Tuesday, January 23, 2007

34 Years

On January 22nd, 1973, the United States Supreme Court handed down two decisions, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, that invented a Constitutional right to abortion, and removed nearly all restrictions on abortion, sweeping aside all federal, state, and local laws regulating it.

This was never a popular decision, and is notable for violating tradition and custom, natural law, most religious teaching, and the democratic process. And it has led to the deaths of thousands of pre-born infants per day in the United States, as well as more intangible, spiritual difficulties.

The Pro-life cause cannot simply hope to merely reverse this Supreme Court decision. Ultimately it is a spiritual problem. We need to overcome the fears of abortion advocates and the greed of all those who profit from having women work at paid jobs instead of raising their own children. Also, we need to counter the crude hedonism of our culture.

The abortion issue is framed by its proponents merely as a question of individual rights and liberties, and has become the model for all sorts of newly claimed rights. (Be prepared! A right to bestiality and lowering the age of consent are next on the agenda.) The idea of promoting rights, although it has its roots in the medieval Church Canon Law, is overwhelmingly a child of the Enlightenment. But promoting unlimited rights is absurd: suppose everyone is given the right to kill whomever offends them; then, the victim's friends have the same right, and so we end up with barbaric blood feuds. This is hardly progress. So in practice, we have to choose which rights to promote, and thereby eliminate much blather about unlimited freedom. Even those rights which are seemingly private can have great effects on society. This "rights talk" seems to be designed merely to please certain groups and cannot have universal applicability.

As is well known, the philosophical foundation for allowing abortion is shaky and easily refuted, but abortion proponents aren't interested in the truth, but rather in power instead. It is strange how a philosophy of skepticism leads to a quest for power!

This quest for power can affect all levels of society. Business and government both get more revenue by having women work full time, instead of raising children. Individual women can buy more things for themselves if they don't have kids. And any shortfall in population can be made up with vastly increased immigration, as we now see. Unfortunately, fear of a bad economy or poverty are two strong defenses for the status quo of promoting abortion.

Abortion is primarily popular with feminists. This movement comes from Marxism, and is seen as a struggle of an oppressed class, with the goal of creating a godless Utopia. But aspects of this movement are also popular among highly-educated women, who forsake potentially loveless marriages for a possibly lucrative career. Once a revolutionary cause, feminism is now the norm in our society, according to our laws and our popular media.

While some feminists are red-diaper babies born into socialist families, many are made later in life. Too many women, having been impregnated, abandoned, and impoverished, can be very bitter over misplaced trust in a man. Likewise are many victims of rape and incest. Their desire for abortion, while not justifiable, is in some respects understandable. Overcoming these attitudes is one of the greatest challenges ultimately facing the pro-life cause.

Some of the most virulent pro-aborts come from church-going, outwardly-devout Christian families. Often we hear rumors of pregnant girls from Christian families who are taken off to the abortionist to avoid scandal. Of course, hypocrisy is common among those of us who adhere to the Faith, myself included, due to human weakness. Then there are girls who end up being completely stigmatized by their families and churches, with no chance whatsoever for forgiveness. Overreaction by clergy and religious can also force a girl out of the Church and into its active opposition. (We tend to think of scandal as something shameful that becomes public, however, it comes from the Greek word skandalon, which is a hunter's snare or trap. This is the sense in which the word scandal is used in the Bible. Someone gives scandal if they lead others to sin, and so is a grave sin in itself. A pregnant unmarried daughter may or may not cause scandal, depending on how this is handled: it isn't a scandal just because you don't like it. We should remember that taking scandal is also a sin. The parent who covers up the scandal of an unwed daughter's pregnancy takes scandal when they force her to get an abortion; while the person who loses faith due to this kind of hypocrisy also sins by taking scandal. When dealing with such scandals, we are often between the Scylla of hatred of sinners and the Charybdis of ignoring sin, and so the orthodox solution is the difficult and narrow way between them.)

At one time, it was relatively easy to give up a child for adoption, with complete confidentiality. However, it should be noted that abortion advocates do not like adoption, instead wishing children to be dead, and so have pushed for laws that unseal adoption records, voiding any promises of privacy. In places where this is the law, adoption rates plummet, and unwanted children are instead killed.

The earliest organized proponents of abortion were prostitutes, and a strain of modern feminism descends from 19th century prostitute groups in large cities such as New York. While the crude practice of this profession has declined with the advent of the sexual revolution, there are now major industries that usually only hire promiscuous women for their sales forces. This Cosmo lifestyle is a a sophisticated form of prostitution, and they can't make money if the girls are carrying a child to term.

While we have seen that the motivation for abortion can be greed or shame, eugenics is now becoming a popular cause. Neonatal testing can detect Down's Syndrome and an increasing number of genetic defects, and so many abortions are now performed for eugenic purposes. Proponents of eugenic abortion usually state that they merely want to reduce suffering. The reality is probably that children are often seen as luxury goods, and many parents want their children to be as perfect as a new Lexus. This is also understandable, if not justifiable.

The first supporters of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution promoted eugenics as a means of weeding out the weaker races, and abortion became a major tool in this struggle for the "survival of the fittest". The founder of Planned Parenthood explicitly promoted abortion as a means to eliminate the inferior races of the blacks, Jews, and Catholics. This theory only became unfashionable with the defeat of Nazism in 1945, which vigorously promoted eugenics. However, that didn't mean that eugenic race theory went away, it just became more hidden, while still being practiced in various guises.

The Environmentalist movment also promotes abortion, as a means to depopulate the earth for the sake of other life forms. We should note that the earliest part of the movement, in the 1960s, was still enamored of eugenic race theory, and wanted to eliminate population in Africa and Catholic countries. Nowadays environmentalism has been taken over by socialists who have a political agenda, by businesses that can profit from it, and by pantheists: but all still strongly support abortion. Ironically, poor, but happy, large families cause far less environmental damage than wealthy and bored couples without children.

There are many parents who made mistakes in the past, and so do not correct the same mistakes made by their children, so as to avoid hypocrisy. However, they forget about repentance and their special duties as parents. Also, there are large number of abortion proponents who deeply regret their own abortions in the past, and who think that their own sin is unforgivable: so they give up the faith and harden their hearts. But forgiveness is easy to receive: you just have to seek it out.

Eliminating abortion in our culture is not ultimately a matter of politics and the law, but involves instead changing the hearts of our fellow countrymen. The battle is ultimately spiritual.

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