Msgr. Everard de Jong, auxiliary bishop of Roermond, wrote, this September, a letter to the members of the Dutch parliament, in which he called for a ban on abortion. Lifesite news reported:
“Several members of the Dutch House of Representatives have complained after Bishop Everard de Jong, auxiliary for the Roermond diocese, sent a letter earlier this fall to each representative along with a plastic 10-week fetal model.
In the letter, the bishop suggested that the government could save money “on the backs of bloody abortion clinics.” The bishop also suggested that given the Netherland’s aging population, the country will need a younger generation to take care of the elderly; however, he said, there is no younger generation because “we have already ‘cleansed’ them” through abortion […] Dutch representative Linda Voortman, of the Green party, said the letter was “contrary to good taste and unbecoming.” “Imagine if one is infertile or just suffered a miscarriage,” she said. According to Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), who has had several miscarriages, the letter was “nauseating. […] The controversy over the letter, which broke in September, surfaced again at the end of October when the editor of a Catholic newspaper came to the bishop’s defense. Mariska Orban said that as the VVD member had had miscarriages, she should be able to understand the horror of abortion. “Is it not nauseating that our society allows 30,000 babies to be aborted every year?” she said. Orban later apologized after pressuring from politicians and media.”.
A Dutch Catholic Mark de Vries translated the letter of Bishop (Original here), which we reprint here in full:
Letter calling for a full ban on abortion
Honourable members of Parliament,
Last Tuesday, 21 September, Her Majesty the queen read the speech from the throne, in which the caretaker cabinet announced the plans for the coming parliamentary year. Sadly there was once again no mention of the fact that in the Netherlands more than 30,000 children are being killed in the womb annually. Since the introduction of the Pregnancy Termination Act on 1 May 1981, almost 1 million people have been denied access to the Netherlands. Yes, they have not even been allowed the light of day. There is no end to the discrimination of innocent people of whom their own mother says that they could constitute a problem. Instead of aid, the death penalty is chosen. How is it possible that we – justly – devote a lot fo attention to the discovery of murdered babies, when we close our eyes to the disappearance of so many others?
As you can see from the enclosed model of an unborn ten-week old child, this is not just a lump of cells, but a very recognisable human being, with a beating heart and clear facial features! In the Netherlands it is possible that such a sweet little human is killed until the 24th week. Whoever dares to claim that this is no human being that is killed, must prove why this is not yet a human. Survivability outside the womb – which is the basis of the 24 weeks – can not be a criterion, since intensive care units of hospitals also treat people who have no chance of survival without that treatment. No one assumes that these people are not human. The womb is the best intensive care unit in the world, better than any incubator!
Why devote space to society’s democratic foundations in party programs, when people are excluded a priori? Why are these weakest members of our society ignored in social programs? Why pay attention to the freedom of mothers and not for the freedom of these children, which is trampled into the ground? Why spend a lot of money on internal security when we don’t even try to prevent the womb becoming a ground zero?
There have to be cuts on nearly everything; why not on the bloody post of abortion clinics? Women in the Netherlands, after all, do not have to pay the treatment costs of pregnancy termination; those € 10,000,000 a year are paid from the AWBZ fund. Can we force people to contribute to that? The costs for society, by the way, are much higher when we taken into consideration the psychological aid for women who will be needing it. Many mothers and fathers regret that they can no longer love their child. They look at other children with different eyes: that could have been my child.
If these arguments do not convince you: we will be needing hundreds of thousands of bedside hands in the coming years. We don’t have them… The people who could have helped us wash, we killed them ourselves…
As highest law makers, you can change this! You have been elected without burden or consultation. Make that the need of women who are considering an abortion does not grow by making this terrible intervention in their lives so readily available. Offer real aid! Turn the Netherlands into a leading country for human dignity once more! You can do it!
+Everard de Jong
Thank God for bishops who are prepared to be unpopular in the name of the truth. Personally, I would have preferred him to place more emphasis on the purely moral arguments, which are watertight and unanswerable, rather than thinning out the debate by reference to economics and other factors. But good for him for daring to speak out in this way.
Abortion is a global atrocity but we need one western country to change direction so that others may dare to follow. Surely the human race will eventually come to its senses and recognise the abortion holocaust for what it really is.
The Pope is calling on all parishes, dioceses, religious communities, associations, and movements to join him in a Vigil for Nascent life on the eve of Advent, 27 November.
The purpose “according to the Holy See is to ‘thank the Lord for his total self-giving to the world and for his Incarnation which gave every human life its real worth and dignity,’ and to ‘invoke the Lord’s protection over every human being called into existence.'”
The statement also provided a reflection on the theme of this Respect Life Month, which is: “The Measure of Love Is to Love Without Measure.”
The article from Zenit includes links to resources prepared by the US Catholic Biships for the vigil.
I urge all Catholics reading this to pass a copy of the article to their parish priest.
Our Dutch friend is asking for abortion to be made illegal. That will not stop abortion. It will not swell the thinning ranks of ‘European’ families a bit.
It will simply mean that women who can’t afford to go to another country where it is legal will return to squalid, back-street abortionists and put their own lives more at risk than before.
This is undeniable. Look at the past. Things are less worse now. Even in Holland, I imagine. But I don’t know.
Toad realises that by saying these unpalatable things, he will be branded ‘anti-life’ and a monster. Which he ain’t.
I am no fan of abortion. It is horrible, tragic, murder of a sort, never to be lightly undertaken. Even under the best medical conditions it is risky and can be fatal.
And, if God is so dead set against abortions, why do between 10 and 15 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriages (the medical term for which is, in fact, abortion) under any circumstances?
Death of other kinds is also fairly common, Toad. But God is also dead set against forms of murder other than abortion.
You say that “It will simply mean that women who can’t afford to go to another country where it is legal will return to squalid, back-street abortionists and put their own lives more at risk than before.”
It will not be as simple as that. Bernard Nathanson was director of the largest abortion clinic in the west before his conversion. He was also active in preparing the infamous Roe v Wade case in the USA. After he saw abortion for the horror it really is, he gave a lot of information about the outright lies used by the abortion industry. Two of his comments are as follows:
“We persuaded the media that the cause of permissive abortion was a liberal, enlightened, sophisticated one. Knowing that if a true poll were taken, we would be soundly defeated, we simply fabricated the results of fictional polls. We announced to the media that we had taken polls and that 60 percent of Americans were in favor of permissive abortion. This is the tactic of the self-fulfilling lie. Few people care to be in the minority. We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000, but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000.”
“Another myth we fed to the public through the media was that legalizing abortion would only mean that the abortions taking place illegally would then be done legally. In fact, of course, abortion is now being used as a primary method of birth control in the U.S. and the annual number of abortions has increased by 1,500 percent since legalization.”
“Few people care to be in the minority. “
Toad, for one, is very unhappy being anywhere else.
But, on abortion, everything you tell us about some lying businessman is, no doubt true.
But what has it got to do with my assertion that, “It will simply mean that women who can’t afford to go to another country where it is legal will return to squalid, back-street abortionists and put their own lives more at risk than before.”?
Will criminalisation drive abortion back into the back-streets or not? Yes or no?
Maybe the question is, should we care if it does? Personally, I would care.
And re Teresa, I am not suggesting that the legalisation of abortion is a question of moral goodness, any more than legalising divorce, or homosexuality, or gay marriage, or banning smoking in various places, or banning capital punishment.
It is a question of giving the public the right to decide. It is not the government’s business, for example, to ban certain sexual acts. Why should they?
A government may allow or not, an activity. I don’t believe that it should consult the Bible, or the Koran first.
Look what happens when governments do that.
But, having spouted all that, yes, abortion is in a category of its own.
P:S: Thank you for the little film. Very thought-provoking.
Having spouted all this boring old liberal re-hash, we should be pleased at least, that now the civilised world h
(Forget the last unfinished sentence. A mistake.)
But, while I’m on, it strikes me that the better analogy with abortion might be Prohibition (of booze in the States) maybe.
Didn’t stop drinking, just drove it underground and made a lot of bad men rich.
Toad: fair comment, as I did not explain the link very clearly.
I think it was your word “simply” that was troubling me (“It will simply mean that women who can’t afford to go to another country where it is legal will return to squalid, back-street abortionists.”) The second Nathanson quotation shows that this was one argument used (in reverse) to get abortion legalised: the assertion then was that “we now have x abortions taking place illegally in awful conditions, but if we change the law we will have x abortions taking place in a proper hospital environment”. In reality, the USA experience (and undoubtedly that of all other countries legalising abortion) was that the numbers of abortions rose rapidly and enormously.
So if you now assert that “It will simply mean that women who can’t afford to go to another country where it is legal will return to squalid, back-street abortionists …” it seems as if you are saying that just as many women will have abortions but they will either go abroad or go to the back-street clinics.
In using the (second) Nathanson quotation, from a man who is really as qualified as anyone else in the world to comment, I am suggesting that it is not that “simple” at all. If abortion were to be outlawed in a particular country, it would send ripples, nay shockwaves, throughout the world. It would take time, but gradually there would be an awakening to the reality of what an abortion is, a real change of perspective in society. Over a period of a few years there would be a genuine and significant reduction in the overall numbers of abortions among the population.
Re your other comments:
– abortion already makes “a lot of bad men rich”;
– abortion really is (as you suggest) in a category of its own: the protection of the lives of its people should arguably be the very first duty of any government. Unless we argue – against all the scientific evidence – that an unborn child is not a person, then the government is failing catastrophically in its primary duty.
The idea of driving women to back-street abortionists is truly awful. Even worse, though, is a government that stands by and legislates for the murder of 190,000 of its youngest members of society (UK figures). In the end, the women have in almost all cases made two choices: to put themselves in a position where the child is conceived, and to end the pregnancy. The unborn child has no choice in the matter at all.
” In the end, the women have in almost all cases made two choices: to put themselves in a position where the child is conceived, and to end the pregnancy.”
This is indisputable. It has always been so, and will not cease to be so. Mistakes are made. The answer is more, and better, birth control – obviously. Except, it’s apparently not that obvious to everybody.
>i> The unborn child has no choice in the matter at all. Hard to argue with that. But interesting to speculate, that – if the unborn child did have a choice – whether or not he, or she, might not decide that being born was such a good idea anyway. Interesting but fruitless.
Though I have met at least one person who told me she would rather not have been born, had she been given the choice. I suppose most of us would shrug our shoulders and get on with it. It’s what we end up doing, anyway.
But, would not choosing ‘life’ constitute some kind of sin? (Silly question. No need to answer it.)
I note the bishop’s christian name is Everard. Lovely name, that.
If Toad had been named Everard, instead of Toad, he might have made something of himself.
Nope, sorry, but I don’t think you’d have got any further as Mr Everard Spittle. 🙂
I fear you are right, Mimi. Doesn’t have the right ‘ring’ to it. ‘Everard’ is a name I could never live up to, anyway.
The fact that you are expecting two copies of the naughty old Keith book interests me strangely…One never know on CP&S, do one?
Where has everyone else gone? Where are Manus and Raven and and Kathleen and Burro? Maybe Burro is dead again?
I was going to say that Teresa and Joyful and Mimi and Poor Old Toad are left holding the baby, but the connotations would be ambiguous.
It being a little over a fortnight till Advent, Toad, holding the Baby is a great seasonal idea. May we all hold Him in our hearts.
Thanks for remembering me! I’ve just had some extremely busy days, and couldn’t reply to your comments to me on the St Winifred thread; however bwr47 and golden did a great job in their replies.
Wow Toad…. no one makes me laugh like you do, and I certainly appreciate your sense of humour, but you really do shoot off at all angles without getting down to the heart of the matter. But back on topic:
You say: “The answer is more, and better, birth control – obviously.”
Nope, it’s not. A ‘birth control mentality’ is the next step to condoning abortion, or at least turning a blind eye to it. Some forms of birth control are also abortive.
Obedience to God’s laws when sex and love are contained within marriage is the obvious ideal. Natural family planning in which a married couple then try to space out their children to fit their means and lives is a way of including God’s will in procreation. By not using artificial blockages to their loving sexual unity, but instead using the woman’s natural infertile period when they would rather wait a while before having another child, they are saying in a way, “Lord, we would rather not have another child right now, but if you so deign it, let it be so.” It is this attitude of unselfishness, humility, generosity that makes one grow in Christian virtue and holiness. It also strengthens a couples’ love for each other. Separation statistics for married couples who consistently abide by the Church’s teaching in this way are extremely low, almost non-existent.
No, it is not easy. There will be failures and setbacks to this ideal, more likely than not. But even though we might stumble, fall and then regret and repent, Our Blessed Lord is there, with Mary, all the angels and saints, to help us to our feet once more. Here we come back again to the reality of the steep and narrow uphill road…… 🙂
“Obedience to God’s laws when sex and love are contained within marriage is the obvious ideal.”
Says Kathleen, and who can deny it?
There are however, a few small hiccups.
The first being that there are a great many people who do not believe in God, and thus do not recognise His Laws.
The second being that there are many other people who do believe in God but believe in a different God to the one Kathleen believes in. Who seems to have different laws.
(Toad suspects that everyone on this planet believes in a different God to everyone else, but that is another argument, though one he is willing to make.)
The point being, that Toad, along with everyone else on here, deplores abortion, and thinks something should be done about it.
Toad, for his sins, which are legion, is reading for the first time, “The Perennial Philosophy” by Huxley – which, although excellent, is very hard and makes his poor little fat head ache – but he was struck by this remark by Echart:
“Why dost thou prate of God? Whatever thou sayest of Him is untrue.”
Certainly true for Toad.
How could Toad forget you Kathleen? But, to my shame, I did forget Omvendt, which is inexcusable, as he is my one-man Inquisition and occupìes a special place in my affections.
Must have been Freudian.
While I’m spittling on, it strikes me that the Echart comment parallels Wittgenstein’s perhaps most famous observation, pretty well;“Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent.”
But then, Ludwig wasn’t a blogger.
(Is Burro getting away a miraculous new head, do we think? )
I believe we’re alone in looking in this thread now Toad, so just a quickie to let you know that our Burro is on his way back soon. Raven is on holiday, and if my memory serves me right, so is Omvendt.
See ya soon on a live thread!