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

January 19, 2014

This week we remember the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion. The Church has declared January 22nd to be a “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.”

Below is the next installment of Russell Shaw’s update on the prolife movement (click here to read Part I and Part II)

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Update: Human Life

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

Largely as a result of recent regulations making it either too expensive or too logistically difficult for them to continue in operation, as of September at least 58 U.S. abortion clinics have been forced to close their doors since 2011.That was one of every 10 abortion clinics in the country.

The biggest single spur to such developments may have been the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, which spotlighted details of his practice that horrified countless Americans. Gosnell was convicted of first-degree murder in the deaths of three babies dispatched by being jabbed in the neck with scissors after being born alive by abortion. He pleaded guilty to these and other abortion-related crimes and is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison.

But the other side is far from giving up the fight. President Obama and his administration actively baby feet smsupport abortion. In a statement last January for the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the president hailed that ruling for its “historical commitment to protect the health and life of women.” In April, in an address to a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, Obama accused the pro-life movement of “an assault on women’s rights.”

As matters now stand, it’s relatively easy to get pro-life legislation through the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. But such legislation is virtually certain to die in the Democratic-controlled Senate. If by chance a pro-life measure did manage to slip through, President Obama could be counted on to veto it.

Meanwhile, government support of abortion is expanding via the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has repeatedly opposed this aspect of the program, especially for coercing faith-based institutions and programs to cooperate in a system that requires insurance coverage for abortifacient drugs, contraceptives and sterilization. In a mid-September letter to the bishops, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the USCCB, said: “We are united in our resolve to continue to defend our right to live by our faith.”

It’s ironic that, although Obama in his anniversary statement saluting Roe v. Wade, declared the decision’s “guiding principle” to be “government should not intrude on our most private family matters,” the prolife movement’s central objection to Obamacare is the coercive nature of its abortion mandate. How far this reaches was underlined recently when the Little Sisters of the Poor joined other religious providers of employee health benefits in a class action lawsuit against the mandate. “We cannot violate our vows by participating in the government’s program to provide access to abortion-inducing drugs,” said Sister Loraine Marie, superior of one of the congregation’s three U.S. provinces.

[Click here to read Part IV of Russell Shaw’s update.]