Thursday, January 31, 2008

New South Dakota Abortion Law

The South Dakota legislature passed new law requiring that women seeking abortions be offered a sonogram - a chance to see the life that is growing within them before engaging in a "procedure" to end that life.

Abortion politics in SD are in some ways similar to other parts of the country, but we have unique features.

On the pro-abortion side, we don't have the organized feminist faction that one finds in major urban areas. Planned Parenthood is pretty much one building in Sioux Falls, and much of its political support comes in from out of state.

Then there are the West River Libertarians - folks who value individualism and limited government. They tend to vote pro-abortion and were decisive in defeating a strict abortion ban on the state ballot in 2006.

Of course the Episcopal Church and other Liberal Protestant clergy come out for photo-ops in support of the pro-abortion position. (More about TEC in a minute.)

In South Dakota as elsewhere, Roman Catholic and Evangelical Christians are the heart and voice of the pro-life movement.

The D/Lakota people also have strong cultural and spiritual affirmations of women as life-givers. Although there are a few pro-abortion Indians, most here are pro-life. The Oglala Sioux leadership impeached a pro-abortion tribal leader and shut down efforts to put an abortion clinic on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 2006.

Given this array of positions, I think it is fair to say that the more narrow one's world view, the more receptive to abortion one will be. Libertarians are ardent about the individual as the measure of most things. Organized feminists are factional elitists, measuring things by how they serve the feelings of the club members. (The Episcopal Church... more about that in a minute.)

Conversely, those with a spiritual vision that finds connection and meaning beyond the self or the clique will see abortion as a moral wrong - a degradation of God's design, human love and society.

OK, a few thoughts on the Episcopal Church (TEC).
  • Despite its claims to be a "thinking person's church," TEC will probably scream incoherently against this new legislation. The simple act of presenting the most obvious evidence that the womb contains human life will be rejected - and this by a "church" that grabs any bit of junk scholarship to declare the Bible irrelevant. More and more, TEC asserts its intellectual superiority not via informed debate, but by hiding things.
  • Despite all of its communal jargon about "peace and justice," and its vaunted "Baptismal Covenant" to "support the dignity of every human being," TEC's abortion pronouncements are pretty much Libertarian in their stress on unquestioned individual preference.
  • Since TEC's "thinking" is incoherent, its only role is to play traitor to sincere Christians by providing press statements and photo-ops to say, "See? 'Religious' people are pro-abortion, too!"

Final thought:

Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that plagued us with millions of abortions, will someday collapse on its own rotting foundations.

  • Roe was based on junk evidence, positing a rape scenario when what was really up was abortion on demand.
  • Roe was based on junk science, positing "three trimesters" of pregnancy that have nothing to do with the scientific realities of life in the womb.
  • Roe was based on junk law, positing a "penumbra" of rights not stated in the Constitution but somehow needing to be asserted by the justices.
  • Roe was, is and for the rest of its wretched existence will be based on junk morality, positing short term human desires in the place of eternal truth revealed by God.

4 comments:

Steve Hickey said...

Appreciated your assessment of the players here - I thank God for you!

Alice C. Linsley said...

This is an excellent report, Father. And your thoughts about TEC's response to the legislation will prove to be 100% accurate too.

David Handy+ said...

Tim+,

I love your scathing description of the notorious Roe vs. Wade decision as junk science, junk law etc. You're absolutely right. Someday it will be regarded with the same horror and shame as the infamous Dred Scott case that gave legitimacy to slavery in the mid 1800s. It's the epitome of what's wrong with an activist Supreme Court that tries to legislate from the bench.

For years I've usually preached a pro-life sermon on the Sunday before or after January 22nd. And I've marched in several of the annual Pro-Life marches on Jan. 22nd in Washington D.C. I was always impressed by the hundreds of RC priests who participated, but embarrassed that so few TEC priests did (I never saw more than a 5 to 10 of us).

All readers of this blog should know about our superb pro-life ministry based in Pittsburgh called "Anglicans for Life" (formerly known as NOEL, the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life). It has recently done a fabulous job at raising more public awareness of the incredible grief and agony that abortions cause so many women through the "I Regret My Abortion" campaign. Georgette Forney is the Executive Director of AFL, and she is amazingly effective, especially with just a shoestring budget.

As many readers of this blog are likely to know, since 1973 there have been at least 44 MILLION abortions in this country. That's over a million a year, over 3,000 a day on average.

But the saddest thing is the complicity of the so-called "mainline" churches on this crucial issue. It's not surprising when a secular, increasingly pagan society doesn't ack like Christians. The scandal is when professing Christians fail to act like follwers of Christ. Personally, I think any priest who advocates the pro-choice delusion should be ex-communicated. But of course, TEC doesn't do that anymore...

TLF+ said...

Thanks, Steve for your kind blessing. I thank God for you, too - and for all who care enough to seek God!

Alice, it is so sad. I would be so thankful to be wrong, and have some TEC entity come out with a pro-life statement. You'll get either silence or shrieking from TEC here in SD.

Fr. David, I helped found a NOEL chapter at General Seminary in the mid-80s. We brought Richard John Neuhaus to speak...the vitriol and name calling we all endured is hard to describe. But it's all good... Matthew 10:25.