It is not only the fault of abortionists like Gosnell, and it is not only the fault of pro-abortion politicians like Obama who oppose the Fundamental Human Right to Life. Like drugs, if there were not a demand for abortion, it would not be provided. It is a thriving business that lines the pockets of the folks at Planned Parenthood and gets votes for pro-abortion politicians because we want to kill our children.
RICHMOND, VA (Catholic Online) - As I write this, the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell is taking place in Philadelphia. Dr. Gosnell is facing seven counts of first degree murder for allegedly inserting surgical scissors into the necks of already born infants to kill them by severing their spinal cords, and one of third degree murder in the death of a patient.
According to news accounts, former Gosnell staffers testified that they saw signs of life in the infants even after the abortion had been completed, saying the babies "jumped" and "screamed" -- and tried to escape. Additionally, Gosnells' abortarium was a filthy place, according to testimony that the operating area was not even sanitized between patients, and that there were parts of baby bodies everywhere, including in the refrigerator where the staff kept their lunches.
Gosnell's defense attorney, Jack McMahon, argued that all seven murder counts should be dismissed because the movement in the babies described by witnesses was not legally sufficient to conclude that they were alive. He also argued that regardless of movement, the babies were doomed because Gosnell injected them with the drug Digoxin, a heart drug that kills the baby in the womb.
Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron said six of the seven cases were backed by testimony that babies were born alive and moving, and were killed by snipping their spinal cords with scissors. The seventh was a 28-week-old known as "Baby Boy B," found in a freezer in Gosnell's clinic with a large hole in his neck. Pathologists testified that it is not possible after the fact to determine whether the baby was born alive. However, the contention by the defense that the baby was already dead begs the obvious question asked by the prosecutor: "Why put a hole in the neck of a baby unless you're killing it?"
In a bizarre twist Judge Jeffrey P. Minehart, who is hearing the case, dismissed three of the murder counts, including that of Baby Boy B, as well as the five counts of corpse abuse stemming from the five specimen bottles containing feet found in a cabinet in the clinic. The judge gave no reason for his decision.
The reason, however, is glaringly obvious. The pro-abortion position has been pushed to its logical conclusion, and society has slid down the metaphorical slippery slope into a moral abyss. Orwellian doublespeak by the supporters of abortion on demand has met reality in the grim photos of the Dr. Gosnell's victims. The truth about abortion is being laid out in its ugly nakedness under the harsh light of his trial for the entire world to see. This is a problem for abortion advocates and for a society that supports them.
Abortion has been redefined so that the idea no longer offends or shocks us. In times past, philosophers, theologians, and scientists struggled with the question of when an embryo became a fetus became a baby. When did it receive a soul and become truly human?
Modern science has given us fascinating ultrasonic images of the baby in untero that show not only its physical development but even its reactions to the outside world. Without elaborating on these findings in great detail, it is nontrivial to observe that we often think too much about simple things, particularly when the data do not necessarily agree with what we want to hear.
The world is run by purported "intellectuals" to whom we give the authority to make decisions for us. These "intellectuals" are the ones who tell us that we have a debt crisis, and their solution is to borrow more money so we can spend ourselves out of our debt. Huh? The question of whether an embryo/fetus will become a person is easily answered by simply leaving it alone to grow and be born. I guarantee the result will be a baby human.
Liberal newspeak, the written component of political correctness, has successfully changed the way we think about many issues by simply using an alternate and redefined vocabulary that sounds like English, but whose meaning is very different. At the moment our nation is similarly about to redefine the term "marriage". Marriage, even apart from its sacramental form, has always been between a man and a woman, which forms a family, the basic unit of society, and assures the perpetuation of that society through procreation.
Suddenly, after eons of human existence, the "intellectuals" have decided that there is something "unfair" about that relationship, and are seeking to redefine it as a union of . well, who knows where that will end. Presumably eventually radical environmentalists will be able to marry trees.
Abortion on demand is no less than redefining the term "murder". Murder, or in legal parlance "homocide", is the killing of a human being. There have always been exceptions in Church doctrine and in law to the prohibition in the Fifth Commandment for self-defense, and for the State to execute criminals in societal self-defense. However, "choice", which is nothing more than selfish convenience, has never been one of them.
When the State kills a criminal in self-defense, we don't say "kill", because that connotes a morally prohibited act. We say "executed" instead. So perhaps we should use that term for abortion, if we want to protect it legally. Then those supposedly "moderate" folks who make an exception for rape and incest could say, "We executed this baby for his parents' crime of rape or incest." That is exactly what took place, but that verbiage would be uncomfortable. Better to say it was "aborted".
As the theater played out in Philadelphia came the invitation to our pro-abortion President Barak Obama to be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest provider of abortions. Cecille Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood spoke in admiring terms of their ardent supporter; "President Obama has done more than any president in history for women's health and rights", she said.
"Women's health" has long been another term hijacked by the pro-abortion crowd, used to sidestep anti-abortion legislation by the inclusion of an exception for cases where a woman's "health" is involved. That exception has been so liberally interpreted that having normal pre-partum anxiety about the future can be enough to secure the desired abortion.
If abortion is so important to women's health, and if abortion is simply murder by another name, then what are these people saying? That killing one's child is therapeutic? Aside from the testimony of mothers who have aborted their children to the regret, shame, and sometimes suicidal despair they experience caused by the guilt engendered by their actions, we do not generally allow people to harm other people to make themselves feel better.
Punching someone who annoys you in the nose might make you feel better, but it could well land you in jail and facing a hefty lawsuit. Unless that person is your unborn child, in which case injecting it with a lethal dose of Digoxin or cutting its spine is perfectly legal.
And thus the problem Judge Minehart has adjudicating the Gosnell case. Like Pontius Pilate, who asked Jesus, "Truth? What is truth?", Judge Minehart may be asking himself, "What is murder?" Now that abortion until the moment of birth is legal, could anyone contend with a straight face that something magical happens as the baby passes through the birth canal, that makes what was a non-person on one side a person on the other?
How is partial birth abortion, where the baby is killed on the way out, different from simply waiting a moment for it to be delivered? How is using ultrasound technology to inject a baby waiting to be delivered with medicine that will stop his heart different from waiting until he is born and cutting his spine with scissors inserted into his neck?
It is time that the curtain closes on this theater of the absurd. It is time that we, as a nation and as a people, man up to what we are doing. It is time we stop hiding behind tired rhetoric that is deliberately disingenuous. The reality is that we are murdering our children because they are inconvenient to us, and we are doing it at an astounding rate approaching a million babies per year.
It is not only the fault of abortionists like Gosnell, and it is not only the fault of pro-abortion politicians like Obama who oppose the Fundamental Human Right to Life. Like drugs, if there were not a demand for abortion, it would not be provided. It is a thriving business that lines the pockets of the folks at Planned Parenthood and gets votes for pro-abortion politicians because we want to kill our children. Either we put a stop to this slaughter or we proclaim to God and the rest of mankind, "This is who we are. We kill our children and we're proud of it".
The Gosnell case is a clarion call - it is time to take a stand. Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, "He who is not with me is against me." A popular expression in the '60's and '70's was, "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time." Eternity is a long time.
Dr. Frederick Liewehr is an endodontist who teaches and works in private practice. He converted from Protestantism to Catholicism in 1983, having been drawn ineluctably to Christ's Church by the light of Truth. He is a member of St. Benedict parish in Richmond, a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and a Cooperator of Opus Dei.
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