Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Planned Parenthood? What about PLANNED RETIREMENT?

Imagine the year is 2035. And imagine that in most American cities one can find branches of a new national organization called Planned Retirement.

Planned Retirement has many defenders, and many detractors.

The organization’s policies are progressive. With help from the federal government, they provide low cost housing, food and limited medical care to people over 65. When a resident has reached the ripe age of 77, the organization sends a doctor to the resident’s room with the medical equipment needed to crush the resident’s head, thus ending his or her life. Any salvageable organs are sold to research institutes, and residents’ bodies are buried in landfills.

Many Americans, especially Christians, are strongly opposed to Planned Retirement’s practices. They argue that killing the elderly in this way is a form of murder and that the difficulty of caring for elderly people is no excuse to end their lives. They also argue that mass burial in unmarked graves and the marketing of the dead’s organs as “research material” is an obvious ruse to avoid facing the painful truth--namely, that each of these elders was a unique human being with the inalienable right to life.

In Congress there is a new effort to defund the organization because of its snuff policies. But liberals are up in arms in support of Planned Retirement. They want to focus the debate on the health care and housing Planned Retirement offers elderly people, thus diverting the public's attention from the issue that led to the push to defund, namely: Planned Retirement's practice of terminating human lives.

And so: “This is just another attack on elderly health care!” the liberals scream.

Besides being an obvious attempt to change the subject, there's a second element of dishonesty in this cry. Liberals actually mean to imply that those seeking to defund Planned Retirement are somehow motivated by a disrespect for elderly people. Which is interesting, to say the least.

But consider another detail of Planned Retirement policy: If the family of an elder resident chooses to terminate Mom or Dad or Grandma or Grandpa’s life before the age of 77, they can provide written consent for such termination.

The reasons people give for wanting their parents’ termination are various: “We don’t have time to visit her any more.” “We have a right to live our lives as we choose!” “The fees to keep Mom there are too much for my budget.”

In a widely shared rant in defense of Planned Retirement, liberal senator Elizabeth Warrick argues: “How can we dare interfere with these families when they are making what is probably the single most difficult decision of their lives? How can we dare?”

Senator Warrick seems think that the moral difficulty individuals might face in deciding to kill their parents or grandparents should carry more weight than the lives of those whose heads are to be crushed.

Again: Interesting argument.

My point:

If in the current American debate about defunding Planned Parenthood you’ve found yourself arguing that “This is an attack on women’s health care!” or “Abortions only account for 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services!” or “It’s a difficult decision! We shouldn’t presume to judge!”--well, congratulations: To me, as a Catholic, you sound precisely like those future liberals above arguing in support of “Planned Retirement”. Your arguments ring equally hollow are are equally beside the point.

The fact is that Christians and others are not opposed to Planned Parenthood because of some vague lurking misogyny. No, they are opposed to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers because of one obvious truth: Just like the unfortunate elders in the above future scenario, the unborn are each unique human beings.

This is not merely Christian teaching, or some religious teaching, it is a scientifically demonstrable fact. Each unborn person has an integral human body and unique human DNA. As such, she or he is a unique human person and deserves the defense of the law, regardless of whether or not she or he has a name.

In terms of the ethics involved, my above dystopian tale of “Planned Retirement” offers a precise parallel to what the real organization Planned Parenthood is doing right now. Planned Parenthood serves the “health” of young mothers and their children in the same way that my fictional Planned Retirement serves the “health” of the elderly and their families. In both organizations, when people are judged to be inconvenient, they are snuffed.

Because of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, we already live in a dystopia. Defunding is the least they deserve.

What kind of wool is it, of what thickness, do American liberals have to keep pulling over their eyes to avoid seeing this? It must be morally exhausting to have to defend, for decades on end, such an Orwellian vision of humanity. Women's "health care"?

Last year Planned Parenthood ended the lives of an estimated 165,000 women, tossing their broken bodies, or at least those parts that couldn’t be sold, into the trash bin.

American liberals really don't get it. That wool must be damn thick.

Eric Mader

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