Catholic Bishops attack Obama again

Let’s be clear: I deplore Embryonic Stem-Cell research or usage in any way at all except for a good-faith attempt to bring to those embryonic human beings to birth.  This is because, as an Eastern Orthodox Christian who aspires to be a member of Christ, ie, one of His body-parts, I don’t consider endorsing human destruction of unborn humans — even disabled ones (I am Disabled, perhaps from birth or before) — to be in keeping with Christ’s body-parts.*

However, the U.S. Catholic bishops go out of their way to attack the democratically- and Constitutionally-elected Obama Administration in recent news releases on the issue.  They’ve been indignant that we elected him and VP Joe Biden (himself a Catholic), as they made clear at their winter meetings days after the 2008 Elections, televised live on cable.  But as any Civics student could have told them, the Executive Branch of the US Government doesn’t lawfully appropriate money, Congress does.  The Executive Branch does nothing with money that Congress has not authorized.  This is the bishops’ national release; this is from one of their most “conservative” divisions, Pennsylvania.

Their Eminences and Excellencies could be forgiven (if I had the power!) their confusion, after their boy in the White House, George W. Bush, appropriated money without Congressional authorization several times, occasionally with active deceit on the part of the corrupt then-Republican leadership of both Chambers.  (And they wanna come back?!?!?!)  False or cowardly Federal judges or Congressmembers allowed this ACTUAL theft of taxpayers’ money to fly almost completely under the radar.

What do I want?  President Obama and Vice-President Biden are no more nor less a threat to advance abortion or its related horrors than a Congress that hasn’t brought to the floor a Constitutional Amendment to reiterate the protection of unborn Americans in 27 years in the Senate, and EVER in the House, NOT EVEN UNDER REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP!  Instead, Republican alleged “pro-lifers” spend their time and money (and yours) fighting [PDF] real Democratic proposals (and candidates) to eliminate nearly all abortions voluntarily by addressing their causes — showing that they view the lives of Unborn Americans less sacred than their own political power (witness their last-minute, repeated deceptions over [lack of] abortion funding in America’s Healthcare Reform).

What I want is for the bishops and other non-Democratic pro-lifers to understand that specific parties and candidates clearly aren’t how to prevail, but bona fide proposals on the floor of Congress.  Based on that, who’s the REAL pro-life party?  THE DEMOCRATS, AFTER ALL!!!

And what about the bishops’ dioceses’ tax exemptions for targeting Obama/Biden?  After all, a partisan church’s tax exemption is like spending YOUR TAX DOLLARS ON THEIR FAVORED PARTY OR CANDIDATE.  (There are Orthodox Church clergy who could be called on the carpet equally and worse than these. But Catholic bishops tend to have more resources on which to call, and lawyer friends advising them, so they should know better. Orthodox, not so much yet.)

(*–The only exception I can see is, in shorthand, to save the life of the mother: where the best available medical opinion[s] is that continuing the pregnancy will kill her in and of itself, not via suicide or threats thereat, or financial impoverishment [falling through our coarse Social Safety Net], her own mental illness or disability, etc.  Because I don’t believe we can require mothers by law to actually — not metaphorically — lay down their lives for their babies; that must be voluntary.)

PS: I’m not “an anticatholic;” I’m a convert from Catholicism with extensive graduate work in Catholic and other (Western) Christian theological ethics.  I don’t “hate Catholics;” some of my best relatives and old friends are still Catholic.  Just for the record.

Insurance cos. promote abortion to save money, killing disabled babies?

Looks mighty suspicious here.  I speak as a disabled person!

IOTM also to ask who’s more “disabled”: a person with special needs who maybe drives his family and neighbors and teachers and acquaintances crazy … or a world that would rather do without us?

“Suffering”?  I know a little about that subject, though definitely not as much as many of us disabled.  But killing us in the wombs of our mothers denies us even the chance that we’ll struggle and overcome it, or others will cure it or at least lessen our suffering.  Who ever said life was supposed to be free of suffering?

I also speak as an Eastern Orthodox Christian.  In original Christianity suffering has an honored place: it can make us more like our Founder, who suffered a bit Himself.  I don’t mean ‘Suffer like Jesus suffered’ — that’s just masochism.  But Orthodoxy teaches that suffering* may help cure us of our own will and inadequate understanding … and Orthodoxy itself directs us to the Will and Understanding of One Whose Will and Understanding are infinitely perfect.  In fact, many ancient Christians envied the original Holy Martyrs, and found the real and difficult Struggle was ordained for those who lived in the Faith to a ripe old age.  Furthermore, Orthodoxy says that even though we Orthodox with long-term illness/disability might not or ought not, for instance, participate in the Church’s fasting rules and Traditions (i.e., abstaining from certain foods at certain times), God Himself has as it were fitted us with this special ascesis to purify us of sinfulness,** He has allowed this to happen to us.  Some admired, sick Orthodox have taken this teaching so to heart that they have ceased desiring to be cured — again, understanding that it may be easier than the “normal” Orthodox ascetic spiritual path, and blessed by God.  If I may paraphrase St. Raphael of Brooklyn, ‘Man — or demons — may have meant this to me for bad, but God means it for the good.’  Orthodoxy also still teaches that miracles do happen, by the Graciousness of God.

(I don’t say this as someone who has reached such wisdom or dispassion himself yet.  But it does seem most reasonable.)

I also have some expertise in Western Christian ethics or moral theology.

As for calling aborting someone saving his or her life, that reminds me of “destroying the village to save it,” or “killing the Indian to save the man” — real Orwellian, and I don’t say this lightly to a rabbi who survived the Holocaust, even as an infant.  More than 40 million Americans have been electively aborted under color of law, few without the dubious benefit of genetic testing of them or their parents.  Now it’s being sold to us as a large-scale, historic, positive good?

(*–This is ‘redemptive suffering.’  In Peace Studies they talk about some “myth of redemptive violence,” which however I never heard of till then.  Violence does not redeem!  [And real “martyrs” don’t die killing others intentionally, even vengefully!])

(**–Orthodoxy also remembers and teaches that all creatures suffer sinfulness from the first moments of their lives, thanks to the choice of our first parents — what one Western wag once called “Christianity’s only self-evident doctrine.”)

Anti-abortion, but Pro-Obama at Notre Dame

As per tradition, the University of Notre Dame has slated America’s President (of the Federal Executive Branch, anyway…) to speak at graduation.  Right-wingers, conservative/Republican Catholics, and some self-appointed anti-abortion spokespeople are piling-on this great school and American tradition, and even trying to get the local Catholic bishop to apply the (thumb)screws.

The U. is clear they don’t agree with Obama on everything … as I’m sure they haven’t agreed with ANY speaker on EVERYTHING.  Sign a semi-official online petition in support of the school, academic freedom, and civil dialogue.

As a great(?) man once said, I ain’t never heard of anything so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about!

Morgentaler honour?

Yes, those words will be meaningless to most Americans, but Canada’s highest civilian honour, the Order of Canada – similar to a knighthood – has been given to, among several dozen honorees this month on the occasion of Dominion Day (as it used to be called more meaningfully), July 1, the Auschwitz survivor who got abortion legalized in Canada by performing tons of them illegally, even in front of documentary cameras, and even going to jail for it, before getting the Supreme Court of Canada to outlaw outlawing it in 1988: Dr. Henry Morgentaler.

Whatever one thinks about abortion, it’s inappropriate to give a national honour in Canada to someone who is not only politically controversial – lots of good people are politically controversial – but considered by millions of good, sincere, law-abiding, even progressive,* Canadians – leaving to one side the hate-spewing anti-abortion extremists – to be a butcher of innocent, viable human beings, and at their most defenceless: in the womb, by their own mothers.  Morgentaler is officially cited “For his commitment to increased health care options for women” and for his services to humanism and civil liberties.  I’m not aware of what he may have done for the latter two areas, but throughout Canada his name means one thing, legalized abortion – just like “Jane Roe” in the States.  Can you imagine “Roe” (of Roe v. Wade fame, the appellant being kept officially anonymous at the time) getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom – again, whatever you think of abortion?  Not even the most “liberal” US President would think of doing so, even if s/he wanted to; it’d tear the country apart.

Furthermore, using the Order of Canada to enshrine the abortion euphemism “health care options for women” in the national Honours system is not only offensive, it just demeans Honours; it sounds Nazi or Bolshevik, like something out of 1984.  OK, that opinion may depend on what you make of abortion in the first place.  And clearly I oppose the liberalization of abortion since the 1960s in the US and Canada and elsewhere.  But drawing back to the matter of the honour itself, millions of good, sincere, law-abiding, even progressive, Canadians – leaving to one side the hate-spewing anti-abortion extremists – might consider instead that he worked for decreased health care options for children!  Should someone get an award for that?!

As the newspaper article describes, Canadian Honours are supposed to be apolitical, non-ideological.  (So anti-abortion activists lamenting that it happened under a “Conservative” Party government don’t get it.)  Her Majesty’s Canadian Ministry, aka the government of the day, is supposedly not involved, and neither is The Queen herself AFAIK.  I don’t even know how much discretion the Governor General herself has in the face of the recommendations of the Advisory Committee, before the fact anyway.  Honours are supposed to reflect Canada as a diverse yet unified nation.  This kind of thing just divides.  George W. Bush is ‘a divider, not a uniter;’ and so is this honour, for Canada.

That said, I’m not sure that, bestowed, it can or should be revoked just on account of the firestorm of criticism – for the very same, apolitical, reasons.  But it does raise a question, for good or for ill, about the people and/or the process that chooses honorees.  Britain’s recent cash-for-honours scandal was nothing new there,** and Canadians designed their Honours system in the 1960s explicitly to try to avoid scandal and the taint of politics, corruption, etc.  Furthermore, not only are honours in a Monarchy a national feel-good exercise; the Sovereign is fons honorum, the Fount of Honours, so in theory they reflect on her.  Scandal in honours dishonors The Crown itself, and thus symbolically the whole nation.

However you feel about abortion, this bestowal of an honour is dishonorable.

(*–I don’t know what George Parkin Grant thought of Dr. Morgentaler personally, but he bitterly opposed the idea of legalizing abortion, as a signal turn from ‘progressive conservative’ ideals.)

(**–It’s not frequent there, but not exceedingly rare either.)

Feed everyone

The Orthodox Herald in December pointed to recent statements by the Popes of Rome – John Paul and Benedict* – that we have a moral obligation to provide food and water – “nutrition and hydration” the doctors call it – to patients in a “vegetative state.”  (I guess if babies in the womb are no longer babies in the womb, food and water is merely “medical treatment”….)

But IOTM that what we have is a moral obligation to provide food and water to EVERYONE unable to provide it for themselves!  Whether they’re paralyzed, sick, poor, unemployed, frail, Disabled, children, drought-stricken, plague-stricken, unlucky or unskilled in agriculture, fulltime parents, mentally ill, retarded, insufficiently intelligent, underpaid, whatever.  We have so much wealth…!  And as St. Basil the Great said, Whatever of it we don’t need belongs to the needy.

How about a little human solidarity, love, sharing, generosity, philanthropy (yes, even in your voting and lobbying and taxpaying … unless you can come up with a better way), “consubstantiality,” God-like-ness (Think about “the liberality** of God“!), self-discipline, etc.?

(*–The O.H.’s readership includes Eastern Catholics [“Uniates”] in communion with Rome, traditionally possessing Orthodoxy theology, liturgy, spirituality, etc. … just not part of The Orthodox Church.)

(**–That’s liberality, not liberalism!)

Reproductive rights, Take 2

(Improving upon this try.  I think.)

Sex is a “reproductive right.”

Abortion is a homicidal right.

You can’t have an abortion unless you’ve already reproduced, right?

Reproductive Rights; Choice; Your body

A woman’s “Reproductive Rights” have been successfully exercised when she has reproduced.  And that’s what a zygote, a fertilized ovum, an embryo, a fetus, an unborn baby, is, a little ‘reproduction’ of her and her/his father.

“Choice” is the “choice” to do something that frequently causes babies.  I deplore rape, incest, molestation, and ill-advised “consent,” and thank God they don’t happen more often; most sex is by “choice” of one kind or another … a couple days before each conception.  You too, who “don’t want to be made a father against your will”: When there’s a baby in there, you already are, usually in accordance with your “choice” to also do something that frequently causes babies.

“The choice to continue the pregnancy”?  Killing your child in your body, who is totally dependent on you like at no other time in her/his life?  If you can’t bear to keep her, and your family, neighbors, friends can’t help, let some other family craving a child adopt him, or something.  In the overwhelming majority of cases in this country pregnancy and childbirth are a marginal risk to you, if any.  But think of the baby.

And mother, “your body” ends where your baby’s umbilical cord begins … and sooner if s/he hasn’t made it there yet from your Fallopian tubes.

But by no means should a mother, a father, a couple, a family be left alone by their neighbors, society, in their time of need or trial!

“Pre-Embryos”?

Maybe I’m out-of-touch, but I’ve just noticed this neologism on the Web, being used for what are more commonly called “frozen embryos” or “pre-implanted embryos,” in the context of in vitro fertilization.  Are the users of the new term trying to persuade us these aren’t actually embryos anymore?

I thought “pre-embryos” were sperm and ova!  Even actual science still calls “fertilized ova” or “zygotes” embryos, and their science embryology.

Maybe I’m out-of-touch again, but I’m starting to seriously wonder about the reliability of these people, some of them alleged scientists!  First there was the Korean guy who deliberately falsified research data, then the Boston guy with the for-profit corporation and misleading news releases and statements; now this.

And some people complain about religion?!!!

I’m not certain an o/Orthodox approach to these things needs to rely on scientists anyway.  Science is always changing, and is supposed to be always uncertain, “open-minded.”  But the ‘temptation’ to see if maybe they’ve got something ‘this time’ is hard to resist.  ‘Benefit of the doubt,’ you know….

But who “was always the Father of Lies”?!?!?!

The truth about Carolyn Parrish

She was the Canadian Member of Parliament who, we’re to believe, was a witchy, bitchy, shrill (you know: all the stereotypes) anti-American, went ballistic on a W. doll, and after Washington pressure was booted from the parliamentary Liberal Party just before they themselves (just barely, for all their troubles) fell from power.

Believe it or not – horrors! – it was all overblown.  This is just Wikipedia, but it looks pretty factual, not much commentary for or against there.  And if you peruse the famous(?) video from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, it looks to me like the business with the voodoo doll was set-up by the show, not her, and she’s actually back-pedaling from her harshest past comments (seen in the cue-cards).

Now, I know nothing about her politics apart from criticism of Bushie war-mongering, and invoking a Cuomo Doctrine in opposing same-sex marriage (‘personally supportive, but my constituents oppose it,’ like former New York Catholic Governor Mario Cuomo’s “personally opposed to abortion but don’t feel I can impose my religious views on others”).

So I’m just saying, she was railroaded, at White House bidding.  A better U.S. foreign policy would be to try to make peace with whomever is in foreign governments, rather than trying to change them, especially when they’re reasonably-democratically elected (or constitutionally succeeded, in the case of Monarchs) … and OURS AREN’T!!!  It used to be called diplomacy.

House cloning vote

Lemme get this straight: Last week “pro-choice” U.S. House Democrats voted to “ban reproductive cloning,” and “pro-life” Republicans voted against “banning reproductive cloning”?

It’s taken me this long to realize what the “National Right to Life Committee” meant when it said the bill – which may be resurrected (no pun intended) – didn’t actually ban “cloning.”  It banned implanting a cloned embryo in someone’s uterus.  But ISTM it also attempted to ban cloning with the intent of implantation.  It failed to ban other types or intents of cloning.  But wouldn’t this have been a step in the correct direction?

What *I* don’t get is why the “reproductive freedom” Democrats proposed this.  Go figure.

Stem-cell “breakthrough” called dangerous, unusable, and is probably still unethical

Read the WHOLE story – it’s short – not the MSM story and the unquestioning “spin.”

What seems problematic to me is this: They reprogrammed skin cells into what?  “Stem cells”?  or EMBRYOS!!!  They produced MICE, not just “cells.”  They seem to be trying to cloak that reality, or hide it through misdirection, like the sleight-of-hand magician.  A “stem cell” that produces a whole individual is more commonly called AN EMBRYO.

The only ethical stem cells would be those that can produce “tissues,” NOT PEOPLE!!!  And not through disabling the embryos either, like that bizarre, morally-bankrupt Rick Santorum proposal from last year.  They have to produce pluripotent stem cells that never had the ability to grow into/BE a person.  What we seem to have here – though I could be corrected – is merely a NEW METHOD OF CLONING, nothing more, nothing less, nothing other.

Where they’d probably have to go ultimately is to be able to reprogram cells into, NOT pluripotent stem cells, but the specific type of tissue-stem-cell needed for the patient involved; ie, take skin cells or cheek cells or whatever, and turn them directly into whatever tissue the patient needs at that time – nerve stem cells, bone stem cells, muscle stem cells, etc. – without passing through a stage that could (have) or did result(ed) in producing a clone.  ISTM this research suggests that may be doable, we’d just have to find the right genes to turn on, and limit the damage from the retroviruses, tissue cancers, accelerated tissue aging (Dolly, etc.), etc.  And find them without creating clones by accident along the way… or if we do, letting them live.

There’s my positive, constructive challenge to the scientific community.  OK?

Aussie Cardinal probed by lawmakers on cloning threat

Catholic Cardinal of Sydney threatens Catholic members of New South Wales state legislature (called Parliament) with “consequences” if they vote to end state ban on therapeutic cloning.  The upper chamber of this parliament, called the Legislative Council (the lower chamber is called the Legislative Assembly), opens probe to see if his public comments violate any laws.

I don’t understand calling it “contempt of parliament,” since it doesn’t sound like he was testifying to parliament when he made the statement, just speaking publicly… nor refusing to testify under subpoena… the only times I believe contempt of Congress could be charged in the U.S.

Nevertheless, maybe he should look to Rome for marching orders, since there are ‘safer’ ways of making the point that, as recently raised in connection with pro-choice legislation in Latin America by various Catholic officials and even the pope, they might view not toeing the party line as self-excommunication.

He has every right to provide spiritual and ethical guidance to his adherents, even politicians among them, even publicly and broadly – though if he and others like him were better pastors and teachers, they might not have to.

Can you imagine the New York Legislature investigating Cardinal Egan?!!

Democrat Surrender Monkeys indeed!

I guess the Congressional Democrats really are what the theocons (who hate America) like to call most of America, “surrender monkeys,” for caving-in to another Bush veto threat on a timetable for abandoning his Iraq/Oil/civil war/Empire quagmire.  Minimum wage?  I thought we did that months ago!

Until the Monarchy Party gets off the ground, there’s always these guys….  I was once more sympathetic to the Green movement than I am today obviously, but if we could just replace the Democratic affiliation of voters, votes, and (most, apparently) Democratic members of Congress, with Green(s), 100 pct., all at once, it’d be an improvement.  I actually voted for my Green U.S. Rep. candidate in November, but only because I’m in a very safe Dem district, and wanted to make a statement.  Call me a Green Monarchist Realist Anti-abortionist maybe!

Pope warns of new “authoritarianism” in Latin America

This is rich.  Coming from a guy who may or may not have single-handedly invented new Church law in response to a journalist’s question during a news conference on a plane… the ‘excommunication (or not) of pro-choice politicians’ controversy.  (Without taking into consideration, here, my own position on abortion – which is opposed.)  (I recommend the comments to the news story as well as the story itself, for a flavor of the confusion unleashed even among those conservative Papal loyalists by that one.)

‘L’eglise c’est moi!  I am the Church!’  A one-man Church!

On the question itself, I have not become aware that any recent Latin American government officials have arrogated powers in violation of their nations’ constitutions or other law.  Unlike here in the U.S.  But observe some of those Commenters’ own disdain for social justice.

Moral Outrage and Constitutional Democracy

Mr. Yuk logo

Lots of Americans get morally outraged about lots of different things.  There’s 30,000 Christian sects alone, here, after all.  But there’s undoubtedly for a whole lot of us a major and unique “yuck factor” when it comes to “intact Dilation and Evacuation (or Extraction),” aka “Partial-Birth Abortion.”  Nobody dies when men sleep with men or women sleep with women (in her dissent, Justice Ginsburg alluded to the Texas “sodomy” case whose Supreme Court resolution basically ended criminalization of private, non-commercial same-sex intercourse between consenting adults in the United States, absent lethal, incurable sexually-transmitted disease) – except said men and women when those who hate, fear, oppose, make sport of, or seek to “teach them a lesson,” murder them.  Even many people who consider themselves normally “pro-choice” are repulsed by the idea of a kid who almost made it out into the world, only to have his brains sucked out and his skull crushed by his doctor still in his mother’s womb.  (This makes me, and I think Justice Ginsburg, question just what people know about the relatively more common – but still rather rare – abortion technique called “Dilation and Evacuation by Dismemberment,” alluded to by me earlier… the “chicken” bit.  As Neil Diamond put it so well oh so many years ago, “I’m not a man who likes to swear,” but: JESUS CHRIST!  How can a doctor who does that sleep at night?!  Anyway, by the time they’re doing that one, it ain’t “a mass of cells” anymore, but unmistakably, visually human.)  There may even be thought something un-American (Look out!) about seeming to give a kid a chance and then take it away.

“Seeming,” because from what I read, usually we’re not talking about a viable baby in these procedures, a child normally scientifically, medically considered to have fifty percent or greater chance of surviving outside the womb, to begin with.  Usually second trimester, fourth-to-sixth months of pregnancy.  But people naturally identify with the tyke in the versions of this well-known drawing, more than with him a few months earlier when he had a tail, and gender-ambiguous genitalia, and an oblong head, etc etc etc.  In the picture he looks almost-born, denied the chance of life by a slim moment.  Intact D&E seems unnecessarily cruel and crude, and late.

In fact, Justice Ginsburg’s dissent documents pretty succinctly (scroll down to page 58 of this PDF – not as numbered by the document itself, but in the cumulative page numbers in Adobe’s page-number box at the bottom-center of the screen) the cases when intact D&E is alleged to be medically indicated, when we’re talking about abortion at all, when other alleged options are considered more dangerous to the life or health of the mother.  In fact, one gets the sense that intact D&E is on the whole better for the mother, less risky, than dismemberment D&E… even less ‘barbaric.’  Go figure!

One area where her dissent is telling, though, is in her ideological devotion to “reproductive choice.”  Factually I call it ideological because it seems to form the basis of her argument, not the kind of cool, “rational” legal arguing we’d prefer to hear from our judges, “liberal” or “conservative.”  (Though she never “drops the gloves” like Scalia so often does; I have long thought he should be disbarred: Can a disbarred judge continue on the federal bench??)  For Ginsburg, “reproductive choice” doesn’t end until… well, when exactly?  Absent allowed State restrictions in the third trimester, how late could a baby, even a viable one, be aborted?  Day before due-date???  Does the beginning of natural labor perhaps protect him? sometimes they can even stop labor.  And of course under the influence of those drawings, some people might fear that even during natural birth – ‘up to his belly button’ – the baby isn’t safe from a decision to abort him.  And they’re morally outraged: not just Victorians and Puritans and Fundamentalists and Talibans and male chauvinists and Catholics and Muslims and Amish and moralists and ethical hairsplitters and control-freaks and hypocrites and such, but others also.

Another way of looking at it is that “reproductive choice” took place when the choice to have (voluntary) sex without contraception or less-radical surgery than abortion – tubal ligation (female and/or male) – took place… or even to risk it then, since nothing is foolproof except chaste abstinence: the choice to reproduce.  Sex isn’t just “a new way to dial your touchtone phone”:* It’s reproduction, let’s not forget!  Maybe it doesn’t have to be all the time; in fact, it biologically can’t be.  And it certainly has other benefits!!  But when sperm joins ovum and cellular subdivision begins, human reproduction has already taken place.  When a person/couple/family become aware of the pregnancy, the “choice” – if they consider that they have one – is whether to discontinue it, whether to kill “the baby,” to end her/his life, development, growth from a smaller human being into a bigger human being, etc.  (And the late Bob Casey Sr. surely rues the day his name became associated with the phrase “the fetus that may become a child,” from the Supreme Court ruling in the Casey abortion case!  Since the Emancipation of Black Slaves in America, what good law has ever given one person life-or-death power over another innocent person – or potential person if you must – without the explicit consent of the latter?!  What valid legal system says if a woman “wants” the child in her womb at any given point in time, it’ll be considered a “person,” but if another doesn’t want hers at another point in time, he’ll not be considered a “person”?!!  This is the upshot of Ginsburg’s ‘female sovereignty/self-determination/self-development’ ideology: each woman as her own one-person Supreme Court.  IOW, legal chaos, anarchy… by definition, injustice.)

(*–In the ’70s an AM radio disc jockey opened the mike after the song “Do You Wanna Make Love, or Do You Just Wanna Fool Around?” and asked, “Do you wanna make love… or is that just a new way to dial your touchtone phone?!”)

Doubtless there are numerous moral tragedies among the million or more surgical abortions that take place in America every year – situations where people feel faced with no good decision available, for physical, medical reasons, or reasons of familial destitution where there is perceived a total absence of social support systems, or possibly extreme mental illness, or feelings of utter incapacity in the face of anticipated ‘disabilities’ of the expected child, or possibly (actual) rape or incest.**  Ginsburg associates at least some intact D&Es with second-trimester diagnoses of profound deformity or deficiency in the baby.  Be that as it may, is it necessary to push the envelope as far forward in the pregnancy as will be tolerated, and then some?  Human beings have been bearing, and raising, and sometimes seeing die very young, very ‘deformed’ or ‘deficient’ or ‘disabled’ babies, almost as long as there have been human beings.

(**–Although most people don’t realize that the genetic abnormalities commonly associated with incest/inbreeding require several generations of it to manifest; just one won’t do it.)

The thing is, America claims to be a Constitutional Democracy, one whose constitution is even codified in a single document (more or less), not an absolute democracy.  Majoritarianism is qualified by limits on governments and rights of individuals against governments.  But because we also retain a Common Law system of case law (yes, “judge-made law,” it’s older than parliamentary/congressional/legislature-made law!), there’s some give-and-take.  Ginsburg chides the Court majority for slippery moralization, but the fact is there’s plenty of slipperiness to go around in this Carhart case.  Another problem is that there’s a long, intermittent tradition of the Supreme Court being treated as a super-legislature, playing politics and Parties fighting for control of it, all to the detriment of the Rule of Law (ie, Common Law and its -based legislature, executive, and judiciary).  So “moral outrage” must take a procedural second-place to the System itself, unless we are to replace the System itself with another.

And all America needs is more systemic experimentation.  Arguably, it’s such expermentation that’s gotten us here in the first place.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban: Another Disingenuous Republican Deception?

Remember, it’s only a banned PBA if the baby’s navel (think umbilical cord) is outside the birth canal, ie, in fresh air.  I’m no obstetrician, but how hard would it be to keep that from happening.  What committee crafted this law?!!  Why the belly button?  Why not the third rib, or the left butt cheek, etc.?

Can you say Lip-service?  Sherrrr ya can!  Red meat for their base?  Activate their voters?

There were abortions before Roe v. Wade, so we know outlawing it won’t end it.  People could just go to Canada, or Latin American countries where it’s legal, or Europe, or elsewhere, if they can afford it.  So whether or not you’re working for a Supreme reversal or a Constitutional Amendment or violent revolution (which I don’t support)* or whatever… why not also work to reduce the causes of abortion.

(*–I’m not joking about violent revolution: I just read a WordPress blogger make reference to the alleged inability to effect his desired changes here nonviolently, eg, politically, in this day and age.  What’s he want, another elite minority special-interest revolt like 1775-83?  Don’t fear us Monarchists…!)

Abortion revelations

I thought I knew what abortion involved.  I grew up Catholic in the ’70s, in parochial school, with the constant opposition to abortion from all directions.  I thought all abortions started off with a needle in the uterus to kill the fetus before it was removed by suction or induced labor.

Then in the ’90s I heard about this “partial-birth abortion” thing, where activists said the baby – well-along in development, big enough so that s/he couldn’t be passed through the cervix and birth canal without either inducing labor or collapsing her/his skull – and for some reason wasn’t killed first – was killed by the very collapsing of the skull, with his/her legs/torso hanging out.  Not alot of technical details, though.

I thought I knew.  I didn’t know that I didn’t know all about it.

Now I read that suction abortions – nearly all U.S. abortions are this kind – don’t involve prior fetal death… that some abortions involve dismembering the live fetus in utero like a Goddamned chicken and pulling out his/her body parts through the birth canal one at a time (who ever thought this was safe for the woman?!!!*)… that it is alleged that some “partial-birth abortions” come out head first, questioning the “partial” part of the nickname… and that the only kind where they do the fetus the honor of putting him/her out of her/his misery before butchering him/her, or tossing her/him in the Dumpster, or the biohazard incinerator, is the induced-labor kind, which is apparently rather rare.

 And this is from a (once-)reputable major-market newspaper once owned by a reputable national chain… not an “activist” website or tract or something.  Supposedly ‘just the facts.’

I’ve been around a bit, but I’m scandalized.  My God, what have we been doing?!  What barbarism!  Do most people know to this level of detail what abortion involves?  Do most women who undergo abortions?  Am I an exception?  If not, is it responsible medicine NOT to inform the patient that they suck the live baby out of them OR tear him or her out of them alive piece-by-piece?!?!?!  This wouldn’t be ideology or preaching, just telling the patient about just what unusual things are being done with “her body.”

In any case, if plants and paramecia react to injury and pain, the least we can do for our littlest sisters and brothers if we are going to rip them from the womb is minimize their pain and put them to death before doing anything else to their bodies/relics.  And I think we would presume they feel pain – if plants and paramecia do – even without the research that DOES suggest they do.  What kind of inhuman imagination could even conceive that they wouldn’t, or say ‘We’re not sure’?

(And speaking of viability, if babies are normally able to live outside the womb upon completion of the second trimester, should they be killed after viability at all???  [Apparently some States outlaw abortion after viability except in cases where the life or health of the mother are implicated – as allowed by the Supreme Court.]  If their mother doesn’t want to complete the nine months, can the baby be completely delivered – alive – by induced labor sooner, and kept in the hospital until they can be released to adoptive parents?)

(And if the kids on whose flesh some common vaccines were cultured were suctioned in lieu of death, in my mind that just makes that crime “that cries to Heaven for vengeance” even worse!)

(*–Ironically, apparently one of the motivations for PBA.)