sin. As Mr. Nevin asks in his article, “Why do abortion defenders instinctively hide behind verbal fig leaves? What inner voice tells them that what they defend is shameful? How do they know they’re morally naked? That is the question they need to face.” Perhaps they know that the real issue is not the ability to make a choice, but rather the specifics of what is being chosen.
NARAL Pro-Choice America went ballistic over a Doritos Super Bowl ad that depicted a couple in the midst of an ultrasound of their almost full term baby. The baby upon hearing the crunch of the Doritos being munched by the dad, jumps for the Doritos and eventually leaps so hard that there’s an implied early delivery!
#NotBuyingIt-that@Doritos ad using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses and sexist tropes of dads as clueless and moms as uptight. #SB50
Not surprising that NARAL can look at an ultrasound and fail to see an unborn human being. Fortunately NARAL was widely criticized for not only being political, but ridiculous. Ultrasound has for many years revealed the humanity of a pregnancy. Expectant parents are excited to see their unborn child. Ultrasound pictures are on the refrigerators of many parents and grandparents. Caring Network uses ultrasound to reveal the humanity of the unborn to women contemplating abortion and encourages them to take an ultrasound picture with them when they leave Caring Network’s office. One young woman who came to Caring Network and decided to carry her pregnancy put the ultrasound picture of her unborn child on her cell phone! NARAL’s complaint missed the obvious. Ultrasound humanizes fetuses because they are human! Accusing ultrasound of being anti choice is nothing short of deceptive.
Months have passed since the videos created by the Center for Medical Progress that depicted the practices of fetal tissue harvesting and sale by Planned Parenthood were released. Their release led to congressional hearings, state investigations and failed efforts to deny the largest abortion provider in the country federal funding. Unfortunately, no progress has been made in the efforts to curtail the abortion giant’s activity or stop its funding. Why? Obviously, both sides of the abortion controversy believe that they are right. The videos attempted to demonstrate that PP’s practices were outside of the law, but the real issue was abortion itself. And although the videos presented the horrific consequences of abortion (i.e. the mutilation of babies), the opposing sides quickly degenerated into pro abortion and pro life arguments . . . . claims of women’s rights to reproductive autonomy vs. the rights of their babies to life. People in the middle who were shocked by the videos were able to justify their neutral position with the position taken by PP that the videos were framed and really didn’t depict illegal activities. And so we are back to business as usual. Planned Parenthood’s reputation is a little tarnished, but they are included in the Omnibus bill just signed into law that will fund their activities. Of course the indictment of David Daleiden from the Center for Medical Progress again reinforces the accusations of fraud by PP. This entire episode again points to the reality that fighting abortion is a one on one battle. It is possible to love both the women and the child. Their rights and interests are not mutually exclusive. That is the work of Caring Network – loving them both. Helping women understand that abortion is not in their best interests. There are solutions to the problems they face and people who will help them. Thanks to you, our ministry partners, for joining us in the hand to hand combat!
In January we observed the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the two Supreme Court decisions that brought abortion on demand to our country in 1973. In that year, 700,000 women ended their pregnancy through abortion. The number grew to a peak of 1.6 million annually in 1990. Today the abortion toll is approximately 1 million lives lost per year. Since 1973, 58 million children have lost their lives to abortion, a staggering figure. Much of the action aimed at ending abortion has focused on activism or legislation. But those activities alone will not end this horrific tragedy because abortion is a matter of the heart and to end abortion, hearts need to be changed. Counseling a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy to carry the pregnancy is not a matter of logic alone, but also an act of faith. Faith that her future is secure. . . . faith that she and her baby will be cared for . . . faith that God will bring good out of this difficult situation. What can you do as a Christian to help change hearts? First of all–pray! Pray for an end to abortion . . . pray for hearts to change . . . . . and pray that the hearts of Christians will be moved to action. Pray that Christians will recognize the fear of an unplanned pregnancy and they will be moved to help women in those desperate situations. Pray that Christians will support the work of Caring Network and that the messages of faith and hope that are given by Caring Network counselors will change the hearts of women who come to Caring Network seeking help. Seek God’s guidance and get involved! Hearts must be reached to save lives and that is what Caring Network does—one life at a time.
World famous Canadian singer, Celine Dion, revealed that her mother almost had an abortion in 1967, but was convinced to carry the pregnancy by a Catholic priest. Celine was the 14th child and youngest child born to her parents. Celine told her story in 2001 to the London celebrity magazine, Hello!. “My mother had already brought up 13 children . . . The two little ones, twins Paul and Pauline, were about to go to school and at last she’d have some time to herself. . . . . Then suddenly she was pregnant again. She was so shattered she went to see the parish priest to see if she could do something about it.” Fortunately for her many fans, the priest told her mother that she had no right to go against nature and she continued the pregnancy. Celine continued, “Once she got over her disappointment that an abortion was out of the question she loved me as passionately as she’d loved the last little ones. I’ll never forget that she was the one who went knocking on Rene Angelil’s (Celine’s husband manager) door in the first place. I was just a kid. She was the one who wrote my first song. I owe her everything.” As Caring Network knows, unplanned pregnancies can be frightening, but as Celine’s mother demonstrates, once the panic is over and with counseling and support, a mother will love and protect that initially unplanned baby with all of her heart. Everyday Caring Network counselors offer unconditional love, good counsel and support as they help frightened women deal with their unplanned pregnancy. Caring Network knows that when women have hope for their future, decisions change and babies are born. The world would have lost a great talent who inspired many if Celine’s mother had not been told by that priest long ago that her child was a gift to embrace.
There is no doubt that marriage is under fire. Marriage is viewed as just a “piece of paper” whereas living together will confirm a couple’s compatibility and reduce the odds that a subsequent marriage might end in divorce. Social science confirms the risks of cohabitation. The average length is only 15 months whereas the average marriage last several decades. Even couples that cohabitate with definite plans to marry have risks. Cohabitation raises the risk of divorce by 50% for these couples. Why? It appears that cohabitation particularly “serial cohabitation” fosters behaviors that are not conducive to a good marriage: limited commitment, limited trust and limited duration. When disagreements occur the response is to dissolve the relationship and move on to the next. This is not a good behavior for a successful marriage. Unfortunately, cohabitation is a trend that sees no signs of letting up. Some of the women coming to Caring Network, find themselves in that scenario and when pregnancy occurs, they are left to provide for themselves and their child alone. Caring Network fills in the gaps, helping her to carry that child to term and provide for its future. The role of the church and its ministries through the ages has always been to pick up the pieces of lives crushed by the culture and it is no different today. Caring Network is here to stand in the gap for her and her baby, sharing the love of Christ through the crisis and beyond.
According to recent figures, Planned Parenthood continues to be the largest abortion provider in the US. In 2015 they opened up a total of 16 new abortion clinics, although the total number of clinics declined. Last year, the total number of Planned Parenthood centers went down from 668 to 645 while the number of centers that perform abortions went up from 337 to 353. This giant organization continues to shift away from women’s health care and family planning towards abortion. The number of clinics that offer the “abortion pill” also continues to rise indicating an increasing usage of medical abortion. Planned Parenthood’s surgical centers declined from 173 to 166, but centers providing medical abortions increased from 164 to 187. Medical abortions account for 25% of all abortions now performed in the US. Despite criticisms launched last year over the controversial Planned Parenthood videos, Planned Parenthood remains as strong as ever. This calls for increased efforts on the part of Caring Network to reach the many women in our area who are in danger of walking into the Planned Parenthood facilities in Chicago and Aurora. To see what Caring Network has in mind, watch for more information on Caring Network’s comprehensive capital campaign. We are motivated to reach these women and save more lives!
Unless you are a member of a liturgical church, you may never have heard of The Feast of the Holy Innocents, but I’m sure you will recall the Biblical story. After the Wise Men left the infant Jesus they did not return to King Herod to tell him where the child was located so he could kill him, so he took matters into his own hands. He ordered the killing of all boys two years and under in Bethlehem, fulfilling the prophecy of Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” Our culture has its own “holy innocents” and “Rachels”; the 57 million aborted babies and their mothers. And like the Rachel of old, mothers weep because their children are no more. Abortion is a horrible tragedy that leaves babies destroyed and mothers wounded. But there is healing following abortion. If you or anyone you know is in need, please contact Caring Network’s Restore ministry, www.restoreafterabortion.com or call Holly at 630-599-0043.