Agent provocateurs for the unborn
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June 8, 2021 (CatholicCulture.org) – “This is my Body” are the hallowed words of Jesus at the Last Supper when He instituted the Blessed Eucharist—the New and Everlasting Covenant—and instructed His Apostles to “Do this in memory of me.” But the sacred declaration has an alternative meaning, as the late, great Notre Dame Law professor Dr. Charles Rice often observed.
The abortion lobby uses “This is MY body” to promote the right to terminate a pregnancy. The following composite scenario, using the sanitized language of NARAL, may help us understand the economic motivations.
Assisted by boyfriend and parents, a young woman carrying fetal material makes an appointment with Planned Parenthood to terminate her pregnancy. Planned Parenthood provides healthy tissue to researchers for a fee. So the kindly representative asks the girl to come back in two weeks when the tissue has developed to its optimal stage for such research.
The Planned Parenthood medical facilities are bright and antiseptic, and the doctor is well trained in his craft by a top-notch medical school. This procedure demands real medical competence. Fortunately for this collection process, most ob/gyn doctors routinely terminate fetuses as part of their technical training. The pharmaceutical research agency needs a success story for its stock IPO, and the upstart clinic needs fresh tissue sufficiently advanced in gestation. So the provider must remove the tissue with the utmost precision and professional diligence.
The providers must maintain the circulation of the fluids to sustain the fetal material before the organ harvest, so perhaps a C-section would be best. The procedure is a success. The doctors, nurses, attendants, and administrative staff carefully silence the noises emitted by the fetus. The specimens are perfectly healthy: useful for grafting onto small animals.
The delivery to the research clinic is as efficient as modern transportation allows, from the latest in cold storage technology to specialized Fed Ex handling. Invoices exchanged and bills paid. Business managers, accountants, and employees down to the maintenance crew receive their paychecks on time. Businesses deposit their quarterly IRS tax payments. Stockholders are pleased, and brokers receive pleasant commissions on the trades.
The medical community celebrates as the pharmaceutical research facility successfully develops medical treatments for dread diseases. The research enhances prospects for new therapies for degenerative diseases that affect the elderly. Those microscopic cells from the fetal tissue, taken from living and often breathing organisms, divide and multiply millions—maybe billions—of times. The cell lines all find a home in millions of people—injected into our arms or ingested by our bodies—keeping us healthy and extending our lives for a few years. Indeed an alarming number of the drugs developed by the pharmaceutical industry are at least tested on (if not grown on) fetal cell lines.
This is my body? No. This is our body!
All of this horror is possible, with our participation, because we carefully avoid a few truthful words and unpleasant realities: unborn baby, human being, lungs, heart, brain, kidneys, blood, abortion, infanticide, murder, human trafficking, dissection, human vivisection, and torture—and even a baby’s whimper. We sanitize these words with—well, you just heard how we can carefully avoid the unpleasantness. Even Catholic moral analysis falls short. The determination of “remote material cooperation” apparently absolves us of the chain of crimes, as many of us take the medications without protest.
The American bishops and the Vatican encourage us to take the COVID vaccines in charity and for the common good, as long as we somehow register our disapproval of the unholy means of production. In response, many Catholics have accepted an injection of vaccines that carry embryonic stem cell lines. But others continue to resist. Along with the immorality of embryonic stem cell research, there are serious questions of possible long-term side effects such as sterility, suppressed immunity to other viruses, and heart damage.
How can Catholics express their disapproval?
Many years ago, a priest from the Northeastern USA received a significant monetary gift from a pro-abortion US Senator who self-identified as a Catholic. The priest could have accepted the donation for his school without sin, even if political interests motivated the politician. To the chagrin of the diocesan chancery, however, the priest returned the funds with interest. According to a mutual acquaintance, when he reminded the Senator of the incident years later, it inflamed the politician’s anger at the priest.
In the coming months, many Catholics and non-Catholics alike will be refusing vaccines on prophetic moral grounds. Is there a better way of expressing horrified disapproval of the immorality of human vivisection and using aborted remains for medical research and development?
For those who reply that it is pro-life to take the vaccine, this fearful ratio may help with perspective: So far, nearly 600,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. This number compares with approximately 850,000 unborn babies deliberately killed in the U.S. over the same period—and those deaths will continue unabated. The events over the past year prove that we live in desperate fear for our lives, and to ease that fear we will do almost anything the government commands. Unborn babies also suffer terrible pain in loneliness even when aborted in the early stages of development. Unable to speak for themselves, they need our voices.
Medical professionals require that we sign many documents to protect their practices. Perhaps we should return the favor and devise an affidavit for our medical providers attesting: “To the best of my knowledge, these medications and treatments are not derived from embryos or fetal tissue obtained after an abortion.” We may find ourselves in the weeds of distinguishing between fetal cell lines and testing. We will probably only succeed in further annoying the abortion medical-industrial complex, bringing retribution upon us. But we must explore ways to act as agent provocateurs for the unborn. Our job is to change hearts with God’s grace, beginning with our own. Any success is up to God.
We have a right to bodily integrity, and so do the unborn. Authorities and experts have no right to inject us with vaccines or other drugs that violate its sacred purpose. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Cor. 6:19-20) It’s not just my body. In Christ, it is our body.
Published with permission from CatholicCulture.org
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