Response to Media on Characterizing Those who Oppose Abortion

There’s no shortage of morons and scoundrels in the world, on almost every side of almost every issue.  But some of them operate by painting a background which so colors the dialogue that it is almost impossible even to communicate opinions successfully.  Here’s an offer: You can say the hateful morons represent the anti-abortion culture if we can say the murdering butcher in Philadelphia and the enablers and concealers of statutory rape represent the pro-choice culture.

Not only are there abortionists who think sincerely that they are doing the right thing and try to exercise the cardinal virtues in doing so, but not all pro-lifers are tight-laced, high-collared, vindictive puritans.  But you’d never know that by reading the papers.

This Easter, my parish confirmed a woman whose mother (a former nurse for PP) told her that if she did not abort her child she would be disowned.  And when she did abort, afterwards, though she wanted to go home and recover, her mother obliged her to go out for a celebratory luncheon party with her lady friends.  But we are insensitive and controlling.

The respecters of women and lovers of their freedom not only support and enable the ‘gendercide’ of women in India and China, but assert with angry firmness that the pill always works, unless the stupid cow forgot to take it.  We haters of freedom and oppressors of women know that ampicillin interferes with the action of the pill, and we say so.  We hate women so much we tell them the truth about the pill.

At least some non- and anti-Catholics are coming to see that the Pope was right about contraception and AIDS abatement in Africa, but you won’t find that in the mainstream.  It may be acknowledged, curtly and briefly, but it will be swept away.

Correlation is not causation, but the rate of single-mother births seems to track pretty closely the rate of contraceptive use.  What’s up with that? Why aren’t we all talking about that?

How many abortion supporters have run the numbers on Natural Family Planning? How many know what is being done now and how well it’s working?

As for “scorn for victims” of rape and the rest.  Is it scorn to fund, build, and provide residential facilities with physicians and nurses and social workers — places which will house mother and child for as long as a year after the birth?  We need more such scorn then.

If people would hear our discussions and read our literature and correspondence, they would not offer as news (to us, at any rate) the idea that the mother is often an innocent victim.  After all, we are the ones pointing out the enabling of statutory rape, while the other side shovels it under the rug.

 Sometimes I feel as if there were two universes. The first includes the people who just know that our side hates women, blames them, and deprives them of what they need.

 The other universe includes the annual March for Life. The first doesn’t hear about this because it is almost completely blocked out by the same media which has little raptures of delight over a couple of hundred pro-choice protestors. This other universe is inhabited by the people at the March. Listen to the speeches and prayers, and tell me if you find one word of scorn for the mothers.  But, oh, that’s right! You can’t, because we are blacked out so that the notion of us as self-righteous morons can be protected and maintained.

I may be the only pro-lifer who doesn’t give much of a flip one way or the other about Roe v. Wade anymore, except that it’s execrable constitutional law and part of the liberal progressive assault on federalism.  I think we must hope for a change of hearts to provide what a change of law cannot.   I look at the plight of the 14-year-old impregnated when her teacher raped her and I see that changing the law back isn’t going to help much, if at all.

But while parents buy tramp couture for their daughters, teachers mock any virtue — chastity especially.   To be in one’s twenties, unmarried and a virgin is considered impossible and risible. See Going the Distance for an example of the cultural celebration of cynical and casual sex and the completely implausible presentation of a woman who is as cynical about sex and as contemptuous of her sex-partners as men are supposed to be.

In the old days, Christians were said to have orgies and to kill people and drink their blood. (Read Tertullian’s Apology for the accusations.) But what they were doing was plucking the exposed babies from hillsides and alleys and trying to care for them. Women became Christians because we respected and cared for them.  Now that we are again called haters of sex and oppressors of women, the porn industry is flourishing, no-fault divorce plunges women into destitution, children, including girls, are given to the hired help while mothers are obliged to work outside the home to celebrate the freedom the secular world has given them to be abused and abandoned by their husbands and boy-friends.  And Planned Parenthood provides the means to destroy the evidence of a disgraceful and sorrowful abuse of girls and young women.

They all “know” that young women would only become Catholic because they are neurotic about sex and are longing to be oppressed.  But the young women in RCIA have told me that they find a respect and even a cherishing of them among us that they see nowhere else.  We are told that Natural Family Planning is just another way to oppress women, while the fact is that the woman’s body provides the veto over sexual intercourse, and the reality of her womanhood is respected rather than medicated away.  Sure there are neurotics among us.  It is far better for them that they join a group which acknowledges their preciousness. I wonder how many of our detractors have read Mulieris Dignitatem.

Still, we are the insensitive, judgmental, oppressing, cruel, neurotic ones, and those who enable the rape of children and the exploitation and degradation of porn and the abandonment of spouses are the ones who really care.

 [T]hey think the Christians the cause of every public disaster, of every affliction with which the people are visited. If the Tiber rises as high as the city walls, if the Nile does not send its waters up over the fields, if the heavens give no rain, if there is an earthquake, if there is famine or pestilence, straightway the cry is, “Christians to the lion!”  What!  So many to one lion? ( Tertullian).

Harry Koenig is a former Episcopalian clergyman who came into full communion in 1994. He has worked in a real vineyard, run a flock of sheep, programmed computers, and served as a law enforcement officer.  He is a lay Dominican and has assisted with RCIA for the past 5 years.