Friday, May 04, 2007

We Are All Compassionate Now

“In a vote of 113 to 36, ‘SB 1343: An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault’ passed the CT House this evening. The bill’s next stop is Governor Rell’s desk” – from Connecticut Local Politics

The bill was well named, with a view towards getting it passed. Whenever we see titles of this kind, we should lift up their skirts and have a look-see. George Orwell would have done the same. Orwell was instinctively mistrustful the whole bag of rhetorical tricks deployed by the 20th century’s clever advertisers, and his approach to the whole matter of propaganda is that of a poet who realizes that thoughts, the springs of human action, can be corrupted by language.

V. I. Lenin, who had a genius for concision, put it this way: “If you name a thing properly, you do not have to argue with it.”

The artfully named Compassionate Care For Victims of Sexual Assault bill is a legislative devise designed to force Catholic hospitals to provide Plan B to rape victims. Depending on one’s view, Plan B is either an abortifacient that will terminate a developing life or, according to expert testimony given by a sympathetic witness at the legislative hearing that catapulted the bill into the House, a simple contraceptive.

According to legislative testimony, Plan B cannot act as an abortifacient. Therefore, Plan B, given to a rape victim who is ovulating or pregnant – the only condition under which Catholic hospitals will refuse to administer the drug – is a placebo, little more than a sugar pill that has no effect on birth prevention.

If it is a placebo, and the rape victim is pregnant, Plan B can provide no relief and the rape victim will be forced to carry her issue to term -- unless future legislation written by compassionate legislators and signed into law by a compassionate governor forces Catholic hospitals to abort unwanted fetuses, compassionately, of course.

We are, all of us, comfortable with contraceptives. And, since a Supreme Court finding several years ago rooted in the “aura” of rights surrounding the US Constitution found abortion permissible and in some cases praiseworthy, we are increasingly comfortable with abortion, which is the termination of a developing fetus, which is a being that, left to pursue its merry course unmolested by birth interventionists and their facilitators in courts and legislatures, might well develop into a compassionate Catholic priest, a compassionate theologian, a compassionate ethicist, a compassionate legislative facilitator or a compassionate abortionist.

Unaborted, human life in the womb will never develop into fish or fowl, which has led some scientists to conclude that there is indeed a essential connection between the first undifferentiated beginnings of human life and the final human product that should make other compassionate human beings a little queasy over abortion.

This connection was not prominently stressed in testimony before the Connecticut Public Health Committee hearing that has now send to the senate “An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault,” where the bill -- Reps. Heinrich, Sen Harris, both spearheading the bill, and God willing -- will be passed into law.

And the practical effect of “SB 1343: An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault” will be what, precisely?

It is the answer to this question, and not highly politicized attempts to recruit science to support desired legislation, that should focus the attention of those of us who are unfriendly to the oily propagandists despised by Orwell.

This is what the bill, according to its supporters will not do: It will neither prevent rapes nor provide relief to victims of rape who have been impregnated by the criminals who assaulted them -- because Plan B is not, according to the testimony that representatives relied upon when they approved the bill, an abortifacient. It is a contraceptive.

This is what the bill will do: It will force those Connecticut Catholics who believe, along with Catholic bio-medical ethicists, that Plan B violates the cannon laws of the Church to violate the dictates of their faith and their informed consciences because the legislature in its wisdom has bought into the notion that providing placeboes to rape victims is “compassionate.” The bill also will violate that portion of the First Amendment that prevents legislators from doing what this bill manifestly does: The bill and all the so called reasonable “compromises” legislators have been tinkering with forces the Catholic Church to assent to actions that violate its laws, its ethics and its religion.
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