[Two scatological references below. You have been warned.]
Roe v. Wade turned thirty two today.
The difference between those who support life and those beholden to ideology can be seen in this story concerning a dispute over a Colorado Catholic parish's burial of the cremated remains of the unborn--done with the full knowledge and consent of the mortuary and its parent company. But the abortionist is miffed:
The Sacred Heart of Mary Church obtained the ashes from a local mortuary that has a contract to cremate remains from the Boulder Abortion Clinic. But the clinic said it didn't know the ashes were being given to the church. "They have taken it upon themselves to make a macabre ritual out of this, inflicting pain on everyone," said clinic director Dr. Warren Hern.
Well, not "everyone," obviously. Starting with the unborn themselves. That was Dr. Hern's job.
For a significant fee. Yes, he does third trimester abortions--and the early stuff, too. A "five-tool" man, as they say in baseball. Don't let the "specializing" tag fool you.
And "macabre" is a funny word for someone who wants the remains chucked into the garbage. Funnier still--in the blackest sense of the word--was his alternate description of the church's activity, stated for the cameras of CNN:
I s**t you not. The good doctor actually called the respectful burial of the unborn a sacrilege.
A most revealing insight into what he regards as holy.
"I have women calling me who are very upset over this. These fanatics simply cannot leave other people alone with their most intimate sorrow."
I'm sure he's had such calls--then again, Kate Michelman and Frances Kissling are pretty easily wound up and have long since mastered the fine art of speed dialing.
So what is Dr. Compa$$ion trying to say--better the remains were dumped in some landfill and forgotten?
Come to think of it, that's precisely what he's saying.
But, mirabile dictu, the mortuary is being backed to the hilt by the home office (headquartered in Texas):
The owners of the mortuary defended its actions.
"First of all, Crist Mortuary obviously cremated these fetal remains at the request of the clinic, and the church had a site and was willing to take them," said Terry Hemeyer, managing director of Service Corporations International in Houston, which operates Crist. "There was no intent of the mortuary to make any political or religious statement at all. They were trying to do the right thing, which I think they are doing."
You might want to think about dropping a line to SCI in appreciation.
And just what are the heartless fanatics doing with the unwanted products of conception?
The church began getting ashes from the mortuary in 1996 and quietly has been doing burial services since 2001. Parishioners went public this year to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
"We never meant this as a political statement, we wanted to give dignity to the unborn child and dignity to the pain and sorrow a woman who has had an abortion feels," said Susan LaVelle, a parish volunteer organizing the service.
The church cemetery has a Memorial Wall for the Unborn, with tiny plaques put there by women who have had abortions. Each one has a message:
"No less real, No less loved"
The remains of 3,000 fetuses are buried near the wall. On Sunday, between 600 and 1,000 small boxes of ashes will be emptied into a tomb and covered.
And just how did SHM become the repository of the remains? Why, through the transparent honesty of Dr. Hern's clinic:
LaVelle said Chuck Myers, a Crist employee, contacted the church in 1996 after discovering human remains in material received from the abortion clinic.
"The clinic said it was just tissue, but when he opened it up he and his staff were traumatized," she said. "He asked the church what he should do, and our priest offered to bury it."
"Just tissue." Merciful Jesus--we're talking abortions past the twenty-sixth week, and the "caring" Dr. Hern is fobbing it off as "just tissue."
Well, you have to award points for consistency--especially when you consider that the abortion industry grew to the billion dollar business it is today by lying out its collective ass.
On a happier note, the parish is located in the Archdiocese of Denver:
LaVelle said she was baffled by the controversy.
"If we had not buried these ashes, they would have been thrown away in the trash," she said. "Why would they be upset that we are treating the remains of unborn children with dignity?"
The Catholic Archdiocese of Denver has expressed support for what the church is doing.
"This parish and other parishes have done this for years," Sergio Gutierrez, the diocese spokesman, said Friday. "This discussion clarifies the distinction between people who believe in the sanctity of life and those who don't. What is their view? To discard unborn children and then worry where they end up."
Sergio Gutierrez just became my favorite Catholic diocesan spokesman ever. Not that he's got a lot of competition, but hey--this was nothing short of brilliant. Good stuff.
Even the State of Colorado is fine with it:
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said that neither the church nor mortuary has done anything against the law.
"It's all legal," said Glenn Mallory, a solid waste disposal specialist with the department.
But for those who regard suction tubes as sacramentals, there is only incoherent fury:
Legal perhaps, but some groups say it's a violation of privacy.
"It's sad the church would take it upon itself to violate the doctor-patient relationship," said Kate Horle, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. "These women went to the doctor in confidence and made a difficult, personal decision. And now it's been dragged all over the media."
Amongst my three wishes would be a worldwide requirement that anyone who speaks for attribution on moral and political issues would be required to take and pass an Introduction to Logic course with at least a B+. Failure to do so--on the first try--would lead to a permanent disqualification from doing so. On the basis of her quote, it's pretty clear that Ms. Horle would have to forever hold her peace.
HOW THE HELL IS THE DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP VIOLATED WHEN WE DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO THE PATIENT IS? NAME A SINGLE PATIENT WHO HAS BEEN "DRAGGED ALL OVER THE MEDIA", MS. HORLE.
Hern said he terminates many wanted pregnancies due to serious fetal anomalies or because the pregnancy may harm or kill the mother.
OK. I mean, if you can't trust an abortionist who lies to a mortuary about what he's shipping over to them, who can you trust?
Fine--I'll accept that this does happen. But I don't buy the word "many."
In some cases, he has participated in Jewish and American Indian funeral rituals after the abortion, along with the family members.
And Jews and Indians are cool with landfill burials? I did not know that. File under "Huh." Some might even see that as a "macabre ritual," too. But no--you're a good guy.
"Anti-abortion zealots, Catholic or otherwise, have shown that they will stop at nothing to inflict guilt and to compound the grief, sadness and sense of loss that these women experience," he said.
While the good doctor stops at nothing to minimize it.
Tell me, precisely, how the burial does all that, Doc? Sounds like you went to the same college as Ms. Horle.