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‘Violence of the Most Intimate Sort,’ ‘Less than Noble’ Responses


During his weekly Sirius XM radio show Tuesday, New York’s Cardinal Dolan challenged New York’s abortion advocates in politics and medicine to consider admitting, in the wake of Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s trial, that our culture of “unquestioned, unfettered abortion license” “has gone way too far,” given that 40 percent of pregnancies end in abortion in New York City — 60 percent among Hispanics and blacks.

At a time when the abortion industry insists that there be no limits, no increased regulation and oversight on abortion clinics, and no protections for girls, women, and babies, he asked: “Who is really doing the imposing here of a value of death on a culture that is naturally open to life?”

Gosnell unmasks the logic of our abortion culture. It’s a logic that the infamous Peter Singer follows to its conclusion when he makes his case for infanticide. Birth is kinda arbitrary, considering what we allow. And, as far as babies born alive go: If a woman walks into your clinic and wants a late-term abortion and you simply cannot afford the top-of-the-line tools Leroy Carhart boasts he has (watch the video), inducing labor and either killing the newborn or letting the child die might be safer than performing a procedure inside the womb. So, of course, this happens beyond Gosnell.

Babies who want to be held and loved. Have we simply been desensitized to the murder of babies? Of course we have. Culturally speaking, we have a distorted view of our own desires to love and be loved.

“It now seems de rigueur not to speak common sense about abortion,” Cardinal Dolan said.

When we’re losing not just our religion but a common vocabulary, of course it is. Polite society can’t handle the existence of actual truth, so we tailor it to our convenience.

Dolan spoke not just in the wake of Gosnell but simultaneously with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s backroom negotiating on his Reproductive Health Act, which would increase abortion access in a state with some of the highest abortion rates in the country, buried in a legislative grab-bag of euphemisms about women and health and choice.

In another radio show, earlier in the day, Cardinal Dolan said: “I am in a bit of consternation as to why in a time when there seems to be kind of a sobering up about these horrors of the unfettered access to abortion, why in New York we are talking about even expanding it further.”

The governor, who professes to be Catholic, talked about abortion in his state of the state of address with the same passion with which a monk might pray the psalms from his breviary.

The religion of secularism does have its sacraments, as, again, Leroy Carhart made clear in that latest Live Action video.

On Tuesday, New York’s governor told reporters: “The Catholic Church has made their opposition to choice known for many, many, many, many years. So there is nothing new to that. We have agreed to disagree, respectfully, and that’s where we are.”

But the questions the Gosnell trial raises are not that easy to dismiss. What has abortion done to us?

“After a while we begin to disrespect human life in ways that are just shockingly coarse. And that’s what happened here. They were treating the babies from the womb as though they were pieces of trash,” Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said in a recent interview as the trial was going on in his backyard. Gosnell, he said, is “a consequence of the fact that we have a growing culture of disrespect for human life as a result of the decision of the Supreme Court here those many years ago.”

And as we eliminate the unborn routinely, that culture of discrespect continues to grow. Chaput said: “If we can treat unborn children this way, it means we’re capable of treating born children this way, and the elderly this way. Unless there’s a deep profound respect for human life at all levels, people will see a gradual disintegration of respect for human life at all.”

After the Gosnell verdict, Chaput said: “We need to stop cloaking the ugliness of abortion with misnomers like ‘proper medical coverage’ or ‘choice.’ It’s violence of the most intimate sort, and it needs to end.”

“I’m wondering if this whole grisly scene might change the nature of the abortion conversation in a way like sonograms have,” Cardinal Dolan said on his Catholic Channel show Tuesday. He urged a “civil conversation” with people “asking hard questions.” And he expressed his dismay that the president in the last month went about “canonizing the work of Planned Parenthood.”

“I find that less than noble from the highest office in the land,” he said, reflecting on President Obama’s prayer that “God bless” the work of the nation’s largest abortion business.

The scene in America, where we already seem to be losing interest in Gosnell – moving on, looking away – is certainly something much less than noble, too.