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The Fight for Life
By Glenys B. Newbury
“A man’s enemies shall be they of his own household.” —Matt. 10:36
I am a convert from Methodism and have been a Catholic since the age of eighteen. I became a Catholic after I met Claude, who was then a second year medical student, and who later became my husband. Claude is a cradle Catholic and it was his Catholic faith that, together with God’s great grace, caused my conversion. We have been married for 46 years, and have spent 38 of these in pro-life work. We have five daughters, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. For 25 years Claude was president of Pro-Life South Africa, the first, and for many years the only pro-life organisation in South Africa. From 1982 he also represented Human Life International in Africa. I started Victims of Choice, an organisation to help women whose lives had been damaged by their abortions.
Claude received a Catholic education whereas I attended state schools. On leaving school, Claude studied medicine, and I radiography, where we were immediately plunged into deeply secular environments.
Bishop Hugh Boyle of Johannesburg did his best to protect his Catholic medical students by sending Fr. Kieran McIvor, to educate them in medical morality. With recent developments in medicine such as: cloning; test-tube babies; embryo transplantation; foetal experimentation; organ culture, harvesting and transplantation; stem-cell research; euthanasia; sex selection; abortion; birth and population control; eugenics; genetic engineering; and the creation of human-animal chimeras, these matters are now preeminent amongst moral problems. Many years later we discovered that while studying at The Angelicum, Fr. McIvor was a classmate of the future Pope John Paul II.
Almost 20 years before the legalisation of abortion in the UK and USA, and the wholesale slaughter of the unborn by the medical profession and before the precipitous rush of other religions into the arms of the Culture of Death, Fr. McIvor prepared his medical students for the coming battle. He nourished them with moral theology, strengthened their Faith and ignited interest in Catholic medical ethics. Little did we then realise that his teaching was far more important than any other medical learning.
Bishop Boyle also founded a Guild of Catholic Doctors. Sadly, despite his very best efforts, this Guild steadily declined and finally died, mainly because of the surrender of Catholics to materialism and modernism. Relativism and situational ethics quickly destroyed moral absolutes. The growth of the “permissive society” with its sexual revolution and insatiable demand for contraceptives was a key factor.
The end of the Guild came after Humanae Vitae, because of the widespread contradiction of this Encyclical from within the Church that resulted in Papal authority and Catholic beliefs being questioned and denied.
Naturally, there were then, and still are now, large pockets of Catholic-orthodoxy and ultimately there is still the Magisterium and the supreme authority of the Vicar of Christ.
Catholic Response To The Culture of Death
It is a magnificent fact that the first, most resolute and enduring opposition to what Pope John Paul II called the Culture of Death, has come from Catholics, who have been nourished and inspired by two millennia of Catholicism and Papal teaching, particularly by the “magnificent three”. Encyclicals once described by Fr. Paul Marx OSB as “The three best kept secrets in the Catholic Church”.
These are Castii Connubii by Pope Pius XI in 1930, Humanae Vitae by Paul VI in 1968 and Evangelium Vitae by John Paul II in 1995.
Castii Connubii and Humanae Vitae are sure guides to marriage and procreation, and Evangelium Vitae is a virtually complete moral guide for the modern world.
I must tell you that if I had started out on my pro-life work as a non-Catholic, I would very quickly have become a Catholic because of what I discovered in doing this work, particularly because of the huge differences between Catholicism and other religions on all these moral matters.
For many years Catholics stood virtually alone against the Culture of Death but increasingly non-Catholics have joined them in opposing abortion and more recently, in rejecting contraception. With many of these, such as myself, becoming Catholics because of the wisdom and beauty we found in the teaching of the Church on these and on many other vital questions.
I now share with you some of my experience and observations about the apathy of the majority of Catholics to defend the most basic of all human rights, namely the right to life, and by so avoiding their duty, thereby failing to prevent, or at least to impede, the fiendish killing of the unborn. You may well ask why I have chosen to concentrate on Catholics. I do so because we have been especially tasked to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world and also, with more than a Billion Catholics around the world, we could, with Gods’ sure help, overthrow this despicable Culture of Death.
Apathy About Abortion
Concerning the slaughter of unborn children in the United Kingdom that each year results in 200,000 being aborted by medical practitioners, there has been a deathly silence from the pulpits, only occasionally disturbed by a bishop or priest.
In Evangelium Vitae we find the following: - “For us, being at the service of life is not a boast but rather a duty, ………..”. “Everyone has an obligation to be at the service of life. This is a properly "ecclesial" responsibility, which requires concerted and generous action by all the members and by all sectors of the Christian community. This community commitment does not however eliminate or lessen the responsibility of each individual, called by the Lord to "become the neighbour" of everyone:
“Together we all sense our duty to preach the Gospel of life, to celebrate it in the Liturgy and in our whole existence, and to serve it with the various programs and structures which support and promote life.”
“It also involves making clear all the consequences of this Gospel. These can be summed up as follows: human life, as a gift of God, is sacred and inviolable. For this reason procured abortion and euthanasia are absolutely unacceptable. Not only must human life not be taken, but it must be protected with loving concern.”
“To be truly a people at the service of life we must propose these truths constantly and courageously from the very first proclamation of the Gospel, and thereafter in catechesis, in the various forms of preaching, in personal dialogue and in all educational activity.”
During the seven years that we have been in the UK about one and a half million unborn children have been killed by abortion in this country alone. But on fewer than 5 occasions have we heard a prayer for the unborn, or any mention of abortion from the pulpit and have never heard a prayer for women who have had, or who are planning to have, abortions.
Mother Teresa puts it like this; “Abortion kills twice. It kills the body of the baby and it kills the conscience of the mother”.
Every year a Memorial Service in honour of War Dead, held around the Cenotaph in London is presided over by the Queen. Yet, as Head of State, she signed Britain’s 1967 Abortion Act thereby unleashing, in the English-speaking world, the merciless war on the unborn.
David Steel, Leader of the Liberal Party was the chief architect of this law. Subsequently he became Lord Steel of Aikwood; represented the Queen on the Synod of the Church of Scotland and became Rector of Edinburgh University.
Britain’s abortion law became the blue-print for identical laws in many other countries and influenced the USA’s legalisation of abortion in 1973. London is now the abortion capital of the world. It houses IPPF, the “Prime Conductor of the Culture of Death”. IPPF promotes and funds abortion everywhere, and financially profits from its globally-disseminated depravity.
London also harbours other major international anti-life organisations such as Brook Advisory, and Marie Stopes, the latter advertising its “Safe Abortion” services on garbage bins in South Africa’s cities.
The media - while ruthlessly censoring all evidence of the savagery of abortion - constantly dwells on the horror of the Nazi holocaust. In that Holocaust six million were exterminated. The Second World War caused 60 million deaths. Yet every year doctors now perform 70 million surgical abortions, thus killing more by abortion in one single year, than were killed during the whole duration of the Second World War.
Hard Words And Who Can Hear Them?
This hideous toll does not take into account those innumerable very young human beings - in the early embryonic stages of development - who are killed by the use of abortifacient birth control drugs and devices. Telling the truth about abortifacient birth control and surgical abortions is generally met by silence and even by hostility and threats. A truth so bitterly unpalatable to Modern society which simply cannot function without contraception backed up by abortion.
There are 580,000 births and 200,000 surgical abortions each year in the UK. Since the introduction of abortion into the UK, about six million children have been killed. The toll in the USA is around thirty million. On average every second woman in the UK has had a surgical abortion and one in four pregnancies is “terminated” in this way.
Yet, even these torrents of innocent blood are insufficient to satisfy the human devotees of the Culture of Death or minimally to slake the thirst of the demons whom they serve. There are now moves in the UK to increase abortions by permitting doctors to do them in their consulting rooms, and in my homeland South Africa, to train nursing assistants to do likewise and to force doctors to perform abortions against their consciences.
Catholics Tolerating Abortion
I constantly ask myself what it will take to shatter Catholic complacency about this holocaust? When will we act to end abortion and the depraved society that now surrounds us? Why do we tolerate this despicable culture sustained by child sacrifice?
Again I quote from Evangelium Vitae:- “We are called to express wonder and gratitude for the gift of life and to welcome, savor and share the Gospel of life not only in our personal and community prayer, but above all in the celebrations of the liturgical year. Particularly important in this regard are the Sacraments, the efficacious signs of the presence and saving action of the Lord Jesus in Christian life.”
Chesterton once said that “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions”.
The Corruption Of The Medical Profession
In July 2000, Scotland’s Cardinal Winning said "No profession has been more deeply corrupted by the culture of death than the medical profession over the past century. And nothing has more deeply corrupted it than the practice of abortion and the attendant attitude that human life which is weak and vulnerable is disposable.” Cardinal Winning stressed the need for evangelisation leading to "conversions of hearts from which a culture of life is built."
Castii Connubii; Humanae Vitae; Evangelium Vitae
On the 31st of December 1930, Pope Pius XI published Castii Connubii, in response to the Church of England’s approval of contraception earlier that year. This profound encyclical has been largely ignored, particularly by dissidents who similarly disregard other Catholic teaching on contraception stretching back for two thousand years.
In the 40 years since Humanae Vitae’s publication there has been within the Church a bubbling cauldron of rebellious opposition or “dissent” raised up against it. Attacks on it have been, and still continue to be made by Catholic theologians, intellectuals and publications.
It is essential to know that most methods of birth control do not work only to prevent conception. The hormonal methods work in three ways:-
First, they inhibit ovulation. Here they act as partial, temporary sterilising agents.
Second they impede progress of the sperm towards the ovum. Here they act as barrier contraceptives.
Third they change the lining of the womb making it hostile to implantation. Here they act to cause abortions. An intrinsic action of “The Pill”, Norplant and Depot Provera is to prevent the implantation into the lining of the womb of very young embryos, some seven days after the beginning of their lives at conception, thus causing early abortions.
It is not possible to know in each cycle which of the above listed mechanisms of action is operating. However it is known that the first two mechanisms of action listed above regularly fail, resulting in conception, with the third mechanism then “preventing pregnancy” by causing an early abortion.
In using “The Morning After Pill”, which can be taken up to three days after “unprotected sexual intercourse,” the abortive action is the only one of the three mechanisms that is relied upon to “prevent pregnancy”, which it does by preventing the embryo from implanting herself into the womb and thereby killing her. Something akin to “preventing” poverty or unemployment by killing the poor or unemployed. Reading the pamphlet inside every pack of these so-called “contraceptives” will very quickly dispel ignorance about their abortive action.
The only varieties of birth control that may accurately be called “contraceptives” are barrier methods and spermicidal agents. The primary abortive action of “The IUCD” and “The Do It Yourself Abortion Pill” are well known.
In their ongoing revolution against the authority of the Church there is no way that those who support contraception can claim to be ignorant about this abortive action. All they need to do is to read a package insert. It really couldn’t be any easier.
Apart from denying the constant teaching of the Church stretching right back to the Apostles, that Contraception is “intrinsically evil”, and that the “contraceptive mentality” is the root of abortion, support for these methods because of the abortions they cause, is actually support for and complicity in the killing of very young human beings.
Why is this sickening betrayal of life, masquerading as intellectual “dissent” and often deviously termed “loyal opposition”, tolerated? In fact the only loyalty it reveals is to the culture of death.
If the Catholic Church had capitulated to the demands of society, and of these dissidents, and had allowed contraception, the Church would thereby have condoned, been directly involved in, and complicit in procuring early abortions.
Meanwhile other denominations and religions - to their everlasting shame - continue to march in lockstep with the legions of the Culture of Death.
Obviously the killing of human beings can occur at any stage of their antenatal or postnatal lives and life can be snuffed out seconds, days, months or years after its beginning at conception. Nowadays babies are killed while in the actual process of being born, by means of that indescribably barbaric procedure known as “partial birth abortion”. In this the baby’s skull is perforated and it’s brains sucked out just as it appears at the entrance of the birth canal. Nowadays it is acceptable to “plan” your family by choosing to murder some of your children.
Nazi Evil versus The Compassion of Abortion
Human beings are just as surely killed by abortifacient birth control drugs and devices as they were in Nazi Death Camps and in the Soviet Gulag. Then it would have been unthinkable for Catholics to support these atrocities. So why do Catholics now tolerate surgical abortions and birth-control drugs and devices that kill very young humans?
Many see abortions and abortifacient birth control as a private matter. Simply as “a woman’s right to control her own body”. The use of contraceptives and abortion by Catholic women in the USA is now similar to their use by non-Catholics. Most moderns believe that the primary purpose of their reproductive organs is to provide them with unimpeded sexual pleasure and that procreation is not the intended meaning of the marital embrace nor of our reproductive organs.
Are We Guilty As Charged?
There have been accusations claiming, amongst other things, that during the Third Reich, the Catholic Church did not do everything possible to stop the Holocaust. But when the satanic evil of abortion and abortifacient birth control is finally acknowledged, how will many Catholics stand and answer, here below in a new kind of Nuremberg Trial, or worse still, on the Day of Judgement?
Examples of the betrayal of the Gospel of Life were all too evident during the last Presidential Campaign in the USA, when only a mere handful of Catholic Bishops were willing to speak against Catholic pro-abortion candidates or to deny these lackeys of the Culture of Death the right to receive Holy Communion. The silence from most Catholic leaders concerning the evil of birth control, abortion and the abortifacient actions of the pill, injection, loop, implant, and “morning after pill” is simply intolerable silence about crimes that cry out to heaven for vengeance.
Something that always astonishes me is how society, having forsaken God the author of all morality, somehow believes that moral issues can be decided by debate or by public opinion polls. The grave error of this approach is never more clearly seen than when a governor of a state asked the crowd a question concerning the execution of a man whom he had found to be totally innocent. The overwhelming democratic vote called for his execution. “Crucify Him.” Crucify Him”, they shouted.
Propagating The Culture of Death
During our pro-life travels we have found opposition to Humanae Vitae in reading-rooms of Catholic schools and seminaries. We have seen notorious pro-abortionists invited to speak on matters of social justice and human rights from the pulpits of Catholic Cathedrals.
Helen Suzman, Member of Parliament and resolute, enthusiastic South African pro-abortionist who was largely responsible for the introduction of South Africa’s first abortion law in 1975, was invited by a Catholic Archbishop to speak on Human Rights, from the pulpit of a Catholic Cathedral in South Africa.
This same Archbishop had previously disgraced himself by being the first Archbishop in the world to publically reject Humanae Vitae. He did this the day immediately after its publication.
Once a month Holy Mass was said by our chaplain Fr. Cedric Myerscough SJ, for Pro-Life South Africa. This Mass was celebrated in the chapel of a famous Catholic hospital, but after Claude visited the Mother Superior, who was also a medial doctor, and complained about the hospital giving accommodation and facilities to an active and extreme pro-abortionist, we were told that we could no longer use their chapel. However the nuns did not ask the abortionist to leave.
Some Catholic Universities have bestowed honours on outspoken agents of the culture of death. Such as when Notre Dame gave a doctorate to the aforementioned Helen Suzman despite the protests and evidence provided by Claude and by Professor Charles Rice of Notre Dame. Amongst this evidence were extracts from “Hansard” about her abortion campaigns in the South African Parliament.
Other Catholic Universities have allowed high-profile abortionists to speak on their campuses, while arresting pro-life protesters. Such as when Mr. Joseph Scheidler, was arrested at the Jesuit Loyola-Strich University in Chicago while objecting to this treachery.
For many years Mr. Scheidler, together with Fr. Paul Marx OSB, were the most feared adversaries of Planned Parenthood. So effective was he that NOW (National Organisation of Women) sued him for more than twenty million dollars, invoking the RICO Racketeering Act against him. Fortunately after a legal battle lasting 17 years, NOW’s case finally failed. Had NOW been successful then all pro-lifers praying, kneeling, or standing outside abortuaries could have been arrested, charged as Racketeers and sued by the abortion industry.
Bravely Proceeding Against Loyal Catholics
Fr. Paul Marx, the great pro-life missionary - who for so many years inspired, supported, funded and unified the pro-life movement around the world - and when being introduced to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, had the singular honour of hearing the Pope say to him, “Fr. Marx, you are doing the most important work on earth”
Fr. Marx was forced to leave St. John’s Abbey in Minnesota, then the biggest Benedictine Abbey in the world, because of his defence of Humanae Vitae against his fellow monks, amongst whom were several of his own blood brothers. He then, with twenty dollars in his pocket, started Human Life International (HLI). He has endured almost unimaginable abuse and vilification at the hands of many Catholic prelates, institutions and agencies primarily because he insisted in always telling the truth about the culture of death and how it had deeply infiltrated the Church and subverted many Catholics.
Betraying The Lord of Life
Often Catholics asking their confessors about contraception are told to follow their conscience. Predominantly, without attempting to form and inform these consciences, especially in not telling them about the abortive action of “contraceptives”, nor suggesting Natural Fertility Regulation.
We have heard priests ridicule Natural Fertility Regulation as “Vatican Roulette” and deride Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae as “Paul’s Epistle to the Fallopians”. We heard a University Chaplain advise from his pulpit that “Catholics should follow their own consciences on contraception”. Afterwards Claude drew his attention to their abortive action and to the priest’s failure to mention this, and reminded him that Pope John Paul II most strongly endorsed Humanae Vitae. This provoked such fury that, in a scarcely human voice, he decreed that “the Pope is nothing but a Polish Peasant”.
Some call such denial of Catholic authority “dissent”, while others try very much harder to launder it, by calling it “Loyal Dissent”, but in reality it is rank betrayal of the right to life, and denial of the authority of Christ’s Vicar on Earth. In this, Our Lord and His unborn children are not betrayed by a kiss - as poor Judas once betrayed Him - but they are now persistently betrayed by theologians in sermons, editorials and articles in so-called Catholic publications. These are widely read and followed. This support for “contraception” constitutes abject cowardice in the face of evil and is base capitulation to the legions of the Culture of Death.
Weaving Seamless Garments Into Flags of Surrender
The “Seamless Garment” ideology, the brain-child of Cardinal Bernadin of Chicago, has given rise to the idea that abortion is simply only one of a large number of issues that Catholics need to be concerned about.
Consequently devotees of this approach are happy to see every social ill as having equal weight and believe that we cannot focus on pro-life issues such as abortion until we have first corrected all these other ills.
In this approach they lose sight of the fact that without “the right to life” all other rights are totally meaningless and that every other “human right” absolutely depends on this most basic one. Obviously you must first be alive to enjoy any rights whatsoever.
Also in adopting this approach, they avoid having to get into a brutal fight to stop abortion, a contest that will undoubtedly result in much public opprobrium and personal cost and injury. Society will generally support efforts to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the afflicted etc, but will not tolerate the modern commodity of abortion to be even slightly constrained.
When society accepts the killing of unborn children, it capacitates itself to commit other atrocities. When perfectly healthy unborn children are murdered by abortion, even accepting it as a means of “family planning” and a way of “correcting contraceptive failures”, then such a society begins to see the killing of handicapped unborn children as a positive good.
And when inconvenient, surplus, unwanted or handicapped children can be eradicated before birth, then why in such a depraved and Godless society, is it wrong to kill them after birth? Especially when laws are not based on moral absolutes and accordingly can be changed to allow this, or any other evil whatsoever. Dostoyevsky said, “If God is not, then nothing is impermissible.”
Nowadays handicapped newborn children, who have escaped the deadly “search and kill operations” for them in the womb, are then liable to death by starvation, thirst and neglect in neonatal units of modern hospitals. This process being astonishingly called “The Benign Neglect of Handicapped Newborns”.
It should then come as no surprise that handicapped adults and senile old people are likewise killed by identical forms of neglect in that barbaric process known as “passive euthanasia”. This, in reality means killing them by dehydration and starvation and by withholding or withdrawing ordinary means of care from them. This savage practice is euphemistically known as “death with dignity” and is openly advocated and practiced. Laws, and legal judgements being readily concocted to facilitate and defend it.
Nowadays, the only legal executions acceptable to modern society are those involving the killing of innocent unborn children by abortion and the killing of helpless newborn children and adults by euthanasia. The UK, the European Union and South Africa, only to mention three parts of the modern world that have outlawed capital punishment - finding it cruel and barbaric and occasionally liable to result in the execution of innocent people - yet they see the massive medical execution of totally innocent unborn children as a “reproductive right” and dismiss objections to it.
Anti fox-hunting legislation is enforced in the UK, but lethal pursuit and killing of unborn children is routine, being simply an exercise in “choice” and in medical technology and skills.
Our Blessed Lord warns us “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me.”
While many in society try to alleviate poverty and hunger, and prevent maltreatment of born children, the world-wide agents of the Culture of Death such as the IPPF and the Marie Stopes Organisation, actually believe and teach that: - crime; unemployment; poverty; hunger; global warming; the disappearance of rain forests; the melting of polar ice-caps, and a whole Pandora’s box of other problems besides, are most readily prevented and remedied by eradicating unborn children.
Like the Nazis, the “final solution” for them is to be found in mass destruction of human life. They normalise sterilisation, contraception and birth and population control, and then, when these fail, they correct “contraceptive failures” and “unplanned pregnancies” by abortion, and urge society to unburden itself by eradicating various other “useless eaters”, “cabbages”, “oxygen wasters”, “parasites” and “vegetables”, such as handicapped children and adults by infanticide and euthanasia. These malignant organisations are supported by Governments; by the World Bank; the I.M.F; the U.N; the W.H.O; the U.N Women’s Organisation and U.N.I.C.E.F. They rejoice in seeing their anti-life ideologies established all over the world and in having their own Quislings – for example that loathsome organisation calling itself “Catholics for a Free Choice” - quoted as Catholic opinion. For them “free choice” simply means unrestricted access to abortions and it also means forcing unwilling doctors to perform them.
“Et tu, Brute?”
During the 38 years that we have opposed the Culture of Death, Claude and I often endured astonishing attacks, not just from the enemies of life - for coming from them we took it as a great grace and honour that they should insult us, speak ill of us and say all manner of things about us - but also from our fellow Catholics who should in every sense have been our closest friends and allies in the struggle. Sometimes these personal attacks came from priests, religious and on some more memorable occasions, even from bishops. In opposing abortion we frequently were accused of being against women’s rights - our accusers blithely overlooking the fact that unborn females are more frequently killed by abortion than males and ignoring the reality of the spiritual, physical and psychiatric damage done to women by abortion.
Mother Teresa said, “A mother can remove a child from her womb by abortion but she will never be able to remove it from her mind and heart. She knows that she has killed her baby.”
One more memorable attack from within the Church came, in 1994 - prior to the first democratic elections - when we informed South Africans of the abortion policies of the various political parties then gearing up for the elections. We reminded them that Mr. Mandela and his African National Congress (ANC) were radically pro-abortion and intended to further legalise and extend abortion when they came to power. This resulted in a letter from the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference accusing us of racism. Enclosed with this letter was a news-cutting showing armed white racists with the caption “the first black person that I see I will shoot dead”. Drawn in pencil on this photo was an arrow pointing to the head of the leader of this group saying “This is You!”.
All of this simply because we had reminded South Africans of the pledge, published in the ANC’s Election Manifesto, to normalise abortion when they came to power. Clearly, for those Catholics who attacked us for reminding them of the ANC’s plans for abortion, their adulation for Mr. Mandela was so enormous that they simply could not tolerate the politically-incorrect idea that he could plan to kill unborn children. We were often told that we were bare-faced liars and that Mr. Mandela loved children very deeply and would never do such a terrible thing.
Rigged, astonishingly biased “Abortion Committee Hearings”, were staged prior to the enactment of The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act. We discovered that Planned Parenthood paid for these hearings and decided who would be allowed to appear at them.
During these “Parliamentary Hearings”, the Chairman incessantly interrupted and badgered Claude and I while we were attempting to give evidence. Claude on behalf of Pro-Life and I on behalf of “Victims of Choice”.
The Chairman of these Abortion Hearings, Dr. Abe Nkomo, accused Claude of wanting to prevent black women from having abortions because he was a racist. His astonishing reasoning being that white women had easy access to abortions because they could afford to pay for them whereas poor black women could not. He accused Claude of only working as a doctor for white people. Claude informed him that he had been a Catholic Missionary Doctor in Zululand and had only served in hospitals which treated black people. Next, Dr. Nkomo accused Claude of shooting black people while in the Army. Claude then informed him that he had not been in the Army.
While I was attempting to give my evidence to the Committee, I was likewise constantly interrupted and contradicted. Eventually Dr. Nkomo demanded an apology from me because I had expressed bewilderment and horror at the thought that black politicians would want to promote the wholesale killing of black babies by abortion. When I refused to apologise he threatened me with arrest for showing blatant “disrespect” for Parliament. Fortunately nothing came of his bullying and threats.
However large numbers of abortionists were smilingly received by the Committee and were granted generous and totally uninterrupted opportunity to advocate the mass murder of unborn children.
We discovered that for these hearings, Planned Parenthood transported rural Family Planning nurses to Cape Town, put them up in luxury hotels, loaded them with gifts and thoroughly trained them on what they should say, with the appropriate histrionics, when they appeared at the Hearings. Each of these nurses was provided with differently scripted scenarios designed to give a false impression about how rural women are cruelly discriminated against because they did not have access to abortion services. In the brave new world of the Culture of Death, it is a “human right” of every woman that she should be given an equal opportunity to kill her unborn children.
The South African Broadcasting Corporation broadcast daily bulletins and interviews about these hearings. No interviews with Pro-lifers were broadcast. We noted that the SABC crews took their instructions from Dr. Vera Helen Rees, the Director of Planned Parenthood of South Africa whose husband Mahomed Fazal Randera was the Inspector General of Intelligence of the South African Government.
Dr. Rees also headed the Reproductive Rights Alliance and Love Life, an amoral sex-education organisation. The South African Government awarded Planned Parenthood the contract to give sex-education to South African children. A real instance of lambs been placed under the care of the wolves. Dr. Rees was made head of the South African Medicines Control Council, thus opening the way to the introduction of RU486 and was given control of the South African Medical and Dental Council. Queen Elizabeth, in the New Year Honours List of 2001 bestowed the Order of the British Empire on her.
For a month prior to the final Abortion vote Claude visited members of Parliament concentrating particularly on the ANC for the simple reason that they constituted the overwhelming majority in Parliament and that their leader, Mr. Mandela was also the State President. Many of them were Catholics and most were “personally opposed” to abortion but had been so threatened by the “Parliamentary Whips” and by Mr. Mandela’s threat of expulsion from the ANC should they vote against abortion, that all of them voted for it. From several Cabinet Ministers, Claude received dire threats of grievous harm befalling him and our family should he continue with his work.
Never once during the many Abortion Hearings did the Archbishop or Auxiliary Bishop of Cape Town attend, even as spectators, any of these hearings, despite the fact that their Diocesan Offices were only about a hundred yards away across an open square. Twice a day, a Bishop - looking the other way - quickly drove past the pro-life picket standing outside Parliament, without giving them even the very slightest sign of support.
True to his Election Manifesto, in co-operation with the local agents of IPPF - and against the oft surveyed wishes of the overwhelming majority of all South Africans - Mr. Mandela ensured the passage of the despicable Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, the most liberal abortion law in the world outside of China.
A disdainful rejection of democracy, freedom of conscience and the “right to choose” of their own comrades and of ordinary South Africans. The Chief Whip of the ANC was a Catholic Priest and former Secretary General of the SACBC and recipient of honorary doctorates from several famous Catholic universities.
After overwhelming victory was accorded to the abortionists, members of the ANC Alliance, including a Catholic nun, attired for the occasion in her nun’s habit, sang, danced, chanted and ululated in exultation around Parliament.
It is also truly remarkable that only Pro-Life South Africa attempted - well prior to this final vote on abortion - to legally contest the certification of South Africa’s New Constitution. We did this on the grounds that the inclusion of “Reproductive Rights” in the Constitution was just another way of having “Abortion on Demand” and was a fundamental contradiction of the “Right to Life” which was also in the Constitution. Once again we stood alone with nary a Bishop in sight.
On the very same day that South Africa’s New Constitution, incorporating “reproductive rights” came into power, Mr. Mandela signed and promulgated the vile “Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act.”
In Evangelium Vitae we find: - “In the proclamation of this Gospel, we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world's way of thinking. (Rom 12:2). We must be in the world but not of the world (John 15:19; 17:16), drawing our strength from Christ, who by his Death and Resurrection has overcome the world (John 16:33)”
Since the passage of the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act a conservative estimate is that more than one million unborn children have been killed by legalised abortion in South Africa. Naturally the vast majority of these are “black” babies whose lives, my husband and I, labelled and branded as “white racists” by our Bishops, had tried to defend and whose executions we are now forced to subsidise by our taxes.
Needless to say we never received any apology whatsoever from the Catholic Bishops Conference or from any of those priests and fellow Catholics who had vilified us and Pro-Life South Africa in this astonishingly uninformed, short-sighted and iniquitous manner.
Perfecting “The Averted Gaze” on the Jericho Road
There is a selective blindness in justice and peace groups who fail to defend the most basic of all human rights, namely the “right to life” and thereby fail to oppose the most extreme denial of justice and the destruction of peace brought about by abortion.
Concerning peace Mother Teresa said the following: “There will never be peace in the world until there is peace in the womb. How can there be peace when a mother can kill her own baby in her own womb?”
In 2005 we found on the website of the Justice and Peace Commission of the largest Catholic diocese in South Africa - by then eight years into South Africa’s abortion holocaust and after an estimated one million aborted babies - their mission statement that does not even mention abortion. Simply mind-boggling indifference to abortion and to the ultimate injustice and breach of the peace that it is.
Tragically this is typical of most Justice and Peace groups in South Africa, the UK and USA. This reminds me of how a congregation in Nazi Germany were urged by their pastor to sing their hymns a little louder in order to drown out the sound of the railway box-cars transporting people to the death camps.
During the Nazi Holocaust the “stench of death” surrounded the camps and was, depending on weather, even detectable many miles down-wind. We also discovered that Dr. Joseph Mengele, “the Angel of Death of Auschwitz”, seldom killed prisoners himself, being personally involved in less than 10 such murders. Yet some modern doctors, not now out of sheer terror of the SS, but simply for money, easily kill, in a single day, twice that many by legal surgical abortions.
Many years ago, Claude went to Dachau with Dr. Siegfried Ernst, then President of the Lutheran Synod of Baden-Wurttemberg and co-founder of the World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life. There was still a frightful stench near the gas-chamber and crematorium and also a most piercing and deadly chill. Dr. Ernst, shortly before his death, was received into the Catholic Church by his longtime friend and ally, the then Prefect of the Holy Office, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.
In 1984, the World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life held their first International Conference. The planned venue being the Catholic University of Louvain, one of the oldest universities in the world. This University numbers amongst its alumni Erasmus of Rotterdam and Andreas Vesalius, who authored “De Humani Corporis Fabrica”, the first great book of modern science. Vesalius is after Hippocrates the most renowned doctor of all time. However, shortly before the conference, the University discovered that a talk on the moral problems of In Vitro Fertilization was on the agenda. So we were banned because Louvain was in the forefront of IVF research. Consequently, at the last minute, we had to find a new venue. Finally being made welcome in the Ostende Casino, where everything possible was done to help us, even being given a beautifully quiet room for a Chapel where Holy Mass was celebrated. How the Guardian Angels of the University of Louvain must weep!
After some 38 years in pro-life work, we never cease to be astounded by the apparent inability of so many of our fellow Catholics to detect the stench of the Culture of Death which blankets and suffocates society. Furthermore most Catholics fail to see the demonic thirst for blood, so terrifyingly evident in abortion. They close their ears to the “Silent Screams” of the unborn. They will not rouse themselves to act against this appalling evil.
In his poem “Lepanto”, Chesterton shows the base apathy of the kings and queens of Christendom when faced with the imminent threat of destruction by Islam. Of the indifference of the King of France, he writes, “the shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass”.
Clearly things have not changed much since then. Today, as was then the case at the time of Lepanto, very few noble knights exist, but the few that do enter and engage in this battle for civilisation will, undoubtedly, with the help of Our Most Blessed Mother, triumph once again.
In Psalm 113 we read; “They have mouths, and yet are silent; eyes they have, and yet are sightless; ears they have, and want all hearing; noses, and no smell can reach them; hands unfeeling, feet unstirring; never a sound their throats may utter.”
St. Thomas More, Chancellor of England and Martyr under Henry VIII puts forward most profoundly the urgency of moral action and the uncertain and limited time at our disposal to act for good when he prays thus; “Consider well that both by night and day While we most busily provide and care For our disport, our revel, and our play, For pleasant melody and dainty fare, Death stealeth on full slily; unaware He lieth at hand and shall us all surprise, We wot not when nor where nor in what wise. When fierce temptations threat thy soul with loss Think of His Passion and the bitter pain, Think on the mortal anguish of the Cross, Think on Christ's blood let out at every vein, Think on His precious heart all rent in twain; For thy redemption think all this was wrought, Nor be that lost which He so dearly bought.”
Establishing True Peace
Again let Evangelium Vitae speak to us: - “Nor can there be true peace unless life is defended and promoted. As Paul VI pointed out: "Every crime against life is an attack on peace, especially if it strikes at the moral conduct of people... But where human rights are truly professed and publicly recognized and defended, peace becomes the joyful and operative climate of life in society".” Profound wisdom indeed, but not yet incorporated into the thinking of most Catholics.
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner said “The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference”, “and indifference is the epitome of evil”. When accepting the prize he said, “Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented”.
Lead, Kindly Light, Amid The Encircling Gloom
There is the divinely inspired leadership of Christ’s Vicars in Rome. Naturally there are many other noble exceptions to complacency about abortion and contraception in increasingly numerous parts of the world. Growing numbers of Cardinals, Bishops and Priests, Religious, Laity and Catholic institutions such as the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Christendom College in Front Royal, are befriending unborn children and their mothers. The most superb example of Catholic Evangelisation and of support for the Gospel of Life is to be found in the work of The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
“Ora et Labora” Work and Pray
I have just told you about only a few events in my pro-life apostolate that particularly involve Catholics and their behaviour in this crisis. I have only spoken fleetingly about the behaviour of non-Catholics.
In my heart I know how different things could have been if more Catholics had acted with determination against the Culture of Death. We could have then, and I firmly believe that with God’s help, we still can overthrow the Culture of Death and replace it with the glorious Gospel of Life.
So what are we to do in order to combat these abominations in society and inside the Church? How are we to rouse Catholics from their lethargy?
We must be well informed, strong in the faith, knowing that without God we can do nothing but that with Him we can do all things.
We must resist and oppose evil whenever we happen to find it, be it inside or outside the Church.
We must be faithful to the teachings of the Vicar of Christ, and remembering Lepanto, with rosaries in our hands, enter this crucial battle for civilisation under the banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Universal Patroness of the unborn.
We must pray without ceasing, knowing that “the devil, who is our enemy, goes about roaring like a lion, to find his prey”.
We must be fearless and tireless activists in order to restore Christendom and to return the world to its rightful ruler, Christ the King.
Our Lord said “Be not afraid”, and we must remember His terrifying warning that “the lukewarm shall be vomited from my mouth”.
We are assured of God’s great blessings in defending life. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, “God does not call us to be successful, He calls us to be faithful.”
We must follow the example of St. Benedict and work as if everything depends on us and pray knowing that everything depends on God, ever-mindful of the prayers offered unceasingly before the very throne of God, by the countless hosts of aborted children and their guardian angels.
In 1936, as he lay dying, G. K. Chesterton said, “The issue is now clear; it is between light and darkness and everyone must choose his side.”
First Published in Christian Order, London, October 2008. Used with permission.