Semper Fi Or Let Them Die?

July 7, 2010 09:00 AM

It is inspiring to witness tributes to those in the military who have put their lives on the line to protect the United States of America from unjust aggressors. However, not all Americans are satisfied with hearing the speeches of politicians and Congressmen this 4th of July. At least that is the message Planned Parenthood Federation of America sent to its friends on this holiday. 

To celebrate the 4th of July, PPFA president Cecile Richards wrote an action alert focusing on military abortion rights!  “Will Congress stand up for women in uniform when it counts?” she asks. Instead of celebrating the freedoms afforded us by these servicemen and women, Richards chose to denounce the current policies regarding abortion on military bases. According to Richards, “Right now, women serving abroad in the U.S. military are denied the basic freedom to make their own medical decisions, because abortion is banned at military hospitals and bases. More than 100,000 women, including active service members and spouses and dependents of military personnel, live on military bases overseas and rely on military hospitals for their health care.”

Since when is an expression of freedom the equivalent of directly murdering an innocent civilian who, in this case, happens to reside in the womb of his mother? Clearly, Planned Parenthood has trouble recognizing the existence of a second human being during pregnancy. It always has.

Richards goes on to say, “A servicewoman who becomes pregnant while serving with our forces in Iraq or Afghanistan is required to venture out to a local medical facility—seeking abortion care likely to be unsafe or altogether unavailable—or return to the US, leaving her mission and her career behind. This is an outrageous injustice to women who sacrifice so much, and it's time for a change.”

It is beyond belief that Richards uses words like “freedom,” “injustice to women” and “sacrifice” to further dehumanize the baby while ignoring the dangerous physical, psychological and spiritual effects the act of abortion has on the mother. It is as though Richards is telling her audience that it is fine for the military to wage war against the enemy on foreign soil as long as expectant military mothers can wage war on their preborn children, regardless of who dies or who suffers in the process.

Insane? Of course it is, but in the culture of death, nothing makes sense in the first place. It is not coincidental that Independence Day was chosen as the focus of this most recent PPFA alert, given the fact that the U.S. government has literally turned its back on the most vulnerable citizens in our own country.

This insidious assault on human rights reminds me of the profound words of Pope John Paul II, who pointed out in Evangelium Vitae (section 20), 

This is what is happening also at the level of politics and government: the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people-even if it is the majority. This is the sinister result of a relativism which reigns unopposed: the “right” ceases to be such, because it is no longer firmly founded on the inviolable dignity of the person, but is made subject to the will of the stronger part. In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. … To claim the right to abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, and to recognize that right in law, means to attribute to human freedom a perverse and evil significance: that of an absolute power over others and against others. This is the death of true freedom: "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin" (Jn 8:34).

This is why it is imperative that we focus on human rights for all human persons. This is not only one of the reasons why our military men and women strive so hard to defend genuine freedom, but why freedom itself can never be tied to direct killing. Freedom has nothing to do with freedom of choice to kill, but everything to do with freedom to live, love, welcome and nurture.

Our repeated focus on the human personhood of that child—whose very existence is such a threat to the voices of evil—will, God willing, restore sanity to the crazed society in which we live.

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