The Senate approved a defense bill unanimously on December 4 “with an amendment sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that provides medical coverage for military personnel to obtain abortions at military facilities in the case of rape or incest.” 1 Therefore, are we to conclude that the way to deal with a heinous crime is to kill the innocent? This was UNANIMOUSLY accepted? Then it follows that the rapist should be executed, too? Logic would demand this.
Before I expose one of the obvious errors of the “pro-choice” camp, let me be clear about my pro-life position because it must extend to capital punishment as well. Killing, except as an unintended outcome of self-defense, is a very serious wrong. I continue to hope for widespread agreement on this. A pro-life position must oppose nearly all executions for capital crimes. Only if an incarcerated criminal is still able to devise and have capital crimes implemented outside of the prison may society even consider execution. If incarceration prevents new crimes, then it is no longer a self-defense situation, merely revenge.
As Pope John Paul II expressed more fully in his 1995 encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), “that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral.” In addition, he wrote, “The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit either as an end in itself or as a means to a good end.” 1
MERELY EXISTING IS A CRIME?
Here’s what the Senate amendment does: A reprehensible crime has been committed, involving three human beings directly. We attempt to fix the situation by killing one of the innocents with taxpayer money. The only possible “crime” attributed to the baby is for simply existing.
By doing so, we are reviving the philosophy which justified lynching in some people’s minds. For years, white supremacists who took uncontrollable offense because people of color had the audacity to breathe the same air. At least such killings were illegal back then. Now, we’re going back to those days by rationalizing that this is different and that the presence of the innocent baby is just too much for us to deal with. So, we blindly accept the Supreme Court’s Great Mistake of 1973 which declared this form of murder to be legal and make it worse by using money from people of conscience to implement the executions!
WHAT ABOUT EXTENDED MENTAL ANGUISH?
True, the lasting emotional pain and disturbances associated with many crimes often go underappreciated. The effects of the crimes of rape or incest are not confined to the time of the act itself. While the physical harm may be overcome in a relatively short time, the tormenting memories and fears remain – usually for a lifetime. (The same long-term anguish is also true for a woman who submits to an abortion, contrary to what Planned Parenthood and other “pro-choice” groups will admit.)
Back to the victim who becomes pregnant. In a society which does not truly value human life, the woman faces much more than nine months of emotional trauma. The rejection by an uncaring society adds to her understandable feelings of resentment, unless she has the strong will from great spiritual formation in her life.
If killing the totally innocent baby is still an option to the “pro-choice” individual, please consider this parallel. Someone commits a robbery and, in addition to the theft, the victim is seriously disabled. This affects not only the victim, but also close relatives and friends. This is not a short-term affliction easy to dismiss. The mental anguish and stress will impact all concerned, possibly for the remainder of the victim’s life. Who would have the audacity to suggest that everyone’s deep emotional pain (or perhaps inconvenience?) would be taken care of if the disabled victim’s life were ended?
I sincerely hope none of us would want to live in that place.
1 – Steve Weatherbe, National Catholic Register web site, 12/27/2012