Both the U.S. Senate and
the House of Representatives have passed partial birth abortion acts.
The matter is now in Conference Committee to reconcile the differences.
As of this writing, the prospects are quite positive that the
discrepancies will be resolved, that the Senate and the House will
support the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, and that the President will
sign it into law in the next few weeks.
Supporters of partial
birth abortion declare it to be a medically safe procedure and that this
will be the first instance where a medically safe procedure has been
outlawed in our country. It boggles the mind to imagine how a procedure
in which a baby is in the process of being born, is in fact 90% born,
and then is surgically and brutally put to death can be called a
"medically safe procedure." To the point also, the serious health risks
which partial birth abortions pose to women have been extensively
Americans have been slow to realize that since the
Supreme Court Decisions in 1973, abortions have been legal in our
country throughout all nine months of pregnancy: any abortion method, at
any time, for any reason. People have not wanted to talk about
abortion. They prefer not to know what is going on. Ambiguous labels
cloud the issue, e.g. "pro choice," instead of "pro abortion."
situation is changing. Increasingly people have come to realize how
barbaric partial birth abortion is. Polls consistently report that over
75% of the population support the ban act.
At the same time there
has developed a growing awareness of the reality that abortion in
general is the cruel destruction of a life, the life of a human being.
Biology and technology are making the case ever more clearly.
year the percentages of people describing themselves as pro life
increase while those who indicate they are pro choice are declining. At
this point, indications are that 61% of the public would outlaw over 97%
of the abortions being performed in America today.
interesting, the percentages of young people describing themselves as
pro life are surging. Sonar imaging, ecological awareness, and enhanced
sensitivity to life are showing stepped-up effects.
nonetheless continue to fog and obfuscate matters. Take the difficulty
in enacting an Unborn Victims of Violence Act, both at the federal and
at the state levels. The House of Representatives has passed such
legislation, the U.S. Senate has not. The State Senate has passed a
bill, the State Assembly has not.
These bills, simply put, state
that when a pregnant woman is criminally attacked, there are two
victims: the woman and her unborn child. Keep in mind that these are
women who want to have their child. The opponents of the legislation
strategize to prevent bills that would bring added light to the reality
of the human being in the womb.
facing decisions on whether or not to have their babies can face at
times severe anguish and trauma. All sorts of help, including financial,
are available from the Diocese of Buffalo. Adoption remains a strong
option. For information, please call our Respect Life Office, (716)
847-2205. You will find meaningful help.
For those who have had
abortions, the Diocese provides Project Rachel, a sensitive,
confidential program of reconciliation and healing. Women, and men
involved, may call 1 (800) 593-2273 for further information. People who
have found peace are the strongest proponents of Project Rachel.
continually remember that civilization enjoys its finest hours when it
defends and promotes human life in all its stages, particularly at its
weakest and most vulnerable. A reminder for us all.
Most Rev. Henry J. Mansell
Bishop of Buffalo
September 24, 2003