Marsha Blackburn, Woman?

by Kathryn Jean Lopez

Dismissing women who oppose the principles of radical feminism is an old tactic, but it is alive and well. Consider this write-up for New York Magazine noting that Tennessee congresswoman Marsha Blackburn will be leading the floor debate today on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. After quoting a Planned Parenthood official to dismiss the rape and incest exceptions in the current bill as “cover” for “deeply ignorant and offensive views on women’s health,” it continues: “Putting Blackburn’s female face in front is similarly unlikely to fool anyone.”

Rather than seeing it as ”cover,” I am reminded of a message Pope Benedict XVI handed me, back in the day – which happens to have been this past October! It was to all the women of the world, of any and no religion. And it said, in part:

You are present in the mystery of a life beginning. You offer consolation in the departure of death. Our technology runs the risk of becoming inhuman. Reconcile men with life and above all, we beseech you, watch carefully over the future of our race. Hold back the hand of man who, in a moment of folly, might attempt to destroy human civilization.

My basic attitude toward Congress – and politics altogether – is you can only do so much (if you agree, you might want to read Kevin Williamson’s book, released earlier this spring). The culture is where change fundamentally happens. In our hearts and souls. In our homes and schools and relationships. But members of Congress today will try to do their part to hold back the hands of a culture that looks at a 20-week-old child and pretends it’s not one, insisting that the will of a mother – who we are not supposed to call a mother even as she has that developing child within her – trumps that child’s right to life. Their effort is worthy of support and gratitude. With the knowledge that the Kermit Gosnell trial laid bare, someone has to do something. All abortion is violence of the most intimate sort, as has been said, and late-term abortion is particularly transparently brutal. Today the House of Representatives refuses to look away.

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