Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Babies in the Dumpsters - Not Forgotten

I sat in a subcommittee hearing last week, in the center of the state capitol building - the center of our state's government and power, and prayed, rejoiced and grieved all in the same window of time.

A dear friend of mine put together this report on abortion clinic abuses in Michigan. The report was released by Right to Life of Michigan (amazing people!!) at the beginning of this month. And last week (Thursday) was a casual sub-committee hearing just to disucss the findings, and try to get a grasp on how to move forward to rectify the disaster that has been created, just on the simple disregard for the law (not even considering the life aspect!!).

For example, the beginning of the report describes some of the data this way:

"Part I of this report provides an overview of decades of abuses at abortion clinics, demonstrating a pattern and practice of gross violations throughout the industry:
  • Illegal biohazard waste disposal and breaches of medical record privacy, 
  • Negligent operative and post-operative practices that result in patient injury and death, 
  • Refusals to release medical records for patient use and patient follow-up care, 
  • Failure to report to the state medical complications, including patient deaths, 
  • Illegal drug prescription, storage, and administration practices, 
  • Failure to ensure sterile, sanitary surgical equipment and a sterile operative environment,
  • Violations of the law regarding informed consent for abortions, and 
  • Performance abortions past the point of viability without documentation of a maternal health reason..."
Ed Rivet, Legislative Director for Right to Life, explained the report to the small sub-committee members and guests. And then someone representing the department in question, LARA, provided intel and perspective from their angle. The committee was chaired by State Senator Mark Jansen, flanked by State Senator John Proos (R) and State Senator Bert Johnson (D). For those who think "politics" is all attacks and arguments and no civility or respect you should have been to this meeting. I was delighted with the conversation, the tone of respect and honor for those on opposing sides and the approach on the subject.

Of course the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and NOW (National Organization for Women) all had a representative present. But there were also groups like Michigan Catholic Conference and Citizens for Traditional Values listening, and observing.

There are many different aspects one could address with this information but there are two specific points I want to make:

For one, truth is truth is truth. In example, a kitchen is a kitchen, no matter how you get there. The kitchen might have several door ways to get into the room, but regardless of what angle you take, you're still in the kitchen. You could let yourself down through a hole in the ceiling, you could climb through a hole in the floor, you could open the window and crawl in, you could walk backwards into the room or you could ride in on your pappa's shoulders. No matter how you get there, the room does not change.  In the same way, the truth is the truth is the truth - regardless of what angle you consider it from. But for too long conservatives have considered things from very few angles, and very few angles only.

The discussion that was had during that afternoon committee did not focus on the brutality and injustice of abortion (which every pro-life supporter believes and, every confused pro-choicer expects and is prepared to argue) but it was on a different angle.

These "practices" that are killing children are also causing many other offensive crimes, as noted at the beginning of this post. If we can make a certain crime extra excruciating by approaching it from an unusual or unexpected angle why not try? If we can make abortions so legally binding for abortion doctors - why not pursue it? If we can make breaking laws on disposal of hazardous materials so inconvenient, why not put an end to it? If someone who is pro-choice gets side-lined not because they have changed their mind on the dignity of a life but because their hands have been tied based on another issue, the pro-life effort wins, right?!

See what I mean? This material is brilliant! And the presentation of and content at this meeting and conversations within were fantastic!

My second point is referenced in the emotion initially mentioned. At last week's meeting, I sat there and listened and realized: my peers who have been eliminated for the past 30 plus years are finally getting a voice. 

Strangers from my generation who might have been my friends, co-workers and neighbors who all left too early, many of whom were tossed in a dumpster or carelessly disregarded, are finally being heard. Finally, justice is being done. Those who have broken the law will pay. The perpetrators' conscience must be addressed with The Holy Father (remind me to share with you how I finally came to understand God's love because of the redemption of our Father on this issue alone) - but  there can be physical consequences in the law that discourage the perpetrators from ever attempting this disgusting "line of work" again.

Truth is coming from the darkness into the light. Doctors who abused their privelage to practice medicine, who have operated illegally, who caused damage to the mother (in more ways than one); the centers that have been careless of their treatment not only of the mother and baby but their personal information and privacy in healthcare; those who have more zealously sought the green cash in the mother's hands for the "service"; and those who have allowed their God-given lives to be used for the desecration of others - are being exposed.

If King Arthur - one of the world's great warriors of all times - had only moved forward in one way and one way only, he might have marched straight off the continent and his people completely slaughtered in the process. To be a great warrior, you must approach the subject from different angles, tactics and strategies if you want to win the war. And in the same way, if we are going to be successful leaders for truth and life, we must get creative, try new strategies and ask different questions. Nothing changes the substance of the issue. But if can make progress by entering "the kitchen" from a different perspective, I think we owe it to all the babies who have left early and their families who have been traumatized, to try.

God bless my friends who are warriors in this fight. I am honored to know you. My generation thanks you. They are no longer forgotten. The truth has been set free.