Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Missing the point . . .

Mr. Waldo, the blogger whose remarks on the recent Supreme Court decision allowing states to regulate partial-birth abortion was headlinged: "Catholics - 5; The Rest of Us - Nothing" takes me to task, saying:

You are mistaken about Catholic teachings on abortion, I fear. Until 1869, Catholic dogma was in remarkable agreement with the findings of Roe v. Wade. Indeed, the construction of trimesters and the applicability vis a vis society's versus the individual's interest is remarkably the same. This view was the official view of the church from the fifth century, A.D. until late in the 19th century, A.D.

Of course, the implication is ludicrous: that the Catholic Church held a position in agreement with Roe v. Wade. Those who carp at the Church for failing to jump immediately on whatever wobbly bandwagon rolls by, and who complain that the Church never bothers to update this or that position on the strength of scientific advances, perhaps shouldn’t try to defend positions that rely on the long discredited science of Aristotle’s day.

However scientifically uninformed the Church’s theory of fetal development might have been in the 13th century, to interpret that as evidence of a moral affinity with the incoherent logic of Roe v. Wade is ridiculous. The question, let me repeat, is whether a full-term child can have his or her skull crushed, be dismembered and thrown away like so much garbage. That is what the Supreme Court decision was about, and that is the neo-Aztec procedure that Planned Parenthood, et al, are defending.

While I’m at it: Let’s take a closer look at the title of Mr. Waldo’s post, especially its latter half: “the rest of us.” The question is, of course, who gets included in this “us”? According to the hard-core pro-abortion position, it’s only those who have drawn a breath of air, and some pro-abortion activists have been warming to the idea that even that may not be reason enough to put away the lethal tools of the trade.

If drawing a breath is the criteria for being a member of the human race, and thereby deserving of legal protection, then all that is needed is to terminate the child’s life before he or she has had a chance to take a breath. This is precisely what happens in partial-birth abortion. Only the child’s head is left in the birth canal, there to be punctured with surgical instruments, collapsed, removed and dumped in the garbage.

No civilized society should condone such barbarity.

As I said at the beginning of the post that stirred up these reactions, for truly illuminating commentary on the Gonzales v. Carhart decision, we should turn to those who have labored so long and valiantly to protect that lives of the most vulnerable. They are far better suited than am I to argue the case. I salute them.

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