The day before the National March for Life, His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, in an interview with pro-life speaker, Rebecca Kiessling, called the premise behind the Pain Capable Abortion “Ban” bill "preposterous!" and "ridiculous".
"Does that make it OK" Cardinal Dolan rhetorically asked during the interview, "to stab someone in the back while sleeping because they can feel NO pain? . . . Ridiculous!"
His comments echo the concerns of a vocal group of state and local pro-life organizations who have united to form the Personhood Alliance.
Members of the Personhood Alliance and other organizations such as the American Life League, as well as individual pro-life personalities like Abby Johnson, have criticized the deeply flawed Pain Capable Abortion “Ban” legislation.
In a recent interview for Cosmopolitan magazine, Abby Johnson stated the reasons for her personal opposition to the rape and incest exception. “I believe in incremental legislation,” stated Ms. Johnson, “as long as it doesn't then step on some babies because of how they were conceived. To me, that's almost like a eugenics mindset, like, 'Well, we don't like the way you were conceived, so you are not as valuable.' If someone said, 'We are going to ban abortion on all babies as long as they aren't African-Americans,' that wouldn't be OK. To me, it's the same thing."
Instead of supporting the Pain Capable Abortion “Ban” the Personhood Alliance is urging its members to get behind the Sanctity of Human Life Act. Introduced in the House on January 21st, the same day as Cardinal Dolan’s remarks.
The bill was introduced by Georgia representative Jody Hice, who had signed Georgia Right to Life’s 100% pro-life pledge and was endorsed by the group.
In response to calls from members of the Personhood Alliance, Representative Hice’s Washington DC staff assured the activists that he would not support the flawed Pain Capable Abortion “Ban” and instead would merely vote present. In addition he agreed to introduce H.R. 426, as a 100% pro-life alternative.
H.R. 426 asserts the power granted to Congress under article 1 Section 8 of the constitution as well as under section 5 of the 14th amendment to make necessary and proper laws to protect the right to life from fertilization and without any form of discrimination.
The issue of discrimination came up repeatedly during the Cardinal’s radio interview as Rebecca Kiessling, whose organization Save The 1 is also a member of the Personhood Alliance, made a strong case that pro-lifers cannot support legislation that actively discriminates against a class of persons in order to increase the chances of passing legislation.
Cardinal Dolan repeatedly praised Mrs. Kiessling for her personal witness and for maintaining the “clean” and “clear” principle that rape and incest exceptions should be rejected just like one would reject the death penalty for any other innocent person.
Drawing an analogy with a fictional literary character from a detective story, Cardinal Dolan stated: “I am a fan of Michael Connelly, he's a great crime fiction writer, and one of his characters is Harry Bosch. He is a detective, a hard boiled detective in LA, and Harry Bosch has the phrase that either everybody counts or nobody counts. In other words he investigates the murder of a homeless addict as much as he does an LA billionaire.”
Cardinal Dolan also spoke about the slippery slope problem inherent in politically compromising one’s core principles. Agreeing with Rebecca Kiessling’s premise that rape and incest exceptions are morally wrong, he stated: “Every life counts … if we make an exception for rape and incest, then next year won't they demand an exception for the Down Syndrome babies . . . what about the . . . here again it is the slippery slope.”
Personhood activists are encouraged by recent signs of support by prominent conservative thinkers such as Princeton Law Professor Robert George and National Review contributor Ramesh Ponnuru, and are urging the wider pro-life movement to unite behind 100% pro-life legislation and support bills that do not make exceptions like H.R. 426.
If you would like to send a message of support to Cardinal Dolan for his courageous stand for all innocent human life and contact your member of congress regarding H.R. 426.
Contact info for Cardinal Dolan: https://www.facebook.com/TimothyCardinalDolan
Congress Contact Info: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/