Life First

Outrageous. Heinous. Wicked. Vile. Unspeakable. Shameful. Godless.

By Fr. Don Braukmann/Retired Priest of the Diocese of Crookston

Pick a word from the title of this column or choose one of your own for what I am about to share.

Most readers have probably heard the news from New York and Virginia where both states have expanded abortion “rights” to include letting a child die even after birth if that is the wish of the mother and doctor. When I first heard it, I hoped it was a nightmare. I thought I would wake up come morning and discover our nation had not slipped into such moral decadence.

Well, it wasn’t a dream and our nation has reached a new low, if that were possible, when it comes to moral character.

The New York law, supported by Catholic Governor Andrew Cuomo, removes abortion from the criminal code and allows non-doctors to perform abortion procedures. It allows the baby to be aborted at any time (even up to birth!) in order to protect the “health of the mother.” Previously the law permitted such abortions only when the life of the mother was in jeopardy. The change is, obviously, profound. The law does not explain what the “health of the mother” means nor does it define who makes that determination of health.

Technically, the law protects doctors and others who perform abortions from liability. So, a baby that was meant to be “born dead” can be left to die if the baby’s life would “impose” too great a hardship on the mother. I can’t make this stuff up!

Breathtaking (literally) isn’t it? For every other procedure in the medical field, the goal is to save life; not with abortion. The abortion procedure’s goal is to end life!

As I have said over and over again, how in the name of God, the Creator of All Life, can a Catholic politician be at Mass on Sunday and on Monday support and sign legislation that permits the slaughter of the most innocent human beings among us? At least with the death penalty (which is still wrong) we can say there is guilt involved, but not with abortion. The innocent must die so we can live as we wish.

As a priest, over the years, I have met women who are dealing with an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy. Some situations are tragic and I, as a man, could not pretend to understand the circumstances women found themselves in: alone, abandoned, afraid.

Is the solution to such a crisis the killing of a child?

This brings to mind the words of St. Mother Teresa when she begged women and abortion doctors in Calcutta to let the children live and she would take them!

My friends, given the fact our nation is no longer a Christian nation, are we ready to say the same to the women of America? Our military budget is just under $700 billion in 2019. We are arguing about building walls and nuclear weapons in North Korea and Iran. How about turning to the women in America who find themselves in a crisis pregnancy and saying, “We will take the child! We will care for you! Choose life!”

Our nation will not do it. Overturning Roe vs. Wade will still leave us in the crisis we are in if we, pro-lifers from womb to tomb, do not step forward. Pro-life judges, politicians and activists are all fine and good yet what does it mean, in the end, to be “pro-life?”

One political party seems to say, “Have your baby … and good luck with that!” And the other says, “It’s your body, do what you want but if that child is born we will be there with every government program we can muster!”

The whole thing is sickening and could be ignored if we did not hear the silent scream of the child in the womb deep within our conscience.

I haven’t even mentioned Virginia’s new law! Governor Ralph Northam, a pediatric neurologist, supports a bill which would allow parents to “withhold medical care” even if the baby is fully delivered! He said the procedure would only be done if the child was “severely deformed” or “unviable.”

Again, the law does not explain what “severely deformed” means…Down syndrome? Nor does it say what “unviable” means … we are all unviable, in the end!!!

I have ALS and I am not viable beyond a few more months! Neither are you, we will all die. Who determines what “viable” means? The law says nothing, but Christ says plenty!

Of course, all of this is done in the name of “Women’s Health Care.” It is sad to think the term “women” does not apply to the millions of girls killed by abortion since 1973. Those women had no say.