NOTE: This article features some sensitive topics that may not be suitable for younger readers. Please use discretion.
Recently on The Patrick Madrid Show, a listener named Stella called in to ask about the idea of abortion as a necessity in rare and tragic circumstances. Stella is a Catholic delivery room nurse and this past month, she was tasked with assisting in the delivery of two babies, one from a 13-year-old and one from a 14-year old. One of these patients was a victim of sex trafficking and Stella, of course feeling for the victims of such situations, asked Patrick if there were any cases where abortion would be acceptable. Specifically, she asked if rape victims, sex trafficking victims, or women whose lives are in danger could have abortions.
“Well let’s start there,” said Patrick. “Because life begins at conception, abortion is always wrong under any circumstances because it’s the intentional killing of a human life, an innocent human life.” He pointed out that human beings for the most part refrain from inflicting pain, torturing, or killing each other because it is wrong and depraved. That doesn’t end with unborn children.
Patrick put forth a hypothetical case in which a girl is raped by a man and conceives a child. What happened in that situation is that man committed a heinous act of dehumanization and degradation. He objectified and used that girl to take something that he wants, most likely through violence. That act was unquestionably wrong, inhumane, and a deplorable atrocity. Rightly, we seek to punish such crimes to the fullest extent of the law. So, what next? If that pregnant woman or girl gets an abortion, that “circle of violence” is completed. Not only has one innocent life been taken advantage of, but the innocent life of another has been taken. Both of their rights have been violated and stripped from them.
“So, the Church says no, we can never do that. And as terrible as the circumstance is, it’s not made better, it’s actually made far worse, by killing this unborn child. And it also saddles this girl with a lifetime of sadness and other problems that will arise from this in due time as a result of this abortion.” We cannot allow the initial crime to beget more tragedies. Across the board, mothers who have had abortions suffer from severe depression, post-traumatic stress, and guilt.
Patrick then addressed the idea of a mother who is in danger of losing her life. He played an audio clip from Dr. Anthony Levatino, a famous physician who used to be staunchly pro-choice. During his professional career, Dr. Levatino performed over 1,200 abortions. After his daughter was hit by a car and killed, Levatino underwent a conversion and stopped doing abortions altogether. He said of his change of heart, “For the first time in my career after all those years and all those abortions, I looked… I really looked at that pile of body parts on the side of the table… And I didn’t see her wonderful right to choose and I didn’t see what a great doctor I was helping her with her problem, and I didn’t even see the $800 cash I just made in 15 minutes. All I could see was somebody’s son or daughter.”
Somebody asked Dr. Levatino about the exception for abortion when a mother’s life is in danger. This was his response:
Stella replied to the clip, saying that all of Dr. Levatino’s points made sense. They were valid arguments, especially in light of the fact that Stella had just experienced the exact same situation. They had had to perform an emergency C-section on the 14-year-old mother because her blood pressure had skyrocketed and could have induced a stroke. The mother made it out fine and the baby was expected to be fine as well. She explained that she was asking these questions because as a Catholic she wanted to be able to defend her stance against all abortion, regardless of the situation.
Patrick helped her with a comparison to slavery. No sane person would reason that slavery is permissible and nobody would argue that even in a very rare, life-threatening situation, ownership of another should be allowed. In that same sense, murder of an unborn child shouldn’t be allowed either. Patrick sympathized with Stella and her situation because as a nurse, she had to deal with ethical arguments like this all the time. Having the knowledge to strongly stand behind one’s beliefs is a daunting prospect.
Stella asked if she ever had to take care of the follow-up procedures or consequences of an abortion (like abortion-induced hemorrhaging) if she would be committing a sin. Patrick said that no, she would not be doing anything wrong by caring for a woman who chose to get an abortion. It’s as if somebody had tried to rob a bank and in the middle of the robbery, the robber was shot. After being taken to the hospital, the nurses and doctors would be charged with helping him to recover as best as they can. They are not accessories to the crime that he committed.
To anyone struggling to stand up for their belief in life, Patrick offered a few resources: liveaction.com and virtuemedia.org. And for those in the medical profession, he suggested “Life Issues, Medical Choices”, a bioethical book regarding tough decisions in the medical field. Patrick ended by encouraging Stella to be brave in the face of adversity. The Faithful have no reason to cower at the vocabulary of pro-abortionists because the truth is on our side. While it isn’t easy to defend life, it’s far from impossible and we are duty-bound to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
Listen to the full conversation below:
Tune in to The Patrick Madrid Show weekdays 8am – 11am CT