ON THIS TWENTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME I am devoting time and attention to what happens over time to  society following the legalization of abortion. Over these decades in many back rooms people have huddled around tables planning strategies of “what to do” and “what to say” and “how and where to say it.” Spin doctors came up with the “pro-choice” and “reproductive freedom” labels (sanitized terms for “pro-abortion”) along with labeling abortion as a “women’s health” issue in order to gain broad acceptability; abortion became a “business as usual” issue. We have generations of people who live in a post- Roe v. Wade society who know nothing about a time when life in the mother’s womb was protected by law. Since abortion became legal some 58 million abortions have taken place in our land of the free. We drive by Planned Parenthood buildings not even noticing – perhaps not even caring – about what is taking place inside those facilities.  Breast exams and other cancer screenings?  Yes – and that is a good thing. Abortions?  Yes – and that is a human life tragedy, but it gets worse. That is why this series of recent undercover videos exposing the marketing and business side of Planned Parenthood and their harvesting and trafficking of tissue and organs from aborted babies is something I never thought possible in our so-called civilized society. Spin as they have the terminology of their daily practices to help numb public perception, society is waking up after watching undercover videos of Planned Parenthood personnel callously discuss aborted baby tissue and organs, pricing, shipping and delivery – it’s all about money, not “women’s health.” In the aftermath of these revelations the rhetoric of Planned Parenthood spin doctors framed this as a Republican versus Democrat issue. Not true, as evidenced by a Democrat from Cleveland, Rep. Bill Patmon, co-sponsoring a Bill in the Ohio House of Representatives with Rep. Margaret Conditt, a House Republican, to strip $1.3 million in annual co-mingled abortion program funding of Planned Parenthood; this Bill leaves funding for non-abortion related counseling and health services intact so don’t fall for that old Republican versus Democrat tactic. None of us should place our political affiliation – ever – above the faith we profess, especially when it comes to human life issues and other issues of morality. Peel away the rhetoric regarding issues of human life and we see right and wrong, ethical and unethical, moral and immoral, with the Truth of God at the center. “Patmon said the issue is especially important to African-Americans, as 63 percent of the 5,499 abortions performed in Cuyahoga County in 2013 involved black women. ‘You hear a lot of demonstrations across the country now about Black Lives Matter,’ Patmon said. ‘Well, they skipped one place – they should be in front of Planned Parenthood’” (The Plain Dealer, 07/28/2015).  Well said, sir. Folks, if we are true to identifying ourselves as Catholics, if we really are Christians, if we call ourselves children of God, followers of Christ and people of faith, then the way we live our lives proves it with actions, not mere words. This Planned Parenthood issue is a test and measure of our faith. Honest questions are being asked of Planned Parenthood, and well-spun answers are being cooked-up and carefully dished out in response. Now each of us needs to ask ourselves: where do I stand on this issue? Where is my faith on this issue?  Who do I allow to guide me; who do I allow to shepherd me?  No doubt some pro-abortion advocate will see this column and forward it to her or her bosses, they in turn will have their spin doctors get busy peddling their familiar line “here go the Catholics again…” Incidentally, I am a registered Independent, and have been since the early 1990’s; my faith guides me, not the muddy waters of politics. Please know, too, that I always pray for the conversion of all who support abortion – I hope you also pray for their conversion from the way of the world to the way of God who, out of love, created each and every one of us as His children. Over time these prayers for conversion work, so please pray. I also pray, as should you, for those who have had abortions, knowing the pain they carry for their decision, and support the good works that Bethesda Healing Ministry (www.bethesdahealing.org) provides to help with post-abortion healing. We need a lot more prayer in our society – a lot of deep, from-the-heart prayer.  Remember this: if we are people of faith, faithful above all to God and to His Son, Jesus Christ, and love them above all things, they are right – here go the Catholics again. Count me among them, and hopefully you as well.

 

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