"It is...Our will that Catholics should abstain from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another. They are to be avoided not only as 'profane novelties of words,' out of harmony with both truth and justice, but also because they give rise to great trouble and confusion among Catholics. Such is the nature of Catholicism that it does not admit of more or less, but must be held as a whole or as a whole rejected: 'This is the Catholic faith, which unless a man believe faithfully and firmly; he cannot be saved' (Athanasian Creed). There is no need of adding any qualifying terms to the profession of Catholicism: it is quite enough for each one to proclaim 'Christian is my name and Catholic my surname,' only let him endeavour to be in reality what he calls himself." -- Pope Benedict XV, Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum 24 (1914)
Saturday, April 13, 2013
That Grosnell case
SATURDAY, APRIL 13, 2013
POSTED BY JOSEPH SHAW AT 11:18 AM
Twitter has been awash with the Grosnell case. In case you've been living under a stone, the facts are that Kermit Grosnell is an abortionist, working in Philadelphia in the USA, whose clinic clearly failed the most elementary standards of hygiene, two of whose patients died, and who killed probably more than 100 babies after they had been delivered alive. He specialised in late abortions, and things didn't always go according to plan. Or maybe he had his own way of doing things. He has finally been charged, tried, and convicted of murder: of one of his adult patients, and of a sample of the babies.
The case has a special significance because of the media black-out surrounding it: the mainstream media in the USA, and the UK, don't want to know. My suggestion is that it is embarassing to them for precisely the reason that it is newsworthy: it vindicates the highly controversial, but successful, approach of the US pro-life movement in recent years, of holding abortion clinics to existing laws, and where possible of imposing greater regulatory burdens on abortionists at state level. They demand (shock!) that abortionists are properly qualified, and (horror!) that their premises come up to clinical standards of cleanliness and so on. These obligations, which activists can invoke and pro-life states can impose and enforce in the way of ordinary local licensing requirements, have closed down many abortion centres, and the pro-abortion industry has been screaming blue murder about it. Cases have gone to court over whether they are covert ways of banning abortion, and therefore illegal. It all turns on whether the obligations are deemed 'unreasonable'. (The interesting history of 'Operation Rescue' illustrates the changing tactics.)
Grosnell was protected by a pro-abortion state, and wasn't inspected at all over a 17-year period. So what the Grosnell case exposes is that there really is a problem of poor regulation in the abortion industry. We've had our own case of this in England, when the Telegraph exposed the fact that scores of abortionists were failing to get the required two signatures from doctors to authorise an abortion. The abortionists were enraged that they be kept to even the most elementary legal safeguards. They had been keeping boxes of pre-signed, blank forms to speed things up.
Grosnell fits into the same narrative as the exposure of Planned Parenthood as offering abortion to under-age prostitutes (when asked by their pimp), without informing the police of what is obviously a crime: the sexual exploitation, including rape, of young girls. This narrative terrifies the abortion industry, and with good reason.
The Savita case, which of course has been stuffed down our throats by the media without ceasing, fits the contrary narrative: that abortion is necessary to save mothers' lives. Except, of course, that it doesn't, because the medical facts don't stack up. This is the narrative which must be exposed as a lie: abortion does not save women, it exposes them to harm, and even death.
Twitter has proved a useful way to by-pass the mainstream media. On my (seemingly endless) train journey from Leicester to my local stop north of Oxford yesterday, my timeline was full of people tweeting about #Grosnell, to make it 'trend' or simply to get the word out. Exceptions to this, like stationary rocks standing out of a mountain torrent, were the 'big name' Catholic bloggers I follow. They were all tweeting about each other's latest blog post or pop songs about Maggie Thatcher. Yup, they've been drinking the Kool Aid. Which is to say, that like many Catholic intellectuals (I realise I'm stretching a point to include journalists in that category), they measure respectability, or newsworthiness, by the standards of the World, even when those standards are distorted by anti-life priorities.
To illustrate the interest of the 'minor' Catholic bloggers, here's Mulier Fortison the subject, here is the Counter Cultural Father, here is Mark Lambert.
Posted by Kitchener Waterloo Traditional Catholic at 8:28 AM