This. Must. Stop.
[N.B. The first part of this post is pinched bald-facedly from a lecture by Robert P. George, as reported in the September 2003 issue of Crisis Magazine.]
There are many who say, “I'm personally opposed to abortion, but I'm pro-choice.” We must ask, “Is this a logically coherent position?” If abortion is wrong, it is so because the zygote, the embryo, the fetus, is a human being in an early stage of development. If this is human life, what sort of monstrous political order could allow abortion to continue? On the other hand, if the fetus is not a human being in an early stage of development, if it is merely unwanted tissue, like a tumor, then how could anyone be “personally opposed” to the procedure? Note how this question is neither moral, nor theological nor philosophical. This is a question of developmental biology and medical embryology.
We often hear, "Well I don't want to impose my values on others. Who am I to impose my morality?" Is this argument cogent? The fact is, that in the United States today the values of the abortion industry are being imposed on us all. The abortion industry which profits by inflicting the largest, most unregulated surgical procedure in the country on betrayed women. Someone's values are going to be imposed.
It's a shame that more German citizens did not try harder to impose their values in opposition to Hitler's in the early 1930s. Imagine if the abolitionists of the 19th century had said, "Well, I'm personally opposed to slavery, but who am I to impose my views on the southern states?" Where would we be if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. refused to impose his views on the Jim Crow south? “I’m personally opposed to rape, but who am I to impose my values?” Please. This is trite, worn out, twaddle.
Someone's views are going to be imposed. We must not let obfuscator’s rhetoric gag our message. We have just as much right as anyone to express and try to implement our views.
I discern much confusion surrounding the abortion calamity. A grave mistake is to suppose that this is one issue among many: To conclude that abortion is like worker’s rights or welfare reform or any other social problem. There are other important social concerns which demand the attention and labors of Christians. These must be addressed. But they are completely different from the nightmare of abortion. This is a distinction in kind, not merely in degree. Abortion is always the direct killing of an innocent. It is unlike any other issue.
There is confusion over the women who procure abortion. Regardless of what the pro-abortion media tells us, these are not women with freedom of choice. These are women with no freedom and no choice. They are trapped, often abandoned by irresponsible men. These women are the victims of a perverse conspiracy. They are being lied to and deceived. Abortion proponents tell them, "It's nothing but a tissue-mass. The procedure is no more complicated than having a wart removed." That is a wicked deception.
Mental health professionals confirm this fact. Before I was a priest, I was a clinical worker and you can ask any psychologist or psychiatrist to corroborate my point. When you assess the mental health of a woman the question must be asked, "How many pregnancies have you had and how were they resolved?" Not just “How may births,” but “How many pregnancies and how did they end?” Common sense verifies this. Anyone who encounters a woman who has miscarried, will certainly tread lightly when discussing the matter. Almost always it was a serious trauma for the mother. And it's no different with abortion; if anything, it’s a greater agony because it is unresolved
When I was doing research in graduate school at the University of Michigan, I came across volumes full of recent studies on the phenomenon known as Post-Abortion Syndrome. You won't find much of this material published in U.S. circles because of the politics involved. The studies I read came out of Ireland and England for the most part. The reality is that women suffer appallingly as a result of abortion. It is serious trauma; there are grisly consequences. Every priest knows this first hand. We deal with the fall-out of this catastrophe all the time. The beautiful part is that Christ and His church offer genuine forgiveness and healing.
Another confusion springs from the adversarial nature of our culture. In this abortion fight there is no: "Us vs. Them," there is only "Us," at least on the human level. The pro-abortion forces in this country are not our enemies. Certainly the women who fall into this trap are not our enemies; they are victims too. There is no room in the pro-life movement for hate. There is absolutely no room in the pro-life movement for violence. The evil of abortion has dire consequences for us all. We are all in this together. Those on the wrong side of this issue are not our foes; they have been hoodwinked. We must love them. Our real enemies are “principalities and powers.” Our real enemies are spiritual: demons. This is not primarily a political fight (although we must fight unyieldingly in that arena too); it is a spiritual fight.
More than 43 million innocents have already died in this country alone over the past 31 years. We will be judged by tribunal of history for what we have done, or failed to do, on behalf of the weakest, the most vulnerable (both child and mother) in their time of peril. More importantly, we will be judged definitively by Almighty God for our omissions and commissions. For Jesus gave us a message which is both alarming and challenging, “Whatsoever you do for the least of these, that you do unto me.”