All good men love little children. There is something in them that recalls the presence of God, a freshness and innocence which is the mark of His creative hand before sin has marred and almost obliterated it.
Our Lord more than once showed the love of His Sacred Heart for children. When a crowd of women came with their little ones begging Him to bless them, and the disciples tried to push them aside, Jesus interposed: “Suffer the little children to come to Me.” And then He called them one by one and blessed each one, and laid upon each His sacred Hands. What graces must have flowed into the hearts of those favored children! We should pray for all the little ones whom we love, that our Lord may in like manner bless them.
On another occasion, when the children shouted to Him in childish glee: “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord!” the Pharisees begged Him to silence them. But Jesus rebuked the objection almost sternly: “Have you never read, Out of the mouths of infants and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?” (Mt:21:16) Perfected praise! As if there was something in their innocent voices sweeter to Him than in any others of the mingled crowd.
But Jesus bestowed still higher praise on the sweet simplicity of children. He told His disciples that if they wish to enter the Kingdom of Heaven they must become like little children, docile, obedient, cheerful, submissive, and affectionate. (Mk:10:15)
Beautiful Pearls of Catholic Truth, Containing the Teachings of the Holy Catholic Church
Rev. Bernard O’Reilly
The humble Virgin of Nazareth, Mary, being the nearest and most intimately united to God, is, of all His creatures, the most holy. A closer union with God never existed, nor could there be a more perfect one than that which resulted from the divine maternity.
Notwithstanding Mary’s intimate relationship with God, her divine motherhood, it would have availed her but little had she not carried Jesus Christ in her heart, even more than in her chaste womb. She shunned the world, abhorred sin, and lived only for Jesus. All her days were passed in the practice of virtue. With greater reason than Saint Paul could she exclaim: “And I live, now, not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gall. 11—20).
She was holy in her eyes, ears, tongue, hands and feet; she was godly in her thoughts, desires, words, heart, and in all the powers of her soul; she was saintly in all her movements, all her actions; in a word, she was holy in both body and soul.
Jesus was, by nature, impeccable, Mary having been preserved by a special dispensation of divine grace from the blight of the original defilement, was exempt from any actual stain, even from the least imperfection. Jesus dwelt in Mary’s immaculate womb for nine months, was nourished at her breasts in infancy, and spent thirty of the thirty-three years of his life under her roof. Mary took part in His labors and shared in His joys and ignominies.
From the blessed moment of her conception, super eminent beauty graced her pure soul. In her tender infancy she consecrated herself to God, Whom she loved with an affection beyond that of all creatures capable of serving Him. She had no thought, no desire, save that of honoring Him. She performed no duty, she undertook no task but what tended to His greater glory. Her mind was in perfect harmony with His mind; her heart pulsated only in union with that of her Creator; her soul was filled with joyous rapture in her ecstasy of devotion to Him. Never for one moment in her life did she displease Him in thought, word or deed.
She knew not evil; no shadow of sin ever obscured her life, no stain of any kind ever darkened her soul. She not only lived, but died for love of God, for it was her excessive love to be dissolved and be with Him that caused her soul to wing its flight to his bosom, and the sweet embrace of her divine Son, Jesus.
Like Him, she was tried; nevertheless, her sorrows drew her closer to God, to whom she had recourse for help and consolation. In the spirit of her divine Son, Jesus, who exclaimed, “Not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Mark XIV— 36), did she humbly submit to God’s holy will in these words: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to Thy word” (Luke 1—38).
Though she understood not the words spoken to her by the holy man Simeon, concerning her divine Son, her love for, and her confidence in her Maker was such, that, albeit, at almost every step in life, her heart was transfixed with a sword of sorrow, her mind and heart were at all times one with that of God. “Be it done unto me according to Thy word,” came forth every moment from her pure and holy soul.
She was humble, like the meek and humble Jesus, and the Lord “hath regarded the humility of His handmaid” (Luke I—48). Her devotion for Jesus was like that of St. Peter; her charity, like that of St. John; her obedience, like that of Abraham; her patience, like that of Isaac; her resignation, like that of Jacob; her immaculateness excelled the chastity of all the Angels and Saints; her constancy was like that of Josue; her goodness, like that of Samuel; her tenderness, like that of David, and her abstinence, like that of Daniel.
Responding faithfully to every requirement of a perfect life, of exalted sanctity, she is indeed that Holy Mary of whom it is said in the inspired volume: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women” (Luke I—28).
The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary: As Set Forth in Her Litany
By Cornelius Joseph O’Connell (1914)
The culture of death so prevalent in today’s society reflects the emptiness and disillusionment so vividly expressed in The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot. This famous poem depicts a world of “stuffed men” who do not fully live life, who go through routine motions awaiting “death’s twilight kingdom.”
The lack of hope in today’s secular culture is evidenced by broken or non-existent family life and relationships, a breakdown of manners and common courtesy in social interaction, and indulgence in lavish lifestyles, sex, food, and media as ways to escape the emptiness.
As a result of this pleasure-seeking mentality, there is also a systematic effort to suppress and eliminate the weaker, more vulnerable members of society who present inconveniences to others and are seen as burdens. Legislative efforts to loosen or abandon restrictions on assisted suicide, euthanasia, and abortion are a direct result of the mindset that encourages us to eliminate people who are inconvenient or unwanted in our pursuit of pleasure. The result? “Hollow men” trying to keep themselves entertained on the death march.
The poem’s vivid imagery likens the world of hollow men to “a valley of dying stars.” Today’s dying stars are the unique lives which are unappreciated and disregarded by those who see them as useless. Parents are encouraged to terminate “unhealthy” unborn life. If the “unhealthy” are already present in the world, they are given the option to terminate their own lives so they won’t be a burden to others.
But eliminating the weak and defenseless will not lead to more happiness and convenience; it will only lead to increased fear and less freedom. When one category of human beings, such as the unborn, the elderly, or the sick are targeted for elimination, what is to prevent other human lives from being considered less valuable or worthy of protection? By what standard is this decided? The elimination and disregard of the weak and defenseless only puts pressure on the “healthy” to work harder to prove that their life has worth so they too, will not be marked for elimination.
Pope Benedict XVI writes in his 2007 encyclical Spe Salvi(Saved in Hope): “A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and bear it inwardly through ‘compassion’ is a cruel and inhuman society” (#38). The ability to accept those who suffer, those who are weaker and more vulnerable, makes us more human. Christ himself demonstrated this nobility of heart in his treatment of the sick and rejected members of society.
With Christ, we are no longer hollow and empty; we are instead a people of hope, and therefore a people of life. We must not sit by idly as the “hollow men” systematically create a culture hostile to life at its most vulnerable stages. We must strive every day to counter these efforts by witnessing to the dignity and value of each person.
The Hollow Men by T S Eliot
Mistah Kurtz-he dead
A penny for the Old Guy
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;
Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us-if at all-not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.
Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death’s dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind’s singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.
Let me be no nearer
In death’s dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom
This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.
The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.
Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.
Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long
Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
For Thine is the
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
G.K. Chesterton said that “Ideals are the most practical thing in the world.” This is why we still defend the family. This is why we insist on the ideal of marriage as a permanent union between one man and one woman, which creates the only proper setting for bringing new souls into the world, and that this purely natural act should not be interfered with.
The social trends have steadily moved in the opposite direction from this ideal in the last century. It is no longer a matter of a few loud critics getting a little testy at our quaint ideas of morality; we have gone past being attacked to being brazenly ignored. But if the society at large does not understand the moral arguments for the family, perhaps it will gain some appreciation for the practical arguments. And the recent bad news has been good news in this regard. Our arguments have been given a huge boost with the collapse of the world financial markets and the continuing economic fallout.
An economy built on massive lending and spending cannot be sustained. But the reason it cannot be sustained is not merely economic, it is moral. It regards material wealth as the ultimate goal, and people as merely a commodity to achieve that goal. It is selfish and therefore self-destructive.
An economy based on the family is self-sustaining. Its focus is on the nurturing and training of children and not on the mere acquisition of goods. The family ideal as defended by Chesterton is something quite different than the industrialized consumer family, where the family members leave the house each morning by the clock and on a strict schedule to pursue work and recreation and the majority of life outside the home. Chesterton’s ideal was the productive home with its creative kitchen, its busy workshop, its fruitful garden, and its central role in entertainment, education, and livelihood. Unlike the industrial home, life in a productive household is not amenable to scheduling and anything but predictable.
The only thing surprising about this ideal is that it was once shared by almost everyone. Children used to be considered an asset; at some point they began to be seen as a liability.
Chesterton saw the beginning of this problem when he noticed people preferring to buy amusements for themselves rather than to have children. He pointed out prophetically that children are a far better form of entertainment than electrical gadgets. The irony today is that the retailers that sell the electronic amusements are going out of business because there are not enough people to buy this merchandise.
But there is another worse problem why children are now considered a liability. They don’t merely make other material desires cost-prohibitive, they are cost-prohibitive themselves. They must be educated. The cost of educating them is obscene. A college education is the most overpriced product on the planet, and over-rated as well. Parents have the privilege of sacrificing nearly everything to send their children to college, only to have them get their heads filled with doubts and destructive ideas, undermining everything their parents have taught them.
But there are fewer parents because there are fewer children.
When social security was instituted, each retiree was supported by 15 workers. Now each retiree is supported by only three workers. Those of us who are still working spend 15% of our income to support those who aren’t working.
Our lack of domestic life is reflected in the fact that we don’t have a domestic economy. We don’t produce anything. We are suddenly watching massive layoffs, but the people being laying off (no offense to them) were not producing anything. They were either selling things, or sitting at desks and computer terminals, being paid with borrowed money, so that they could also go into debt. Now the financial center of the country has moved from New York to Washington, DC, as Gudge has passed the baton to Hudge,* who has promised that all the problems that were caused by too much borrowing will all be solved by even more borrowing.
But the younger generation cannot pay the older generation because we have committed demographic suicide. We are paying a high price not only for slaughtering our unborn children but for contracepting them. In fact, we have demonstrated that we cannot afford the high price.
We have seen the natural consequences of unnatural acts. We have witnessed a monumental economic disaster that is not the result of inflation or recession but of the devaluation of children.
Chesterton says that every high civilization decays by forgetting obvious things. The obvious things are the ordinary things, and we have forgotten them. The modern world that we have created has brought with it great strain and stress so that even the things that normal men have normally desired are no longer desirable: “marriage and fair ownership and worship and the mysterious worth of man.” Those are the normal and ordinary things. Those are the things we have lost, and we need to recover them.
“The disintegration of rational society,” says Chesterton, “started in the drift from the hearth and the family; the solution must be a drift back.”
* -Hudge and Gudge
I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live. Dt:30:19
Today, we mark the 40th anniversary of the tragic Roe v. Wade abortion ruling . It was on this date in 1973 that the U.S. Supreme Court, in stark defiance of the Constitution’s limits on federal power, imposed abortion as a nationwide “right.”
Millions of babies’ lives have been snuffed out since then, destroying vast amounts of human potential and scarring our national conscience.
Nothing in the Constitution authorized the court to seize from the states the authority to regulate abortion, much less to institute that grisly procedure as some kind of right. Ironically, unborn humans today often enjoy less legal protection than even the eggs of some endangered bird species.
Since 1973 when two women, prompted (some might say, used) by their activist radical women’s rights attorneys, challenged laws prohibiting abortions and won(i), nearly 55 million unborn and nearly born babies have been killed. That is nearly 16% of the current population of the United States. Fifty five million babies who had no choice were sacrificed on the Altar of Choice—proving that when activist attorneys with no moral grounding argue cases before activist judges with no moral grounding, bad things happen. Ironically, the two women whose cases—and one might say bodies—were used by lawyers intent on advancing a pro-choice agenda ended up repudiating the very outcome of their cases and became pro-lifers. As a result of these rulings, millions of children died, countless women have suffered, and babies with all the potential of life were left with no legal right to live. Whether they are ripped from the womb is left entirely to the whim of the mother and The Law does not protect them. The culture of death prevails in the United States and the law will not aid the most defenseless among us.
Because of our abortion laws, millions of children will never grow up. Their families will never know them. They will never sit at the dinner table, be educated, grow up, marry, or work at a job. They will never become presidents, explorers, doctors, inventors, the person who discovers a cure for AIDS or a cure for human hunger. They will remain just a statistic—one more faceless, nameless potential life that never was. They could have been someone; they could have been a treasure to their parents, a father or mother or sibling or grandparent some day. They could have led exemplary lives. They could have soared like eagles. But the Justices of the Supreme Court—ruled by man’s law and not by God’s—disregarded the obvious religious prohibition against harming the little children, and declared that the mother and her doctor may decide which babies live or die. The baby, in short, has no vote and The Law will not protect it.
Which reminds me of eagles. The bald eagle and the golden eagle have now been removed from the endangered or threatened species list by the federal government. This is, of course, wonderful news. I am all in favor of saving the eagles and all other species (including our own) from extinction. In fact, our laws(ii) are so intent on protecting the eagle that simply injuring, molesting or destroying an eagle egg could cost you a serious criminal penalty, civil fines, and a year in the slammer. All for disturbing an egg. The law takes this seriously. Whatever else you do, don’t disturb an eagle egg. We go to great lengths to protect unborn baby eagles while they are vulnerable and in the first few weeks of their embryonic life. In fact, the laws do more than that–they protect unborn eagles from conception to the end of life. That is how much we value eagle life. So too, the plover. Recently, I discussed the Missouri River with a United States Park Ranger who managed a stretch of the river near Yankton, South Dakota—my home state. I asked him why the government was holding back so much water at the Lewis and Clark Dam near Yankton. “To protect the baby plover,” he replied. “If we let out too much water right now, the baby plover will drown and they won’t have a chance to fledge, because their parents build their nests next to the water.” A noble goal I thought—protecting the baby plover. Imagine that…one of the largest rivers in America dammed up and held back for months because the federal government wants to protect baby birds. What lengths will we not go to in order to protect baby birds. We criminalize anyone who disturbs them and we hold back mighty waters so they do not drown.
The esteem in which we hold unborn baby eagles is remarkable. The protection which the law affords them is noble and inspiring. If only unborn human babies had feathers…perhaps we would not kill them.
i Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973); Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973)
ii Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, 16 U.S.C.S. Section 668 et seq.; Migratory Bird Treaty Act, 16 U.S.C.S. Section 703 et seq.
The Waldorf Astoria, New York October 18, 2012
In our time more than ever before, the chief strength of the wicked lies in the cowardice and weakness of good men… All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy-going weakness of Catholics. Oh! If I might ask the Divine Redeemer, as the prophet Zachary did in spirit: What are those wounds in the midst of Thy hands? The answer would not be doubtful: With these was I wounded in the house of them that loved Me. I was wounded by My friends, who did nothing to defend Me, and who, on every occasion, made themselves the accomplices of My adversaries. ~Pope St. Pius X, Discourse at the Beatification of St. Joan of Arc, Dec. 13, 1908
Although he again lost Protestant voters to his GOP opponent, Obama held onto his advantages among Catholic and Jewish voters. He won 70 percent of the Jewish vote, down from 78 percent in 2008, and he won Catholic voters 50 percent to 47 percent. Romney carried Protestant voters by a 13-point margin, 56 percent to 43 percent. (Source: Politico)
“It’s a girl” has become a three-word death sentence to hundreds of millions of unborn babies across the globe. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of female gendercide. Killed, aborted and abandoned—these are the brutal realities of the actual “war on women.”
The worst offenders are India and China—countries where ancient cultural traditions, dictating a preference for male offspring, join with pro-abortion government policies. It’s a deadly combination that allows for the deliberate extermination of girls. However, no country is immune, including the United States. Recently, a disturbing story and photograph went viral.
A woman, very visibly pregnant with twins, decided to have an abortion because they were girls. Keep in mind that gender is determined via ultrasound near the 20th week of pregnancy, meaning this mother was well into her second trimester when she had her babies aborted. Also, this summer, the investigative pro-life group, Live Action, released a series of videos called Protect Our Girls, which exposed Planned Parenthood’s disturbing practice of actually doing gender-based abortions. They claim to be “nonjudgmental,” essentially stating they don’t question the reasons why a mother wishes to end the life of her unborn child. I can’t think of anything more judgmental than sentencing a baby girl to death simply because she’s female.
And I can’t think of any other act that is motivated by more ruthless discrimination. Pro-abortion activists like Planned Parenthood are accusing pro-life individuals and candidates of participating in a “war on women.” What utter hypocrisy. All the while they’re searching out and killing unborn babies only because they’re female. There’s no graver war on women than this.
Sadly, Planned Parenthood isn’t alone. There are many who refuse to acknowledge this travesty taking place across the globe, or worse yet, they participate in it. However, I’m privileged to know someone who’s made it her mission to combat this ignorance and crime against humanity. She’s bringing it to the forefront in a way that it can be addressed educationally, morally and actionably—she is Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers.
Reggie is part of the production team for an eye-opening film releasing this month. It’s a Girl is a powerful documentary that takes this international issue and makes it personal. Shot on location in India and China, you meet girls and women who’ve been impacted by this brutal practice. The film tells the stories of abandoned and trafficked girls, of women who suffer extreme dowry-related violence, of brave mothers fighting to save their daughters’ lives and of other mothers who would kill for a son. These faces, and the millions of others like them, are the reason female gendercide can’t be ignored any longer. It must be addressed and ultimately it must be ended.
Abortion for the purposes of sex-selection is a horrific testimony of where the so-called “pro-choice” mentality of the abortion industry inevitably leads. When pregnancy becomes a “choice” rather than a child, there’s no limitation to why a woman can decide to end her unborn baby’s life.
Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable. –G. K. Chesterton 1909
Each year in America fewer and fewer disabled infants are born. The reason is eugenic abortion. Doctors and their patients use prenatal technology to screen unborn children for disabilities, then they use that information to abort a high percentage of them. Without much scrutiny or debate, a eugenics designed to weed out the disabled has become commonplace.
Not wishing to publicize a practice most doctors prefer to keep secret, the medical community releases only sketchy information on the frequency of eugenic abortion against the disabled. But to the extent that the numbers are known, they indicate that the vast majority of unborn children prenatally diagnosed as disabled are killed.
Medical researchers estimate that 80% or more of babies now prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted. (They estimate that since 1989, 70% of Down-syndrome fetuses have been aborted.) A high percentage of fetuses with cystic fibrosis are aborted, as evident in Kaiser Permanente’s admission to the New York Times that 95 percent of its patients in Northern California choose abortion after they find out through prenatal screening that their fetus will have the disease.
The frequent use of eugenic abortion can also be measured in dwindling populations with certain disabilities. Since the 1960s, the number of Americans with spina bifida has markedly declined. This dropping trend line corresponds to the rise of prenatal screening. Owing to prenatal technology and eugenic abortion, some rare conditions, such as the genetic disorder Tay-Sachs, are even vanishing in America, according to doctors.
“There really isn’t any entity that is charged with monitoring what has been happening,” says Andrew Imparato, head of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), “A lot of people prefer that that data not be collected. But we’re seeing just the tip of the iceberg. This is a new eugenics, and I don’t know where it is going to end.”
“I think of it as commercial eugenics,” says Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the International Center for Technology Assessment. “Whenever anybody thinks of eugenics, they think of Adolf Hitler. This is a commercial eugenics. But the result is the same, an intolerance for those who don’t fit the norm. It is less open and more subtle. Try to get any numbers on reproductive issues. Try to get actual numbers on sex-selection abortions. They are always difficult to get. If you are involved in that commerce, do you really want people to go: So you aborted how many disabled children? That’s the last piece of information people want out there.”
Indeed, intellectual arguments in favor of eugenic abortion often generate great public outcry. Princeton professor Peter Singer drew fire for saying, “It does not seem quite wise to increase any further draining of limited resources by increasing the number of children with impairments.” Bob Edwards, the embryologist who created the first test-tube baby through in vitro fertilization, has also drawn protests for predicting that “soon it will be a sin of parents to have a child that carries the heavy burden of genetic disease. We are entering a world where we have to consider the quality of our children.”
But these comments, far from being unthinkable, reflect unspoken mainstream attitudes and practice. Only through political gaffes (and occasional news stories) is eugenic abortion ever mentioned, such as the time in 2003 when a blundering Hillary Clinton objected to a ban on partial-birth abortion because it didn’t contain an exemption for late-term abortions aimed at the disabled. Women should not be “forced” to carry a “child with severe abnormalities,” she said.
In an interview with TAS, Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania recalled his 2003 exchange with Hillary Clinton on the Senate floor in which she endorsed eugenic abortion. “It was pretty revealing. She was saying there had to be an exemption for disabled children being aborted as opposed to healthy children being aborted,” he says. “When she realized what she was advocating for, she had to put in the general niceties. But I don’t think you can read her comments and come to any other conclusion than that the children with disabilities should have less constitutional protection than children who are healthy.”
He added that “the principal reason the Democrats defended the partial-birth abortion procedure was for pregnancies that have ‘gone awry,’ which is not about something bad happening to the life of the mother but about their finding out the child is not in the condition that they expected, that it was somehow less than wanted and what they had hoped for.”
What Hillary Clinton blurted out is spoken more softly, though no less coldly, in the privacy of doctors’ offices. Charles Strom, medical director of Quest Diagnostics, which specializes in prenatal screening, told the New York Times last year that “People are going to the doctor and saying, ‘I don’t want to have a handicapped child, what can you do for me?'” This attitude is shared by doctors who now view disabled infants and children as puzzling accidents that somehow slipped through the system. University of Chicago professor Leon Kass, in his book Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity, writes that “at my own university, a physician making rounds with medical students stood over the bed of an intelligent, otherwise normal ten-year-old boy with spina bifida. ‘Were he to have been conceived today,’ the physician casually informed his entourage, ‘he would have been aborted.'”
The impulse behind prenatal screening in the 1970s was eugenic. After the Roe v. Wade decision, which pumped energy into the eugenics movement, doctors scrambled to advance prenatal technology in response to consumer demand, mainly from parents who didn’t want the burdens of raising children with Down syndrome. Now prenatal screening can identify hundreds of conditions. This has made it possible for doctors to abort children not only with chronic disabilities but common disabilities and minor ones. Among the aborted are children screened for deafness, blindness, dwarfism, cleft palates, and defective limbs.
In some cases the aborted children aren’t disabled at all but are mere carriers of a disease or stand a chance of getting one later in life. Prenatal screening has made it possible to abort children on guesses and probabilities. A doctor speaking to the New York Times cited a defect for a eugenic abortion that was at once minor and speculative: a women suffering from a condition that gave her an extra finger asked doctors to abort two of her children on the grounds that they had a 50-50 chance of inheriting that condition.
The law and its indulgence of every conceivable form of litigation has also advanced the new eugenics against the disabled. Working under “liability alerts” from their companies, doctors feel pressure to provide extensive prenatal screening for every disability, lest parents or even disabled children hit them with “wrongful birth” and “wrongful life” suits. In a wrongful birth suit, parents can sue doctors for not informing them of their child’s disability and seek compensation from them for all the costs, financial and otherwise, stemming from a life they would have aborted had they received that prenatal information. Wrongful life suits are brought by children (through their parents) against doctors for all the “damages” they’ve suffered from being born. (Most states recognize wrongful birth suits, but for many states, California and New Jersey among the exceptions, wrongful life suits are still too ridiculous to entertain.)
In 2003, Ob-Gyn Savita Khosla of Hackensack, New Jersey, agreed to pay $1.2 million to a couple and child after she failed to flag Fragile X syndrome, a form of mental retardation caused by a defective gene on the X chromosome. The mother felt entitled to sue Khosla because she indicated on a questionnaire that her sibling was mentally retarded and autistic, and hence Khosla should have known to perform prenatal screening for Fragile X so that she could abort the boy. Khosla settled, giving $475,000 to the parents and $750,000 to the child they wished that they had aborted.
Had the case gone to court, Khosla would have probably lost the suit. New Jersey has been notoriously welcoming to wrongful birth suits ever since the Roe v. Wade decision, after which New Jersey’s Supreme Court announced that it would not “immunize from liability those in the medical field providing inadequate guidance to persons who would choose to exercise their constitutional right to abort fetuses which, if born, would suffer from genetic defects.”
According to the publication Medical Malpractice Law & Strategy, “court rulings across the country are showing that the increased use of genetic testing has substantially exposed physicians’ liability for failure to counsel patients about hereditary disorders.” The publication revealed that many wrongful birth cases “are settled confidentially.” And it predicted that doctors who don’t give their patients the information with which to consider the eugenic option against disabled children will face more lawsuits as prenatal screening becomes the norm. “The human genome has been completely mapped,” it quotes Stephen Winnick, a lawyer who handled one of the first wrongful birth cases. “It’s almost inevitable that there will be an increase in these cases.”
The combination of doctors seeking to avoid lawsuits and parents seeking burden-free children means that once prenatal screening identifies a problem in a child the temptation to eugenic abortion becomes unstoppable. In an atmosphere of expected eugenics, even queasy, vaguely pro-life parents gravitate towards aborting a disabled child. These parents get pressure from doctors who, without even bothering to ask, automatically provide abortion options to them once the prenatal screening has diagnosed a disability (one parent, in a 1999 study, complained of a doctor showing her a video depicting the rigors of raising an afflicted child as a way of convincing her to choose abortion), and they feel pressure from society at large which having accepted eugenic abortion looks askance at parents with disabled children.
The right to abort a disabled child, in other words, is approaching the status of a duty to abort a disabled child. Parents who abort their disabled children won’t be asked to justify their decision. Rather, it is the parents with disabled children who must justify themselves to a society that tacitly asks: Why did you bring into the world a child you knew was disabled or might become disabled?
Andrew Kimbrell points out that many parents are given the complicated information prenatal screening yields with little to no guidance from doctors. “We’re leaving parents with complete confusion. Numerous parents are told by doctors, ‘We think there is some fault on the 50th chromosome of your child.’ A number of polls have shown that people don’t understand those odds.”
“There is enormous confusion out there and nobody is out there to help them,” he says. “This is a huge tangle. And it leads people to abort out of confusion: ‘I guess I better abort, because I don’t know. It sounds really bad and I don’t know what the percentages mean.'”
The New Eugenics isn’t slowing down but speeding up. Not content to wait to see if a child is fit for life, doctors are exploring the more proactive eugenics of germline genetic engineering (which tries to create desirable traits in an embryo) and Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD), which is used to select the most desirable embryos after extensive genetic testing has been done before they are implanted in mothers’ wombs.
“The next stage is to actually start tinkering genetically with these embryos to create advantages such as height,” says Kimbrell. PGD is a “gateway technology” that will advance the new eugenics to the point “where children are literally selected and eventually designed according to a parent’s desires and fears,” he says. (Meanwhile, doctors are simultaneously reporting that children born through in vitro fertilization are experiencing higher rates of birth defects than the average population, suggesting that for every problem scientists try to solve through dubious means they create multiple new ones.)
Many countries have banned PGD. But American fertility clinics are offering it. Two-thirds of fertility clinics using PGD in the world are in the U.S., says Kimbrell. “Reproductive technology is an unregulated Wild West scenario where people can do pretty much anything they want and how they want it,” he says.
Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, coined the term eugenics in the 1880s. Sparking off his cousin’s theory of evolution, he proposed improving the human race through eugenics, arguing that “what nature does blindly, slowly, and ruthlessly, man may do providently, quickly, and kindly.” As eugenics passes through each of its stages — from sterilizing the enfeebled at the beginning of the 20th century to aborting the disabled at the end of it and the beginning of the 21st — man is indeed playing God but without any of his providence or care.
Andrew Imparato of AAPD wonders how progressives got to this point. The new eugenics aimed at the disabled unborn tell the disabled who are alive, “disability is a fate worse than death,” he says. “What kind of message does this send to people living with spina bifida and other disabilities? It is not a progressive value to think that a disabled person is better off dead.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, the great Russian writer of the 19th century, warned that the denial of sin and hell in education and religion would end in a world Socialism where men would surrender freedom for a false security. He pictured anti-Christ returning to the world and speaking to Christ, thus:
“Dost thou know that the ages will pass, and humanity will proclaim by the lips of their sages that there is no crime, and therefore no sin; there is only hunger? And men will come crawling to our feet, saying to us: ‘Give us bread! Take our freedom.” – The Grand Inquisitor
In this sobering talk, Archbishop Fulton Sheen examines our death-oriented society, from the advent of abortion to the midnight of our headlong rush to self-extinction.
The Approach of Midnight
I have never understood the aversion to the crucifix. The West has thrown it aside to its own detriment. But by this sign we can again conquer and overcome our grave inadequacies that have led us down a path of self destruction.
Why is it that so many have difficulty looking upon the Cross of Christ and His suffering? Many argue that Jesus is risen therefore why dwell on His suffering?
However, “It is true and even repetitive to say that the Cross is the crux of the matter.” G.K. Chesterton. The lessons of the Cross are absolutely critical to living a truly christian life. The cross teaches us not only how to live but how to live with meaning and purpose. A christian is not truly a christian if they do not take up their cross.
Unfortunately, the purpose and meaning of suffering is lost on the West. Ayn Rand, the darling of modern atheistic thought rejected the Christian notion of suffering and said: “It’s not that I don’t suffer, it’s that I know the unimportance of suffering, I know that pain is to be fought and thrown aside, not to be accepted as part of one’s soul…”
The West fights against and throws aside suffering and even those that suffer. This “Schiavo-esque” view rejects all suffering as utterly detestible. We simply don’t want to watch the poor soul suffer, so we relieve them of their misery and their life and call it “death with dignity”. This explains our embrace of euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, stem cell research, our “termination” of babies and those that are not perfect. The irony is that our culture attempts to avoid suffering at all costs but in doing so has become the “culture of death”.
Fr. Pablo Straub says the Devil’s one commandment is “Thou Shalt Not Suffer”. Our culture has certainly bought this diabolical line. The prevailing culture tells us to gratify our every desire and not to suffer for any reason. It tells parents not to have another child–it’s too expensive and difficult; it tells us to indulge our every sexual whim and to embrace sterile sex; it tells women that foregoing a career and staying home to raise children is dull, unfulfilling, and irrelevant; it tells pregnant women that carrying a child for nine months will ruin their life.
Christians need to reject the lies of our culture and reclaim the power of Christ’s Cross and our own crosses. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Cor 12:10)
We can co-operate with God in a profound way by enduring our troubles through the power of His grace. God will strengthen us and, in turn, our cross can become a most powerful prayer. St. Paul enunciated the idea of the redemptive suffering. “I find joy in the sufferings I endure for you. In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Body, the Church” (Col. 1:24).
The Church does not and never has glorified suffering for its own sake; however it does glorify God by the loving acceptance of suffering when His will entails it. “One ounce of patient suffering is worth far more than a pound of action.” J. P. Camus.
The Angel of Fatima told the three children to “Offer prayers and sacrifices constantly to the Most High . . . Make of everything you can a sacrifice, and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended, and in supplication for the conversion of sinners . . . Above all, accept and bear with submission the sufferings which the Lord will send you.”
It frightens one to think what humanity loses when it ceases to carry the cross and suffer in a manner that glorifies Christ and indeed becomes prayer. Our small acts of sacrifice united to Christ’s Cross can achieve the conversion of entire peoples and nations. When we understand suffering and that bearing our cross has unimaginable power, life takes on a profound meaning and purpose. We will cease to become the culture of death and will truly dignify life and death.
“He who knoweth how to suffer will enjoy much peace. Such a one is a conquerer of himself and lord of the world, a friend of Christ and an heir of heaven. Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ.
Thou shalt not give any of thy seed to be consecrated to the idol Moloch, nor defile the name of thy God. I am the Lord. Lv:18:21: 21
A Planned Parenthood affiliate’s newest president and CEO said in an official statement that she regards her work for the biggest abortion business in America to be a holy profession.
Melaney Linton, who will now oversee Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, is determined to further the Life-ending work of Planned Parenthood:
“I am honored and humbled to be entrusted with such a sacred duty…I pledge to do everything in my power to fight back against the ideological attacks on Planned Parenthood and women, so that no teen will ever say she didn’t know how she got pregnant, no one will ever be denied basic reproductive health care, and no woman will ever be forced to bear children she cannot adequately support.”
Starting March 1st, Linton will manage 13 abortion and abortion-referring centers in Southeast Texas and Louisiana, as well as the largest abortion mill in America, located in Houston, Texas.
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast alone performed over 12,000 abortions in 2010 and banked over $17 million – 49 percent of which came from taxpayer dollars. Linton will succeed Peter Durkin, who earned over $200,000 in 2010 by performing this “sacred duty.”
Linton is mistaken when she calls her work “sacred.” There is nothing holy about extinguishing the lives of millions of unborn children as a way to line the company pocketbook. The new CEO vows to fight back against Life-affirming measures that have limited the abortion provider, because it cuts into the proceeds Planned Parenthood receives from every abortion committed.
Planned Parenthood, with their money-hungry abortion agenda, has lured women and young girls into their clinics with the promise of putting them first, but Planned Parenthood’s financial standing is all that matters to the abortion giant. The abortion business refuses to acknowledge the physical, mental, and emotional damage abortion causes, thus, abandoning women because they are no longer seen as a profit.
The Planned Parenthood abortion business is a multi-million dollar company which preys on women to drive up their bottom line. This government-sanctioned killing of children must be brought to an end. As members of the Pro-Life community, we are dedicated to ending the horror Linton and Planned Parenthood so fiercely defend. As long as Planned Parenthood remains devoted to ending innocent human life and committing these unjust moral atrocities, we are dedicated to severing the revenue stream that is responsible for the death of innocent unborn children.
The conundrum faced by the organ transplant industry, that the removal of vital organs kills the “donor,” can be “easily obviated by abandoning the norm against killing,” two leading U.S. bioethicists have said. In an article titled, “What Makes Killing Wrong?” appearing in last month’s Journal of Medical Ethics, the authors have moved the argument forward by admitting that the practice of vital organ donation ignores “traditional” medical ethics.
“Traditional medical ethics embraces the norm that doctors … must not kill their patients. This norm is often seen as absolute and universal. In contrast, we have argued that killing by itself is not morally wrong, although it is still morally wrong to cause total disability.”
Traditional ethicists have responded, warning that this stream of thought, now common in the medical community, will ultimately undermine the right of anyone to life or the protection of law, and will annihilate public trust in the medical profession.
“If this dreadful doctrine is permitted and practised it is impossible to conjure up the degradation to which it will lead,” said Anthony Ozimic, communications manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). A physician “has but to certify his patients as unproductive and he receives the command to kill.”
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong a Duke University bioethicist and Franklin G. Miller, an ethicist with the National Institutes of Health, the federal health authority in the US, admitted that patients who are routinely declared dead for purposes of organ “harvesting” are in fact alive and that removing their organs kills them.
Pro-life objectors to the practice of “non-heart beating organ donation” have long argued that it is tantamount to murdering helpless patients, reducing human persons to mere organ farms. The article proposes, however, that this is simply not a problem. Killing a patient who has lost all functional “abilities” and autonomy, “cannot disrespect her autonomy, because she has no autonomy left. It also cannot be unfair to kill her if it does her no harm.”
“Killing by itself is not morally wrong,” the authors said, “although it is still morally wrong to cause total disability.” The problem with killing is “not that the act causes loss of life or consciousness but rather that the act causes loss of all remaining abilities.”
Ozimic called the paper “obnoxious” and warned that its authors have “forgotten the lessons of the 20th century,” referring to the utilitarianism-based eugenics programmes of the pre-war Nazi government.
Ozimic quoted the famous 1941 sermon of Clemens von Galen, Cardinal Archbishop of – known as the “Lion of Munster” for his opposition to the Nazi euthanasia programme: “Once admit the right to kill unproductive persons… then none of us can be sure of his life.”
Ozimic said that if it is allowed to continue the concept will spell the end of our current understanding of medicine as doing good for human persons.
“We shall be at the mercy of any committee that can put a man on the list of unproductives. There will be no police protection, no court to avenge the murder and inflict punishment upon the murderer. Who can have confidence in any doctor?”
But the article’s authors admit that the situation is already grave from the point of view of traditional medical ethics. The so-called “dead donor rule,” they say, is already “routinely violated” in transplant practice anyway.
In order to be consistent with “traditional medical ethics” the practice of organ transplants, already a multi-billion dollar international medical industry, would have to be stopped immediately. But stopping organ transplants on the mere grounds that it kills people, they said, would be “extremely harmful and unreasonable from an ethical point of view.”
Ozimic critiqued the paper, saying, “According to some doctor, or because of the decision of some committee, they have no longer a right to live because they are ‘unproductive citizens’.
“The opinion is that since they can no longer make money, they are obsolete machines, comparable with some old cow that can no longer give milk or some horse that has gone lame. What is the lot of unproductive machines and cattle? They are destroyed.” But men and women, Ozimic said, are neither machines nor cattle who can be discarded when they no longer serve someone else’s needs.
“Here we are dealing with human beings, with our neighbours, brothers and sisters, the poor and invalids . . . unproductive – perhaps! But have they, therefore, lost the right to live? Have you or I the right to exist only because we are ‘productive’?”
Shocking as it may sound to the layman’s ears, however, the article’s position is not unusual in the bioethics community. The notion that the value of human life is founded upon the individual’s abilities has become run-of-the-mill in universities and, more crucially, in hospital ethics committees. It was popularised by Peter Singer, the professor of ethics at Princeton University, who infamously proposed that parents have the power to convey personhood upon their newborn children and should be allowed to kill them at will.
The fixation on autonomy, one of the three “principles” that utilitarian secular bioethics regards as the ultimate indicators of human value, has driven much of the international pressure for legalised euthanasia. Around the world, secular bioethicists supported the killing of Terri Schindler Schiavo on the grounds that her “autonomy” was permanently impaired.
Experts have noted that this form of bioethics, as distinct from classical, Hippocratic medical ethics, has since the 1970s become the leading stream of thought in most medical organisations in developed countries. The movement has succeeded in legalising euthanasia in the Netherlands and Belgium and assisted suicide in three US states.
In addition to outright euthanasia and legalized assisted suicide, other means of killing patients are sneaking in under the legal radar in response to the demands of autonomy-obsessed Bioethics. “Terminal sedation” and death by dehydration or withdrawal of life-saving drugs and treatments have become common causes of death among elderly and disabled patients in the UK, Canada and across Europe.
Fr. George Rutler was kind enough to share his latest parish bulletin concerning the recent HHS mandate with the Cardinal Newman Society.
Our many fellow Catholics now enchained for the Faith of our Fathers in such places as China, Syria, and Egypt are, as Father Faber’s hymn says, “in heart and conscience free.” But what happens when a government tries to chain the conscience itself?
A few weeks ago, in a remarkably unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the attempt of the present Administration in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC to restrict religious freedom. Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the Administration’s argument that the First Amendment does not guarantee the right of religious organization to choose its leaders, was an “extreme” infringement of the free exercise clause.
Undeterred, and menacingly on the cusp of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Department of Health and Human Services has issued an “interim final rule” which requires all private health plans, including those of Catholic hospitals and schools, to include coverage of prescription contraceptives, female sterilization procedures, and abortion counseling.
For a while, various Catholic leaders had hoped that they might reach an understanding with the Administration, and some even felt more at peace with the president’s assurances. But “peace for our time” only lasts until Poland is invaded. Cardinal Mahony, whom no one would fault for intransigence, now says, “I cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on the freedom of conscience than this ruling today. This decision must be fought against with all the energies the Catholic Community can muster.” Our own archbishop said, “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.”
At the time of the last presidential election, some may have thought that I overstated things in finding parallels with the dystopian world described in Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of the World, in which Julian Felsenburgh makes eugenics “a sacred duty.”
Since our Lord did not humiliate the frightened apostles by saying “I told you so” when he rose from the dead, I shall not say “I told you so” to any who underestimated the plottings of social engineers whose audacity is only an audacity of despair.
Blessed John Henry Newman, in Discussions and Arguments on Various Subjects, cited the prediction of an eighteenth-century Protestant bishop and scientist, Samuel Horsley:
“The Church of God on earth will be greatly reduced, as we may well imagine, in its apparent numbers, in the times of Antichrist, by the open desertion of the powers of the world. This desertion will begin in a professed indifference to any particular form of Christianity, under the pretense of universal toleration; which toleration will proceed from no true spirit of charity and forbearance, but from a design to undermine Christianity, by multiplying and encouraging sectaries… For governments will pretend an indifference to all, and will give a protection in preference to none.”
Roe v. Wade
How will future generations judge us on abortion?
Just two days after the inauguration, another crowd filled Washington’s streets: pro-lifers who gather each year for the March for Life. January 22 marked the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and, after so many years with little change or improvement in abortion law, the nation has grown a bit blasé about this annual demonstration. We still say abortion is a hot issue—but it’s not as hot as it used to be. The abortion controversy used to command cover space on magazines, while TV networks hosted hour-long debates. You don’t see that any more.
Maybe people just got tired of hearing about it. Year after year, the two sides said mostly the same thing—and nothing much changed. Eventually, public attention was bound to sidle off to some new, more exciting topic (gay marriage, anyone?). When attention drifted, it was the pro-choice side that had command of the status quo.
And you could say that settles that; from now on there will be less and less talk about abortion, and we’ll just get used to things the way they are.
But I can imagine things going a different way. Not soon—maybe not till the baby boomers have passed from the scene—but it’s possible that a younger generation will see abortion differently. With abortions now running around 1.2 million per year, the total number of abortions since Roe v. Wade is about 49 million. That’s a big number—about a sixth of the U.S. population. It’s an especially big number if you’re not absolutely sure that it’s not a real loss of human life.
After all, if you see a little girl hit by a car, you’re going to yell, “Get an ambulance!” not “Get a shovel!” It’s in the very fabric of humanity to be on the side of life if there’s the faintest hope that life exists. We don’t throw children away when we’re not sure whether they’re alive or not. And, as the pro-choice side never stops saying, it’s not that they’re positive a fetus is not alive—it’s that they’re not sure. As the cliché goes, “Nobody knows when life begins.”
When I was a young, fire-breathing college feminist in the early 1970s, we didn’t see abortion as a melancholy private decision—it was an act of liberation. By choosing abortion, a woman could show that she was the only person in charge of her life and bowed to no one else’s control. But this formulation soured as the grief felt by post-abortion women began to accumulate. The flip side of autonomy is loneliness, and, for many women, their abortion decision was linked to emotional abandonment.
And then there was the advent of ultrasound technology, enabling us to see live images of the baby moving in the womb. In 1989, word went round the pro-life movement to order the tape of pollster Harrison Hickman’s presentation at that year’s NARAL convention. On it he said, “Nothing has been as damaging to our cause as the advances in technology which have allowed pictures of the developing fetus, because people now talk about that fetus in much different terms than they did 15 years ago. They talk about it as a human being, which is not something that I have an easy answer how to cure.”
So there are some reasons to think that the abortion question has not been settled, but has merely gone underground. That might be a necessary step. It has to go away so that it can be rediscovered and seen in a fresh light.
I don’t expect that reconsideration soon: My boomer generation will never see abortion as anything other than the wise and benevolent gift we bestowed on all future generations. We still control the media, the universities, and so forth, and it will take time for all of us to topple off the end of the conveyor belt.
But the time is coming when a younger generation will be in charge, and they may well see abortion differently. They could see it not as “a woman’s choice” but as a form of state-sanctioned violence inflicted on their generation. It was their brothers and sisters who died; anyone under the age of 36 could have been aborted, and somewhere around a fourth or a fifth of all babies are. A younger generation might feel a strange kinship with the brothers and sisters, classmates and coworkers, who are missing.
And I’m afraid that if they do see things that way, they aren’t going to go easy on my generation. Our acceptance of abortion is not going to look like an understandable goof. The next generation can fairly say, “It’s not like they didn’t know.” They’ll say, “After all, they had sonograms.”
Even in my generation, people who think of themselves as defenders of the weak and the oppressed may occasionally have a quiet moment when they wonder, “How, on this one issue, did I wind up on the side that’s defending death?” There’s a lot of ambivalence out there, and a lot of unspoken grief too, I think. Our pro-choice generation may have won the day—but sooner or later, that day will end. No generation can rule from the grave. When that time comes, another generation will sit in judgment on ours. And they may judge us to be monsters.
¶ And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee…
Everyone knows that the Church is against abortion. But how completely do we always understand why, for Catholics, this is such a major issue? I begin with a story from the National Catholic Register:
“NEW YORK — Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson, an obstetrician who oversaw the performance of about 75,000 abortions before becoming a leading pro-life advocate and a convert to the Catholic faith, died at his home in New York Feb. 21 after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 84.
…In his 1996 autobiography The Hand of God, he told the story of his journey from pro-abortion to pro-life, saying that viewing images from the new ultrasound technology in the 1970s convinced him of the humanity of the unborn baby…
He noted, regretfully, “I am one of those who helped usher in this barbaric age”.
That phrase of Dr Nathanson’s, “the humanity of the unborn baby”, is obviously enough the first part of what we need to understand. But that’s not enough. Being pro-life isn’t just a matter of being against abortion; it’s a positive, not negative, set of beliefs: it’s about knowing with certainty (which not everyone does) that all life is a priceless gift. And we begin with ourselves: with gratitude for our own life.
This gratitude is a distinguishing mark of all holy men and women. I think (as some of my readers may have noticed) that G K Chesterton is one of them, and that there is a strong case for his beatification and ultimate canonisation. His was one of the great prophetic voices of the 20th century: prophetic in both senses of the word, that is; he foresaw many things then still in the future and he also had a deep insight into what was wrong with the world in which he lived. This in turn had its origins in a profound sense of what human life ought to be.
And that all began with his gratitude for the gift of life. “I hung onto religion,” he wrote in his autobiography, “by one thin thread of thanks. I thanked whatever gods might be, not like Swinburne, because no life lived for ever, but because any life lived at all”. Seventy years before the pro-life movement Chesterton wrote this early poem, entitled “By the Babe Unborn”, about the wonder of life: in it, he imagines a child in the womb longing for birth:
If trees were tall and grasses short,
As in some crazy tale,
If here and there a sea were blue
Beyond the breaking pale,
If a fixed fire hung in the air
To warm me one day through,
If deep green hair grew on great hills,
I know what I should do.
In dark I lie; dreaming that there
Are great eyes cold or kind,
And twisted streets and silent doors,
And living men behind.
Let storm clouds come: better an hour,
And leave to weep and fight,
Than all the ages I have ruled
The empires of the night.
I think that if they gave me leave
Within the world to stand,
I would be good through all the day
I spent in fairyland.
They should not hear a word from me
Of selfishness or scorn,
If only I could find the door,
If only I were born.
A few years later, he attacked the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, one of whose key essays was entitled “The emptiness of existence”, and whose deep and systematic pessimism was to have such a massive influence on the literature and thought of the 20th century, by evoking once more his own key image of “the babe unborn”. Schopenhauer, wrote Chesterton, “had not that highest order of imagination which can see the things which surround us on every side with purified and primitive eyes. Had he possessed this he would have felt as we all dimly feel that a child unborn, offered the chance and risk of so vivid and magical an experience as existence, could no more resist taking it than a living child could resist opening a cupboard in which, he was told, were toys of which he could not even dream. He did not realise that the question of whether life contains a preponderance of joy or sorrow is entirely secondary to the fact that life is an experience of a unique and miraculous character, the idea of missing which would be intolerable if it were for one moment conceivable.”
Nobody has ever better summed up why Catholics don’t speak of their beliefs as being merely anti-abortion, but as being “pro-life”, an infinitely vaster conception. When Chesterton died, in the 1930s, abortion was still thought of, certainly by Christians of whatever persuasion, as unthinkably wicked. This was also generally true of secular public opinion, though there were, of course, exceptions: the Nazis believed in it, so did Adolf Hitler’s gushing English admirer, Marie Stopes.
By the 1960s, after the horrors of the Second World War and the Holocaust, and then of Stalinism and other human monstrosities, there had been a great movement towards Schopenhauer’s vision of the futility of human life, towards believing in his words that “in a world like this … it is impossible to imagine happiness”: and one result was the comparative ease with which ordinary men and women were more and more persuaded that the taking of life in the womb was a matter of very much less consequence than their parents and grandparents had supposed.
That’s what’s at stake here. That’s why the Church is so insistently (the secular world thinks obsessively and unreasonably) hostile to the taking of unborn life: because Catholics believe – more fundamentally than in anything else – in God’s Creation of this world and in the fact that, in Chesterton’s words, life in it “is an experience of a unique and miraculous character, the idea of missing which would be intolerable if it were for one moment conceivable”. The deepest tragedy of the 20th century is that for so many men and women, this dreadful notion became not merely “conceivable” (was ever a word used with a more poignant irony?) but normal.
One of the major arguments that feminists use to impose abortion upon our country is that women, especially poor women, are going to get abortions anyway. By providing “safe” facilities to these poor women, we can prevent them from resorting to shady back alley abortion doctors, persons lacking the necessary skills, or environments lacking minimal medical standards. Such operations, they claim, were often botched and lead to the death, not only of the babies, but countless women.
It may be true that legal abortion may have managed to diminish the wildly inflated incidence of back alley abortion in America. However, this fact has exposed women, especially poor women, to a much more grave danger: the front alley abortion.
As bad as the back alley abortion is, the front alley abortion is much worse.
Front alley abortions are those legal abortion mills that operate normally and are open to the public. They have all the appearances of a legitimate business. They may even have nice sounding names like Woman’s Medical Society or similar misnomers.
These establishments have all the protection of the government since abortion enjoys legal protection under law. They also have the slavish support of liberals and media who see these mills as essential to “reproductive rights.” Government regulating agencies seem to be more interested in tanning salons than what goes on inside these abortion mills.
The appearance of these clinics in the front part of the alley, and not the back, gives them all the appearance of respectability.
Protected by the veneer of this respectability and the force of law, some operators have used these fronts as a shield allowing them to commit the most horrible acts with impunity. What goes on behind the closed doors of these front alley clinics can go far beyond anything in the back alley.
Of course, the most obvious case is what is now called Gosset’s House of Horrors, alias Women’s Medical Society, a clinic operated in West Philadelphia by Kermit B. Gosnell, M.D. According to the District Attorney’s report, Gosnell staffed his decrepit and unsanitary clinic entirely with unlicensed personnel, let them practice medicine on unsuspecting patients, unsupervised, and directed them to heavily drug patients in his absence. In addition, he regularly performed abortions beyond the 24-week limit prescribed by law. As a result, when viable babies were born, Gosnell killed them by plunging scissors into their spinal cords. He taught his staff to do the same. Meanwhile, government regulatory agencies turned a blind eye to blatant violations of health codes and practices.
Yet it seems Gosnell’s case is not the only one. Other houses of horror have been found. While most do not reach the point of Gosnell’s “House of Horrors,”the blatant disregard for any kind of standards seems to be a typical or systemic characteristic of front alley abortion mills. Indeed, violations of health regulations rules seem to be a common occurrence – and government failure to enforce the regulations as well. Consent laws are often circumvented by operators who secure abortions for minors. As the recent sting operations against Planned Parenthood have shown, many employees appear to have adopted the policy of failing to report abuse to the authorities. Many abortion doctors seem to have a hard time holding on to their licenses – and some workers never had them in the first place.
Just recently, the Texas Medical Board, for example, received complaints about the medical practices of twelve Texas abortion providers, called the “Dirty Dozen” by a pro-life watchdog group who claim to have documented violation of state and federal abortion laws. These front alley clinics were chosen at random and pro-life activists say that they found mishandling of private patient medical records, violations of consent laws, violations of the 24-hour waiting period required by law, improper disposal of biohazardous medical waste, the counseling of minors on how to flout parental notification laws, and more.
That is to say, behind the shield of the front alley abortion clinic some of the most horrific things still take place. Yet it is not surprising. The nature of the business of abortion is such that it brutalizes human sensibilities. In this sense, every abortion, front or back alley, is a tragic denial of our humanity and will lead to that which is inhuman.
The House has defunded Planned Parenthood.
Abortion radicals are raging mad.
Raging mad that Republicans are exposing the abortion predators with story after story of criminal negligence, death, and exploitation at America’s taxpayer-subsidized death clinics.
Raging mad that Republican women dare to talk about the psychological harm and trauma to young women lured to Planned Parenthood and kept in the dark about abortion alternatives.
And mad that Republicans are describing in graphic detail the procedures used to rid the world of The Unplanned.
Most macabre abortion defense of the night so far: Earlier today, Wisconsin Democrat Rep. Gwen Moore argued that abortion was better for unplanned babies than a life “eating Ramen noodles” or “mayonnaise sandwiches.”
This is revealing in stunning fashion. Here’s a politician who has the unbridled arrogance to believe that she has the moral right to decide whether someone else’s life is worth living. She has arrogated to herself the right to determine whether another human being lives or dies based on her own dietary value system. She apparently believes that anyone who eats Ramen noodles — count most graduate students in this category — does not have a life worth living. Wow.
Perhaps if the baby were asked if she would prefer death over Ramen noodles, she just might say no, I’d like to live, thank you very much, and actually Ramen noodles aren’t all that bad. But if Gwen Moore gets her way, that baby will never get that choice.
Moore — who is up for re-election in 2012 — is a member of both the Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Progressive Caucus. Her nanny state (progressive) creds are self-evident: In the House, Moore has earned, over the first session of the 109th Congress, 90% and higher legislative agenda approval scores from Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Sierra Club of Wisconsin, and the Service Employees International Union.
Moore has focused herself legislatively on traditional Democratic and progressive issues, believing that the federal government should play a significant role in the amelioration of poverty and the resolution of difficult local problems. In fact, GovTrack.US calls Moore a far-left Democrat and points to the dot on the left side of the chart to show where Moore stands among her peers in Congress.
Specifically on abortion, Moore has voted against restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions (2005) and in favor of expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines (2007) and allowing human embryonic stem cell research (2005). In 2009, Moore voted in favor of the Prevention First Act, which focuses on preventing pregnancy and supports emergency contraception — with all programs supported by federal dollars.
We live in the age of group apologies. I would like to add one. The baby boomer generation needs to apologize to America, especially its young generation, for many sins. Here is a partial list:
First and perhaps foremost, we apologize for robbing many of you of a childhood.
We baby boomers were allowed perhaps the most innocent childhoods known to history. We grew up without material want, in one of the most decent places in world history, with media that preserved our sexual and other innocence, in schools that generally taught us well, and we were allowed childhood play from boy-girl play to rough and tumble boy-boy play to monkey bars and ringalievio. Our generation has deprived you of all these things. And while we were aware of the threat of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, few of us believed that we were threatened with death anywhere near the amount we have scared you about death from secondhand smoke, global warming and heterosexual AIDS, to mention just a few of the exaggerated death scares we have inflicted on you.
Our generation came up with two truly foolish slogans that also ended up robbing you of childhood.
One was, “Never trust anyone over 30.” Our infantile attitude toward adult authority has inflicted great harm on you. Because of it, many baby boomers decided not to become adults, and this has had disastrous consequences in your lives. It deprived you of one of the greatest needs in your life — adults. That in turn deprived you of something as important as love — parental and other adult authority. With little parental authority, you were left with little personal security, few guardrails and a diminished sense of order in life. And we transferred this denial of authority to virtually all authority figures, from teachers to police.
The other slogan whose awful consequences we baby boomers bequeathed to you was, “Make love, not war.” Our parents had liberated the world from immeasurably cruel and murderous regimes in Germany and Japan — solely thanks to waging war. But instead of concluding that war could do great moral good, we sang ourselves silly with such inane lyrics as “Give peace a chance,” as if that deals in any way with the world’s most monstrous evils. So we taught you to make love and not war. And we succeeded.
We made you anti-war and almost completely sexualized your lives. We told you that having sex was terrific or at least to be expected, even in early teens, and that your only concerns should be avoiding sexually transmitted diseases and getting pregnant. And if you did get pregnant, we made sure that you could extinguish the life you were carrying as effortlessly and guiltlessly as possible.
We started teaching you about sexuality and homosexuality in early grade school and we taught you how to put condoms on bananas. It is true that we did not grow up learning about these things at such young ages — certainly our schools never taught us about these things — but we chalked that up to the preposterous, if not reactionary, values of the 1950s and early 1960s. We had contempt for our parents believing that “Father Knows Best” and “Leave It to Beaver” and “Superman” — with the show’s motto of “truth, justice, and the American way” — were good things for young people to be exposed to. So we replaced these shows with MTV’s mind-numbing parade of three-second images and sex-drenched shows for teenagers. Sorry.
We also made you weak. We did everything possible to ensure that you suffered no pain. Sometimes we changed game scores if a team was winning by too large a margin; we abolished dodgeball lest anyone suffer early removal from the game; and we gave trophies to all of you who played on baseball teams, no matter how awfully you or your team played so that none of you missed getting a trophy while members of another team did. Much of this was thanks to the self-esteem-without-having-to-earn-it movement, which in our generation’s almost infinite lack of wisdom we inflicted upon you. Sorry for that, too.
We also apologize for coming close to ruining so many of your schools and universities. Despite the unprecedented sums of money we had America spend on education, most of you got an education quite inferior to the one we got at a fraction of the cost. But we thought of our teachers as fools (they were, after all, over 30) who just concentrated on reading, writing and arithmetic (and history, music and art). We were sure we knew better and we therefore concentrated on sexual issues, and teaching you about peace, global warming and the horrors of smoking. The fact that few high school graduates can identify Mozart, let alone were ever exposed to his music, is far less significant to many baby boomers than your knowledge of the alleged perils of secondhand smoke. Most of you cannot identify Stalin either, and we are sorry for that, too. But, hey, we did make sure you saw Al Gore’s film.
And a real apology to those of you hooked on drugs. While your choice to do drugs is your responsibility, it was our generation that romanticized them and made them cool. “Mind expanding” we called them. But it turns out that they don’t expand minds, they destroy them. Sorry.
And, young women, we apologize especially to you. Many of us baby boomers bought into the feminist idea that getting married and making a family with a man were far less fulfilling than career success and that marriage itself is “sexist” and “patriarchal.” So, to those of you women who have career success and didn’t get married, we sincerely apologize. Turns out that most careers aren’t as fulfilling as we promised.
So we really blew it, and what’s really amazing is that few of us have changed our minds. Most people get wiser as they get older. But not those of us baby boomers who still believe these things. Of course, many of us never bought into these awful ideas that have so hurt you and our country, and some of us have grown up. But many of us still talk, think, dress and curse the same as we did in the ’60s and ’70s. And we’re still fighting what we consider the real Axis of Evil: American racism, sexism and imperialism.
But for those of us who know the damage baby boomers as a whole did to you, a heartfelt apology.
As the nation pauses today to remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., black Americans face a racial threat from a much different source than the ones King confronted: abortion.
The Guttmacher Institute recently released a new report on abortion statistics nationwide that confirms the abortion industry continues to target black Americans. Abortions on black women still occur at a much higher rate than the percentage of African-Americans in society as a whole.
The Census Bureau, as of 2009, indicates black Americans comprise 12.4 percent of the total population of the United States, but Guttmacher’s new numbers reveal approximately 30 percent of the abortions in the United States are done on black women.
Statewide statistic in places with a large share of African-Americans also shows the racial component of abortion.
In Georgia in 2006, 57.4 percent of abortions are performed on African-American women even though blacks comprise just 30 percent of the general population. In Texas, abortions on black women comprise nearly 25% of all state abortions even though they only constitute 12.7% of the female population (ages 15-44). Every other racial demographic shares a smaller percentage of statewide abortions than their respective percentage of total population.
Rachel Jones, a senior research associate at the pro-abortion group and former Planned Parenthood affiliate, admits the average group of women who get an abortion “are more likely to be women of color” and black women “are more likely to have an abortion” than white women.
Susan Cohen, also of Guttmacher, adds: “This much is true: In the United States, the abortion rate for black women is almost five times that for white women. Black women are not alone in having disproportionately high unintended pregnancy and abortion rates. The abortion rate among Hispanic women, for example, although not as high as the rate among black women, is double the rate among whites.”
Looked at another way, in 2000, though black babies represented 17 percent of the live births in the United States, they accounted for 36 percent of the abortions. White babies accounted for 78 percent of the live births, according to CDC figures, but accounted for 57 percent of the abortions.
The numbers from Guttmchaer (see right) are nothing new, as the percentage of abortions on black women has been consistently about twice the rate of live births.
John R. Lott, Jr. and Sonya D. Jones pointed out in 2008 that the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision allowing unlimited abortions resulted in the increase in abortions on black women compared with the pre-Roe era.
“The Centers for Disease Control recorded detailed information on the race of those having abortions from 1970 to 1981. It shows Roe’s impact on abortions by blacks in the years immediately before and after the decision. The Supreme Court’s decision had the biggest impact on blacks, raising their share of abortions from 21 to 30 percent, while their share of live births only increased from 12 to 15 percent,” they noted.
“Obviously, numerous factors may explain the changes over time in abortion rates for different racial groups. But even after accounting for other influences on the decision to have an abortion — such as per capita income, the size of welfare payments, unemployment rates and unemployment insurance payments, and the age and gender distribution of the population — white women’s share of abortions still fell by almost 7 percent after Roe,” they added.
Leading pro-life figures in the black community cite these racial disparities in the abortion numbers as one of the main reasons for combating abortion itself. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is among the pro-life advocates who bemoan the racial component of the abortion industry.
“Every three days, more African-Americans are killed by abortion than have been killed by the Ku Klux Klan in its entire history,” she says.
King points out that, were he alive today, her uncle would have been a strong abortion opponent and she points to advice columns written by her uncle for Ebony magazine in 1957-58 that reveal a man who would be regarded today as a clear social conservative.
“In advising men and women on questions of personal behavior 50 years ago, Uncle Martin sounded no different than a conservative Christian preacher does now,” King told LifeNews.com late last week. “He was pro-life, pro-abstinence before marriage, and based his views on the unchanging Word of the Bible. Today, Planned Parenthood would condemn Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as part of the ‘religious right.’”
In advice columns written for the African American-oriented magazine, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told a young man who had impregnated his girlfriend and refused to marry her, resulting in a “crime,” that he had made a “mistake.” He urged another reader to abstain from premarital sex, noting that such activity was contributing “to the present breakdown of the family.”
“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of peace, justice, and most of all a man of God,” added Alveda King. “Were he alive today, he would be working to secure peace and justice for those in the womb and healing for a nation that is still pained by over 53 million missing lives.”
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, attributes the racial disparity on abortion to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business which has purposefully built new abortion centers in minority communities in places like Houston, Portland, and Chicago.
“Planned Parenthood has preyed on minorities since its founder advocated negative eugenics! If Congress truly wants across-the-board reductions in abortion, our leaders will have to stop funding its biggest provider,” said Perkins.
But pro-life advocates aren’t content to see abortion continue to destroy the African-American community and they are doing something about it with multiple billboard campaigns letting people know about the figures. That includes a new campaign in Los Angeles, California featuring billboards going up all over town. In conjunction with Walter Hoye, a pro-life African-American pastor, the Radiance Foundation is launching the new campaign.
“Billboards will be up through Black History Month and are an attempt to raise awareness of abortion’s devastating and disproportionate impact in the black community,” Ryan Bomberger told LifeNews.com last week.
Hoye says he’s excited about the billboard campaign as he has been trying to raise nationwide awareness of the way in which abortions target black children.
“The impact of abortion in the African-American community is the Darfur of America,” Hoye declares, citing the 53 million aborted since 1973, 18 million of which are African-American.
Dr. La Verne Tolbert, a former Planned Parenthood board member, says black children are targeted through the schools for abortions in California.
“In California, children are targeted for abortions through school-based clinics and school-linked clinics, which are family planning clinics on or near school grounds. Girls are taken off campus to a Planned Parenthood clinic, where abortions are performed without parental consent or notification,” she said.
Read “The Negro Project- Margaret Sanger’s Eugenic Plan for Black Americans” HERE
Like so many other couples these days, the Toronto-area business executive and her husband put off having children for years as they built successful careers. Both parents were in their 40s — and their first son just over a year old — when this spring the woman became pregnant a second time. Seven weeks in, an ultrasound revealed the Burlington, Ont., resident was carrying twins. “It came as a complete shock,” said the mother, who asked not to be named. “We’re both career people. If we were going to have three children two years apart, someone else was going to be raising our kids. … All of a sudden our lives as we know them and as we like to lead them, are not going to happen.”
She soon discovered another option: Doctors could “reduce” the pregnancy from twins to a singleton through a little-known procedure that eliminates selected fetuses — and has become increasingly common in the past two decades amid a boom in the number of multiple pregnancies.
Selective reductions are typically carried out for women pregnant with triplets or greater, where the risk of harm or death climbs sharply with each additional fetus. The Ontario couple is part of what some experts say is a growing demand for reducing twins to one, fuelled more by socio-economic imperatives than medical need, and raising vexing new ethical questions.
Experts question whether parents should choose to terminate a fetus just because of the impact the child would have on their lives, and note that even more medically necessary reductions can trigger lifelong angst and even threaten marriages.
The mother said the Toronto doctor who eventually did her reduction performs several a month.
Lynda Haddon, who counsels couples over fetal losses for the support group Multiple Births Canada, said she has heard from a number of people in the past several months who were seeking twin reductions to lessen their burden as parents, something she had never encountered before. Though she strives to help them in a nonjudgmental way, she admits the trend “saddens and scares” her. “Is this a healthy thing? We have to ask these questions: Where does it stop? When do children become a commodity?”
The Burlington woman, however, says she has no regrets, and believes the option should be openly available to all parents expecting twins.
“I’m absolutely sure I did the right thing,” she said. “I had read some online forums, people were speaking of grieving, feeling a sense of loss. I didn’t feel any of that. Not that I’m a cruel, bitter person … I just didn’t feel I would be able to care for (twins) in a way that I wanted to.”
A New York City obstetrician and leading specialist in the field confirmed that the demand for twin reductions has increased and likely will continue to do so, especially among 40-somethings. Twins make up about 5% to 7% of the total reductions, said Dr. Mark Evans, who sometimes performs the procedure on Canadians.
While he once believed reductions were ethically warranted only for triplets or higher-order multiple pregnancies, he said the evidence now suggests that reducing twins to a singleton leads, on average, to better outcomes.
The classic twin-reduction case, however, involves a couple on their second marriage who have children and want just one more addition — and might end the whole pregnancy otherwise, Dr. Evans said. “In North America, couples can choose to have an abortion for any reason,” he noted.
Fetal reductions are most commonly conducted by inserting an ultrasound-guided needle through the mother’s abdomen and into the uterus, injecting a potassium chloride solution into the chosen fetus or fetuses, stopping their hearts. They are typically performed between the ninth and 12th week, often with the most accessible or smallest fetuses marked for reduction, unless one is abnormal.
There seems to be little ethical debate around reduction for triplets or more, when the technique clearly curbs the chances of a pregnancy being lost entirely or the babies born with serious health problems. Some experts, however, call even those cases a largely hidden symptom of a fertility industry whose work has helped increase the number of multiple births by over 40% in the past 20 years.
Often, those multiples are conceived because clinics transfer a number of embryos into a woman undergoing in-vitro fertilization treatment, boosting the chances of pregnancy.
“It troubles me a lot because it’s avoidable,” Dr. Jon Barrett, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “We are forcing people to make a terrible choice because we haven’t been sensible.”
Fertility clinics, propelled by new standards from their professional societies, are working aggressively to reduce the number of higher-order multiples — and the resulting need for reduction. In Vancouver, reductions have become “extremely rare,” said Dr. Al Yuzpe of the city’s Genesis Fertility. At The Fertility Clinic in London, Ont. no patient has conceived triplets this year, said Christopher Newton, a psychologist at the centre.
Medical professionals often do not recognize that fetal reduction can be traumatic, said Ms. Haddon. She knows of one mother who years after a reduction still watches her children in the playground, thinking “there should have been more.”
“These poor parents are caught between a rock and a hard place,” she said. “They tried so hard to get pregnant and probably spent a lot of time, energy, emotion, money and now they have to kill some of them, now they have to reduce. Even though the child was lost through reduction, it lives on, in mind and fantasy.”
Dr. Barrett, who specializes in multiple pregnancies, said he is sure some of his patients’ marriages have fallen apart because of disagreements about whether to reduce or not.
The very notion of a procedure that selectively eliminates fetuses, letting others live, is little known and almost never debated in the broader community, said Maxwell Smith, a University of Toronto doctoral student.
“While there is a lot of discussion in academic circles and lay circles about abortion, you don’t have these discussions happening so much around pregnancy reduction,” said Mr. Smith, who spoke about the issues at a major U.S. bio-ethics conference recently.
“That puts a lot of patients and health-care workers in a situation where there might be a lot of moral distress, because they’re not sure what the ethical considerations are.”
In the medical community, the morality of the procedure — at least in its most controversial context — still seems a touchy matter. When the Burlington woman decided she wanted to reduce from two fetuses to one, her family physician at first claimed the procedure was illegal in Canada, then tried to talk her out of it, saying “you don’t need to worry, you can stay home with the kids.”
Most obstetrician-gynecologists she and her husband contacted wanted no part of a twin reduction. They were about to use Dr. Evans’ New York clinic, where the procedure and related tests would have cost at least $8,000, when they discovered a physician at Sunnybrook would do the reduction, funded by medicare.
“I do believe people should have the choice, given the cost of raising children today,” she said. “You want to be able to provide for your children … to give them the things they need to become the best adults they can become.”
Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/When+twins+many/3960709/story.html#ixzz17s4Q29ih
I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live: (DRV)
On the crisp, sunny, fall Columbus Day in 1999, organizers of the “Say So” march approached the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. The marchers, who were predominantly black pastors and lay persons, concluded their three-day protest at the site of two monumental cases: the school desegregation Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the pro-abortion Roe v. Wade (1973). The significance of each case—equal rights for all Americans in the former, and abortion “rights” in the latter—converged in the declaration of Rev. Johnny M. Hunter, the march’s sponsor and national director of Life, Education and Resource Network (LEARN), the largest black pro-life organization.
“’Civil rights’ doesn’t mean anything without a right to life!” declared Hunter. He and the other marchers were protesting the disproportionately high number of abortions in the black community. The high number is no accident. Many Americans—black and white—are unaware of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s Negro Project. Sanger created this program in 1939, after the organization changed its name from the American Birth Control League (ABCL) to the Birth Control Federation of America (BCFA).1
The aim of the program was to restrict—many believe exterminate—the black population. Under the pretense of “better health” and “family planning,” Sanger cleverly implemented her plan. What’s more shocking is Sanger’s beguilement of black America’s crème de la crème—those prominent, well educated and well-to-do—into executing her scheme. Some within the black elite saw birth control as a means to attain economic empowerment, elevate the race and garner the respect of whites.
The Negro Project has had lasting repercussions in the black community: “We have become victims of genocide by our own hands,” cried Hunter at the “Say So” march.
Margaret Sanger aligned herself with the eugenicists whose ideology prevailed in the early 20th century. Eugenicists strongly espoused racial supremacy and “purity,” particularly of the “Aryan” race. Eugenicists hoped to purify the bloodlines and improve the race by encouraging the “fit” to reproduce and the “unfit” to restrict their reproduction. They sought to contain the “inferior” races through segregation, sterilization, birth control and abortion.
Sanger embraced Malthusian eugenics. Thomas Robert Malthus, a 19th-century cleric and professor of political economy, believed a population time bomb threatened the existence of the human race.2 He viewed social problems such as poverty, deprivation and hunger as evidence of this “population crisis.” According to writer George Grant, Malthus condemned charities and other forms of benevolence, because he believed they only exacerbated the problems. His answer was to restrict population growth of certain groups of people.3 His theories of population growth and economic stability became the basis for national and international social policy. Grant quotes from Malthus’ magnum opus, An Essay on the Principle of Population, published in six editions from 1798 to 1826:
All children born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to a desired level, must necessarily perish, unless room is made for them by the deaths of grown persons. We should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality.4
Malthus’ disciples believed if Western civilization were to survive, the physically unfit, the materially poor, the spiritually diseased, the racially inferior, and the mentally incompetent had to be suppressed and isolated—or even, perhaps, eliminated. His disciples felt the subtler and more “scientific” approaches of education, contraception, sterilization and abortion were more “practical and acceptable ways” to ease the pressures of the alleged overpopulation.5
Critics of Malthusianism said the group “produced a new vocabulary of mumbo-jumbo. It was all hard-headed, scientific and relentless.” Further, historical facts have proved the Malthusian mathematical scheme regarding overpopulation to be inaccurate, though many still believe them.6
Despite the falsehoods of Malthus’ overpopulation claims, Sanger nonetheless immersed herself in Malthusian eugenics. Grant wrote she argued for birth control using the “scientifically verified” threat of poverty, sickness, racial tension and overpopulation as its background. Sanger’s publication, The Birth Control Review (founded in 1917) regularly published pro-eugenic articles from eugenicists, such as Ernst Rudin.7 Although Sanger ceased editing The Birth Control Review in 1929, the ABCL continued to use it as a platform for eugenic ideas.
Sanger built the work of the ABCL, and, ultimately, Planned Parenthood, on the ideas and resources of the eugenics movement. Grant reported that “virtually all of the organization’s board members were eugenicists.” Eugenicists financed the early projects, from the opening of birth control clinics to the publishing of “revolutionary” literature. Eugenicists comprised the speakers at conferences, authors of literature and the providers of services “almost without exception.” And Planned Parenthood’s international work was originally housed in the offices of the Eugenics Society. The two organizations were intertwined for years.8
The ABCL became a legal entity on April 22, 1922, in New York. Before that, Sanger illegally operated a birth control clinic in October 1916, in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York, which eventually closed. The clinic serviced the poor immigrants who heavily populated the area—those deemed “unfit” to reproduce.9
Sanger’s early writings clearly reflected Malthus’ influence. She writes:
Organized charity itself is the symptom of a malignant social disease. Those vast, complex, interrelated organizations aiming to control and to diminish the spread of misery and destitution and all the menacing evils that spring out of this sinisterly fertile soil, are the surest sign that our civilization has bred, is breeding and perpetuating constantly increasing numbers of defectives, delinquents and dependents.10
In another passage, she decries the burden of “human waste” on society:
It [charity] encourages the healthier and more normal sections of the world to shoulder the burden of unthinking and indiscriminate fecundity of others; which brings with it, as I think the reader must agree, a dead weight of human waste. Instead of decreasing and aiming to eliminate the stocks that are most detrimental to the future of the race and the world, it tends to render them to a menacing degree dominant [emphasis added].11
The most serious charge that can be brought against modern “benevolence” is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents. These are the most dangerous elements in the world community, the most devastating curse on human progress and expression.12
The Review printed an excerpt of an address Sanger gave in 1926. In it she said:
It now remains for the U.S. government to set a sensible example to the world by offering a bonus or yearly pension to all obviously unfit parents who allow themselves to be sterilized by harmless and scientific means. In this way the moron and the diseased would have no posterity to inherit their unhappy condition. The number of the feeble-minded would decrease and a heavy burden would be lifted from the shoulders of the fit.13
Sanger said a “bonus” would be “wise and profitable” and “the salvation of American civilization.”14 She presented her ideas to Mr. C. Harold Smith (of the New York Evening World) on “the welfare committee” in New York City. She said, “people must be helped to help themselves.” Any plan or program that would make them “dependent upon doles and charities” is “paternalistic” and would not be “of any permanent value.” She included an essay (what she called a “program of public welfare,”) entitled “We Must Breed a Race of Thoroughbreds.”15
In it she argued that birth control clinics, or bureaus, should be established “in which men and women will be taught the science of parenthood and the science of breeding.” For this was the way “to breed out of the race the scourges of transmissible disease, mental defect, poverty, lawlessness, crime … since these classes would be decreasing in number instead of breeding like weeds [emphasis added].”16
Her program called for women to receive birth control advice in various situations, including where:
the woman or man had a “transmissible” disease such as insanity, feeble-mindedness, epilepsy, syphilis, etc.;
the children already born were “subnormal or feeble-minded”;
the father’s wages were “inadequate … to provide for more children.”
Sanger said “such a plan would … reduce the birthrate among the diseased, the sickly, the poverty stricken and anti-social classes, elements unable to provide for themselves, and the burden of which we are all forced to carry.”17
Sanger had openly embraced Malthusian eugenics, and it shaped her actions in the ensuing years.
The Harlem Clinic
In 1929, 10 years before Sanger created the Negro Project, the ABCL laid the groundwork for a clinic in Harlem, a largely black section of New York City. It was the dawn of the Great Depression, and for blacks that meant double the misery. Blacks faced harsher conditions of desperation and privation because of widespread racial prejudice and discrimination. From the ABCL’s perspective, Harlem was the ideal place for this “experimental clinic,” which officially opened on November 21, 1930. Many blacks looked to escape their adverse circumstances and therefore did not recognize the eugenic undercurrent of the clinic. The clinic relied on the generosity of private foundations to remain in business.18 In addition to being thought of as “inferior” and disproportionately represented in the underclass, according to the clinic’s own files used to justify its “work,” blacks in Harlem:
were segregated in an over-populated area (224,760 of 330,000 of greater New York’s black population lived in Harlem during the late 1920s and 1930s);
comprised 12 percent of New York City’s population, but accounted for 18.4 percent of New York City’s unemployment;
had an infant mortality rate of 101 per 1000 births, compared to 56 among whites;
had a death rate from tuberculosis—237 per 100,000—that was highest in central Harlem, out of all of New York City.19
Although the clinic served whites as well as blacks, it “was established for the benefit of the colored people.” Sanger wrote this in a letter to Dr. W. E. Burghardt DuBois,20 one of the day’s most influential blacks. A sociologist and author, he helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909 to improve the living conditions of black Americans.
That blacks endured extreme prejudice and discrimination, which contributed greatly to their plight, seemed to further justify restricting their numbers. Many believed the solution lay in reducing reproduction. Sanger suggested the answer to poverty and degradation lay in smaller numbers of blacks. She convinced black civic groups in Harlem of the “benefits” of birth control, under the cloak of “better health” (i.e., reduction of maternal and infant death; child spacing) and “family planning.” So with their cooperation, and the endorsement of The Amsterdam News (a prominent black newspaper), Sanger established the Harlem branch of the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau.21 The ABCL told the community birth control was the answer to their predicament.
Sanger shrewdly used the influence of prominent blacks to reach the masses with this message. She invited DuBois and a host of Harlem’s leading blacks, including physicians, social workers, ministers and journalists, to form an advisory council to help direct the clinic “so that our work in birth control will be a constructive force in the community.”22 She knew the importance of having black professionals on the advisory board and in the clinic; she knew blacks would instinctively suspect whites of wanting to decrease their numbers. She would later use this knowledge to implement the Negro Project.
Sanger convinced the community so well that Harlem’s largest black church, the Abyssinian Baptist Church, held a mass meeting featuring Sanger as the speaker.23 But that event received criticism. At least one “very prominent minister of a denomination other than Baptist” spoke out against Sanger. Dr. Adam Clayton Powell Sr., pastor of Abyssinian Baptist, “received adverse criticism” from the (unnamed) minister who was “surprised that he’d allow that awful woman in his church.”24
Grace Congregational Church hosted a debate on birth control. Proponents argued birth control was necessary to regulate births in proportion to the family’s income; spacing births would help mothers recover physically and fathers financially; physically strong and mentally sound babies would result; and incidences of communicable diseases would decrease.
Opponents contended that as a minority group blacks needed to increase rather than decrease and that they needed an equal distribution of wealth to improve their status. In the end, the debate judges decided the proponents were more persuasive: Birth control would improve the status of blacks.25 Still, there were others who equated birth control with abortion and therefore considered it immoral.
Eventually, the Urban League took control of the clinic,26 an indication the black community had become ensnared in Sanger’s labyrinth.
Birth Control as a Solution
The Harlem clinic and ensuing birth control debate opened dialogue among blacks about how best to improve their disadvantageous position. Some viewed birth control as a viable solution: High reproduction, they believed, meant prolonged poverty and degradation. Desperate for change, others began to accept the “rationale” of birth control. A few embraced eugenics. The June 1932 edition of The Birth Control Review, called “The Negro Number,” featured a series of articles written by blacks on the “virtues” of birth control.
The editorial posed this question: “Shall they go in for quantity or quality in children? Shall they bring children into the world to enrich the undertakers, the physicians and furnish work for social workers and jailers, or shall they produce children who are going to be an asset to the group and American society?” The answer: “Most [blacks], especially women, would choose quality … if they only knew how.”27
DuBois, in his article “Black Folk and Birth Control,” noted the “inevitable clash of ideals between those Negroes who were striving to improve their economic position and those whose religious faith made the limitation of children a sin.”28 He criticized the “mass of ignorant Negroes” who bred “carelessly and disastrously so that the increase among [them] … is from that part of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly.”29
DuBois called for a “more liberal attitude” among black churches. He said they were open to “intelligent propaganda of any sort, and the American Birth Control League and other agencies ought to get their speakers before church congregations and their arguments in the Negro newspapers [emphasis added].”30
Charles S. Johnson, Fisk University’s first black president, wrote “eugenic discrimination” was necessary for blacks.31 He said the high maternal and infant mortality rates, along with diseases like tuberculosis, typhoid, malaria and venereal infection, made it difficult for large families to adequately sustain themselves.
Further, “the status of Negroes as marginal workers, their confinement to the lowest paid branches of industry, the necessity for the labors of mothers, as well as children, to balance meager budgets, are factors [that] emphasize the need for lessening the burden not only for themselves, but of society, which must provide the supplementary support in the form of relief.”32 Johnson later served on the National Advisory Council to the BCFA, becoming integral to the Negro Project.
Writer Walter A. Terpenning described bringing a black child into a hostile world as “pathetic.” In his article “God’s Chillun,” he wrote:
The birth of a colored child, even to parents who can give it adequate support, is pathetic in view of the unchristian and undemocratic treatment likely to be accorded it at the hands of a predominantly white community, and the denial of choice in propagation to this unfortunate class is nothing less than barbarous [emphasis added].33
Terpenning considered birth control for blacks as “the more humane provision” and “more eugenic” than among whites. He felt birth control information should have first been disseminated among blacks rather than the white upper crust.34 He failed to look at the problematic attitudes and behavior of society and how they suppressed blacks. He offered no solutions to the injustice and vile racism that blacks endured.
Sadly, DuBois’ words of black churches being “open to intelligent propaganda” proved prophetic. Black pastors invited Sanger to speak to their congregations. Black publications, like The Afro-American and The Chicago Defender, featured her writings. Rather than attacking the root causes of maternal and infant deaths, diseases, poverty, unemployment and a host of other social ills—not the least of which was racism—Sanger pushed birth control. To many, it was better for blacks not to be born rather than endure such a harsh existence.
Against this setting, Sanger charmed the black community’s most distinguished leaders into accepting her plan, which was designed to their own detriment. She peddled her wares wrapped in pretty packages labeled “better health” and “family planning.” No one could deny the benefits of better health, being financially ready to raise children, or spacing one’s children. However, the solution to the real issues affecting blacks did not lay in reducing their numbers. It lay in attacking the forces in society that hindered their progress. Most importantly, one had to discern Sanger’s motive behind her push for birth control in the community. It was not an altruistic one.
Web of Deceit
Prior to 1939, Sanger’s “outreach to the black community was largely limited to her Harlem clinic and speaking at black churches.”35 Her vision for “the reproductive practices of black Americans” expanded after the January 1939 merger of the Clinical Research Bureau and the American Birth Control League to form the Birth Control Federation of America. She selected Dr. Clarence J. Gamble, of the soap-manufacturing company Procter and Gamble, to be the BCFA regional director of the South.
Gamble wrote a memorandum in November 1939 entitled “Suggestions for the Negro Project,” in which he recognized that “black leaders might regard birth control as an extermination plot.” He suggested black leaders be placed in positions where it would appear they were in charge.36 Yet Sanger’s reply reflects Gamble’s ambivalence about having blacks in authoritative positions:
I note that you doubt it worthwhile to employ a full-time Negro physician. It seems to me from my experience … that, while the colored Negroes have great respect for white doctors, they can get closer to their own members and more or less lay their cards on the table, which means their ignorance, superstitions and doubts. They do not do this with white people and if we can train the Negro doctor at the clinic, he can go among them with enthusiasm and … knowledge, which … will have far-reaching results among the colored people.37
Another project director lamented:
I wonder if Southern Darkies can ever be entrusted with … a clinic. Our experience causes us to doubt their ability to work except under white supervision.38
Sanger knew blacks were a religious people—and how useful ministers would be to her project. She wrote in the same letter:
The minister’s work is also important and he should be trained, perhaps by the Federation as to our ideals and the goal that we hope to reach. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members [emphasis added].39
Sanger’s cohorts within the BCFA sought to attract black leadership. They succeeded. The list of black leaders who made up BCFA’s National Advisory Council reads like a “who’s who” among black Americans. To name a few:40
Claude A. Barnett, director, Associated Negro Press, Chicago
Michael J. Bent, M.D., Meharry Medical School, Nashville
Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, president, National Council of Negro Women, Washington, D.C., special advisor to President Roosevelt on minority groups, and founder of Bethune-Cookman College, Daytona Beach
Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, cum laude graduate of Tufts, president of Alpha Kappa Alpha (the nation’s oldest black sorority), Washington, D.C.
Charles S. Johnson, president, Fisk University, Nashville
Eugene Kinckle Jones, executive secretary, National Urban League, New York
Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., pastor, Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York
Bishop David H. Sims, pastor, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia
Arthur Spingarn, president, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Even with this impressive list, Sanger ran into resistance when she tried to present a birth control exhibit at the 1940 American Negro Exposition, a fair that traces the progress blacks have made since the Emancipation Proclamation, in Chicago. After inviting the BCFA to display its exhibit, the Exposition’s board later cancelled, citing “last minute changes in floor space.”41
Sanger did not buy this and issued a statement urging public protest. “This has come as a complete surprise,” said Sanger, “since the Federation undertook preparation of the exhibit upon an express invitation from a member of the Exposition board.”42 She said the cancellation resulted from “concerted action on the part of representatives of the Roman Catholic Church.” She even accused the church of threatening officials with the withholding of promised federal and state funds needed to hold the Exposition.43
Her statement mentioned BCFA prepared the exhibit in consultation with its National (Negro) Advisory Council, and it illustrated “the need for birth control as a public health measure.”44 She said the objective was to demonstrate how birth control would “improve the welfare of the Negro population,” noting the maternal death rate among black mothers was nearly 50 percent higher, and the child death rate was more than one-third greater than the white community.45
At Sanger’s urging, protesters of the cancellation sent letters to Attorney Wendall E. Green, vice chairman of the Afra-Merican Emancipation Exposition Commission (sponsor of the Exposition), requesting he investigate. Green denied there was any threat or pressure to withhold funds needed to finance the Exposition. Further, he said the Exposition commission (of Illinois) “unanimously passed a resolution,” which read in part: “That in the promotion, conduct and accomplishment of the objectives (of the Exposition) there must be an abiding spirit to create goodwill toward all people.”46 He added that since the funds for the Exposition “came from citizens of all races and creeds, any exhibit in conflict with the known convictions of any religious group contravenes the spirit of the resolution,”47 which seemed to support Catholic opposition. The commission upheld the ban on the exhibit.
“Better Health for 13,000,000”
The propaganda of the Negro Project was that birth control meant better health. So on this premise, the BCFA designed two southern Negro Project “demonstration programs” to show “how medically-supervised birth control integrated into existing public health services could improve the general welfare of Negroes, and to initiate a nationwide educational program.”48
The BCFA opened the first clinic at the Bethlehem Center in urban Nashville, Tennessee (where blacks constituted only 25 percent of the population), on February 13, 1940. They extended the work to the Social Services Center of Fisk University (a historically black college) on July 23, 1940. This location was especially significant because of its proximity to Meharry Medical School, which trained more than 50 percent of black physicians in the United States.49
An analysis of the income of the Nashville group revealed that “no family, regardless of size, had an income over $15 a week. The service obviously reached the income group for which it was designed,”50 indicating the project’s target. The report claimed to have brought “to light serious diseases and making possible their treatment, … [and] that 55 percent [354 of the 638] of the patients prescribed birth control methods used it consistently and successfully.”51 However, the report presented “no definite figures … to demonstrate the extent of community improvement.”52
The BCFA opened the second clinic on May 1, 1940, in rural Berkeley County, South Carolina, under the supervision of Dr. Robert E. Seibels, chairman of the Committee on Maternal Welfare of the South Carolina Medical Association.53 BCFA chose this site in part “because leaders in the state were particularly receptive to the experiment. South Carolina had been the second state to make child spacing a part of its state public health program after a survey of the state’s maternal deaths showed that 25 percent occurred among mothers known to be physically unfit for pregnancy.”54 Again, the message went out: Birth control—not better prenatal care—reduced maternal and infant mortality.
Although Berkeley County’s population was 70 percent black, the clinic received criticism that members of this group were “overwhelmingly in the majority.”55 Seibels assured Claude Barnett that this was not the case. “We have … simply given our help to those who were willing to receive it, and these usually are Negroes,” he said.56
While religious convictions significantly influenced the Nashville patients’ view of birth control, people in Berkeley County had “no religious prejudice against birth control. But the attitude that treatment of any disease was ‘against nature’ was in the air.”57 Comparing the results of the two sites, “it is seen that the immediate receptivity to the demonstration was at the outset higher in the rural area.”58 However, “the final total success was lower [in the rural area].” However, in Berkeley, “stark poverty was even more in evidence, and bad roads, bad weather and ignorance proved powerful counter forces [to the contraceptive programs].” After 18 months, the Berkeley program closed.59
The report indicated that, contrary to expectations, the lives of black patients serviced by the clinics did not improve dramatically from birth control. Two beliefs stood in the way: Some blacks likened birth control to abortion and others regarded it as “inherently immoral.”60 However, “when thrown against the total pictures of the awareness on the part of Negro leaders of the improved conditions, … and their opportunities to even better conditions under Planned Parenthood, … the obstacles to the program are greatly outweighed,” said Dr. Dorothy Ferebee.61
A hint of eugenic flavor seasoned Ferebee’s speech: “The future program [of Planned Parenthood] should center around more education in the field through the work of a professional Negro worker, because those of us who believe that the benefits of Planned Parenthood as a vital key to the elimination of human waste must reach the entire population [emphasis added].”62 She peppered her speech with the importance of “Negro professionals, fully integrated into the staff, … who could interpret the program and objectives to [other blacks] in the normal course of day-to-day contacts; could break down fallacious attitudes and beliefs and elements of distrust; could inspire the confidence of the group; and would not be suspect of the intent to eliminate the race [emphasis added].”63
Sanger even managed to lure the prominent—but hesitant—black minister J. T. Braun, editor in chief of the National Baptist Convention’s Sunday School Publishing Board in Nashville, Tennessee, into her deceptive web. Braun confessed to Sanger that “the very idea of such a thing [birth control] has always held the greatest hatred and contempt in my mind. … I am hesitant to give my full endorsement of this idea, until you send me, perhaps, some more convincing literature on the subject.”64 Sanger happily complied. She sent Braun the Federal Council of Churches’ Marriage and Home Committee pamphlet praised by Bishop Sims (another member of the National Advisory Council), assuring him that: “There are some people who believe that birth control is an attempt to dictate to families how many children to have. Nothing could be further from the truth.”65
Sanger’s assistants gave Braun more pro-birth control literature and a copy of her autobiography, which he gave to his wife to read. Sanger’s message of preventing maternal and infant mortality stirred Braun’s wife. Now convinced of this need, Braun permitted a group of women to use his chapel for a birth-control talk.66 “[I was] moved by the number of prominent [black] Christians backing the proposition,” Braun wrote in a letter to Sanger.67 “At first glance I had a horrible shock to the proposition because it seemed to me to be allied to abortion, but after thought and prayer, I have concluded that especially among many women, it is necessary both to save the lives of mothers and children [emphasis added].”68
By 1949, Sanger had hoodwinked black America’s best and brightest into believing birth control’s “life-saving benefits.” In a monumental feat, she bewitched virtually an entire network of black social, professional and academic organizations69 into endorsing Planned Parenthood’s eugenic program.70
Sanger’s successful duplicity does not in any way suggest blacks were gullible. They certainly wanted to decrease maternal and infant mortality and improve the community’s overall health. They wholly accepted her message because it seemed to promise prosperity and social acceptance. Sanger used their vulnerabilities and their ignorance (of her deliberately hidden agenda) to her advantage. Aside from birth control, she offered no other medical or social solutions to their adversity. Surely, blacks would not have been such willing accomplices had they perceived her true intentions. Considering the role eugenics played in the early birth control movement—and Sanger’s embracing of that ideology—the notion of birth control as seemingly the only solution to the problems that plagued blacks should have been much more closely scrutinized.
Planned Parenthood has gone to great lengths to repudiate the organization’s eugenic origins.71 It adamantly denies Sanger was a eugenicist or racist, despite evidence to the contrary. Because Sanger stopped editing The Birth Control Review in 1929, the organization tries to disassociate her from the eugenic and racist-oriented articles published after that date. However, a summary of an address Sanger gave in 1932, which appeared in the Review that year, revealed her continuing bent toward eugenics.
In “A Plan for Peace,” Sanger suggested Congress set up a special department to study population problems and appoint a “Parliament of Population.” One of the main objectives of the “Population Congress” would be “to raise the level and increase the general intelligence of population.” This would be accomplished by applying a “stern and rigid policy of sterilization and segregation [in addition to tightening immigration laws] to that grade of population whose progeny is already tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.”72
It’s reasonable to conclude that as the leader of Planned Parenthood—even after 1929—Sanger would not allow publication of ideas she didn’t support.
Sanger’s defenders argue she only wanted to educate blacks about birth control’s “health benefits.” However, she counted the very people she wanted to “educate” among the “unfit,” whose numbers needed to be restricted.
Grant presents other arguments Sanger’s supporters use to refute her racist roots:73
blacks, Jews, Hispanics and other minorities are well represented in the “upper echelons” of Planned Parenthood Federation of America;
the former, high-profile president of the organization, Faye Wattleton, is a black woman;
“aggressive” minority hiring practices have been standard procedure for more than two decades;
the “vast majority of the nation’s ethnic leadership solidly and actively supports the work” of the organization.
These justifications also fail because of what Grant calls “scientific racism.” This form of racism is based on genes, rather than skin color or language. “The issue is not ‘color of skin’ or ‘dialect of tongue,’” Grant writes, “but ‘quality of genes [emphasis added].’”74 Therefore, “as long as blacks, Jews and Hispanics demonstrate ‘a good quality gene pool’—as long as they ‘act white and think white’—then they are esteemed equally with Aryans. As long as they are, as Margaret Sanger said, ‘the best of their race,’ then they can be [counted] as valuable citizens [emphasis added].” By the same token, “individual whites” who show “dysgenic traits” must also have their fertility “curbed right along with the other ‘inferiors and undesirables.’”75
In short, writes Grant, “Scientific racism is an equal opportunity discriminator [emphasis added]. Anyone with a ‘defective gene pool’ is suspect. And anyone who shows promise may be admitted to the ranks of the elite.”76
The eugenic undertone is hard to miss. As Grant rightly comments, “The bottom line is that Planned Parenthood was self-consciously organized, in part, to promote and enforce White Supremacy. … It has been from its inception implicitly and explicitly racist.”77
“There is no way to escape the implications,” argues William L. Davis, a black financial analyst Grant quotes. “When an organization has a history of racism, when its literature is openly racist, when its goals are self-consciously racial, and when its programs invariably revolve around race, it doesn’t take an expert to realize that the organization is indeed racist.”78
It is impossible to sever Planned Parenthood’s past from its present. Its legacy of lies and propaganda continues to infiltrate the black community. The poison is even more venomous because, in addition to birth control, Planned Parenthood touts abortion as a solution to the economic and social problems that plague the community. In its wake is the loss of more than 12 million lives within the black community alone. Planned Parenthood’s own records reflect this. For example, a 1992 report revealed that 23.2 percent of women who obtained abortions at its affiliates were black79—although blacks represent no more than 13 percent of the total population. In 1996, Planned Parenthood’s research arm reported: “Blacks, who make up 14 percent of all childbearing women, have 31 percent of all abortions and whites, who account for 81 percent of women of childbearing age, have 61 percent.”80
“Abortion is the number-one killer of blacks in America,” says Rev. Hunter of LEARN. “We’re losing our people at the rate of 1,452 a day. That’s just pure genocide. There’s no other word for it. [Sanger’s] influence and the whole mindset that Planned Parenthood has brought into the black community … say it’s okay to destroy your people. We bought into the lie; we bought into the propaganda.”81
Some blacks have even made abortion “rights” synonymous with civil rights.
“We’re destroying the destiny and purpose of others who should be here,” Hunter laments. “Who knows the musicians we’ve lost? Who knows the great leaders the black community has really lost? Who knows what great minds of economic power people have lost? What great teachers?” He recites an old African proverb: “No one knows whose womb holds the chief.”82
Hunter has personally observed the vestiges of Planned Parenthood’s eugenic past in the black community today. “When I travel around the country … I can only think of one abortion clinic [I’ve seen] in a predominantly white neighborhood. The majority of clinics are in black neighborhoods.”83
Hunter noted the controversy that occurred two years ago in Louisiana involving school-based health clinics. The racist undertone could not have been more evident. In the Baton Rouge district, officials were debating placing clinics in the high schools. Black state representative Sharon Weston Broome initially supported the idea. She later expressed concern about clinics providing contraceptives and abortion counseling. “Clinics should promote abstinence,” she said.84 Upon learning officials wanted to put the clinics in black schools only, Hunter urged her to suggest they be placed in white schools as well. At Broome’s suggestion, however, proposals for the school clinics were “dropped immediately,” reported Hunter.
Grant observed the same game plan 20 years ago. “During the 1980s when Planned Parenthood shifted its focus from community-based clinics to school-based clinics, it again targeted inner-city minority neighborhoods,” he writes.85 “Of the more than 100 school-based clinics that have opened nationwide in the last decade [1980s], none has been at substantially all-white schools,” he adds. “None has been at suburban middle-class schools. All have been at black, minority or ethnic schools.”86
In 1987, a group of black ministers, parents and educators filed suit against the Chicago Board of Education. They charged the city’s school-based clinics with not only violating the state’s fornication laws, but also with discrimination against blacks. The clinics were a “calculated, pernicious effort to destroy the very fabric of family life [between] black parents and their children,” the suit alleged.87
One of the parents in the group was “shocked” when her daughter came home from school with Planned Parenthood material. “I never realized how racist those people were until I read the [information my daughter received] at the school clinic,” she said. “[They are worse than] the Klan … because they’re so slick and sophisticated. Their bigotry is all dolled up with statistics and surveys, but just beneath the surface it’s as ugly as apartheid.”88
A more recent account uncovered a Planned Parenthood affiliate giving condoms to residents of a poor black neighborhood in Akron, Ohio.89 The residents received a “promotional bag” containing, among other things: literature on sexually transmitted disease prevention, gynecology exams and contraception, a condom-case key chain containing a bright-green condom, and a coupon. The coupon was redeemable at three Ohio county clinics for a dozen condoms and a $5 McDonald’s gift certificate. All the items were printed with Planned Parenthood phone numbers.
The affiliate might say they’re targeting high-pregnancy areas, but their response presumes destructive behavior on the part of the targeted group. Planned Parenthood has always been reluctant to promote, or encourage, abstinence as the only safeguard against teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, calling it “unrealistic.”
Rev. Richard Welch, president of Human Life International in Front Royal, Virginia, “blasted” the affiliate for targeting low-income, minority neighborhoods with the bags. He said the incident revealed “the racism inherent in promoting abortion and contraception in primarily minority neighborhoods.”90
He then criticized Planned Parenthood: “Having sprung from the racist dreams of a woman determined to apply abortion and contraception to eugenics and ethnic cleansing, Planned Parenthood remains true to the same strategy today.”91
Untangling the Deceptive Web
Black leaders have been silent about Margaret Sanger’s evil machination against their community far too long. They’ve been silent about abortion’s devastating effects in their community—despite their pro-life inclination. “The majority of [blacks] are more pro-life than anything else,” said Hunter.92 “Blacks were never taught to destroy their children; even in slavery they tried to hold onto their children.”
“Blacks are not quiet about the issue because they do not care, but rather because the truth has been kept from them. The issue is … to educate our people,” said former Planned Parenthood board member LaVerne Tolbert.93
Today, a growing number of black pro-lifers are untangling the deceptive web spun by Sanger. They are using truth to shed light on the lies. The “Say So” march is just one example of their burgeoning pro-life activism. As the marchers laid 1,452 roses at the courthouse steps—to commemorate the number of black babies aborted daily—spokesman Damon Owens said, “This calls national attention to the problem [of abortion]. This is an opportunity for blacks to speak to other blacks. This doesn’t solve all of our problems. But we will not solve our other problems with abortion.”
Black pro-lifers are also linking arms with their white pro-life brethren. Black Americans for Life (BAL) is an outreach group of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), a Washington, D.C.-based grassroots organization. NRLC encourages networking between black and white pro-lifers. “Our goal is to bring people together—from all races, colors, and religions—to work on pro-life issues,” said NRLC Director of Outreach Ernest Ohlhoff.94 “Black Americans for Life is not a parallel group; we want to help African-Americans integrate communicational and functionally into the pro-life movement.”
Mrs. Beverly LaHaye, founder and chairman of Concerned Women for America, echoes the sentiment. “Our mission is to protect the right to life of all members of the human race. CWA welcomes like-minded women and men, from all walks of life, to join us in this fight.”
Concerned Women for America has a long history of fighting Planned Parenthood’s evil agenda. The Negro Project is an obscure angle, but one that must come to light. Margaret Sanger sold black Americans an illusion. Now with the veil of deception removed, they can “choose life … that [their] descendants may live.”
October 18, 2010
Dr. Mildred Jefferson, a prominent, outspoken opponent of abortion and the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, died Friday at her home in Cambridge, Mass. She was 84.
Her death was confirmed by Anne Fox, the president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, one of many anti-abortion groups in which Dr. Jefferson played leadership roles.
Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, “gave my profession an almost unlimited license to kill,” Dr. Jefferson testified before Congress in 1981.
Dr. Jefferson, a surgeon, was speaking in support of a bill, sponsored by Senator Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina, and Representative Henry J. Hyde, Republican of Illinois, that sought to declare that human life “shall be deemed to exist from conception.” Had it passed, it would have allowed states to prosecute abortion as murder.
“With the obstetrician and mother becoming the worst enemy of the child and the pediatrician becoming the assassin for the family,” Dr. Jefferson continued to testify, “the state must be enabled to protect the life of the child, born and unborn.”
By then Dr. Jefferson had served three terms, from 1975 to 1978, as president of the National Right to Life Committee, a federation of 50 state anti-abortion groups with more than 3,000 chapters nationwide. She had been one of the founders of the committee in the early 1970s. Besides also serving as director of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Dr. Jefferson was a founding member of the board and a past president of the Value of Life Committee of Massachusetts and was active in Black Americans for Life.
It was in 1951 that Dr. Jefferson became the first black woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, said David Cameron, a spokesman for the medical school. She later became a surgeon at Boston University Medical Center and a professor of surgery at the university’s medical school.
Born in Pittsburg, Tex., in 1926, Mildred Fay Jefferson was the only child of Millard and Guthrie Jefferson. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Texas College in Tyler, Tex., and a master’s degree from Tufts before being accepted to Harvard Medical School.
“She probably was the greatest orator of our movement,” Darla St. Martin, co-executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, said Monday. “In fact, take away the probably.”
In a 2003 profile in The American Feminist, an anti-abortion magazine, Dr. Jefferson said, “I am at once a physician, a citizen and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow this concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged and the planned have the right to live.”
The Bitter Truth
Our country is extremely sick and growing more ill as every day passes. For you see, we have been infected by the most lethal disease imaginable; a form of mental and spiritual cancer more commonly known as Progressivism. Millions of Americans have been directly infected and the condition is currently spreading, on an uncontrolled basis, throughout our body politic and society at large. Ultimately, this terrible affliction will destroy the very soul of America, if it is not promptly acknowledged, treated and cured.
Pray tell, how has our nation fallen so far and so fast from its divinely inspired foundations and so willingly succumbed to this tragic malady? Contrary to the belief of many Progressives, our nation and its citizenry do not merely constitute a random assortment of molecules.
Undoubtedly, there are a number of social, political and cultural forces at play, but I am convinced that the Father of Lies, who has fully adopted the Progressive movement in America, comprises the very core of this most destructive of maladies.
To understand how this ominous state of affairs has descended upon America ( and the rest of the world for that matter ), I think it would be helpful and instructive to review four of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated in human history:
- that Satan does not exist;
- the theory of anthropomorphic global warming;
- that the contemporary version of the Democratic Party in America is, in any way, capable of effectively governing our nation and protecting its vital societal, cultural, economic or security interests; and
- that the systematic slaughter of countless millions of innocent unborn children, in their mothers’ wombs ( or partially emerged therefrom ) is, in any manner, morally, ethically or spiritually acceptable.
As we continue to turn away from God and serve witness to these diabolical lies, it’s abundantly clear that numbers 2-4 above, directly relate to number 1.
Since so many Americans have so readily fallen prey to one or more of these hoaxes and have contracted the disease described above, I think it’s accurate to state that our nation is rapidly approaching a state of “ extremis “; we’re at an existential crossroad and if we take the wrong pathway, we will soon be marching down the road to national suicide. In Part 3 of my Trilogy, “ Preventing National Suicide, Restoring the Republic and Avoiding Another Revolutionary War “, I will endeavor to suggest a rational and inclusive course of action, that will allow us to avoid a monumental national tragedy and find a way out of the horrific mess we’re in.
If I were compelled to use just one word to account for our breathtakingly rapid demise under the power, control and influence of the Progressive movement, I would use the word “ betrayal “. If two words were allowed to describe the nature of our current predicament, they would be “ treachery “ and “ betrayal “ and if three words were made available, I would employ “ deceit “, “ treachery “ and “ betrayal “. In any event, all of these terms fit the Progressive movement to the proverbial “ T “. As a fundamental component of my “ Bitter Truth “ analysis, it’s crystal clear that the foundation of our modern Democratic Party has been laid on the corpses of over fifty million innocent unborn children who have been sacrificed on the altar of Progressivism, since the singularly obscene Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision in January of 1973, whereby the American judicial system provided its imprimatur for infanticide; this is the date which represents the other self-inflicted day of national infamy.
In this writer’s humble opinion, this ongoing and nightmarish abomination in God’s eye, represents nothing less than one of the greatest crimes against humanity ever perpetrated by mankind on one another. Our Progressives have succeeded beyond their wildest imaginations in turning the hearts and minds of countless women against their own innocent unborn children. What in God’s universe was rightfully considered to be one of the most sacred and secure of human sanctuaries, has become one of the most fertile killing grounds in human history; surely Marx, Sanger, Mengele and their supplicants are rejoicing in Hell. Do you remember what Jesus had to say about the fate that awaited anyone who harmed children?
One must truly possess a tortured psyche, conscience and soul to continue to support this most diabolical of causes. I wonder whether any of these same Progressives actually believes that God will find their amoral conduct and unparalleled sense of depravity to be worthy of his eternal blessings; I’m convinced that millions of non-innocent souls are at risk.
Upon this most evil of foundations, sit three primary structural columns named, deceit, treachery and betrayal, as per the three descriptive terms mentioned above. No wonder the Father of Lies is so pleased with the tireless efforts of his devoted Progressive children in constructing this hideous edifice of evil.
How in the world did we as Americans allow these sinister forces to arise and assume power in what has been the greatest and most humane and compassionate nation on earth? Although the list of individuals and mechanisms responsible for this epic tragedy is virtually endless, I would point to the utter failure of the following three segments of our society to fulfill their virtually sacred duties and responsibilities:
1. The so-called mainstream media ( MSM ), that, under the most charitable of terms, is not within light years of the mainstream of America. There isn’t even a pretense of impartiality and objectivity amongst the vast majority of the MSM’s reporters, commentators, columnists, journalists, anchorpersons and editors, who are totally devoted to the Progressive cause. They have become the official propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, to an extent that would make Goebbels blush.
With the double standard as their sacrament and after waging a propaganda war of such viciousness and ferocity for many years against Republicans in general and now conservatives and Tea Party candidates in particular, our once esteemed fourth estate has totally abandoned its essential responsibility to report the political news in a truthful, objective and impartial fashion. Now we routinely serve witness to a pathological level of dishonesty amongst the ranks of the MSM, who, by design or omission, lie to the American public on a constant basis; they are indeed living a lie. My fellow Americans, our once vaunted fourth estate has become America’s fifth column.
2. Occupying second place on the list and with a mere handful of exceptions, our entire system of public education, K-12 and beyond, has almost totally failed in its sacred mission to educate and not indoctrinate our children and young adults. The vast majority of our so-called educators, faculty and administrators in educational institutions throughout America, have fallen in march step, under the Progressive banner.
Under the virtual stranglehold of Progressives, our educational system, which used to be the envy of the world, is trapped in an Orwellian world of mediocrity, social engineering and political correctness, that has severely damaged or destroyed the minds and future of millions of our most sacred asset, our children. Educators who are actively living a lie have been passing along the same set of lies to our kids, for many decades.
Teacher’s unions have been engaged in an appallingly shameful, systemic and criminal level of child abuse, in the form of maleducation for years and their members will some day need to be held accountable for their perfidy. For anyone who may doubt the extent, nature and primary source of this tragic problem, you only need to observe all of the failing school systems throughout America and you will invariably find a common thread; they are firmly under the control of Progressives, at all levels of the system. Please remember, every time you vote for virtually any Democrat , you will tighten the noose around the neck of every child trapped in a failing public educational institution.
As with internal combustion engines, although many teachers and instructors, especially in the field of higher education, appear to possess a formidable amount of intellectual horsepower, it can do them no good unless this form of horsepower can be turned into torque. Unfortunately, these same individuals cannot produce much torque, since torque in this instance, consists of common sense and wisdom, of which they are virtually bereft.
3. Last but not least on this litany of malfeasance, resides many of our pastors, priests, rabbis and other religious leaders who have betrayed their respective flocks by directly or indirectly supporting this ( anti-God ) Progressive tyranny. These are the same men and women of the cloth who may have originally been well intentioned but who are now actually willing to abrogate their faith, deny the Truth and embrace false prophets, in order to fall in line with the “ can’t we all just get along “ crowd . To their eternal shame, they have abandoned many of the essential lessons, parables, precepts and messages to mankind, set out in the old and new Testaments, to conform with the warped, twisted and distorted Progressive viewpoint. Perhaps they actually believe they can fool God.