In an event likely to produce more heat than light, a committee of the New Hampshire legislature will on Thursday, February 14 — Valentine's Day, of all things — hold a public hearing on a resolution to "commemorate" the 40th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, issued January 22, 1973.
Regardless of whether it passes, the resolution will have no effect on the legal status of abortion, since by the usurped power exercised in that frequently challenged but never overturned Supreme Court decree, states are forbidden to interfere with a woman's "right" to terminate her pregnancy as a matter of private, personal "choice." The resolution merely rubs salt in a civic wound over which this nation has been agonizing for decades and over which it will likely agonize for years and decades to come. It is an "in your face" insult to the state's thousands of law-abiding citizens who are doing what they legally can to encourage respect for human life in all its forms and stages.
It says that the state of New Hampshire regards abortion not as a sad and cruel necessity in so-called hard cases involving a few unfortunate individuals, but considers the legalization of abortion, followed by an estimated 50 million or more aborted babies, a civic blessing and a cause for celebration. One can only imagine the horror with which sponsors of this resolution would react if supporters of the death penalty introduced a resolution commemorating one or more Supreme Court decisions upholding as constitutionally valid the legal execution of convicted murderers.
With roughly a third of New Hampshire's more than one million citizens claiming, with varying degrees of fidelity, an adherence to the Catholic faith, New Hampshire remains a mostly Protestant state, though its Catholic population is a greater percentage of the whole than is true for the nation at large. Surely, not all Catholics support their church's opposition to what Pope John Paul II called the "culture of death." But a majority of active abortion foes in the state are Catholics, who have been happy to welcome into the pro-life ranks a great many Protestant evangelicals and others who participate in the annual March for Life in Concord and in other pro-life activities. That the leading sponsor of this resolution, Concord Democrat Candace Bouchard, made a point of saying she is a Catholic should neither fool nor confuse anyone. Judas Iscariot was an Apostle. Benedict Arnold was an American. Candace Bouchard is a Catholic.
Nor should anyone be taken in by the number of "pro-choice" legislators, at both the state and federal level, who protest that they are "personally opposed" to abortion (cross their hearts and hope to die they are), but cannot bring themselves to oppose or restrict feticide legislatively, since the killing of a pre-born infant is a personal decision that each woman must be allowed to make for herself. It is, they insist, her body, her choice, despite the inconvenient yet undeniable fact that the body being butchered in an abortion is not that of the woman paying the physician for the "service," but that of the tiny daughter or son she carries inside her.
It is strange that in allegedly libertarian New Hampshire, where the majority of lawmakers claim to respect that right of an individual to do whatever she wants concerning her own body, genuine libertarians have been unable to pass any liberalization of the state's ban on marijuana, even for medicinal use. That, apparently, would reflect a concern for liberty rightly found only in crazy California, kooky Colorado and among the wild and wacky, weed-happy denizens of Washington State. Not among God's frozen people in good, solid, respectable, Puritan New England, where killing thy neighbor in utero is a legally protected right, but mere possession of even small amounts of marijuana exposes one to heavy fines and jail time.
In fact, in utero, is not the only form of baby killing defended by some of the state's "pro-choice" politicians. The representatives and senators elected in 2010 were a more conservative group than had been in charge of legislative branch in decades. They passed a ban on a certain form of late-term procedure, commonly called "partial-birth" abortion, in which the infant is drawn partially out of the womb before the tiny head is punctured, drained, and crushed. Legislators in the past had tried to outlaw the especially barbaric procedure, but failed to win a majority in both houses. But when they passed the ban last year, they managed to get the supermajority needed to override the veto of then-Governor John Lynch, who, like the aforementioned Rep. Bouchard, is a Judas Iscariot Catholic.
But the Judases among us are not the only problem. Perhaps only God and the Most Reverend Peter Libasci know why the bishop of the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester, N.H., did not publicly condemn that veto by Governor Lynch or publicly inform that apostate Catholic that he has effectively excommunicated himself and ought to abstain from the sacraments of the church until such time as he has repented from the willful and pernicious errors of his ways.
Much has been said of the virtues of ecumenism in the post-Vatican II church, so perhaps the Catholic bishop could take a lesson from the late Southern Baptist minister, Martin Luther King, Jr. In his famous "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," the prominent civil rights leader spoke of times and conditions in which silence is anything but golden. What King wrote in his Alabama jail cell about the sin of racism is no less true concerning the scourge and scandal of abortion: "We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."