The Unborn, the Elderly, and the ‘Throwaway Culture’ (Part II)

January 12, 2014

Congratulations to all! Yes, the Offertory Giving Challenge was successful.

Thank you to everyone that participated. Thank you for your commitment to St. Edwards. Below is the next installment of Russell Shaw’s update on the prolife movement. [Click here to read Part I]

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Update: Human Life

The Unborn, the elderly and the “throwaway culture” — Part II

In the United States, as the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 7-2 decision in “Roe v. Wade” approaches, the fight to defend human life is raging more fiercely than ever. Forty-one years ago, the advocates of legalized abortion and their media supporters took it for granted that that was the end of it. The Supreme Court had struck down laws against abortion throughout the country, and the opposition would soon flicker out. Euthanasia, many supposed, would come next.

The people who thought that way could hardly have been more wrong. True, there are still more than one million abortions annually in America. The United States continues to have arguably the most permissive regime of legalized abortion in the entire world. It isn’t just the number of abortionsbaby feet sm
either. The U.S. is one of only nine countries that permit abortion after 14 weeks of pregnancy and one of only four that permit abortion after the child is viable for any reason. But pro-life progress in correcting the situation also is a fact. For one thing, the supposedly scientific grounds on which Justice Harry Blackmun based the majority opinion in “Roe v. Wade” now are scientifically outdated at best. As a U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document prepared for last October’s Respect Life program put it, “Even abortion rights activists now concede the basic biological fact that human life begins at conception.”

As for euthanasia, despite strenuous efforts by supporters — efforts that date back to the eugenics movement of the early 20th century — only four states have so far legalized the form of “euthanasia-lite” called physician-assisted suicide. The four states are Washington, Montana, Vermont and Oregon. Oregon was the first state to take this step back in 1994. In 2012, 44 persons hastened their deaths with doctors’ help there. Also in 2012, to the dismay of euthanasia advocates, Massachusetts’s voters rejected a “death with dignity” ballot initiative in the November elections. Shortly before the vote, opinion polling had found more than 60 percent support for the measure, but when the time came, 51 percent voted against it.

Other Signs of Progress

Other recent signs of progress include these. As of last September, according to Life-News.com, a pro-life Internet source, 2013 was well on its way to setting a record for the most pro-life legislation passed in a year. Up to then, 48 states had considered some 360 measures intended to restrict abortion in various ways, and 69 of these became law. “The successful passage of common-sense protective legislation demonstrates that elected officials have their pulse
on the will of the people — not on the abortion lobby,” LifeNews.com remarked.

[Click here to read Part III]