THIS IS A GUEST POST by John Francis Borra, pro-life cartoonist
I found Mitt Romney's December 5th interview with Katie Couric particularly disappointing. I was aware of his pro-abortion past, of course, but understood he was a changed man. While I'm as skeptical as anyone when it comes to election-time conversions, I really wanted to give Romney the benefit of the doubt. After all, my favorite-- Sam Brownback-- had dropped out.
When pressed by Couric about his position on embryonic research, Romney's logic fell apart. He started out fine, maintaining that abortion is wrong and that life should not be created just to destroy it. But he continued by stating that parents in possession of "surplus" embryos-- those left over from in vitro reproductive efforts-- should be allowed to "donate" them for research.
So, according to Romney, it's not OK to kill a child conceived in vitro for destructive research. But it is OK to kill a child conceived in vitro for implantation; that's up to the parents. But killing a child in vivo (in the womb) is wrong; that's abortion and not up to the parents. But wait. What about those children conceived in vitro who were implanted, but are now considered "surplus" and marked for destruction in the crowded womb? Is their fate up to mom? Or do they finally rate consideration as something more than mere property? Perhaps we'll never find out; I imagine Romney is prepared to outrun the unlikely journalist inclined to pursue an answer.
Needless to say, Romney's position-- if you can call it that-- is not just poorly reasoned, but absurd. A confusion of relativism and utilitarianism, it depends on the circumstances of conception and the whim of parents. This is completely counter to authentic Christian teaching-- so clearly and often reiterated by Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI-- that human life is inherently sacred and that its creation must never be removed from the marital act, let alone industrialized.
The notion that human beings can be "surplus" and "donated" is right out of the antebellum South, Nazi Germany and, of course, our current culture of death. To accept such ideas is to reject the Judeo-Christian understanding of life, the world... everything.
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John Francis Borra, SFO