Lex Cordis Caritas - The law of the heart is Love

by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is not surprising that the movie, Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer, did not win any Oscar awards last Sunday night. The Hollywood proponents of abortion did not even want you to see this movie, let alone give it any honors. No major Hollywood film studio would touch it. Production was eventually funded through an online fundraising campaign, which raised $2.3 million from 30,000 people.

The movie was finished in 2016, but getting it distributed encountered more roadblocks. When it was finally released last October, it had a limited opening in fewer than 680 theaters, compared to 4,250 for the weekend’s number one film. Facebook and NPR blocked ads for the movie. Despite these obstacles, the movie was in the Top 10 films in gross receipts on Friday and Saturday of its opening weekend in theaters.

The movie is based on The New York Times best-selling book, Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer, written by producers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. The book became especially controversial when The New York Times initially refused to feature it on its bestsellers list despite sales figures that revealed it should be on the list. The New York Times admitted they adjusted the list as an “editorial decision.”

Why do so many of the media’s establishment not want you to read this book, see the movie, or even know about them? The reason is because Gosnell is the shocking true story of the investigation and trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell — his 30-year killing spree and the political and media establishment that tried to cover it up. Originally investigated for illegal prescription drug sales, a raid by federal and local law enforcement revealed crimes they did not expect within the clinic. Gosnell was eventually tried and convicted of these crimes, and is currently in prison for life without parole for third-degree murder of infants born alive and killed inside his hazardous and lethal abortion clinic in Philadelphia.

It is very telling that Gosnell’s own lawyer tried to defend his client’s barbaric practices by arguing that what Gosnell was doing in his abortion clinic was no different from that of any other abortion practitioner. Indeed, this movie sheds light on the deadly deeds of the abortionists that the Prince of Darkness would rather keep hidden from plain view.

The movie Gosnell is now available on DVD. I watched it recently and found it to be very compelling. I highly recommend seeing it as its message is vitally needed at a time when politicians are seeking to expand abortion.

Here in Illinois, within days after being inaugurated, our newly-elected governor, J.B. Pritzker, signed an executive order on Jan. 22 directing state agencies to make sure that abortion procedures are covered in the health plans of state employees. During the signing ceremony at a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Chicago, Pritzker declared, “On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I’m proud to declare under my administration, the State of Illinois will be the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to guaranteeing the right to choose for every single woman.” Of course, Pritzker is talking about the right to choose abortion.

Following Pritzker’s lead, Illinois Democrats have sponsored House Bill 2495 and Senate Bill 1942, labeled by abortion promoters with a highly misleading title as the “Reproductive Health Act.” According to the Thomas More Society’s detailed analysis by constitutional law expert Paul Benjamin Linton, the proposed bill, along with a partner component, House Bill 2467 and Senate Bill 1594, would comprise “the most radical piece of abortion legislation that has ever been introduced in Illinois, and … the most radical proposed in any state to date.”

These bills would make abortion a fundamental right, release the state from any interest or care for the unborn, require health insurance policies to include coverage for all abortions, with no exemptions — even for churches and other religious organizations, eliminate any requirement to investigate fetal deaths or maternal deaths resulting from abortions or to record fetal deaths resulting from abortions, and repeals parental notification. Right now, a parent or legal guardian must be notified when a minor seeks an abortion.

This goes far beyond the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court. If abortion becomes a “fundamental right” (even statutory and not constitutional), no restrictions on abortion will be allowed, even those in the third trimester, post viability.

Opposition to these extreme abortion bills is not only a matter of Catholic teaching. Polls of the general public show that 87 percent of Americans do not favor legal abortion in the third trimester, at which point the fetus is often viable with medical support. This fact alone has this legislation in the extreme. Sixty-three percent of Americans would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Moreover, 92 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats want “significant restrictions” on abortions according to a poll released last year.

Most people understand and accept that babies can feel pain at 20 weeks. This bill would allow for partial birth abortion, when the baby is at the point of being born into this world. The proposed legislation also removes the requirement that only doctors can perform abortions. This throws the abortion activists’ argument of “women’s health” out the window. If a major medical procedure, surgery, can now be performed by someone who is not a doctor, this is not protecting women. This will only harm them.

Regarding parental notification for abortion — consider a minor has to get parental permission to get a tattoo or body piercing and under current law, it is illegal for minors to use an indoor tanning bed. Yet for a major medical surgery like abortion, the sponsors of these pieces of legislation think parents shouldn’t be involved at all.

Seventy-one percent of Americans believe there should be a law requiring women under 18 to get parental consent for any abortion, and that is more than simply notification. Repealing parental notification tells parents, “You don’t matter in your child’s life.”

Please contact your state House and Senate lawmakers and urge them to vote “no” on HB 2467, SB 1594, HB 2495 and SB 1942. To find out the name and contact information of your elected officials, go to the Catholic Conference of Illinois website, Your action in this regard is urgently needed to prevent this dreadful legislation from being enacted.

May God give us this grace. Amen.