Fr. Shenan Boquet

Contraception’s role in the election and our culture

Fr. Shenan Boquet
By Fr. Shenan Boquet

November 21, 2012 (HLIWorldWatch.org) - Last week I wrote about “The Task Before Us,” that is, the need to get much more serious about our faith, to refocus our efforts on our true end — Jesus Christ. He is our only true hope. The more fully we live the virtue of hope the more it becomes performative in our lives, the more He becomes performative in our lives, transforming our outlook and letting us rise above setbacks and see beyond often ugly reality we see around us.

This is a permanent effort — we never fully “get there” in this life, although we may receive moments of clarity and consolation. With hope we are more able to grasp the reality of our situation without it weighing us down.

Toward that end — understanding our situation — let’s consider the more fundamental aspects of the culture of death. We know the most fundamental issue is sin, that which separates us from God, but there is a manifestation of sin that the Catholic Church has often stood alone in condemning, even as the rest of our culture seems to have “moved on.” Well, the culture has moved on, right into a violent fracturing of its relationships, its faith and its institutions, including the most fundamental institution, the family.

The issue is contraception. What is interesting is that even a couple years ago, to mention this truth would be to invite eye rolling from even some passionate pro-lifers. But more and more, our Protestant brothers and sisters, and even some wayward Catholics, are realizing the wreckage that has followed in the wake of the sexual revolution — a revolution that would not have happened without contraception. I think three things have led to this growing realization.

Let’s look at the most recent one first. The Obama campaign made contraception its signature issue, even inventing a “war on women” designed to further fracture the nation against itself in hopes that it would scare enough women (and men who want to have sex with women without being tied down) into the voting booth to vote against those who were going to “limit access” to contraception. It was a ruse, but it worked. And the Obama campaign released video after sickening video, column after column of obscene calls for women to defend their “girl parts.” They spent tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars on the false issue, showing again the banality of the contraceptive mentality, this time on steroids. Because the administration can’t openly boast of their championing of abortion, they boast of its cousin, contraception.

And they won.

Another reason I think many people are waking up to the evil nature of contraception is the fact that it doesn’t prevent abortion on a wide scale, rather, it increases it. In our own nation, contraception was legalized nationally in the mid-60′s, then came calls for legal abortion, then came Roe v. Wade, then came millions of abortions. Did contraception prevent abortion in America?

Internationally, it is the same thing. The Gates Foundation and the British Government, along with dozens of partners, have launched a $4.6 billion campaign to promote contraception in the developing world. Their top two promoters are the top two abortion providers in the world — Marie Stopes International and the International Planned Parenthood Federation, both of whom have announced plans to grow their abortion services in Africa.

Who still thinks that widespread contraception “prevents” abortion? Indeed, abortion and contraception are never far apart.

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Finally, people are waking up to the fact that contraception, now described as the most essential component of women’s health, is actually killing and harming women on a scale that is impossible to measure, even as its acceptance by a society leads to more abortion. Its links to deep vein blood clots have made several producers of hormonal contraception the subjects of huge class action lawsuits; it is now classified as a Group-1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization, governments are now starting to wonder who they can sue to pay for the reversal of hormonal contraception’s deleterious effects on the environment, and so on.

This, brothers and sisters, is the culture of death laid bare. It is a culture of ignorance, of stupidity, of a lie. Poison as healthcare, environmental degradation as “sustainability,” bondage to sin as liberation, government overreach as freedom from oppression and sex “education” designed to separate children from their parents and create future customers for the abortion and contraception industry.

This realization is what inspired Human Life International’s (HLI) Founder Father Paul Marx to start HLI in its nascent form in 1972, and while he was most renowned for inspiring people to fight abortion, he always talked about its link to contraception and the need to address both.

Deny the centrality of contraception all you want, but it just played a starring role in the most expensive political campaign in history. People are starting to get it, even at what may seem like the lowest point of the nation’s history. But take a step back and look at history beyond our borders — it has been worse. For the moment, we can still live our faith in public and only face derision and jeers, but not prison. We need to do this without fear, indeed with great hope and joy. Faithful Christians are uniting as the government’s attack on faith grows more overt.

It is a great time to be Christians! Pray and work, my friends.

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Father Shenan J. Boquet is the president of Human Life International, the world’s largest international pro-life and pro-family organization. This article is reprinted with permission from HLIWorldWatch.org


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Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." Shutterstock
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‘Sick and twisted’: Down’s advocates, pro-life leaders slam Richard Dawkins’ abortion remarks

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By Dustin Siggins

Advocates on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, as well as pro-life leaders, are slamming famed atheist Richard Dawkin’s statements made on Twitter earlier today that parents have a moral responsibility to abort babies diagnosed in utero with Down’s.

During a shocking Twitter rant, Dawkins responded to questioners saying that it was "civilised" to abort Down Syndrome babies, and that it would be "immoral" to choose not to abort babies diagnosed with the condition.

He said that his goal is to "reduce suffering wherever you can," indicating that unborn children cannot suffer, and that unborn children don't "have human feelings."

In addition to being scientifically challenged - unborn children can feel both pain and emotions - Dawkins' comments drew criticism for his callousness towards children with disabilities.  

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus"

“It's sick and twisted for anyone to advocate for the killing of children with disabilities,” Live Action President Lila Rose told LifeSiteNews. “Dawkins's ignorant comments serve only to further stigmatize people with Down syndrome.

“While many people with Down syndrome, their families, and advocacy groups are fighting discrimination on a daily basis, Dawkins calls for their murder before they are even born,” she said. “Those with Down syndrome are human beings, with innate human dignity, and they, along with the whole human family, deserve our respect and protection.”

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down's Syndrome Association, told MailOnline that, contrary to Dawkins’ assertion, “People with Down’s syndrome can and do live full and rewarding lives, they also make a valuable contribution to our society.”

A spokesperson for the UK disabilities charity Scope lamented that during the “difficult and confusing time” when parents find out they are expecting a child with disabilities, they often experience “negative attitudes.”

“What parents really need at this time is sensitive and thorough advice and information,” the spokesperson said.

Charlotte Lozier Institute president Chuck Donovan agreed with Rose’s assessment. "Advocates of abortion for those 'weaker' than others, or of less physical or intellectual dexterity, should remember that each of us is 'lesser' in some or most respects," he said.

According to Donovan, "we deliver a death sentence on all of humanity by such cruel logic."

"A true civilization – a civilization of love – does not engage in such cold and ultimately suicidal calculus" he said.

One family who has a child with Down syndrome said Dawkins was far from the mark when he suggested that aborting babies with Down syndrome is a good way to eliminate suffering.

Jan Lucas, whose son Kevin has Down syndrome, said that far from suffering, Kevin has brought enormous joy to the family, and "is so loving. He just has a million hugs."

She described how Kevin was asked to be an honorary deacon at the hurch they attend in New Jersey, “because he is so encouraging to everyone. At church, he asks people how their families are, says he'll pray for them, and follows up to let them know that he has been praying for them."

It's not just strangers for whom Kevin prays. "My husband and I were separated for a time, and Kevin kept asking people to pray for his dad," said Jan. "They didn't believe that Kevin's prayers would be answered. Kevin didn't lose hope, and asking people, and our marriage now is better than ever before. We attribute it to Kevin's prayers, and how he drew on the prayers of everyone."

"I don't know what we'd do without him," said Jan.

Speaking with LifeSiteNews, Kevin said that his favorite things to do are "spending time with my family, and keeping God in prayer." He said that he "always knows God," which helps him to "always keep praying for my friends."

"I love my church," said Kevin.

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome described themselves as "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child.

Despite this, it is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 


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Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that 'it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.' Shutterstock
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Pope Francis: steps must be taken to halt ‘unjust aggressor’ in Iraq

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Pope Francis and his emissary to Iraq’s persecuted non-Muslim minorities, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, have both called on the United Nations to act in concert to protect Iraqis Christian and Yazidi minorities from the radical Islamic forces of ISIS.

Asked about Iraq on his return flight from South Korea, Francis replied that “it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor.”

He added, however, that “halt” does not mean to “bomb” and lamented “how many times with the excuse of halting the unjust aggressor…have powerful nations taken possession of peoples and waged a war of conquest!”

He also cautioned that no single nation could determine the right measures. Any intervention must be multilateral and preferably by the United Nations, he said.

Meanwhile, Cardinal Foloni, who is visiting Iraq on behalf of Pope Francis, issued a joint statement this week with Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako and the Iraqi bishops that urged the international community to “liberate the villages and other places that have been occupied as soon as possible and with a permanent result.”

The statement also urged efforts to “assure that there is international protection for these villages and so to encourage these families to go back to their homes and to continue to live a normal life in security and peace.”

Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Vatican nuncio to Iraq, was also asked by Vatican Radio earlier this month about the U.S. airstrikes in Iraq.

“This is something that had to be done, otherwise [the Islamic State] could not be stopped,” the archbishop said. 

Although Pope Francis’ own remarks about an intervention in the war-torn country were carefully guarded, Catholic commentator Robert Spencer, author of such bestselling exposes of Islam as “The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion,” told LifeSiteNews he believes the pope was clearly calling for an “armed intervention, though a very limited one.”  

“Only a fool would think there is another way to stop an ‘unjust aggressor,’” he said.

Spencer expressed concerns that both Francis and Pope John Paul II before him have both referred to Islam a “religion of peace,” which Spencer says is “completely false.” However, he suggested that Francis’ remarks calling for action in Iraq are a sign of a more realistic attitude towards Islam.   

On this, Spencer would likely have the support of Amel Nona, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, who issued a letter last week warning the West in stark terms about the encroaching threat of Islam.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer,” Nona warned. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here.

“You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles,” he said

“You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.”


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'Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses,' said Dawkins. 'They are aborted.' Shutterstock
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Richard Dawkins: it’s ‘immoral’ NOT to abort babies with Down syndrome

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By Dustin Siggins

In a bizarre rant on Twitter earlier today, atheist Richard Dawkins wrote that choosing not to abort a child with Down Syndrome would be "immoral."

The conversation started when Dawkins tweeted that "Ireland is a civilised country except in this 1 area." The area was abortion, which until last year was illegal in all cases.

A Twitter user then asked Dawkins if "994 human beings with Down's Syndrome [having been] deliberately killed before birth in England and Wales in 2012" was "civilised."

Dawkins replied "yes, it is very civilised. These are fetuses, diagnosed before they have human feelings."

Later, Dawkins said that "the question is not ‘is it 'human'?’ but ‘can it SUFFER?’"

In perhaps the most shocking moment, one Twitter user wrote that he or she "honestly [doesn't] know what I would do if I were pregnant with a kid with Down Syndrome. Real ethical dilemma."

Dawkins advised the writer to "abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice."

According to Dawkins, the issue of who should be born comes down to a calculation based upon possible suffering. "Yes. Suffering should be avoided. [The abortion] cause[s] no suffering. Reduce suffering wherever you can."

Later, however, he said that people on the autism spectrum "have a great deal to contribute, Maybe even an enhanced ability in some respects. [Down Syndrome] not enhanced."

When Dawkins received some blowback from Twitter followers, he replied: "Apparently I'm a horrid monster for recommending WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS to the great majority of Down Syndrome fetuses. They are aborted."

It is estimated that in many Western countries the abortion rate of children diagnosed in utero with Down syndrome is 90%, or even higher. The development of new and more accurate tests for the condition has raised concerns among Down syndrome advocates that that number could rise even higher. 

Although it is widely believed that people with Down syndrome are doomed to a life of suffering, in one large survey 99% of respondents with Down syndrome said they were "happy." At the same time, 99% percent of parents said they loved their child with Down syndrome, and 97 percent said they were proud of them.

Only 4 percent of parents who responded said they regretted having their child. 

A number of Dawkins' statements in the Twitter thread about fetal development are at odds with scientific realities. For example, it is well-established that 20 weeks into a pregnancy, unborn children can feel pain. Likewise, unborn children have emotional reactions to external stimuli -- such as a mother's stress levels -- months before being born. 

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