In his Farewell Address to the nation in 1796, President George Washington said: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports.” We mark Presidents’ Day on Monday and we would do well to remember Washington’s prophetic words. We might also remind our state elected officials about them as they consider and debate new legislation that expands abortion in our state.
Infanticide is the practice of killing children soon after birth and it is now legal in New York State. It has been rejected in Virginia where the Governor of that state was pushing its passage. He is a pediatrician, and spoke rather coldly and clinically in describing that the bill would allow for the “comforting” of an unborn child after birth. His idea of “comfort” was putting the child to death! These horrific and gruesome laws in New York and Virginia are very similar to the extreme abortion bill before the R.I. General Assembly.
The abortion extremists who advocate for its expansion and the deregulation of the abortion industry are working hard to pass the bill. They and their supporters on Smith Hill choose to ignore the science of a preborn child’s fetal development. They use euphemisms like “clump of cells” to describe a tiny child whose eyes and eye lids, nose, mouth, and tongue have formed. at just six weeks.
It is also clear that abortion is a human rights issue as it concerns the right to life of a preborn child not the right of a mother to choose life or death for her child! The current debate on this issue sadly illustrates that many proponents of abortion no longer think abortion should be “safe, rare and legal.” Now they demand that abortion be expanded to include late term abortion and they do so without apology and without shame!
This is not a bill to codify Roe vs. Wade but rather to radically expand it. Paul Linton, a leading legal scholar on abortion law, concludes that this bill could not “plausibly be regarded as merely ‘codifying’ the principles of the decision Roe v. Wade.” And it is, in his legal opinion, “extreme.”
Our Catholic Faith, the religion and morality President Washington spoke of, teaches that the sanctity of all human life including the life of a preborn child must be respected and protected in law. Each and every human being is lovingly and uniquely made in the image and likeness of God.
However, it seems that many of our Catholic politicians who are quick to tout their Catholic education, choose to ignore Washington’s prophetic words about morality and religion. They pretend that opposition to abortion is merely a “Catholic” issue and not a human rights issue as they conveniently cite separation of church and state. Either they have chosen to dismiss their Catholic faith or they are in fact woefully ignorant of it. Some suspect that their enthusiastic support of extreme abortion legislation is more about political expediency than moral naiveté or ignorance of their Church’s teaching.
They should consider the words of the President of Notre Dame University, Fr. John Jenkins. He recently commented on the abortion law, stating that: “The great threat is not only that it will remove protections for children in or recently out of the womb as well as for the mothers’ lives, but that it will also further numb this moral instinct so central to our common life. History, sadly, is full of examples where the lives of one or another group is deemed not worthy of protection. As we contemplate the effects of this law and the lives it will take, we can only ask, with fear and trembling, ‘Who is next?’”
It is with great joy and pride that I announce that OLM Parishioner Marianna Toljan is to receive the St. Timothy Award for Catholic Youth from the Diocese of Providence for her faith, integrity, leadership and service . Marianna is a longtime OLM Altar Server and volunteer in our Religious Education Program. We commend her great witness of faith and her generous service to our parish. She is to be presented the award at a special Mass on March 3rd at the Cathedral celebrated by Bishop Tobin. All are welcome to attend.
Be well. Do good. God Bless. Happy Presidents Day! Enjoy the winter break!!