Scriptural Rosary with Luminous Mysteries,
a from Gospa Missions, this includes the entire original Scriptural Rosary
with a passage for each bead plus the new Luminous Ones propagated by the
Pope! This little booklet is one you'll want to keep close at hand in times
that are so turbulent and in need of tranquility.
'BULLY PULPIT' IS NEEDED AS BABIES CONTINUE TO BE ABANDONED IN GROTESQUE, PHENOMENAL WAY
In the world of politics, it is impossible to vote for any party that supports abortion while what we need from any party that has declared itself "pro-life" is specificity: the way it will not just call itself pro-life but take an action or pledge to initiate the end-game against this most odious and incredible of human practices. A visit to an abortion mill by a leader would be an excellent way to start, and there is no reason it couldn't be done (and every reason why it should).
We can no longer slough it off to the courts, hoping they will solve the issue. Despite its Catholic majority, the U.S. Supreme Court seems unlikely, for now, to overturn existing law (that is, Roe v Wade, the most notorious decision in America's history, opposed now even by the woman who was "Roe" and in whose name abortion was legalized in 1973), while moving the legislative branch on any issue has proven to be all but impossible in recent times. [See at bottom for a recent view on what Roe does and doesn't mean.]
There is however the powerful weapon of the "bully pulpit," and a leader speaking loudly and candidly about this great evil -- a constant drumbeat -- would have an impact on personal decisions, especially those of the young (teens and those in their twenties), who account for three-quarters of abortions.
A constant drumbeat from the top of government could be extremely significant and we have never really seen that -- abortion spoken about with the same passion as foreign affairs, scandals, or the economy.
Beyond choosing judges, we need politicians to make appearances (can you imagine if leaders did this?) at those clinics.
Up to now, abortions have proceeded largely because it has remained an issue that is not openly and loudly and constantly denounced. It is more a sporadic issue. The good news: abortion is somewhat down. From a peak in the United States of 1.4 million in 1990, it fell through the 1990s and into the 2000s to 1.2 million in 2008.
And the rate of abortion, which was once twenty-nine each year for every thousand women, is now more like twenty per thousand women (a third less, with the total number remaining more than a million in part because the population has increased).
That's good news. The rate is down.
But fifty million U.S. babies have succumbed, which is like taking the metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago and combining them.
Can you imagine if a disaster killed that many? Astoundingly, more than a billion babies have been killed worldwide in the last several decades. There are nearly a hundred thousand babies terminated each year in Canada but at a lower rate (about fourteen per thousand).
Back in the U.S. -- sadly and scandalously -- 28 percent of abortions are for "Catholic" women, though Catholics are twenty-five percent of the American populace.
The statistics are beguiling: there are rises and declines no matter which party is in power, though the general decline would seem to bear testimony to the awareness raised by pro-lifers on billboards, bumper-stickers, and clinic placards. After rather steady decline through the 1990s and first few years of the 2000s, the long-term decline in abortion stalled starting in 2005.
Thus, it remains a searing crisis.
We are reminded of this by a new book, Abandoned: The Untold Story of the Abortion Wars, by Monica Migliorino Miller, a pro-life leader in Michigan who fought her first battles in Wisconsin and Chicago. It is called "the best book ever written on abortion" by author-film-maker Dinesh D'Souza, and "unprecedented" by nurse Jill Stanek (a nurse and major pro-life blogger), while Joe Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League has described it "the most important book ever written on the subject" and pro-life activist Father Frank Pavone calls it "revealing like no other book." Raw. Gritty. Compelling. And tough to stomach.
It is no pleasant topic, as will be seen by the excerpt we are running from the new book below, but perhaps an excerpt every politician should be required to read. These are snippets taken from descriptions of pro-lifers searching through trash at a notorious Midwest clinic [caution: graphic, upsetting]:
WE PULLED our cars slowly into the dark alley. Rats scurried before our headlights, frightened by the noise of our intrusion. We parked our three-vehicle caravan in the alley off Monroe Street, near Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago and stopped in front of a loading dock upon which stood three garbage dumpsters and a filthy blue trash barrel. The address, 30 South Michigan, was crudely painted on the barrel in white lettering. It had rained in the Loop earlier that day, and the alley pavement shone with a slimy oil. We turned off our engines and headlights, paused for a moment, and looked around to make sure no one else was about. The stench of rotting garbage nearly overwhelmed the eight of us as we slowly and quietly got out of our cars. We climbed onto the loading dock, lifted the dumpster lids, and began to sift through the trash. I opened the lid on a bright red dumpster and yanked out a bag of garbage. Peering into the very bottom of the dumpster I saw a bag that was baby blue in color. As I hauled the bag out, I noticed it was heavier than the others. I rested it on the loading dock and opened it. The top of the bag was stuffed with bloody surgical paper, and underneath was a small, heavy cardboard box, about the size of two shoe boxes, sealed in duct tape. I pulled the box out, carefully cradling it in my arms, and placed it in the backseat of one of the cars. We returned the rest of the bags to the dumpster to look as though nothing had been disturbed. As we pulled out of the alley, rats again darted in front of our headlights. One scampered across the top of a dumpster as our car made its way down the wet and oily path and out into the street.
We made the short drive to the northwest side of Chicago and parked our cars outside Joseph Scheidler’s garage. I lifted the cardboard box, carried it into the garage, and set it down on a card table beneath a bright utility light. We all gathered around the table and stood in apprehension as the duct tape was carefully peeled off the box and the flaps opened. I peered inside and saw small plastic specimen bags, known as Whirl Paks, each filled with a dark reddish liquid. We took the bags out and laid them on the table. There were forty-three altogether.
Several bags were marked with a woman’s name, age, a date, and two numbers. The smaller number told us the gestational age of the aborted fetus contained within. We thought the other number indicated the amount of abortions performed at the Michigan Avenue Medical Center since the beginning of the year. As of this Saturday night, March 14, 1987, the number was in the three thousands.
THE morning sun beat down upon us and the small remains of the aborted babies began to shrivel in the heat. I occasionally bathed the torn body parts in formalin solution as I stood behind one of the long tables we had set up on the wide sidewalk in front of the Michigan Avenue Medical Center. It was an unusually warm spring day, May 6, 1987. We had laid out nearly six hundred bodies of unborn children we had dug out of the trash behind the 30 South Michigan clinic. This was our “on the street” press conference organized by Joe Scheidler, meant to expose to the public the victims of abortion. It must still rank as one of the most unusual press conferences in journalistic history.
Most of the bodies remained in their plastic Whirl Paks, neatly stacked together in homemade infant-sized coffins. These were made by Peter Krump, who put his carpentry skills to work and constructed the small white wooden boxes. We took several of the torn bodies out of their plastic containers and assembled them in trays for the media and passersby to observe on the busy avenue.
A few moments after the tables were set up and the bodies displayed, two Filipino workers from the abortion clinic came down to see what was happening. They looked at the trays of bodies and the children’s coffins filled with the familiar Whirl Paks. They glanced at the enormous spectacle laid out in front of their clinic for all to see before dashing quickly back into the building. No other workers came out during the remainder of the press conference. The clinic workers and Dr. Florendo never expected that the unborn they had buried in the trash in the back alley might one day reemerge on their front doorstep.
Dozens of reporters arrived. So did the police, who confronted Joe about the tables set up on the street. Many who walked to and fro upon Michigan Avenue stopped at the tables to peer at the bodies. I was impressed by their spontaneous expressions of horror. Most of those who looked at the crushed bodies were dumbfounded at the obvious humanity of the fetal babies and aghast at the evidence of violence written upon the torn flesh and severed limbs. One man who came by shook his head and muttered, “This ain’t nothin’ but murder.” A group of three African American women paused to gaze at the bodies. One began to cry. “That’s a baby! A real baby!” said another, completely amazed. Many looked at the bodies, shook their heads sympathetically, and kept on walking.
There was something pure in these reactions. These people were not prepared for what they saw. They were on the street that morning walking to work, or going shopping, or to the library or the museum, but wherever they were going they did not expect to see what we had laid out for them. The aborted babies, who were never meant to be seen, now intruded into the lives of these strangers. The passersby had no psychological preparation, no time to set up any mental barriers against the obvious tragedy of the torn bodies, no opportunity to theorize about abortion or put it into a ready-made political category. They had not read any editorials or commentaries just before arriving on the scene that might somehow mitigate the reality that these were real human beings who had suffered a form of violence. For me it was a privileged moment to see a kind of spontaneous enlightenment erupt in the souls of others. I knew that those who saw the fetal children would never think of abortion in the same way again.
I REMEMBER her face. I remember everything about the woman—her light brown skin, her dark brown eyes, the way she hung her head and tried to fight back her tears. It was a cold October morning outside of the Summit Women’s Health Organization. Her boyfriend had just dropped her off at the corner of 6th and Wisconsin, at the foot of a tall office building in downtown Milwaukee.
“I’ve got to do it,” she said. “I know it’s wrong, but I got to.”
“But, Carolyn, you see this picture of what abortion will do to your baby. You know this is a human life, a human being, your own child. Please, let me help you.”
The street corner was busy with people hurrying to and fro, and the noise of the traffic competed with the sound of our voices. The world around us was oblivious to the life-and-death struggle playing out on this grey city street. Carolyn started anxiously toward the heavy glass revolving doors, and I followed after her, still pleading.
“Carolyn, at least give yourself one more day to think it over. Your baby’s worth at least one more day.”
“That’s true,” she replied, still walking toward the building.
“Come on, Carolyn. Come with me. Let’s get a cup of coffee and we’ll talk.”
But her hand was already on the door. “I’ll read your pamphlet. I’ll think it over while I’m up there.”
In another instant she was inside the building, her figure blending into the darkness of the lobby. I called after her, but she was gone.
So close. She was listening to me. She even told me her name. She had taken my literature. She seemed hesitant to confirm her choice—but in the end she walked through the doors and disappeared. Another loss. Another tragedy. I would feel regret and sorrow for days afterward. And I would mourn for the loss of her baby.
Somehow, almost inexplicably, I missed her child. How could I miss a person never born? I didn’t know this life, nor the millions of others who perished in abortion. I did not have what our culture calls a “meaningful relationship” with this unborn baby slated for abortion. But the suffering of my heart told me, on an intimately personal level, that the slain preborn were really here once, and now they were gone, as though banished from the world.
[see also: Skulls on a hill, The Future of the Pro-Life Cause, and Report: Chinese may end forced abortions]
[Further note from
The Opinion Maker:
"In 1973, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe
In the 39 years since, that decision has revolutionized American politics,
driving culturally conservative voters out of the Democratic Party and
culturally liberal voters into it. It’s responsible for a good deal of the
polarization in Washington today. And yet, overturning the decision would
have a surprisingly small effect on the nationwide abortion rate.
The truth is that Roe v. Wade isn’t as significant as many people make it out to be, so overturning it wouldn’t have as large an effect as many people assume. Contrary to popular belief, abortion was legal in many states before Roe — Roe just prohibits states from banning abortion. If the decision were overturned, some states would ban abortion and some wouldn’t. The catch is that the states that wouldn’t ban abortion, the more socially liberal states, are the ones with the highest abortion rates. (The 19 states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 accounted for more than two-thirds of America’s abortions in 2008 — the most recent year for which data is available — despite having less than half of America’s population.) In other words, a decision overturning Roe v. Wade wouldn’t affect the states where most abortions occur.
Mississippi, for example, would likely be one of the first states to ban abortion if Roe were overturned. But the Magnolia State already has an extremely low abortion rate — 5%, or one-quarter the national average.
A ban on abortion in Mississippi wouldn’t make much of a dent in the nationwide abortion rate because — especially if the law made exceptions for rape, incest and maternal health — it wouldn’t apply to many cases. And women who really wanted abortions would be able to get legal ones in other states.
In contrast, the abortion rate in New York hovers in the low-to-mid 30s — meaning that about one-third of pregnancies in New York end in abortion. Banning abortion in New York would significantly lower the nationwide abortion rate, but the state’s overwhelmingly pro-choice lawmakers would almost certainly not pass such a ban. Read full story]"
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