From my syndicated column this week:
It’s hard to make sense of the whole ugly Virginia “transvaginal” incident other than to note that critics of the bill simply, as a matter of principle, don’t want anyone to be reminded what exactly is done in an abortion clinic. No one went into a demonizing overdrive because of ultrasound per se; they’re already routinely done. The real kick was that women would be offered the chance to look at the ultrasound. If they did, they would see the beating of a tiny human heart. And that’s a threat to the abortion industry. A glimpse of this fight shows that, while these critics of the bill talk about women’s health, they don’t really have the interests of either patient in mind.
This issue is so much broader, but the debate has created a dark and pernicious fog. One that keeps us from facing the truth about what we’re debating at a given time, and what’s best for our own lives and those who we most naturally love.
Just rewind a few weeks to what happened when the Susan G. Komen Foundation dared to make a management decision and cut off grants to Planned Parenthood, not only because the relationship increasingly distracted from Komen’s primary mission, ending breast cancer, but also because more efficient grant-making opportunities were possible. According to former Komen vice president Karen Handel, Komen’s sensible plan was betrayed by Planned Parenthood’s leadership, who leaked the defunding story to the press and launched their “well-orchestrated, vicious campaign.” And the “sisterhood” is not done yet, as Komen knows, and we can see, even on Saturday-night television.
The late John Paul II, calling on all men and women of mercy to build a culture of life, described the struggle in which we are engaged as a “war of the powerful against the weak.” We are seeing this culture of death strengthen its foundations when we let bullies have their way with public policy and nonprofits and their corporate sponsors, and when the federal government tells religious Americans they must comply with a radical ideology or be fined — and mercilessly ridiculed, dismissed, or discredited, whatever the facts.
However well-intentioned some members of this “pro-women” movement may be, instead of contributing to the discussion, the movement has become a manipulative crusade. Don’t buy the spin. Humanity is a lot more complicated, sensitive, and discerning than those insulting them with one brand of invective or another appreciate.