TV now pitching abortion openly

John Garvey

John Garvey

The following comes from a January 25 story in the National Catholic Register

I am happy to see so many of you here today. Your optimism and enthusiasm are inspiring. Yesterday, Jamila Evans, in charge of our women’s and pro-life campus ministry, did an interview with Catholic TV. She said that the pro-life cause is the issue of your generation. So it is….

I wish I could say things are getting better, but there is plenty of bad news out there. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll indicates that 7 in 10 Americans think we should keep Roe v. Wade. That is the highest level of support since polls began tracking it in 1989.

Planned Parenthood recently reported with pride that it had performed a record number of abortions in 2011 — 333,964. Nearly half its revenues, more than half a billion dollars, come from government funding. And in a state whose abortion rate is already double the national average, New York’s Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo has proposed measures that even fellow Democrats call “out of touch with the views of most Americans.” He wants to lift restrictions on late-term abortions, eliminate cautionary measures for young people seeking abortion (like parental notifications) and authorize people who are not doctors to perform abortions. To cap it off, he would include a fundamental right “to terminate a pregnancy” in state law.

Planned Parenthood and its ilk are refining their social agenda as well. They realize that, in order to improve their abortion pitch to a new generation, they will have to bundle it with other messages that are easier to sell. Younger abortion advocates have re-described their message as one of “reproductive justice,” a program that includes the promotion of “gay rights,” health care and contraception, among other things.

They are also having success in one area where the pro-life movement has long had a natural advantage: the public’s attitude about abortion itself, not just the right to have one. “Choice” is a message that sells. But “abortion” has long made people uncomfortable. Even though big stars like Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore campaign for Planned Parenthood, TV and movie producers and writers have been reluctant to write abortions into their scripts. In fact, several big movies from the 2000s — Juno, Bella, Knocked Up — promoted an explicitly pro-life message.

But that tide may be turning. Two popular shows pitched at 20-something audiences have recently depicted abortions. Last season, Grey’s Anatomy on ABC featured an abortion prominently in its script. This season on NBC’s Parenthood, a high-school senior (the girlfriend of a main character) got pregnant and chose to have an abortion. The producers of the show went so far as to show the young, sad couple sitting together in the tidy waiting room of Planned Parenthood. These follow NBC’s show Friday Night Lights (which introduced the abortion storyline in 2010) in beginning a new trend.

In each case, abortion is shown to be difficult. It is dramatic. But, then, so is everything else in the lives of these characters. “Don’t sweat it” is the message. Getting an abortion is just another adventure — like premarital sex — in the lives of modern young people.

So, that is the bad news. But the reality of abortion is too grotesque to be suppressed.

Stories like the one about Kermit Gosnell force people to face the fact that abortion kills a child. Gosnell ran an abortion clinic in west Philadelphia and has been charged with murder for delivering at least six children alive, then cutting their spines or slitting their throats with scissors. Despite the efforts to normalize or sanitize the practice, we can’t ignore the fact that abortion is a moral choice, not just a political one. And, in fact, about 43% of the public, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, do think that abortion is immoral.

Click here to read the entire story.




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  1. Larry from RI says:

    The Catholic Church must continue to teach that abortion is the killing of an innocent baby human being. Teach it loud and clear. The CC must continue to be the adult in the room.

    Abortion is a serious mortal sin, but the sacrament of confession conquers all sin.

    • An interesting anecdote about our “great” nation in particular, and its true evilness: procuring an abortion or helping another procure one, directly, brings instant latae sententiae excommunication upon oneself. Full stop. When one is excommunicated, one cannot “go to confession” any more than one can receive the Eucharist.

      In this country, common priests have been allowed to hear confessions from people who are excommunicated because of abortion, people who overwhelmingly do not know that they are in that sorry state. People don’t even know they have no recourse to the confessional!

      The 56 million abortions that our society has approved of (make it legal and you will soon make it moral…) since 1973 are such an overwhelming deluge that our pews would be empty if the priests in the trenches were not to have the special ability to hear confessions about this sin — again, to even hear confessions, let alone grant absolution. Thus the Church deals with sheer logistics with her great prudential judgment: she hears confessions from those who have no right to confess. The great mercy of God.

      • This is really not correct. If you have had an abortion or helped someone get an abortion, please go to confession.

        • That is what I said. Please go to confession, knowing that except for the special logistics involved here in the USA you would not have had access to the Sacrament.

    • Mbûkû Kanyau Mbithûka says:

      The Catholic Church needs to teach its children to be holy. Boys and Girls, teach them holiness and being a big portion of this population, abortion will be quickly taken care off.

      Right now, Prelates issue these long press releases on life from natural conception to birth to natural death, without a church formed to understand the spiritual aspects of church teaching, and they go what? This is a man who is not married and celibate telling me what?

      Being as it may, fix your chatechis, in parishes and the diocese office, make sure people know what being holy is, by first being holy yourself and being focused on making your priests and your children holy.

      Given there is 70 million catholics in the United States, with about 45 million actually open to the gospel, these people can change the world.

      Just show them how to.

      Go to the chatechism classes as a Bishop and see what is being taught, be involved, teach children how to pray and be holy.

      Come off your high horse and get dirty, teach, teach, teach, after all, yours is the true teaching office.

      Bishops live in a sanitized official world of PR and entourages etc. They need to become true apostles while doing their high office stuff.

  2. respectlife says:

    This trend shows that we are living in a sick society. Those of us who believe in the gospel of life must speak out whenever the opportunity presents itself. We all need to be active and support organizations that work to de-legalize the murder of our unborn children. Legalized abortion leads to a society of death.. Not only for babies but for families, mothers, fathers. If not physical death, emotional death and destruction of society itself. Then we wonder why there is so much violence today. Abortion is the seed of evil.

  3. St. Christopher says:

    Claims of abortion “rights” usually find a common ally in demands for homosexual sexual “freedom” and “equality”. Both are vile practices that demark their participants as crossing into soul-damning mortal sins. Only God decides on salvation, but it is difficult to see mercy for someone like Kermit Gosnell, and others like him (and there are a good number of them). Children are not taught moral values, either collectively in public schools, or as a matter of Church discipline and direction, in Catholic schools. Without other institutions, like the Church, telling people that these actions are morally unacceptable, children are overwhelmed by the popular press approach to “fairness” and “diversity” and “not being judgmental” as to these issues. The Church has largely already lost the battle as to kids in late grade school on up. But it is time for priests, from the pulpit, and bishops (instead of issuing paper after paper on meaningless economic and social issues) through the media, to say, “No more”. If this is truly and faithfully done, many now in the Church will leave; but more and more will be saved. Isn’t this similar to the many who left Jesus when he described the need to eat his flesh and drink his blood to be saved. See, John 6. But, this will not be done, at least now. The institutional church, run by men, love power and wealth. Requests for more sacrifice, for more tradition, all run against the power of bishops and their mad dash for excess. Many have said that there would be no abortion, no homosexual marriage, if Catholic bishops taught the faith — but they do not, and will not. Instead, awards will be given to “health care professionals” like Kermit Gosnell, and people will be elected to office like Barack Obama.

  4. Idaho Pete says:

    Americans of this generation accept and embrace many sinful and wicked things that would be totally unthinkable to our parents and past generations. What does this say as to what kind of a people and nation that we have become?

  5. I saw the Friday Night Lights abortion episode. It was very one-sided. The mother of the boy who got the girl pregnant was protrayed as a crazy evangelical Christian. The people who wanted the counselor fired were shown as ignorant hillbillies, with Christianity thrown in, of course. After that episode and season, the show was canceled. Its viewers were disgusted with it. The writers of the show went way too far and did not know their audience.

  6. Garvey is the same person that, with 75 others at BC – a Jesuit school, of course – took a professor to task for saying same-sex marriage was wrong.

    • Kenneth M. Fisher says:


      Thanks for writing it so I didn’t have to. There is very little Catholic coming out of so called Catholic University!

      I was shocked to read that he even was invited to speak at this event!

      God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
      Kenneth M. Fisher

  7. ” Planned Parenthood recently reported with pride that it had performed a record number of abortions in 2011 — 333,964″.

    PP’s “pride” will be turned into the very depths of UTTER SHAME by Almighty God on Judgement Day and throughout eternity! May God have abundant mercy on America!

  8. OneoftheSheep says:

    God calls us to be faithful witnesses to life. He does not say that we must be successful, but every Christian needs to be a light in the darkness. Abortion is an offense against the Creator. If you sin against me, you sin against one of God’s creations. But, if you sin by taking the life of an innocent unborn child in the womb, then you sin against the very Creator Himself. We need to make reparation for the sins of our brothers and sisters who promote a Culture of Death. We are living stones in the Culture of Life.

  9. Anton L. Seidl says:

    Decades of Pro-Life marches, millions of rosaries and prayer vigils have had zero effect. As a man of science, I am compelled to admit that doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results may be the wrong approach. God has given all of us a brain and reasoning powers. Let us use them. Roe v Wade was the creation of liberal judges on the Supreme Court. These judges were appointed by liberal senators. Solution: Vote only for committed pro-life politicians. Use your head. If the person is a democrat, you can be sure he is pro-abortion. Don’t vote for democrats! How long will it take for Catholics to grasp this simple concept. A Catholic Democrat is an oxymoron, a contradiction in itself.

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