From Fr. Alan's desk...
The abortion issue has been and will continue to be in the news for a long time to come. I feel the need to once again state my opinions.
Despite the news about suicides, still over 99 & 9/10% of all Americans choose each day to live. If given a chance, most children in a womb would also choose to live. Our laws need to protect this choice. "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government." (Thomas Jefferson)
Surely the laws of the land need to protect a woman's right to equal pay for equal work, to guarantee freedom from harassment, to insure equal opportunity to run for public office, etc. But to insure and protect such rights for a woman is meaningless if she is dead. A woman's first right is the right to be born. And approximately half the babies aborted are female.
THE RIGHT OVER ONE'S OWN BODY
Every one has a right over their own body. But such a right is not without qualification. Your right to wave your arms around freely ends where my nose begins. A person's right over their own body ends when another's heartbeat begins, or is about to begin.
DON'T TURN BACK THE CLOCK
In primitive times abortion and infanticide were common practice. Over the centuries, people became more civilized and grew to value and treasure human life. Laws progressed and were formulated to protect human life. Indeed, brilliant men like Thomas Jefferson proclaimed that the right to life is an inalienable right. Roe v. Wade and those who support it want to turn the clock back to primitive times again.
RELIGION SHOULD NOT INTERFERE
When I was a child, before I studied the bible, before I read a theology book, before I ever heard a sermon about abortion, my mother was pregnant. I knew easily from mere human knowledge and natural intuition that she had my brother or sister in her womb. She and the child were not the same. I knew that when I was very young, before any religious belief entered in.
SCHOOL HEALTH CLINICS
A high school is not allowed to administer an aspirin to a student without a parent's consent. Yet a teenager can- get an abortion without a parent's consent. Sure, we don't have to protect a young person from a headache. It usually lasts a short time. But can't we protect a young person from a heartache, from a regret that could last for years?
A teacher wants to do something positive and pray for peace with her class. But she is not free to do so. There is a "gag rule" that forbids it. But a counselor wants to encourage something negative and talk about taking an unborn child's a life. The counselor says, "That's free speech." The logic makes we want to gag.
INCEST & RAPE
Those supporting abortion often bring up the issue of
rape and incest. Rape and incest are surely grave human tragedies. However, of the 1,600,000 abortions done each year, only 1 percent are done for the difficult cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. If, perchance, our law prohibited all abortions except in cases of rape and incest, I think a pro-lifer could live with such a law. This is a pluralistic society. We can't always achieve a one hundred percent following of a principle.
Some news announcers refer to us as the "pro-life" group, which is what we call ourselves. Other announcers refer to us merely as the "anti-abortion" group. We are surely more than anti-abortion. To be pro-life means to treasure and prize and value human life in all its stages. In the words of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, "Reversing the arms race, avoiding nuclear war and moving toward a world freed of the nuclear threat are profoundly 'pro-life' issues."
Fr. Alan Phillip. C.P.