The Observer—Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford
Publication date: November 5, 2004
By Patricia Pitkus Bainbridge
Director, Respect Life Office
After more than twenty-five years of involvement in the pro-life movement, it has become abundantly clear that many people just “don’t get it” when it comes to understanding the humanity of the unborn and the reality of abortion. I wonder if they have even thought about why the Church describes abortion an “unspeakable crime.”
If people truly understood the humanity of the unborn and the reality of abortion, they would not so easily accept empty arguments that attempt to justify this cruel practice—one that has resulted in the deliberate slaughter of more than 44 million tiny human beings since 1973. If people really understood the humanity of the unborn and the reality of abortion, they would not see the pro-life movement as just another “cause.”
If one-week-old infants were being killed every day, people would be irate. Yet, we hear little concerning the massacre of the most vulnerable among us: a minimum of 3,500 unborn children are killed by “choice” every day in this country. In our own Diocese a minimum of six pre-borns are killed by “choice” every day and still most people don’t give it a passing thought. They go about their activities as if the carnage is not happening. However, I am certain they would be rightly incensed when hearing about mothers or fathers who murder their newborns.
Let’s say two women living in the same city become pregnant on the same day. Mother “A” decides to abort her baby in the eighth month of her pregnancy (which is perfectly legal in the US). Mother “B,” on the other hand, delivers her premature baby on the same day as Mother “A” aborts, but shortly after delivery she murders her baby. According to the law, Mother “A” has just exercised her “right” to abortion while Mother “B” has committed murder. Does this make any sense?
The only difference between the two babies was their location. One remained in her mother’s womb and one was in her crib. Neither mother “wanted” her baby, but one hired a legal hit man (the abortionist) while the other did the dirty deed herself. One violated the law, the other did not. While this is obviously a hypothetical situation, it is one that reflects the schizophrenic nature of our society today when it comes to the killing of the unborn.
An actual scenario that parallels the hypothetical one is currently being played out in a courtroom in California— the Laci Peterson murder case. Scott Peterson has been charged with murdering his pregnant wife and his unborn son. Eight months pregnant when killed, Laci had named her unborn son who is commonly referred to as “baby Conner.” Because everyone associated with the Petersons recognizes that Conner was “wanted,” they are outraged at his death because they see him for what he was—an unborn baby. Had Laci chosen abortion for Conner, there would be no public outrage. People are so blinded by “choice” that they simply do not think logically—they just “don’t get it.”
It is a long held scientific fact that when sperm and egg are joined, a separate, distinct human being with his or her own entire genetic code is created. This is when human life begins and all human life is a continuum from fertilization to natural death. No one along this line is more or less of a human being or person—all are persons at different stages of development. Whether or not any person along this continuum is “wanted” has nothing to do with his or her inherent dignity as a human being.
Knowing that a minimum of six innocent pre-born babies from our Diocese are killed each day at the hands of an abortionist, do we just go about our daily activities? Do we just give up saying there is nothing we can do? Or, do we finally decide to take a stand and do something?