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President Obamas pro-life challenges
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It’s been a tough two weeks for President Obama.  I’m feeling bad for him.

He’s still trying to nail down exactly what happened on Christmas Day. If heads have to keep rolling, it’s worth it to keep his own head off the block and make sure wanna-be bombers don’t have such easy access to our jets.

Haiti represents, like New Orleans, yet another natural disaster defying our best efforts to come to the rescue.  It took more than a week to reopen the port, clear the runways, and open enough airfields in order for aid to reach the island’s stranded populations.  Obama’s Jan. 13 promise of a “swift, coordinated, and aggressive response” was in serious danger of recalling his predecessor’s “Mission Accomplished” speech of May 1, 2003.

The stunning blow of Republican Scott Brown’s Senate bid victory over highly-favored Democrat Martha Coakley has sent the national health plan reeling, while pro-life accusations that the Senate version smelled a lot like FOCA were gaining credibility and momentum.  With his most strident campaign itself in danger of a defeat, President Obama will have to muster all the support he can to make any headway in the public health arena.  

It didn’t help that even CNN covered the March for Life in Washington.

Marking (and mourning) the anniversary of the 1973 landmark decision called “Roe v. Wade”, this year’s event appears to have mobilized some 300,000 people dedicated to the dignity of all human life.  I don’t know whether the President made plans to conveniently be out of town.  His predecessor, George W. Bush, for all his hawkish tendencies, at least had the courtesy and the compassion to stand up publicly for the unborn.  On his part, Obama did make public once again his strident advocacy for a woman’s right to abort her child.  According to Saturday’s “briefs” in the Stockton Record “In a statement release by the White House of Friday, the President said he continued to support the constitutional right of a woman to choose to have an abortion, as well as ‘each American’s right to privacy from government intrusion’” (page A10, 1/23/10).  It strikes me as highly ironical that he would defend us from “government intrusion”, since his preferred health care reforms and his policy decisions have shoved the government more and more deeply into the issue of abortion everywhere.

“Today and every day, we must strive to ensure that all women have limitless opportunities to fulfill their dreams,” the President concluded.

Hundreds of marchers from San Joaquin County
Could someone please explain to me what that statement means?  This kind of heartwarming but gelatinous doublethink reminds me of the smokescreens President Clinton deployed when he twice vetoed the Partial Birth Abortion Bans on April 10, 1996 and October 10, 1997.  However the pro-abortion contingent arranges the bouquet of rhetoric surrounding their defense of the most horrendous of medical procedures, the stench of dead penetrates and permeates the whole “pro-choice” mentality.  No matter how they wash their hands, the blood of human sacrifice still shows.

Hundreds of marchers joined the annual Walk for Life - West Coast in San Francisco Saturday from our diocese.  We joined a total of over 20,000 others from across the country, even into Canada.  Among the speakers was a woman who’d served Planned Parenthood with so much dedication that she was made the executive director of one of their abortion clinics.

According to the Walk for Life’s website, “Abby Johnson walked away from her job as executive director of an abortion clinic because an abortion doctor asked her to hold the ultrasound probe and she witnessed a baby die in an abortion”. With this added impetus, the site continued, “…our speakers this year directly address the huge financial and political clout of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider and recipient of $350 million in tax dollars annually.”  Eva Muntean, the Walk’s organizer, reports that “Planned Parenthood clinics perform about one third of all abortions in the United States, about 300,000 abortions in 2007-2008, according to Planned Parenthood’s annual report released in 2009.”

Abby Johnson’s power testimony
Indeed, Abby Johnson’s testimony was a powerful one, unmasking once again the truth about “well-intentioned” women working in clinics whose operators were concerned above all with the tremendous profits generated in the abortion industry.  Behind the veil of concern for pregnant women was a sinister agenda pitting a mother against her own child. It didn’t come as a surprise to us to hear that most of the workers themselves had aborted.

Next Saturday, I’ll offer a more colorful, richer account of the experience we shared on this year’s Walk for Life.  Suffice it for now to say that, even though we got drenched by the heaviest rains ever to fall in six years of participating, the crowd was still huge. Far from quenching our enthusiasm, the deluge served as a heavenly blessing, an anointing and cleansing.  Its most immediate effect was to scare off most of the opposition.  This has always consisted of several hundred protesters, some of them very poorly clad.  A full 90 minutes of hard rainfall doubtless deterred our half-naked friends to display their liberated lifestyle in a more congenial atmosphere.

As for us, we chanted, sang, prayed and paraded our way along Fisherman’s Warf and hundreds of curious visitors until the sun finally broke out again.

It didn’t take long for the golden rays to dry out our wet, steaming clothes.

By then, we were already winding our way downhill towards the glowing green meadows of Marina park.  I had met dozens of friends from a variety of places and times in my past, and felt an interior joy that surpasses all understanding, because it relies, not on circumstances, not even on winning this battle in the political sphere, but, as Abby Johnson put it, being on the winning side.  That side is the one which will always prevail.  It is Life.

Fr. Dean McFalls, St. Mary’s Church, Stockton