Tug Of War Or Anti-Catholic Propaganda?

July 30, 2008 09:00 AM

We just came across this story in the July 26 Irish Times. Lo and behold, on page 4 of the first section, we read the following headline: "Tug of war over the right to choose." The report covers the highly-publicized case of the pregnant 14-year-old girl in Poland whose mother did everything possible to ensure that the young woman aborted her baby. As it turned out, it took a public official to break the law before the baby was finally killed on June 17, but that was not the essence of this report.

What was most disconcerting about this article was the word picture presented, not only of pro-life people but of Catholic priests as well. Pro-life activists were portrayed as "intimidating" while "Anna," "Agata's" mother was portrayed as under duress and doing everything she could to help her poor, young daughter relieve herself of her baby. According to Lifesitenews.com, both females' names were changed in news reports to protect their identity.

As the story unfolds, a Catholic priest who is on friendly terms with a nearby hospital's staff, finds out about Agata's situation and tries to persuade her that she really does not need to have the baby killed. He makes it clear – though it is quite hard to discern from the article's rhetoric – that he will do everything he can to help her and her mother.

There are some interesting twists and turns in this report that makes one wonder who the villain in this story, or perhaps a made-for-TV movie, really is.

At one point, Anna and Agata claim that the priest was attempting to pressure Agata into keeping her baby. At another point, Anna says they were doing all they could to be polite to the priest, and near the end of the report, we learn that Agata blamed the priest for all her woes and wishes he had simply minded his own business. Of course, we also learn that a court intervened and took Agata from her mother and placed her in juvenile care. That action is also blamed on pro-lifers, but I found that hard to believe.

However, the bottom line with this Irish Times report is clear to me: Insist on portraying Catholic pro-lifers as the enemy in a Catholic country, and you will get some attention. Twist the facts to make it sound as if every callous, cold-hearted person in the land is part of the pro-life movement, and you win sympathy for mothers who have a so-called right to abortion because of international human rights treaties.

And, of course, the report states, "The strength of the religious right in Poland means that, in the public debate on abortion, it is able to define the terms, for instance, warning that liberalizing abortion laws will create what they term 'a culture of death.'" Isn't everybody supposed to accept as fact the claim that abortion is a human right even though it results in the death of a human being?

The problem with such bigoted reporting, of course, is that far too many people read a story like this and believe every word without doing any research or looking elsewhere to discern fact from fiction.

As I mentioned, at the end of the drama, we learn that the health minister, Eva Kopacz, arranged for the child to be aborted in another city, and so far, the health ministry has refused to comment. But the fact is, the child is dead, and to this moment, we really don't understand the dynamics between this insistent mother and her 14-year-old daughter.

All we know for sure is that the secular media is exploiting this story to diminish the credibility of pro-life people, demonize the Catholic Church and her teachings, and further the agenda of that beastly "culture of death" that the media refuses to admit is alive and well in Poland, Ireland and, frankly, nearly everywhere else.

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