National Catholic Register



BY Jim Cosgrove

October 31 - November 6, 1999 Issue | Posted 10/31/99 at 2:00 PM


Overcoming the Darkness

The U.S. Senate, in a 63–34 vote, once again made its view on partial-birth abortion clear: The frightening practice should be outlawed.

The often-repeated details of the gruesome procedure are numbing: An almost full-term baby is partially pulled from her mother's womb and stabbed in the skull with scissors. The baby's brains are then vacuumed out to allow an easier delivery of the body.

The Oct. 21 Senate vote is good news (despite the fact that a later, nonbinding vote that showed support for Roe v. Wade). For one thing, it shows that new Sens. Evan Bayh, R-Ind., and Blanche Lambert Lincoln, D-Ark., can be counted on to vote against the procedure.

Yet a black cloud looms over any pro-life victory celebration. President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore are both committed to keeping the grisly practice legal. Clinton has pledged to veto the Partial Birth Abortion Act of 1999, and a Senate override of a veto is unlikely.

“There's no such thing as partial birth,” argued Sen. Barbara Boxer on the floor of the Senate. A baby's rights begin “when you bring your baby home,” the California Democrat added.

The notion that an infant's rights don't begin until she's at home seems odd. But then nothing is too odd nowadays in a country that re-elected a president who vetoed the partial-birth abortion ban twice before. Certainly, the rights-begin-at-home-and-not-before argument would appeal to institutions such as Christ Hospital in the Chicago area. There, a nurse recently revealed that babies are starved or asphyxiated in what the hospital euphemistically calls “therapeutic abortions.”

Evil this deep requires much prayer and sacrifice to combat it. A call or letter to your senators and congressman would also help. Let them know that partial-birth abortion has no place in this one nation under God.


Big Families, Beware

To forward its worldview, the population control movement has long held out the carrot of liberation to women through control over their bodies and “reproductive freedom.” Frustrated with the slow advance of its agenda, however, it is turning more and more to wielding the stick of fear to make women fall in line.

Wildly bloated figures of maternal mortality through “unsafe, illegal abortions,” neo-Malthusian doomsaying of dizzying population growth and diminishing resources, and warnings of widespread environmental devastation are churned out wholesale by the controllers' propaganda machine in an attempt to batter women into submission.

And what of those who won't conform to the prescriptions of the social engineers? They are stigmatized as irresponsible and selfish, and now, dangerous.

In a bizarre article in a recent issue of Time magazine, Lisa Beyer makes the incredible claim that deaths of babies locked in cars are linked to family size. “The best parents with the best intentions are simply incapable once they have too many kids,” writes Beyer, quoting an outspoken critic of large families. “It's easy to understand how in this total havoc, a child is left in the car.” Conclusion? Parents that have many children risk negligent homicide. “Accidents can happen,” we read in Beyer's essay, “but when we see a pattern like this, it should ring a big alarm.”

In what does this ominous “pattern” consist? The death of two orthodox Jewish children in Israel over the course of last summer, and the near death of a third, all of whom came from families with six or seven children. In other words, on ridiculously scanty evidence, Beyer spins a fantastic theory of correlation between the likelihood of infant death through negligence and family size.

As Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon wrote recently in The New York Times, at this point “purely voluntary programs will do little to reduce fertility; only those population programs that override parental preferences through bribes, bullying, threats or outright coercion will lower birth rates significantly.”

As the population controllers get more desperate, parents of large families should prepare for more bullying.