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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Burden of Life - Gosnell Trial

Last night I was working out with two good friends when the Gosnell Trial came to our discussion. All one friend needed to say to get my mind spinning was "Did you hear that Gosnell has been acquitted of 3 counts of murder? They couldn't prove that the babies were born alive."

As I let this sink in I knew I had to find some news source to back it up. I found two articles from CBS and a local Philymag.com blog. What also shocked me was that since one of the counts of first degree murder had been dropped from one of the infant deaths, one of two counts of infanticide we dropped. Also the charge of abusing a corpse was acquitted since the preserved feet of babies found in specimen jars could not be proven to be taken from children who had been born alive.

As I fumed over these results I couldn't help but wonder what constitutes life?

Merriam Webster defines life as:
a: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body

b: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings
c: an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth reaction to stimuli, and reproduction
I will admit that Merriam Webster is not a scientific text. The scientific texts I looked at all refer to statement c with slight variation in text.

Mothers who seek an abortion are asking that a living being be removed from them so that their child does not have the chance to live. On some cognitive level both the mother and the abortionist are acknowledging that there is a child growing within its mother. By removing the child at an early stage of development there is no chance for the child to live.

The second question that I ask myself is; if these babies were not born alive, why would Kermit Gosnell need to snip their spinal cord? An answer of just to make certain that the child is dead doesn't make sense. If the child was already dead, why would Kermit Gosnell care to continue, his job was already done.

Abortion is always a hard topic for me to write on. I would adopt children if my husband and I were financially stable. I have prayed and talked with people in front of abortion clinics. I have marched at my state capital and and pray for an end to abortion. Yet, I know it isn't enough.

The on-demand pervasiveness of our culture screams that we can have whatever we want whenever we want it. Advertising marketing thrives on this need. The opposite also thrives, that if a person decides something is a hindrance or burden they do not need to follow through with the consequence of their actions. Human entitlement has allowed for us to question the value of life and determine both its start and end.

What scares me most is that court rulings have the power to become the law of the land without needing to be approved by elected lawmakers. It scares me that the acquittal of these three murders will change when a "life" actually begins. That I as a potential mother or my doctor can choose after I have given birth that my baby isn't actually alive. A future with that as a potential truly scares me.

Please join me in praying Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Prayer for the Unborn.

Lord Jesus,
You who faithfully visit and fulfill with your Presence
the Church and the history of men;
You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood
render us participants in divine Life
and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life;
We adore and bless you.

Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life,
truly present and alive among us, we beg you.

Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life,
make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb
the miraculous work of the Creator,
open our hearts to generously welcoming every child
that comes into life.

Bless all families,
sanctify the union of spouses,
render fruitful their love.

Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies
with the light of your Spirit,
so that peoples and nations may recognize and respect
the sacred nature of life, of every human life.

Guide the work of scientists and doctors,
so that all progress contributes to the integral well-being of the person,
and no one endures suppression or injustice.

Give creative charity to administrators and economists,
so they may realize and promote sufficient conditions
so that young families can serenely embrace
the birth of new children.

Console the married couples who suffer
because they are unable to have children
and in Your goodness provide for them.

Teach us all to care for orphaned or abandoned children,
so they may experience the warmth of your Charity,
the consolation of your divine Heart.

Together with Mary, Your Mother, the great believer,
in whose womb you took on our human nature,
we wait to receive from You, our Only True Good and Savior,
the strength to love and serve life,
in anticipation of living forever in You,
in communion with the Blessed Trinity.