Perverted justice - set right through virtue

 (Here's my speech at the 40 Days for Life opening rally in Ottawa on September 25th, 2011)

How long, Yahweh, am I to cry for help while you will not listen;
to cry, 'Violence!' in your ear while you will not save?
Why do you make me see wrong-doing,
why do you countenance oppression?
Plundering and violence confront me,
contention and discord flourish.
And so the law loses its grip
and justice never emerges,
since the wicked outwits the upright
and so justice comes out perverted. (Hab.1:1-4)
Justice did indeed come out perverted on September 9th, 2011 when a judge in Edmonton, Justice Joanne Veit, gave Katrina Effert a three-year suspended sentence for the killing of her newborn son in 2005.
Justice Veit based her decision on the fact that Canada has no abortion law. She states:
while many Canadians undoubtedly view abortion as a less than ideal solution to unprotected sex and unwanted pregnancy, they generally understand, accept and sympathize with the onerous demands pregnancy and childbirth exact from mothers, especially mothers without support.[1]
She added:
Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother.[1]
You can't really blame Justice Veit for thinking that Canadians are so accepting of abortion as to accept infanticide along with it. All she has to go on is the mantra of our political class and mainstream media that the debate on abortion is closed. I hope this will serve as a wake-up call for our politicians, particularly Stephen Harper.
Let. The. Debate. Take. Place.
We don't really know what Canadians want, for this debate has not yet been allowed to happen. Abortion is not a political football to be kicked around. To do nothing about this issue is to endorse the status quo - which is also to endorse infanticide.
Equating abortion to infanticide is nothing new for abortion proponents. In 1972, before Roe v. Wade, Michael Tooley, of Stanford University was already defending abortion AND infanticide.
In 1993, Peter Singer of Princeton University, an advocate for both abortion and infanticide, admitted that "the liberal search for a morally crucial dividing line between the newborn baby and the fetus has failed to yield any event or stage of development that can bear the weight of separating those with a right to life from those who lack such a right."[2]
Some feminist and pro-abortion thinkers have at least recognized the humanity of the unborn. In 1995, Naomi Wolf wrote:
So, what will it be: Wanted fetuses are charming, complex REM-dreaming little beings whose profile on the sonogram looks just like Daddy, but unwanted ones are mere "uterine material"? How can we charge that it is vile and repulsive for pro-lifers to brandish vile and repulsive images if the images are real?[3]
In 2008, author Camille Paglia stated:
...I have always frankly admitted that abortion is murder, the extermination of the powerless by the powerful. Liberals for the most part have shrunk from facing the ethical consequences of their embrace of abortion, which results in the annihilation of concrete individuals and not just clumps of insensate tissue.[4]
This reasoning, although quite lucid because it actually looks abortion in the eye without resorting to euphemisms, is appalling for its irrationnality. To advocate for the extermination of the powerless by the powerful is nothing other than what Dr. Bernard Nathanson called the Eclipse of Reason.
Faced with Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell's late-term abortions and infanticides, a case the media has called the "House of Horrors", some, such as Frances Kissling and William Saletan, have chosen to take a step back and to question the rightness of late-term abortions. This has earned them some stern rebukes from fellow abortion proponents such as Ann Furedi, CEO of The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (the primary abortion provider in the United Kingdom) who insists that "early and late abortions carry the same moral burden because (...) all abortions end a potential human life." [5]
I could go on quoting many other abortion proponents but time is short. Having nothing to go on but their own rationalizations of the indefensible, abortion proponents show a lack logical consistency. Each trying to worm his or her way around the truth. Truth must correspond to reality, and the reality is that modern medicine has confronted us with the undeniable reality of human life in the womb. The pathetic attempts by the pro-abortion crowd to discredit and censor displays of intra-uterine life and graphic abortion pictures are a testimony to the fact that we have the truth on OUR side, all they have is power. But power is a very fickle god and will trample you underfoot as soon as you've served your purpose. Truth endures.
The culture of death is indeed about power - the powerful sacrificing the powerless. In the case of abortion and infanticide, the sacrifice is a consummation of the ideology of sexual anarchy, which, by divorcing sex from its procreative power, leads to a kind of sexual bulimia of bingeing and purging.

How are we to undo this?

We know we have the truth on our side, but have we the virtue? This culture of death will only be overcome by self-sacrifice. Those of us who are strong and able must sacrifice ourselves for the most vulnerable.
The unborn need us. They need us to be their voices, to stand in their defense, to make real and immediate their humanity to those who would "exterminate" them and to the indifferent masses. The abortuaries, particularly, are where the innocent are being put to death. This is where we must go again and again, as long as the killing takes place.
May we not be found wanting in virtue.

What should be our attitude?

Firstly, we must go as embassadors of Christ, to extend His mercy to those enslaved in the culture of death. We must remove from our presence anything that would prevent those going to or working in the abortuary from experiencing in us the unconditional merciful love of God for them.
At the foot of the Cross of Christ, Mary, John and the others were not chatting or shouting or condemning, but were in prayer and fasting with love and compassion. Just as Jesus did not die alone, but was surrounded by prayer, may we surround the unborn with prayer, compassion and love in their final hours on this earth.
Secondly, we must be what Msgr Philip Reilly, founder of the Helpers of God's Precious Infants, calls sidewalk contemplatives. This quiet, peaceful presence at the abortuary is a radical departure from the idolatry of movement and expediency which drive the culture of death.
As sidewalk contemplatives, we sacrifice ourselves, we sacrifice our time, for what?
To be still.
We stop all activity in order to pray for those enslaved in the culture of death. We forego the next appointment, the phone calls, the texting, and stand still in the midst of the rush of the busy city.
In this stillness, we are also willing to suffer.
In this stillness, the wind will whip around us, the days will become cold and bleak, and even those enslaved by the culture of death will seem to ignore us.
Then will come the temptation to say to ourselves "Is this the best use of my time? Am I really being effective?"
These questions might have popped into the minds of Mary, John and Mary Magdalen as they followed Jesus up to Golgotha. Maybe they could have been more effective by going to the authorities to stop this madness. Maybe their time might have been better used in trying to gather some support to free Jesus.
Mary, John and Mary Magdalen knew better though. Following the example of Jesus embracing His Cross, they embraced their suffering, as we must on those difficult days praying at the abortuary, that modern day Golgotha. To be willing to suffer is to be willing to Love, and where Love is, death can have no victory.

The book of Habbakuk ends with:
But I shall rejoice in Yahweh,
I shall exult in God my Saviour.
Yahweh my Lord is my strength,
he will make my feet as light as a doe's,
and set my steps on the heights. (Hab. 3:18-19)

Our strength is in God our Saviour, not in politics, not in the media. Let us proclaim the truth in season and out of season. Let us also embody the truth of what love is. Love is to lay down one's life for others. Only on such virtue can a civilisation of love and a culture of life be built.

Sources cited:

[1]Infanticide conviction nets Alberta woman suspended sentence CBC News 9 sept. 2011
[2]Peter Singer, Practical Ethics 2d ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993) 142
[3]Naomi Wolf, Our Bodies, Our Souls: Rethinking pro-choice rhetoric The New Republic 16 Oct. 1995
[4]Camille Paglia, Fresh blood for the vampire Salon.com. 10 Sep. 2008
[5]Ann Furedi, Late abortion: the new clash in the Choice Wars. Abortion Review. 3 March 2011.