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A response to Bishop Kevin Rhoades

| Monday, November 16, 2015

Bishop Kevin Rhoades’s recent long letter to The Observer excoriating Planned Parenthood (Nov. 12) exemplifies the tunnel vision and lack of proportionality that often characterize anti-abortion editorializing. When Bishop Rhoades compares student support of Planned Parenthood to (hypothetical) support of the Ku Klux Klan, he ignores a fundamental difference. A central part of the activity of one organization aims to help a large group of our fellow citizens realize their legal rights, while the other aims to intimidate a large group of our fellow citizens from realizing theirs.

John Sitter

Mary Lee Duda Professor of Literature

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • Johnny Whichard

    Time to brush the dust off the old history book. Google Margaret Sanger. The whole point of PP is ethnic cleansing.

    • João Pedro Santos

      Do you even know the meaning of ethnic cleansing?

  • John Robin

    Professor Duda’s argument appears to reduce to this: Planned Parenthood helps many individuals, whereas the KKK does not. Therefore, even if Planned Parenthood kills large number of children, this undesirable outcome is acceptable because of the greater good which PP achieves.

    Such an argument relies on the false idea, condemned by Scripture and the Church, that we may “do evil that good may result” (Romans 3:8). There is nothing that can justify the deliberate, premeditated killing of the child in the womb. No “greater good”, no false application of “proportionality”. Nothing. How many STD tests provided can offset the injustice of deliberately killing an unborn child? Recent history as well gives many examples of the inalienable right to life being made secondary to a “greater good”, leading to atrocities, pogroms, holocausts, and genocides. In the past century more than 50 million unborn children have been slaughtered by the providers and defenders of abortion.

    Planned Parenthood, regardless of any useful services it may arguably provide, is engaged in the deliberate, direct killing of unborn children. Absolutely nothing can justify this. And nothing can justify facilitating, promoting, or legitimizing an organization that carries out such atrocities.

    Saint John Paul II wrote, “…a new cultural climate is developing and taking hold… broad sectors of public opinion justify certain crimes against life in the name of the rights of individual freedom, and on this basis they claim not only exemption from punishment but even authorization by the State, so that these things can be done with total freedom and indeed with the free assistance of health-care systems. …In this way, we revert to a state of barbarism which one hoped had been left behind forever.” (Gospel of Life, 4, 14)

  • Joseph

    So Prof. Sitter, just to be clear, as long as the Nazi’s are providing legal services to their citizens, you have no problem with them killing the mentally handicapped or the Jews, if that is also “legal”? Oh, I see, the human being in the womb of her mother has no legal rights. Got it. The sad part of all of this is that many like Prof. Sitter are so thoroughly indoctrinated by their legally approved culture of death, they cannot see the absurdity of their position. Then again, with the non-stop headlines of senseless murder throughout the USA, I would say she is reaping what she has “legally” sewn.

    • John Robin

      Joseph, according to the professor’s stated position, apparently he would have little problem with the Nazis exterminating Jews and the mentally handicapped so long as they also provided services that “help a large group of [their] fellow citizens realize their legal rights”.

      The only objection from that point of view might arise if the Jews and mentally handicapped were considered to have intrinsic human rights. But if these individuals were deemed “unworthy” of legal rights, then there can be no legal objection to killing them if it serves a higher purpose. This is precisely the core logic of many defenders of “abortion rights”, once you get past the fallacious arguments against “restricting freedom” and “imposing religious belief”. This logic justifies the most barbarous practices to become accepted and defended by states, individuals, and public and private institutions: even by the faculties and with the resources of colleges that trumpet the values of human potential and the individual; scandalously, even by those that claim to be catholic.

  • João Pedro Santos

    Because fighting for women’s right to have control of their own bodies is the same as racial segregation. (irony)