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July/August, 1999 Volume XIII Number 7
The evil of abortion corrupts all of societyby Paul deParrie
A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. -- Galatians 5: 9 (KJV)
The Scripture plainly demonstrates that evil cannot be confined. If one evil is permitted, it infects the rest of what is around it; it colors the thinking; it destroys the conscience.
Both Canada and the United States, in legitimizing abortion, have demonstrated the truth of this Scripture.
The courts, the legislatures, law enforcement, and society in general have engaged in the considerable mental gymnastics necessary to fit into a world where they try to assert that “rights” — right and wrong, — and reason still may exist.
To the rational observer the assertion is exposed as preposterous.
Just as slavery in the U.S. warped the entire government and society in order to accommodate the evil; and just as surely as history later judged the mental gymnastics of the people of those times to be self-deception; so history (not to mention God) will judge the abortion distortion of our culture in North America.
A story, an exampleCalgary, Alberta CANADA – It was a good story. Marnie Ko was thrilled to be able to get the goods on Calgary Foothills Hospital’s policy of “genetic terminations” – late-term abortions mothers were being urged to undergo in the name of the ideal of a “healthy” child.
Several nurses had told her the story and documented the practice. They were outraged not only at the practice, but that they were also ordered to participate in the abortions and watch impotently while the “complications” – children who survived outside the womb – slowly died of hunger ant thirst. Under Canadian law, such actions are patently illegal, yet nothing was being done.
Ko, careful not to reveal either her sources in the nursing staff of the hospital or the names of the abortionists, went to print in the Alberta Report, a weekly news magazine, in early April (reprinted in Life Advocate, May/June 1999).
Alberta Report confirmed that at least 40 such abortions were committed in 1998.
On April 30, the Alberta Report, its editor, Link Byfield, and writer Marnie Ko were served an injunction issued by the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta prohibiting them from republishing the article, publishing any additional stories on the Foothills Hospital abortions, and requiring them to reveal their sources and turn over “documents” which were the basis of the story.
“They want our sources and they want them fired,” said Byfield.
The plaintiff in the action was the Calgary Regional Health Authority (CRHA), a government agency, which claimed that the stories placed the abortionists in imminent danger.
However, judging by the statements made by CRHA officials as well as representatives of the hospital, the real motive was embarrassment over having the gruesome and possibly illegal procedure publicly exposed. Both CRHA and the police are said to be conducting investigations, but spokesmen for the publication and anti-abortion leaders indicate that the investigation is aimed at covering up rather than exposing the crimes committed under Sections 223 and 226 of the Criminal Code. (See sidebar)
The police investigation resulted from a letter written by Calgary Reform Member of Parliament (MP) Jason Kenny, who listed the possible Criminal Code violations, the two above and four others, to the various law enforcement agencies in the area.
As a result of the story, the Edmonton Journal reported similar practices at the royal Alexandra Hospital.
Byfield said, “I think they’re frightened of publicity because some attorney general somewhere is going to feel obliged to enforce the Criminal Code.”
The stories also highlighted the ongoing debate over securing some kind of “conscience clause” for nurses and other medical staff. While Ontario nurses had recently won such a right, Alberta nurses had no such protection. Canadian Physicians for Life clamored for the law to be changed. (See sidebar)
While Ko and the publication ostensibly have freedom of press under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that all such rights may be “limited” to protect “other rights” or “important social values.” (See sidebar, Oh, Canada; Oh, China!)
While what has been called “the abortion distortion” was not news to Ko and her compatriots, they were not expecting this particular blow. Somehow, the fact that there were hundreds of news magazines and newspapers being published without much restriction, they perhaps thought that news media were still protected by the Charter’s tenuous promise of freedom of the press.
The Edmonton Sun and the Calgary Herald also appeared to be shocked – though neither seem prepared to step up and provide legal help for the embattled Alberta Report.
The Canadian political landscape had long been littered with examples of the distortion. In 1988, for example, while free-standing abortuaries were still illegal under Canadian law, Constable Dave Packer was fired by the Toronto Police for refusing to participate in an around-the-clock guard of a high-profile illegal clinic owned by Henry Morgantaler. Several provincial legislatures have passed Draconian no-anti-abortion-speech zones around abortion centers.
But most of the suppression of what Americans and Canadians presume to be “rights” for anti-abortion activists was individual and sporadic – until recently.
The politically-correct “speech codes” alleged to “protect” certain minorities from “hate speech” seen so often at private American universities, has been encoded into law up North (Life Advocate, May/June 1999).
One pro-abort leader is moving toward having abortionists declared a “protected class.”
The abortion distortion strikes again.
Abortion trumps everythingThe debacle in Canada is just one more in a long litany of recent stories that indicate that protection of abortion and abortionists has become a paramount issue in western culture. While there are schizophrenic legal results (i.e., people being charged with double-murder for killing a pregnant woman in one state while a similar instance in another state brings a single-murder charge), it seems that an inordinate amount of the government’s time and money is devoted to protecting the Sacrament of Abortion and its priestcraft not just from “violence” but even from dissent.
In 1995 inside the U.S. a small and obscure anti-abortion group, the American Coalition for Life Activists (ACLA), issued an innocuous “wanted” poster calling for concentrated picketing of a baker’s dozen abortionists across the country. The poster was revealed at a Washington, D.C. press conference, but despite the fact that the creators of the poster were all at the press conference, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Marshal Service fanned out across the nation making frantic midnight calls to those listed offering round-the-clock guards at taxpayer expense and advising that they buy bullet-proof vests.
George Tiller, the “Wichita Killer,” has had such protection – including having an tax-paid agent chauffeur him to and from the clinic every day – for five years.
President Clinton has recently said he will allocate $40 million of tax money to pay for security at privately-owned, high-profit abortuaries. In addition, the U.S. is spending millions supplying chemical abortion supplies through NATO to kill the children of Kosovo refugees who “may have been raped.”
Abortion trumps the budget.
The ACLA was sued for the poster by Planned Parenthood (an agency not even named on the poster) and the abortionists won a $109 million judgment. The suit proceeded under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act, which prohibits threats of force or actual force from being used to interfere with the operation of the abortuary. The fact that the abortionists, the court, and the ACLU all stated that the posters contained no threats proved to be irrelevant. Also irrelevant was the promise made by quisling “pro-life” republicans that FACE would not have any effect on “peaceful” protest. In fact the statute specifically provided:
“Rules of Construction. – Nothing in this section shall be construed –“(1) to prohibit any expressive conduct (including peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstration) protected from legal prohibition by the First Amendment to the Constitution;
For evil to triumphThere is a tired saying that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. It begs the question of whether someone who does nothing in the face of evil may be called “good.”
That evil, to this point, has triumphed – that it has infected our entire culture – is plain on its face. That most people cannot see it, is just another symptom of the infection.
When two young nihilistic men went on a rampage in Columbine High School – seeking out Christians in particular – the blind led the nearsighted into the ditch of blaming all the peripherals – guns, music, video games. Few wanted to discuss the roots of such violence – the cultural acceptance of violence-for-the-sake-of-personal-necessity and the patent abandonment of any standard of righteousness or morality.
Columbine is only the most recent and glaring manifestation, however. The infamous “Prom-Mom” and others like her are, while prosecuted, given light sentences signaling to youth that the level of wrong in murder is a variable.
When the Supreme Court threw out prayer from the schools, not only was there no revolt, but there was acquiescence – even in private schools where prayer takes an increasingly low profile. When one of God’s Ten Commandments was invalidated in Roe v. Wade, there was no uprising. In fact, most churches and Christian schools don’t even post the Ten Commandments in their own buildings. What the federal courts have done in removing the Ten Commandments from courthouses, city halls, and public schools, “good” men have voluntarily done in their own homes and institutions.
Dealing with infectionDisease, especially spiritual disease, grows best where there is no light. Heat and light are great purifiers.
Will the church repent and become the Light and begin to live by and proclaim the Truth? Or will God supply heat in the form of judgment?
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a [nation] soweth, that shall [it] also reap.”
Feticide laws; Or, the infection goes onFeticide law seems anachronistic, or certainly contrarious in the post-Roe era. Yet, the law continues to develop both in statutory and common law form. Modern feticide law differs from the abortion cases in that the issue of a woman’s “choice” is not in play here. These cases deal with an abortion or killing of a fetus by a third party. Beyond charges of assault upon the woman, there is, in most states, a separate crime, often named “feticide,” with punishments ranging from a few months to life in prison. Feticide, as a crime, is pointed to by those with an anti-abortion stance as an indicum of fetal personhood.
The classic case, read by every law student, is Keeler v. Superior Court of Amador County, 87 Cal.Rptr. 481, 470 P.2d 617 (1970). In that case, a husband, whose wife was 35 weeks pregnant with another man’s child, confronted her saying “I’m going to stomp it out of you,” and kneed his wife in the abdomen. An emergency Cesarean produced a stillborn child with a fractured skull. Keeler was charged with murder under §187 which used the common law definition: “Murder is the unlawful killing of a human being, with malice aforethought.” The California Supreme Court in a 5-2 decision held that §187’s term “human being” was not to apply to a child until it was born alive.
The crime committed up until that time would be classed as feticide, which was not a crime under California law.
A little more than half the states have some sort of feticide law.
Some have a special feticide statute, while others, via statute or court decision, subsume it into the crime of manslaughter or murder.
Section 609.266-2691 of the Minnesota Code is an example of the modern (adopted 1986) feticide statute. This statute was reviewed in State v. Merrill, 450 N.W.2d 318 (1990).
Similarly, California amended it’s 187 Penal Code §187 in the wake of the Keeler decision, above. This statue was held by the California Supreme Court (6-1, Mosk dissenting) to apply from seven weeks gestation on in People v. Davis, 872 P.2d 591 (Cal. 1994).
Both these statutes make killing a fetus (or an embryo in the case of §609) murder with life imprisonment as a penalty. Minnesota’s statute is perhaps the most remarkable in term’s of its comprehensiveness, applying from conception and having gradations for degrees of murder, manslaughter, and assault.
Some states, by court decision, have come to a conclusion opposite that of Keeler.
The Supreme Court of Massachusetts (4-3) in Commonwealth v. Cass, 392 Mass. 799, 467 N.E.2d 1324, (1984); the South Carolina Supreme Court (5-0) in State v. Horne, 319 S.E.2d 703 (S.C. 1984); and Oklahoma’s Court of Criminal Appeals (7-0) in Hughes v. State, 868 P.2d 730 (Okl.Cr. 1994), all held that generally-worded homicide statutes applied to viable fetuses. Massachusetts even left the open the possibility for non-viable fetuses as well.
After Cass in 1984, the Massachusetts Supreme Court (5-0), went on to contradict Keeler even more directly by holding that a viable fetus was a “human being” for the purposes of common law murder in Commonwealth v. Lawrence, 404 Mass. 378, 536 N.E.2d 571 (1989).
One website www.angelfire.com/sc/abortionlaw/feticide.htmlannotation offers a particularly thorough survey and analysis of the state of feticide law in the U.S. (i.e., in cases where it is considered a species of homicide).
Still other states, like New York, have no such laws. However, sometimes there is an overlap between criminal abortion statutes and feticide -- so in New York, for example, if a miscarriage is intentionally caused against a woman’s will, it might be a criminal abortion under that state’s Penal Law Art. 125, since the act would fail to meet the exceptions in that law for elective or therapeutic abortions. A new twist on the feticide concept has now brought the issue full circle.
In Whitner v. State, 328 S.C. 1, 492 S.E.2d 777 (1997) the Supreme Court of South Carolina held that a viable fetus was a “person” for the purposes of the state’s child neglect statute. In doing so, the court upheld a woman’s conviction for criminal child neglect for ingesting crack cocaine while pregnant in her third trimester, thus causing her child to be born with cocaine products in its system. This blurs the tidy distinction between maternal-authorized actions and non-maternal-authorized actions. The result is a new series of questions about the nature and extent of society’s interest in fetal life. However, a pragmatic appraisal would suggest that maternal acts that represent a reproductive choice” will be protected by the abortion right of Roe and Casey, but maternal acts that harm a fetus that she nonetheless intends to carry to term might be punished in the name of society’s prospective interest in the health of the child to be born. Inasmuch as this is applied to a viable fetus, the distinction seems quite workable, since the state can proscribe elective abortions anyway. But what about a fetus at 18 weeks? Say a mother of such a fetus, who could legally abort, but was still intent on bearing the child, were to knowingly ingest drugs that cause severe harm to her child who is later born. Could she be punished? If so, should the government be able to stop her from taking the drug in the first place? What if she decides to have the abortion in an attempt to avoid criminal liability--is what she did before still a crime? Or would the child need to be born deformed first? Can the woman somehow “un-commit” the crime by having a legal abortion? Or does the damage that society fears have to actually be realized before there is a crime?
What if she has the child, but it is healthy? Did she “endanger” the child nonetheless? What about so-called “anticipatory offenses” like “attempted” endangerment?
Obviously, this is going to produce some very interesting law in the not-too-distant future.
Notes from the Canadian Criminal CodeSection 223
When child becomes human being223. (1) A child becomes a human being within the meaning of this Act when it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not
(a) it has breathed;
Killing child(2) A person commits homicide when he causes injury to a child before or during its birth as a result of which the child dies after becoming a human being.
Acceleration of death226. Where a person causes to a human being a bodily injury that results in death, he causes the death of that human being notwithstanding that the effect of the bodily injury is only to accelerate his death from a disease or disorder arising from some other cause.
Infection: The evil of abortion corrupts society
Oh, Canada; Oh, China!