Sunday, February 22, 2009

Back on the Bookshelf-- Abortion: The Silent Holocaust

There is so much I could say about John Powell's book, Abortion: the Silent Holocaust.

Though written in 1981, it is still an extremely relevant book that will motivate readers to act on behalf of the unborn. A Jesuit priest, John Powell shares his insights gleaned from years of experience counseling through and witnessing significant moments of life-- including birth and death.

Honestly, though this won't sound like a resounding endorsement, the book depressed me. I felt it difficult to breathe at times while reading... and many times, had to put down the book in disgust that such a thing as abortion even happens once a year anywhere in the world, much less over 4,000 times a DAY in our own country. That said, it is a righteous depression that he evokes. He takes us through the moral decisions that led to the horrific holocaust of European Jews in WWII, and shows how we as a culture are accepting all of the same premises by accepting abortion. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this book... it will stir the heart and inform about this watershed issue of abortion, and the rights of each individual (born or not yet born) to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

I'll share some highlights & quotes...

When people ask me why it bothers me so much that there are more than four thousand abortions each day in this country , I am reminded of a story from the life of Martin Luther King. Once he was jailed for protesting the denial of equality to black Americans. Someone asked him: "Why are you in jail?" His only response was: "Why are you not in jail?"
As he examines the similarites between Nazi Germany and Abortion-era America, he shows how the mind can't really grasp this kind of wholesale discarding of human life. He writes of his thoughts while visiting an extermination camp in Europe:
As our guide escorted us, I began to have an eerie feeling... Could human beings really do this to one another? The evidence was before my eyes, but my mind balked at understanding.

... Back in the mainstream of German life, ... I discovered a question struggling to the surface of my mind. I wanted desperately to ask... "Did you know?"
Also similar to the tragic killings of the Jews in death camps, doctors are complicit in the taking of the lives of the unborn. Those that study to help, protect, and heal end up hurting, killing, and experimenting on those that are deemed unwanted.
Which patients were to be killed was determined by a board of doctors, most of whom were professors of psychiatry in key German universities. ...There was considerable experimentation done on those people docketed for death, such as amputations and gunshots in order to test blood coagulents. There were live dissections...
And lest you think this is not happening with aborted babies in America today, read here, or perhaps here, and also here for some of recent examples.

Another illuminating part, for me, was seeing how many of the things Powell wrote about in '81 that seemed so far away to him are now being practiced. He sites an article in 1979 that said:
Unless we stop abortion we will go further than Hitler... we will call on brilliant scientists who know all about creation... we will ask them to tell us which child is worthy to live and which is not. We will go Hitler one better.
Click on the embedded link above to see how this is already happening.

Powell shows dozens of examples of leading abortionists of that time fully admitting both the humanity and murder of aborted children.

In Sept. 1970, one doctor wrote that because Americans had not yet fully bought into the principles of utilitarianism/convenience, "it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing." An abortionist in Wisconsin wrote, "we know it is killing." A leading pro-abortionist & former medical director of Planned Parenthood stated it quite clearly: "abortion is the taking of a life."

An entire chapter of Powell's book is devoted to the very clear, medically-documented evidence that doctors and abortionists have spoken and written about, showing that from the very moment of conception, a new life has formed. There is only one "neat beginning" to every human being, and that is at the time when an egg is fertilized.

Powell challenges us to talk about abortion in honest terms.
Language is something like the sugar coating of the ideas which we swallow and digest. And ideas have serious consequences. It's a lot easier to swallow dishonesty if you call it "a fast buck" or "easy money." It's a lot easier to commit adultery if you trivialize it as "fooling around." ... It's a lot easier to kill a baby if you call it "terminating a pregnancy." It's a lot easier to discuss abortion if you never mention the tiny human victim or refer to the victim's death.
Powell asks, "How does a minister of the Good News [which is every single Christian person, not just clergy!] come face to face in prayer with the Lord who said, "Whatever you do to the least of my children..."

The [Supreme] Court itself acknowledged in a footnote... that if the personhood of the unborn child were established, abortion could not be allowed, even to save the life of the mother.
He points out how very similar this is to both Nazi Germany and slavery-era America. When we allow ourselves to take those people who are clearly human beings and define them as a sub-category (as 3/5ths of a person, or as a non-person), we should all take note and let history teach us the results. When we devalue one portion of humanity, we devalue it all... which is why there is more and more of a modern push for euthanasia, prenatal diagnosis and elimination of preborn children with genetic abnormalities, selective abortions (when, through IVF or even natural conception, a mother pregnant with multiples is advised to "reduce" the number of children in her womb), and other death-inducing "choices".
I try to imagine a world creatied by the logical extensions of this quality-of-life ethic. It is a world that will answer no challenges, will abide no struggle, and will tolerate no one unless his/her life and contribution to society are considered meaningful and worthwhile.
I highly recommend that you get and read Powell's challenging book.


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