Monday, March 25, 2019
Juan I. Guerra
The Respect Life Ministry of the Archdiocese of Miami is not a political instrument. We do not officially endorse candidates of any party. However, we do take positions that are deemed political by the fact that the issues themselves are hotly debated in the public square. Our position is simple: We support Church teaching on the dignity of every human being, from immigrants to the elderly to the unborn and their mothers.
In January, the New York Senate and Assembly passed a radical pro-abortion bill which Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law. The bill legalizes abortion in New York state for any reason, right up to the moment of birth. The so-called Reproductive Health Act allows unborn babies to be aborted right up to the moment of birth for any reason, including a mother’s age, economic, social status, and any emotional factor. It also removes any state restrictions such as parental consent or 24-hour waiting periods, and permits non-doctors such as midwives and nurse practitioners to perform abortions.
Upon its passage, New York legislators cheered while the governor ordered that One World Trade Center and other landmarks around the state be illuminated in bright pink to “celebrate” the new law. The sad irony that such a law would be marked at the site of such inhumanity on September 11 was not lost.
A week later, State Delegate Kathy Tran of Fairfax, Virginia, became the focus of a media firestorm after a video circulated of her describing a bill she co-sponsored that would also allow abortions up until the moment of birth, as the mother is dilating — and even after the baby is born.
Shortly thereafter, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, himself a physician, defended the bill on a radio show. He was quoted as saying that a fully developed baby could be delivered and be made “comfortable,” while a mother and her doctor determined whether that baby would live or die. Under the bill’s actual text, the number of doctors who decide the child’s fate would be reduced from three to one, and most troubling, virtually any claim of impairment such as depression or anxiety could legally justify taking the life of a fully formed, completely viable, living infant.
In response to these and other states’ extreme legislation, Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nevada introduced the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. His bill would have required any health care provider present when a child is born alive after an attempted abortion to offer the same degree of care they would provide to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.
“Picture a baby that’s already been born, that is outside the womb, gasping for air, that’s the only thing that today’s vote is actually about,” Sen. Sasse said on the floor before the vote. “We’re talking about babies who’ve already been born. Nothing in this bill touches abortion access.”
This shouldn’t have been a difficult vote. Yet the U.S. Senate fell short of the 60 votes required to move a bill forward.
The proponents of legalized abortion have lowered their mask. The traditional argument had always been that the fetus was just a “clump of cells.” Others used semantics, focusing on the baby’s ability to live outside his mother’s womb to justify his death under the banner of “viability” or “choice.” But with improved technology, the practice of neonatology, and ultrasound imaging, the truth of the humanity of the unborn child can no longer be disputed.
The mantra from 20 years ago, that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare,” has now been replaced by “abortion on demand, at any time during pregnancy, no apologies!” Make no mistake. These pieces of legislation are about Roe v. Wade. Radical pro-abortionists see a changing tide within the Supreme Court that poses a threat to their agenda. They want to make sure that if Roe is overturned, individual states will have legislation in place not only to continue abortions, but to expand them, now to even include infanticide.
Following these events, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement:“There should be no bill easier for the Senate to pass than one that makes clear that killing newborn babies is wrong and should not be tolerated. That even one senator, let alone 44 senators, voted against the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, is an injustice that should horrify and anger the American people and commit us to decisive political action. A vote against this bill is a vote to extend Roe v. Wade’s license for killing unborn children to killing newborn babies. The American people, the vast majority of whom support this bill, must demand justice for innocent children.”
So the question remains, will the developments of the last few months awaken our consciences, our sense of right and wrong? What is clear is that we can no longer ignore the evil that is so pervasive and unmasked. Those wanting to learn more about how they can help reverse the tide of abortion and infanticide are welcomed to contact us at: www.respectlifemiami.org.