Colorado Tragedy Can’t Obscure The Heart Of The Pro-Life Movement

As hundreds of thousands peaceful pro-life demonstrators coverage on Washington D.C. today for the annual March For Life, the supporters of legalized abortion are gloating over a tragedy that’s unfolded in Colorado.

The tragedy surrounds the death of Lori Stodghill in St. Thomas More hospital. She and her unborn twins were lost and the father, Jeremy has brought a wrongful death lawsuit, pertaining to the failure of an emergency caesarean section to be performed. The glee that comes from the abortion industry’s foot soldiers is that the legal defense of the hospital has apparently centered on the idea that because Lori’s twins weren’t born, they aren’t entitled to legal protection.

A tragedy at Thomas More Hospital has become a legal centerpiece in the fight for human life.

The bishops in Colorado have issued a statement reaffirming the dignity of human life from conception to natural death, vowed to investigate the nature of the legal defense strategy and have declined further comment. It’s eminently believable that the prelates would not have been involved in the formulation of defense strategy—and thereby need to investigate–nor would it be appropriate for them to start commenting on a legal proceeding that’s still unfolding. Although in our media-saturated environment, which thrives on rapid-response, this is going to leave the Church vulnerable to abortion industry attacks, at least for the time being.

I don’t think anyone here is going to defend or condone a legal defense that appeals to the letter of the law while ignoring Church teaching on a matter of fundamental human rights. This would be the ultimate example of winning a battle at the expense of losing a war. The deeper question is why anyone should be persuaded against the right to life because of what may or may not have happened in Colorado.

If prominent Catholic laypeople—from lawyers to politicians—abandoning the unborn were enough to cause anyone to lose faith or belief in the sanctity of life, then I think the public behavior of Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and the late Teddy Kennedy would have already done that.

Even if you want to assume the worst about those involved in the legal defense at St. Thomas More—and I don’t—it would have no impact on anyone’s commitment to the right to life. Just as the fact that Al Gore can be found jetsetting around the world, in a conspicuous display of fuel consumption doesn’t have any impact on the belief of environmentalists.

The focus in Colorado should be first and foremost on the suffering of the Stodghill family. Then on the bishops’ investigation. If they find a wrong decision was made in legal defense tactics, then it’s a tremendous opportunity for the bishops to witness to the sanctity of life even it comes at financial cost. I guess that’s easy for me to say, because I don’t live in Colorado and wouldn’t be involved in paying the costs, but it is true and I hope I’d do the same if presented with a similar challenge.

But ultimately the faith of the Catholic Church and the pro-life movement is always going to come from the ground up. That’s why, regardless of whatever machinations take place among lawyers and politicians, the ultimate driving force of this movement is the people, who will again set foot in Washington by the hundreds of thousands and give an irrefutable witness to the reality that full legal protection for the unborn is a dream that will never die.

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46 thoughts on “Colorado Tragedy Can’t Obscure The Heart Of The Pro-Life Movement

  1. Greg B. says:

    It’s funny how quickly Catholic institutions abandon those “deeply held religious convictions” when money is involved. Just a continuation of that most cherished of all Catholic traditions: hypocri$y.

    1. Joe M says:

      So, you agree with Catholics that the unborn should be protected and that abortion is wrong?

      1. Greg B. says:

        No. I’m pro-choice. I was making an observation about about double standards and hypocrisy.

        1. Joe M says:

          So, you are criticizing somebody who apparently agrees with you on the relevant issue?

          Isn’t that hypocrisy?

  2. Tom Ponchak says:

    This hospital is owned and operated by Catholic Health Initiatives. If you check out their website the do not have one priest or bishop listed on their National Leadership Team or their Board of Trustees. They have about a dozen women’s religious communities associated with them, and of that group the majority are of the Nuns on a Bus type that tend to buck any type of direction from the Church hierarchy. One of the religious communities’s websites includes links to Catholics for Choice, a “catholic” pro-abortion group, along with other extreme left “catholic” groups. With this in mind I find it doubtful they ever considered reaching out to or informing the local bishop of their legal strategies in this case, yet the media’s biased slant on the story would have you believe that the Vatican itself came up with this legal defense.

    1. Paulspr says:

      There you go. Claim that the “Catholic” hospital really isn’t Catholic. That looks great.

      1. abadilla says:

        Well Paul, there are Catholic hospitals and Catholic universities that are just like you, Catholic in name only!
        They reject every major teaching of the Church while calling themselves “Catholic.” For example, if the Nuns on the Bus are Catholic, I’m a Buddhist!

        1. Greg B. says:

          So then you agree that Catholic hospitals and universites should not be exempt from either the requirements of Obamacare or anti-discrimination laws.

          1. abadilla says:

            Frankly, if they are not Catholic, why should they be excepted?

          2. Joe M says:

            Everyone should be exempt from the requirements of Obamacare.

          3. Greg B. says:

            It’s a law passed by Congress and upheld by the Supreme Court.

          4. Joe M says:

            That isn’t exactly true. Some aspects were not upheld by the Supreme Court and further contentions have yet to be sorted out in our courts.

            In any case, the point is that something being a law does not make it justified.

      2. Joe M says:

        If the Nuns on a Bus kidnapped a person and held them for ransom, nobody would confuse the act as being associated with the Catholic church.

  3. Marvin Derks says:

    I found this article on the internet to be interesting regarding the history of abortion issues: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/01/22/169637288/roe-v-wade-turns-40-but-abortion-debate-is-even-older

    1. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

      J.M.J. Yes, Marvin, it is an interesting article Sadly, Mr. O’Brien is a longtime dissenter from the authoritative Teaching of the Church. To assert that the majority of U.S. Catholics in the 1960s believed that women could choose an abortion if they wished is grossly untrue.

      1. Marvin Derks says:

        I believe you but do you have any actual proof of that?

        1. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

          J.M.J. No “hard figures,” but with the still strong family life, robust Mass attendance, myriad vocations to the Priesthood and Consecrated Life, solid catechesis, and the lack of public dissent, etc., until the middle to late 1960s, it is clear that the public, persistent rejection of the Church’s Teaching came later. Today, it is just as clear that dissent means the opposite of what I wrote: weak family life, poor Mass attendance, etc.

          1. Paulspr says:

            So the answer is no, you have no proof. You just decided to slander another person because you disagree with him.

          2. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

            J.M.J. Not at all, Paulspr. I did offer “proof” but without statistics. There’s no question that Catholic Life in the U.S. was very different in the 1960s than today.

          3. Marvin Derks says:

            I agree but statistics would be helpful because they provide measurement based in science and mathematics, the cornerstone of rational thought. One has to wonder, however, if the sexual abuse coverup by the Catholic Church had been uncovered in the 1960′s instead of more recently, if the shift in “Catholic Life” would have occurred sooner. Conservative Catholics like to blame the movement in America in the ’60′s as a root cause of current “problems.” That movement, however, freed women from the suppression of a society that up until then, viewed women as happy homemakers preparing supper for their hard working husbands and also preparing to get pregnant. That movement also gave a voice to Black Americans suppressed by our society. The Catholic Church has not evolved into believing that women are equal to men. It had better evolve soon or it will no longer be a viable religion in this country.

          4. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

            J.M.J. I agree with you that statistics are always helpful. I didn’t have any scientific statistics about the matter and neither did the person with whom I disagreed. But your point is well-made and accepted. As to the Catholic Church believing that women are equal to men, the Church has long taught this, though it is often asserted that this is not the case.

          5. Marvin Derks says:

            Once again, I question the measurement. Saying women and men are equal and then putting women in a lower position than men is contradictory. Women can’t be Priests. Women can’t be Popes. The Churches’ reasoning is flimsy at best. All over the world, women are moving toward leadership positions, slowly but surely. It’s been said that the only way to end war is to put women in leadership positions. I agree with that. I’m very confident that within a few years and perhaps sooner, women will gain the right to be Priests and then the sky’s the limit.

          6. Joe M says:

            I can’t become a nun. That doesn’t put me in a lower position than women in the Catholic church.

          7. Marvin Derks says:

            Perhaps when women become Priests you’ll e able to become a Nun.

          8. Joe M says:

            Perhaps when you have a counterargument to the point I made, you will share it with us.

          9. Marvin Derks says:

            In the Catholic Church, you will never be in a lower position than a woman because you’re a man. That is, until women become Priests. Then you will be considered neither inferior nor superior to women.

          10. Joe M says:

            According to your logic, I am inferior because I can’t be a nun.

            Women not being priests does not make them inferior in the Church for the same reason that men not being nuns does not make them inferior.

          11. Marvin Derks says:

            Women are considered inferior in the Catholic Church. Twist that to mean whatever you want it to mean.

          12. Joe M says:

            If you can’t provide a basis that stands up to logical scrutiny, aren’t you the one who is twisting meanings?

          13. Nerinab says:

            You’re equating “equality” to power and that’s not how the Church sees this issue. Women are highly esteemed in the Church, much more so than in the secular culture which glorifies their objectification.

          14. Msgr. Charles M. Mangan says:

            JMJ Impossible, Marvin.

          15. Joe M says:

            Do you have any statistics to back up your prediction? Or, is it some distance from the cornerstone of rational thought?

          16. Marvin Derks says:

            I agree but statistics would be helpful because they provide measurement based in science and mathematics, the cornerstone of rational thought. One has to wonder, however, if the sexual abuse coverup by the Catholic Church had been uncovered in the 1960′s instead of more recently, if the shift in “Catholic Life” would have occurred sooner. Conservative Catholics like to blame the movement in America in the ’60′s as a root cause of current “problems.” That movement, however, freed women from the suppression of a society that up until then, viewed women as happy homemakers preparing supper for their hard working husbands and also preparing to get pregnant. That movement also gave a voice to Black Americans suppressed by our society. The Catholic Church has not evolved into believing that women are equal to men. It had better evolve soon or it will no longer be a viable religion in this country.

          17. abadilla says:

            So now the Monsignor is into slandering and you are proving your respect for a member of the hierarchy by accusing him of slander. Good job Paulspr, it proves my point that you are as Catholic as I’m Buddhist

          18. Russell Lewis says:

            Last I checked, generally, members of the hierarchy were not infallible. As far as respect… ohhh, I’ve read some of the stuff you’ve said, you should be the last to comment on respect, or the lack thereof.
            And before you discuss the big issues, learn the difference between “slander” and “libel.”

          19. abadilla says:

            You are so rude and uncharitable I have nothing to say to you. I saw your comments at the Catholic News Agency and I didn’t bother to write to you or even react to you. Please, do the same.

          20. Russell Lewis says:

            Oh, not at all. I will continue to comment about your insane, illogical viewpoints. I will call you out when you are uncharitable and unkind to other people… translate that into being a hypocrite. You are in a public forum, you don’t have the luxury to pick and choose which comments get written… other than to not write anything which deserves a comment. So, live with it. Personally, I don’t care if you react or not… it’s all about exposing you as nothing other than an argumentative, narrow minded, bigot.

          21. Marvin Derks says:

            If no one questioned authority, the world would still be living in caves.

          22. Joe M says:

            Did an authority order people to live in caves?

          23. Marvin Derks says:

            I suspect fear of not questioning authority caused people to live in caves.

          24. Joe M says:

            I’m finding that a lot of your positions appear to be based on suspicions.

          25. Marvin Derks says:

            So stop reading my posts. That’s your right.

          26. Joe M says:

            I might exercise that right at some point. Thank you. For the time being, I think that pointing out the untenable nature of such claims is a good thing.

          27. Marvin Derks says:

            It’s nice to know that responding to my posts may bring you pleasure.

          28. abadilla says:

            There is a heck of a a difference between being openly disrespectful of authority and question it, but apparently you and others do not see the difference. One measure of a good Catholic is for us to treat our Church authorities with deference, even when we disagree with them. Furthermore, it takes a certain humility to acknowledge a church authority sometimes knows much more about the Catholic faith than we do. To recognize that fact, is to practice the virtue of humility. To NOT recognize that fact, from a Catholic perspective, is to be arrogant.

          29. Joe M says:

            Claiming that an argument is untrue is not slander.

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