Why the Consequences of Stupak Matter – And What You Can Do

Judie Brown
By Judie Brown | November 13, 2009 | 11:29 AM EST

I have been detailing the problematic nature of the Stupak Amendment, the politicization of killing the preborn, the architects of this compromise in so-called health care reform legislation and what it has done to undermine genuine pro-life principle.
But in case there is some doubt about what Stupak’s exception-filled, compromising language does to effectively continue the abortion status quo, I would like to give you a few examples of what the status quo is. The first is Texas abortionist Curtis Boyd:
“Now, the doctor has made a jarring admission. ‘Am I killing?’ Boyd said. ‘Yes, I am. I know that.’ Boyd said he is an ordained Baptist minister who has now turned Unitarian. He said he prays often. ‘I’ll ask that the spirit of this pregnancy be returned to God with love and understanding,’ he said.”
Note that this man is numb to the very idea of the preborn child as a person, describing him or her as “the spirit of this pregnancy.” What sort of man talks like that? A man who has, for more than 36 years, plied a trade that results in bloody death while he gets paid to do it and is protected by our nation’s laws. Boyd exemplifies the status quo.
Next, we have ex-policeman Bobby Cutts in Ohio, who was convicted of a double murder last year after he brutally murdered his nine-months-pregnant girlfriend. This man aborted two people out of his life, just as Boyd aborts a single human being. The difference is that Cutts was found guilty of a crime, but in a culture that condones some murder as acceptable, couldn’t we argue that escalating violence against born human beings is one of the inevitable by-products? In my view, we certainly could, and Cutts is but one example.
Actions such as his and those of numerous others represent what happens when abortion and its progeny are defined in political terms: regulated but never condemned as the direct acts of violence that they are.
Violence exemplifies the status quo.
In a stunningly insightful commentary, Dr. Mark Hendrickson takes note of this trend as well. Citing the Ohio case as one of many, he opined,
“Apparently, this particular crime is not rare. One expert interviewed for the report I saw averred that homicide is the second-most common cause of death for pregnant women in America. …
“The increasing incidence of men killing their pregnant lovers coincides over the last 36 years with abortion having received legal sanction as a legitimate form of birth control. Legalizing the killing of unwanted babies was our first repudiation of the principle of the sanctity of life, a rejection of God’s plan. ‘Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord’ (Isaiah, 66:9).
“A next step after abortion on the slippery slope toward death is the killing of women bearing unwanted babies. (A quick aside here: The pro-abortion assertion that a fetus is just a growth inside a woman’s body, not a life, receives a strong rebuke when our laws treat the murder of a pregnant woman as a double homicide.)
“Roughly coinciding with the period of legalized abortion has been the insidious error, propagated by pagan environmentalism, that there are too many people, that having children is irresponsible, that a human being is just another mouth to feed, rather than an intelligent, creative, productive being whose life can glorify the Creator of the universe. God’s first command to man— ‘be fruitful and multiply’ (Genesis. 1:28)—was contradicted by green theologians who proclaimed procreation a sin against mother earth.
“Also feeding an anti-life culture has been the common ‘baby boomer’ desire to remain young and carefree for as long as possible. Raising kids is hard work and ties one down, right? True, but millions of us who have opted for parenthood have found raising children to be the greatest joy in this world. But the fact remains that many boomers have preferred consumption to investment, immediate gratification to long-term, greater rewards. We’d rather partake of the pleasures of this world (exotic vacations, fancy cars, luxury goods) than sacrifice some of our immediate wants for the long-run benefit of our familial and societal posterity.
“Another powerful anti-life undertow was generated by the ‘sexual revolution.’ For many, the Judeo-Christian concept of sex for procreation was eclipsed by the philosophy of sex as recreation. Procreation or recreation: Is sex about creating life or having fun? Is it about giving life and love, or is it about taking pleasure—a self-indulgence so devoid of love that in extreme cases it culminates in murder. Is it life-affirming or life-destroying?
“To the extent that sex as fun has eclipsed sex for life, we have trivialized sex and devalued life. The result: Soaring divorce rates, the emotional trauma of broken families, and even men murdering their lovers and unborn children. Clearly, being ‘liberated’ from traditional sexual mores isn’t as progressive—individually or socially—as the proponents of sexual ‘liberation’ promised. …
“Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of a more demoralized society and one riper for the loss of self-government than one in which men choose to kill their pregnant lovers and wives.
“As is always the case with life’s great issues, the Bible provides the best guidance: ‘Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward’ (Psalm 127:3) and ‘choose life that both thou and thy seed may live’ (Deuteronomy 30:19).
What Dr. Henderson describes are the ultimate consequences of maintaining the status quo, what eventually happens when political machinations replace the principle that no human being’s human rights should be denied, including the most silent among us: the preborn.
When a woman wrote me yesterday and asked why it was that American Life League has been nearly a voice in the wilderness, decrying our peers’ shameful support for the Stupak Amendment, it took no time at all for me to reply,
“Young pro-lifers, and that’s most of our staff and supporters, are simply sick of being told to wait to end abortion, wait for the right time to fight for human rights. They want personhood now. To them, the personhood movement is a positive; it’s about fulfilling John Paul II’s dream of a culture of life. They’ve grown up hearing about abortion, birth control, embryonic stem cell research, etc., and that can be so overwhelming. But personhood ignites their passion by cutting at the very root of all of these offenses against the dignity of the human person , using the positive sword of truth: Every human being is a human person, from the beginning of their biological development.

“So many in the older generation of the pro-life movement have succumbed to defeatism. We hear about ‘abortion neutrality’ and ‘regulation of abortion.’ The young people driving the personhood movement don’t see ‘abortion neutrality’ as the goal. They see respect for the human rights of all human beings, from their biological beginning, as the goal.
“The beauty of the personhood movement is that it is both a legislative and a cultural movement. Anyone who has had a serious debate about abortion knows that the issue isn’t whether the child in the womb is alive, but whether the child in the womb has the same intrinsic value as you or me.
“… Personhood very simply recognizes that all human beings are persons and deserve equal protection under the law. It is, literally, the fulfillment of the civil rights movement.”
There are several substantive actions pro-life Americans can take right now to assure that a final federal health care reform bill either respects the dignity of every human person—without exception—or dies in Congress due to its moral duplicity:
1.  Contact your Catholic bishop and ask him to get personally involved in further negotiations, rather than merely allowing USCCB bureaucrats to speak for him. You can find contact information for every Catholic bishop at
2.  Contact the National Right to Life Committee and ask it to step away from Stupak-type compromises and press for personhood principles in health care reform:
3.  Contact your members of Congress and inform each of them that you are not willing to compromise on a single human being’s right to life for the sake of reaching a consensus on health care reform. Explain that if they vote for such a deal, you will work for their defeat in the next election.
4.  Pray for the courage to defend what you know is right, regardless of the consequences. Take these profound words to heart:
“Be constant in practicing every virtue and especially in imitating the patience of our dear Jesus, for this is the summit of pure love. Live in such a way that all may know that you bear outwardly as well as inwardly the image of Christ crucified, the model of all gentleness and mercy. For if a man is united inwardly with the Son of the living God, he also bears His likeness outwardly by his continual practice of heroic goodness, and especially through a patience reinforced by courage, which does not complain either secretly or in public. Conceal yourselves in Jesus crucified, and hope for nothing except that all men be thoroughly converted to His will. (Saint Paul of the Cross, 1694–1775)”