The Real Inequality in New York City

At the January 1 inauguration ceremony for New York City’s new mayor, Bill de Blasio, the Rev. Frederick Lucas, pastor of the Brooklyn Community Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant, invoked God’s help to “let the plantation called New York City be the city of God.” While he was echoing Mayor de Blasio’s concerns about inequality, many denounced the rhetoric. Even the editorial board at the New York Times described the inauguration day speeches as “backward-looking, both graceless and smug.”

But, for those in the pro-life community, Rev. Lucas’s words may have had some resonance.  Pro-lifers know that for the unborn, especially the unborn children of black women, New York City has become a cruel place where unwanted children are easily discarded. In fact, there are some New York City neighborhoods—including the Rev. Lucas’s own Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood—where many more babies are aborted each year than are allowed to be born.

An analysis of New York City abortion rates and ratios by zip code published by the Chiaroscuro Foundation—a non-profit research organization committed to “starting a conversation” about abortion rates in New York City—reveals that Bedford-Stuyvesant has the highest rates of abortion in Brooklyn with an abortion ratio of 59 percent.  This means that there are 59 abortions to every 100 pregnancies in Rev. Lucas’s neighborhood. And, while that may seem high, the abortion ratios in Jamaica, Queens and Southeast Queens, and Central Harlem-Morningside Heights are all well over 60 percent.

New York is indeed a tale of two cities.  While more than half of the pregnancies in many of New York City’s black and Hispanic neighborhoods end in death for the unborn child, only 6 percent of the pregnancies for women living on Manhattan’s affluent Upper East Side zip code of 10162 end in abortion.  And, only 6.7 percent of all the pregnancies in the similarly affluent Lower Manhattan zip code of 10282 end similarly. Likewise, Brooklyn’s Borough Park zip code 11219 has an abortion ratio of 8.6 percent, and even the middle-class Long Island City-Astoria in Queens has a comparatively lower abortion ratio of 16.9 percent.

The tale is even worse for New York City’s teens—especially the City’s black teens.  According to the New York City Department of Health, among non-Hispanic black teens, the abortion rate is 72 percent.  What this means is that for every 1,000 black babies born to teens, 2,630 were aborted.

According to the most recent abortion data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on November 29, 2013, white women in New York City have a rate of abortion of 11.5 percent, while the city’s Hispanic women’s rates are 33.8 percent. Black women in the City have a rate of 48.1 percent.

To understand the dramatic discrepancies in abortion rates, it is helpful to look at U. S. Census Bureau data on households in 2010 and correlate this data with the abortion data.  Such correlations reveal that the New York City zip codes with the highest abortion ratios also have some of the highest percentages of families with female householders—with no husband present.

Things will likely get worse for the unborn in New York City.  As candidate, Mayor de Blasio issued a position paper titled “Standing With the Women of New York City” in which he promised to work with abortion providers to “ensure adequate protection for clinic access by ensuring close coordination with the NYPD.”  He also promised to “work with non-profit providers to identify neighborhoods underserved by reproductive health services.”

Worse, Mayor de Blasio vowed to close down the pro-life crisis pregnancy centers by promising to “continue New York City’s appeal of a judge’s order overturning New York’s local law to regulate sham crisis pregnancy centers.”  De Blasio pledged to work to “craft new regulations to prevent these centers from masquerading as legitimate healthcare providers.”  For Mayor de Blasio, pro-life crisis pregnancy centers—those that offer pregnancy testing, counseling, as well as financial and practical assistance to women faced with unplanned pregnancies—are “sham” clinics because they do not offer “legitimate health care” through abortion.

Progressive politicians like de Blasio have a long history of attempting to close down crisis pregnancy programs in the City.  While he served as New York State’s attorney general, Eliot Spitzer attempted to block crisis pregnancy centers from implementing ultrasound technology in their own facilities.  A decade ago, Spitzer issued thirty four subpoenas to centers throughout the state of New York that he “suspected of deceiving women about their services or practicing medicine without a license.”  Spitzer claimed that the centers were involved in “subversive activities” like providing pregnancy counseling coupled with ultrasound imaging to expectant mothers—but were not providing abortion counseling.

Politicians like Mayor de Blasio and former Attorney General Spitzer work closely with reproductive rights advocacy groups to attack the crisis pregnancy centers.  Spitzer worked with Family Planning Advocates of New York State—an umbrella group that includes seventy-eight family planning clinics and abortion facilities, including fifteen operated by Planned Parenthood.  Spitzer claimed to be responding to complaints that the crisis pregnancy centers “lure women with the promise of reproductive health services, only to present them with anti-abortion messages.”  It is as likely that he was responding to complaints from those in the abortion industry about what they see as competition.

While Spitzer was unsuccessful in closing the crisis pregnancy centers, his legacy has been to make life very difficult for them—even a decade after his campaign against them.  In 2005, Spitzer issued subpoenas demanding that the centers provide his office with copies of all advertisements, website addresses, services provided, names of staff members, training materials, and blank forms and records of all agreements made.

Working closely with Spitzer in the campaign against the pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, JoAnn Smith, president and chief executive officer of Family Planning Advocates, warned that “a new trend at the centers is to offer sonograms.”  The ultrasound technology especially concerned Smith because she claimed that the centers “lacked the medical personnel and licenses necessary to provide the services correctly…. We are not trying to close down the facilities, but we take seriously a woman’s right to reproductive services.”  The fact that all this legalese masked an effort to close these facilities down was revealed by the NARAL Pro-Choice America website, featuring a program in which they ask women to participate in undercover sting operations designed to “expose the true nature and tactics of deceptive crisis pregnancy centers.”

It is likely that Mayor de Blasio will employ Spitzer’s tactics.  Yet, the reality is that it is hard to stop a medical technology in a free market.  New York City’s stellar Mid-Town Pregnancy Support Center offers pregnant women free pregnancy tests, access to free state-of-the-art ultrasound technology, and “healthy holistic support with access to over 400 practical referrals and resources so you can face the future with confidence and hope.”

The ultrasound technology makes a difference—and Mayor de Blasio must know that. Even the New York Times acknowledged (in 2005), in a front page report by Neela Banerjee on the use of ultrasound technology in crisis pregnancy centers throughout the country, that women who had visited these centers with the intention of getting an abortion, often changed their minds once they saw the ultrasound images.

Of course, Mayor de Blasio will have plenty of help in continuing to expand the tale of two cities through abortion. Andrew Cuomo—New York’s Catholic Governor—supported the Women’s Equality Act, which promised to expand access to abortion—extending the time period that women can get an abortion throughout the full nine months of her pregnancy. Governor Cuomo has also proposed that abortions may be performed by doctors and non-doctors alike—thus expanding dramatically the pool of abortion providers.  Likewise, President Obama has done even more to help increase the number of abortions for New York City’s poorest women through his Affordable Care Act.

The Catholic Church in New York City can play a role in helping to prevent some of this.  On January 6, 2011, Cardinal Timothy Dolan participated in a press conference on the rising abortion rates in the City held by the Chiaroscuro Foundation.  In his remarks Cardinal Dolan said: “That 41 percent of all New York babies are aborted—a percentage even higher in the Bronx—and among our African American babies in the womb—is downright chilling.”

Editor’s note: This column first appeared January 12, 2014 in the Washington Times and is reprinted with permission of the author.

Anne Hendershott

By

Anne Hendershott is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Veritas Center at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. She is the author of Status Envy: The Politics of Catholic Higher Education; The Politics of Abortion; and The Politics of Deviance (Encounter Books). She is also the co-author of Renewal: How a New Generation of Priests and Bishops are Revitalizing the Catholic Church (2013).

  • ForChristAlone

    Just imagine the quandary these “progressives” would be in if everyone turned the table on them and,instead of trying to protect human life among the Hispanic and Black population, they were to focus their efforts toward advocating abortion among these groups – using all the familiar arguments proposed by NARAL et al in favor of it. They wouldn’t know what to do. Why? Because abortion is simply a tool in the politics of power. The greatest victims of this power struggle are the innocent and defenseless, along with their mothers whom the progressives see to it have no real choice in the matter.

    No, abortion tops the list as the worst of the racism that exists in this country. So, when all of these so called civil rights people get trotted out for self-promotion on MLK’s birthday, you can view them as the hypocrites they are. They are behind the wholesale slaughters of people simply by dint of their race. MLK would have been incensed by this.

  • Jo Joyce

    What is it the progressives want? Abortions available at the school nurse, no different than needing a Tylenol for a headache, or a clean shirt if you throw up? A morning “vacuum” job “just in case?” They want equality, of what? Fingernails = fetuses? I heard a progressive talk show entitled “Imagine 2050” and it is too scary to imagine! A frightening new world… Thanks, Dr. H, for always bringing us the truth, no matter how ugly.

    • jacobhalo

      In schools, you don’t need the permission of the parents for their child to get an abortion, but you need their permission to give them Tylenol.

      • msmischief

        One also notes that they are legally required to report if they even suspect a child is being abused. Such as suspecting that she’s pregnant.

        • smokes

          A lot of the teachers in NYC like the easy abortion access for their students. Wonder why?

          • leogirl87

            The sex abuse scandals in public schools is actually worse than it is for Catholic priests, but the media doesn’t cover it.

            • Isabelle

              That is so true. Tens of thousands of children are sexually harassed, abused or even raped in public schools without any notice. This is to say nothing of the various forms of violence they experience including bullying, drug pushing, beatings, stabbings and shootings including death.

        • leogirl87

          They are legally required to report, but they often don’t.

  • David Mayrose

    I’m pro-life, but as I read this article, we need to be mindful that the quality of life after birth for these children is just as important as protecting their lives before birth. So often, they are just thrust into a condition of poverty and hopelessness…until they are old enough to beget more children…a vicious cycle. So far, we have no very god solutions.

    • Maggie Sullivan

      Poverty in not a block to a holy or good life………Jesus Mary and Joseph were poor….many of the saints were poor…….But the bible clearly tells us that riches can be a roadblock to heaven.

      Money is not the issue…..love is. If a person is born poor but is loved they have the most important thing in the world. What we need is Jesus Christ.

      • David Mayrose

        True, it is not a block. But I would say in the majority of cases it makes it more difficult.

        • grzybowskib

          There is an organization I have donated to before: Feminists for Life of America. To sum up what they do: they identify the key issues that drive women to have abortions, and they create a space where people from all walks of life can work together to solve those issues. Here is a list of the different projects and causes they are involved in: anti-poverty efforts amongst women and children; support for men who don’t know how to deal with unwanted pregnancies in their families; healthcare reform where mothers and their children can benefit; supporting workplace policies that are more family friendly, such as equal pay for women in the workplace and not penalizing women for having children; support to pregnant and parenting college students, and making sure they have access to child care, housing, and maternity health care coverage; promoting adoption, and all sorts of nationwide, big scale things like that. This organization is doing wonderful things for women and children as we speak, so I would encourage everyone who reads this to go to their website feministsforlife.org to learn more and donate if you want to. 🙂

          • ForChristAlone

            They might also try abstinence training.

            • grzybowskib

              They have said they don’t have an official stance on what couples do before conceiving children, whether that’s abstinence or NFP or contraception or what have you since the people who work for them come from so many different religious and philosophical backgrounds. Their purpose is to help out once a woman becomes pregnant and doesn’t know how to handle it.

      • So what we need to do is love the poor MORE than the government or the Democrats can. How many parishes in these high-abortion zip codes have pro-marriage programs? How many parishes in the low abortion zip codes are willing to partner with a high-abortion zip code parish to provide cheap or free weddings, rent and energy assistance, food and clothing banks?

        The biggest weapon we have against abortion is charity- caritas- LOVE!

        • Isabelle

          You can’t love someone who doesn’t love themselves.

          • A person who does not love themselves, is all the more in need of love.

    • leogirl87

      I am pro-life too. We need to teach personal responsibility as well as encourage people to place their kids for adoption if they are out of wedlock and/or can’t afford to take care of them. Offer tutoring services so kids don’t drop out or flunk out of high school, Help unwed mothers get their GEDs. Get everyone in college or some type of vocational school. Then they will be able to get good jobs and pay for their own children.

      • David Mayrose

        Thank you, leogir87. A good plan….

  • Don

    I’ve abandoned any attempt to discover any logic to “progressives” that might illuminate a desire to make a better world. Boiled down, they seem to be governed by immediate desires and a hatred of all traditional values. They are joyless and self-absorbed . . . and Ms. Henderchott’s fine article amplifies my opinion.

    • jacobhalo

      Voltaire said that common sense isn’t so common. Common sense requires one to think with his head not his heart. That is why liberals are called “bleeding hearts” because they think with their hearts.

      • disqus_NvJwtmmluz

        Yeah, dark hearts.

    • smokes

      This is a communist who worships at the feet of Fidel Castro and Daniel Ortega, murderers.

      • hombre111

        Whew. I won’t bother replying to your comment, below.

        • Adam__Baum

          Whew, we won’t have to respond.

  • publiusnj

    The most important point the author made is that the “zip codes with the highest abortion ratios also have some of the highest percentages of families with female householders—with no husband present.” The Democrat Party is not stupid. As the old saying goes, “two can live as cheaply as one.” Families with husbands and wives present are looking for more out of life than mere subsistence and therefore cannot be bought off as cheaply as families headed by women. Women alone, though, can be bought off cheaply so long as they don’t realize that there is more to life than sex and reproduction. Women are told that they are now “free” to have sex with anyone without fear of repercussions because the Party will take care of their contraceptive and abortion needs and that men are as necessary as bicycles for fish. Most importantly, even if children are born (not too many please), the Party will ensure that they have baby care so they can get back to work and partying. (Head of household filing status and child credits for income tax purposes is another big benefit for single women) After all, isn’t that why all those men and women died in our wars? For their freedom to abort, have sex with whomever they want and marry any sex they choose?

    Why is the Party so “generous” to single women? Well, there are a lot of votes in single women and the more lop-sided the Democrat plurality with any demographic, the more the Party is willing to invest in benefits for that demographic. Indeed the evenness of the R-D split among non-minority Catholic voters is probably the reason DeBlasio didn’t even name a Catholic priest to his Transition Team (there were five other clergy persons) and couldn’t care about Catholic positions. (BTW, DeBlasio is no Catholic). And the terrific thing about single women is that their benefits are provided primarily by firms that can churn donations back to the Party (e.g., abortion providers and the UFT Teachers Union).

    • Slainte

      Most of these single mothers would prefer to be in a loving marriage. Many are searching for love…trading sex for love and hoping that marriage will be forthcoming.

      Men must assume some responsibilty; women are not impregnating themselves.

      • cestusdei

        No they are not, but they are having sex with men they know have no intention of marrying them.

        • Slainte

          Many of these naive women are “in love” with their beau and think that he will leave if they don’t give him sex. Their moral foundations are not properly ordered and they tend to come from broken homes.

          They are seeking love in all the wrong places, and our culture supports (and encourages) these unwise choices. The poor babies who are aborted are the victims of this profound dysfunction.

          Please God that the extended family may be restored so the the wisdom of caring family elders may be available to guide the young away from immoral choices. The Church must also teach morality clearly and loudly from the Pulpit.

          • Art Deco

            The Church must also teach morality clearly and loudly from the Pulpit.

            Ha ha. Tell that to my local novus ordinary priest. I think if I hear the man say ‘our relationship with God’ one more time, I will lose my cookies over one of his scrum of eucharistic ministers.

            • Slainte

              Become a deacon and preach the message loud and clear from the pulpit. You know how a man thinks….speak Truth to the young men in the pews. Most girls will follow their beau’s lead in a relationship. Start by teaching virtue to the boys but make the message available to all.

              • jacobhalo

                The pastor would not allow a deacon to speak the Truth. The pastor usually reads the deacon’s sermon before he speaks it.

                • Slainte

                  Then go to another parish. Each parish in my area varies in the pastor’s willingness to allow certain messages. A deacon can be gentle and articulate in conveying moral message.

                  Jacobhalo you and I hear these messages in the churches that permit the traditional Latin mass…the same messages must be transmitted from the pulpits of the Novus Ordo Masses. Teaching Morality is so important in an era when youth are imbued with mixed messages from the culture through television and the Internet.

                  • jacobhalo

                    Yes, I have attended the EF for the past 10 yrs. We have sermons on homosexuality, abortion, all topics that won’t be touched in the Novus Ordo.

                • hombre111

                  Uh…no.

            • hombre111

              The novus ordinary priests are mostly retired. It is up to the John Paul II boys, now. Time for you to start blaming somebody else. I don’t think this can be done effectively from the pulpit, because priests have little credibility in this area, even before the sex abuse scandal. Parishes need to find a better way that is not decreed from the top.

              • Adam__Baum

                When do you retire?

                • Art Deco

                  When does he quit pretending he was ever ordained?

              • Art Deco

                I think he was ordained in 1984. It hardly matters; John Paul II was never the diocesan vocations director where I lived.

                If he wishes some other appellation than ‘novus ordinary’, he can offer the extraordinary form every once in a while, sell the upright piano, sent the ‘music director’ to the loft with the ‘alter girls’ and hand them a looseleaf of traditional chant, throw the OCRAP material in the trash, say Mass ad orientam, and undertake a concise and sensible elaboration on the days readings (or at least the Gospel) complete with some remarks from the Church Fathers and concluding with a practical exhortation. The gooey therapy-talk can go.

          • cestusdei

            Many women know the man WILL in fact leave since this is serial behavior. I agree that society and men share blame, but women don’t get off the hook either. I agree that the Church must stoutly defend traditional families and morality.

          • hombre111

            As so often, Slainte, you speak with great wisdom and understanding.

            • slainte

              Thank you for the kind words.

          • leogirl87

            I think it’s a form of idolatry, they must always have a boyfriend, as if men were gods or something. If they would raise their standards, then they’d eventually meet a man good enough to marry and who was interested in marriage.

        • leogirl87

          “To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.” – Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen

      • Adam__Baum

        “Most of these single mothers would prefer to be in a loving marriage.”

        I spent a good deal of time working as a Medicaid auditor, doing maternal health audits. I had access not only to medical records, but social worker records.

        The average UNWED mother is coming from an environment where it’s normative to give birth without benefit of matrimony. You can’t aspire to something you don’t see and that attitude is diffusing throughout the culture.

        I now have a relative in her twenties. Despite being brought up in a nuclear home, married parents, with decent moral formation, she was never very bright, has a loser boyfriend, got pregnant, and now that the little tyke is a toddler, she’s pregnant again. Marriage isn’t on her docket, but facebook posts are all about getting more ink and spending some time on the shore. Brags about being a “big sister” and the boyfriend is in the pictures as “dad’, despite the fact that the real father is the taxpayers.

        • Art Deco

          In fairness, the total fertility rate of each non-hispanic demographic subset scarcely exceeds 2.0 (if it even reaches that level). A woman with 4 children by age 21 (or six by age 27) is quite unusual.

          It is true that discussions of these topics by Kay Hymowitz and characters like this:

          http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1192/article_detail.asp

          incorporate the assumption that modal behavior by women is similar to what it was in 1958. So, they expect young men to systematically conduct themselves as if they were making decisions in a matrix like that of 1958. Social conservatives have been failing to address important aspects of these issues, so discussion of them has been left to Louis Grizzard types like this fellow:

          http://badgerhut.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/obligation-masculinity-kay-hymowitz-and-her-clueless-brethren/

          • Adam__Baum

            What do you mean “In fairness, the total fertility” ? I wasn’t commenting on any cohort’s fertility, but a specific individual’s irresponsibility, and it’s cultural acceptability. Killing your three month old is unusual too, but the same family had that happen too. The father’s family cheered at the guilty verdict, but any kind of vigilance from the father might have prevented that death.

            The woman’s oldest child when she dumped her four at grandmother’s to party was 8. That means she was 13 when she had her first. There was a good chance she was 12 when she conceived. She was a child herself, and demonstrated precious little maturity to dump her four babes with grandma to engage in a weekend of legal binge drinking.

            An interesting sideline. My state spends mountains of money to assure that a drop of alcohol doesn’t cross a 20 year old’s lips and she clearly understood that limit.

            The “authorities” have even gone so far as to occasionally run ads to inform parents that the “just a sip” administered to remove the specter of a “forbidden fruit” is illegal. The same health department wouldn’t dream of running ads about the illegality or risks of getting pregnant at 13. My point was that she clearly wasn’t an aspirant to matrimony. Ditto for my tatted up, parasitic relative.

            I’ll be pondering this situation as I take a ten year old relative to Build-a-Bear next week.

            I do absolutely agree that the decision matrix isn’t the same as 1958. Back then, even young people of easy virtue and strong libidos knew that sex could result in pregnancy, and pregnancy would mean shotgun weddings at best, social disapproval, economic hardship, etc.

            In short, you didn’t have to be that mature, moral or smart to make good decisions. Today, you have to be a saint to avoid any number of stupid decisions, and the state encourages it because legions of immature, isolated, dependent people are easy pickings for the demagogues.

        • Slainte

          You have hit the nail on the head as usual. We need some real solutions up this horrendous problem that causes so much heart ache and leads to enriching Planned Parenthood through increased abortions.

        • Paul Adams

          For a different perspective, may I recommend the excellent study, Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood before Marriage – http://www.amazon.com/Promises-Can-Keep-Motherhood-Marriage-ebook/dp/B005T5O9QW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389642502&sr=8-1&keywords=promises+i+can+keep+with+new+preface

          • Adam__Baum

            You’re going to have to summarize it for me. I need a far more substantive and compelling recommendation before I add to my reading list.

            What’s the “different perspective”?

            • Paul Adams

              It’s the perspective of the welfare mothers themselves. In order to find out why poor women postpone marriage but not childbearing, the study authors took the unusual step of asking them, in depth. It’s not that they don’t care about marriage, it’s more that they have adopted a middle class ideal of it and see it as one that they cannot yet attain. They may never reach it but are not willing to remain childless because they cannot meet their own standards for marriage. In that sense, it’s not that they don’t care about marriage, but they value it too highly. It may be misguided, but it’s a different perspective from that of most observers, who either don’t value marriage or hold (as I do) that it should precede childbearing. In any case, it is a different perspective. The link I provided to Amazon provides a summary and a number of helpful reviews.

              • leogirl87

                These women need to remember that it’s not just about them. Children deserve to live with both biological parents in a stable, married home. I understand that they love and want kids, but having kids out of wedlock and before they’ve finished college isn’t the answer. Work on yourself first and then get married and then have kids. You can start a family at 30, you don’t have to get pregnant at 20. The life expectancy isn’t so short anymore.

      • publiusnj

        Women control sexual access to their wombs. That is their real “right to choose.” If they don’t choose to be sensible and to have intercourse only with their spouse, the men with whom they choose to have intercourse have no greater responsibility than they. As to trading sex for love in hopes marriage will follow: very stupid way to live. Fertility is the reason why marriage has been considered to be a sine qua non of intercourse for the past 2000 years and more. I won’t get into metaphors about giving the milk away, but women who do not control access to their wombs end up getting hurt and compromising their/their families’ futures cheaply. And they then get suckered into accepting the bizarre idea that the war being waged on them is being waged by Republicans.

        • Slainte

          Women seek love and acceptance….they seek it from their husbands and children. If they do not have a husband, they will seek it from their boyfriend and give him what he wants to receive it.

          I understand and agree with your observations but girls from broken families with low self esteem are starving and will make dumb choices to be fulfilled. I think most want the security and love of a husband and children, not multiple sex partners. A woman’s nature is not ordered toward multiple sex partners and promiscuity…it is ordered toward nesting and safety.

          • publiusnj

            As i said, if they want to be stupid, all kinds of people (boyfriends, counselors, the Democrat Party, etc.) will take advantage of them. What kind of “acceptance” is it if the “boyfriends” leavs them when they get pregnant? Not so much acceptance as use. I guess you do need the metaphor about giving the milk away for free. It is so basic but its lesson is being ignored by stupid people.

            • slainte

              Luke 23:34….”Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Our crucified Lord Jesus Christ speaks from the Cross

              • publiusnj

                God only knows whether God will forgive them. That is a question only He can decide.
                And, their children may not forgive them if they come to realize how badly off their mothers’ indiscretions have left them In all events, the Democrat Party and the women’s sex partners are more concerned about the here and now and will take advantage of them whether God
                ultimately forgives them or not.

                • slainte

                  I interpret the Lord’s words as a call to all men to imitate his decision to forgive those who do wrong. Our Lord who was innocent of sin felt the pernicious effects of sin through the misguided acts of others.
                  We all pay the price for the dysfuntional decisions of youth raised in a hedonistic culture. While we may raise our children to be good and virtuous people, our children may inadvertently marry a person imbued with the disordered values of the culture. I need not tell you what pain that may bring to all concerned.

                • leogirl87

                  God will forgive anyone who chooses to repent. It is up to the mothers whether or not they want to be forgiven.

            • Adam__Baum

              I repeatedly read the accounts of pregnant teens using the variants of the phrase “I want somebody to love” or “i want somebody to love me”. The think a child is a bundle of unconditional admiration and don’t have a clue how much time and effort it takes. Another favorite account was the one that said (after a miscarriage) that the “client” refused grief counseling and fully intended to become pregnant again within the following year because she was sure she could handle high school and a baby.

      • Art Deco

        Most of these single mothers would prefer to be in a loving marriage. Many are searching for love…trading sex for love and hoping that marriage will be forthcoming.

        I find this contention gratuitous and not very plausible.

        Men must assume some responsibilty; women are not impregnating themselves.

        They might be more inclined to do so if they lived in a society where there were fathers. If the roles they are asked to assume are those of pet, ATM machine, and employee, their motivation is going to be injured. If they and their kind are as readily discarded as a pair of old shoes, their motivation is going to be injured. If loyalty is not valued and practiced by the mother, their loyalty is going to be injured.

        • Slainte

          How does one fix the broken family so that boys may grow into virtuous men and girls into virtuous women?

          My immediate response is that the Church must lead the way but since the number of clergy is so reduced, what can concerned Christian lay people do to reverse this?

          How do we convince a young woman that she is worthy and that a man who loves her will treasure her and respect her? How do we impart the same message to young men?

          • Art Deco

            You cannot. You can attempt to persuade one or the other to put the chips on the table and hope the other party responds. The other party may, of course, fail to respond, and inflict injury on the one who put his chips down (or her chips down).

            • Slainte

              All things are possible with God and through those who love Him and want to make a difference. Form a boy’s club in your area dedicated to teaching manly virtues including integrity, honesty, and self respect….make these virtues real through sports and proper conduct and sportsmanship, including attending mass as a group endeavor. In this way you will reach boys who might be from broken families who might never have been inside a church before.

              We cannot give up….Catholicism restored dignity to many degraded groups in the past. It requires ambition and discipline by us to make a difference.

              • publiusnj

                One way Catholicism has always worked is to make clear to women the importance of being responsible; the Griswold Court promised women a new way to happiness. Responsibility still is the key to this whole issue. So long as women afford unfettered access to their sexual parts to men to whom they are not married, pregnancy will follow at a high enough frequency. A word to the wise is sufficient; for the rest, old-fashioned taboos are good learning tools. Blaming anyone other than the woman is ignoring her “right to choose” not to do stupid stuff.

                • Slainte

                  If you are a young woman who was raised by parents who did not practice virtuous habits and you have never been to church or only sporadically attended, and you live in a culture that values libertine sexuality over chastity, that girl child is likely to fall into sinful ways.

                  Publiusnj, I have no doubt that you have raised or are raising your children to be moral and ethical people. But our decadent culture is making it necessary for good people like yourself to be a caretaker for those less fortunate children who have no moral guidance upon which to model right behavior. Recall Matthew 25:40 .

                  • publiusnj

                    The woman needs to understand she is the only one who can regulate her own conduct and its consequences. Otherwise, she will be the powerless tool of that “decadent culture.” The only way out is to declare her independence. No man should be blamed for her conduct. She is the “master of her fate, and captain of her soul.” It used to be understood that there were consequences to extramarital sex. The biology hasn’t changed; just the zeitgeist.

                    • slainte

                      But the zeitgeist/culture is the source of her education and it promotes promiscuity and sxual licentiousness. If there is noone at home to counter this or available at Church to counsel, then she will succumb to the culture.
                      I agree with everything you are saying in terms of personal responsibility. But we need to help these girls and boys through direct interaction or advocacy….something to counteract the damaging message that is being relayed by the culture.
                      Do you remember as a child watching Bing Crosby movies like “The Bells of Saint Mary’s” or “Boys Town” where the priests and virtuous lay men would intervent to help form the orphan boys? We need good people – men and women – to craft solutions to the disasterous and damaging consequences of a dysfunctional culture.

          • hombre111

            A well planned, well coordinated Catholic version of the Promise Keepers might help. But don’t expect already overburdened priests to get this going. This has to come from the laity.

            • Adam__Baum

              You seem to have a lot of free time.

            • Art Deco

              Promise Keepers was a fad organization, albeit a benign one. I think they hardly exist anymore.

              • slainte

                Then I guess we’re back to you having to become a Deacon and start a boy’s club.
                These are great ways to to teach humility, good conduct, and the virtues through sports with mass to follow.

      • Isabelle

        We can want all kinds of things, but Life is hard and sometimes very unforgiving. Sin has consequences. Whether you impregnate yourself or commit fornication with another, you will pay. That is a certainty. What bothers me is that the innocent have to pay for the fornication of their parents and the entire society has to pay making it weaker in all of its institutions. These people really don’t deserve our pity. They deserve our wrath. They should be made to pay for their crimes against society and human life and we should all let them suffer the consequenses of the horror they have committed. If you are a single mother, I assume you fornicated and are now a threat to my family by forcing me to pay all of your bills. Pay your own bills. I have no praise for you.

        • leogirl87

          That is harsh, but at the same time, removing the public aid would be punishing the kids (innocent) for the sins of their parents.

          I know sterilization is a sin, but I can’t help but wonder if we’d be better off for it. If someone has a kid out of wedlock or an abortion, that’s it. If they’re going to act like a feral cat and mate with every willing “tom” cat, they’re going to be treated like one. No reason why their children should have to suffer by growing up fatherless and the taxpayer (the state already has a high amount of debt) should have to suffer by footing their bill.

          • Isabelle

            There is a reason their children have to grow up fatherless and poor. Their parents chose that state for them. If a child is poor in america, blame the parents. Do not blame the innocent. Thanks.

        • slainte

          I am not a single mother :)…. As a Catholic attorney I will make the case for what I have witnessed occur when I grew up in New York City. I knew several girls who lacked self confidence and ended up making ill advised decisions that caused them great pain. Several came from dysfunctional families and had poor role models.
          I choose to feel compassion for them, as I believe Jesus would. These girls needed intervention and encouragement. not condemnation. If we Catholics could reach out to kids who are hurting we can make a meaningful difference in their lives.
          I am not a fornicator; I pose no threat to your family; I am not into standing by when someone else is suffering……and I have nothing but praise for you. : )
          Pax Christi Isabelle.

          • Isabelle

            Here is just one case. I know of thousands as I was a social worker in New York and North Carolina. A young teenage girl, from a divorced home chooses to fornicate with lots of guys in the back of a truck and just about everywhere else she could. She becomes pregnant and is immediately signed up for medicaid and all the other services hard working families have to pay for. The Obstitrition discovers that the little boy the teen is carrying has a very serious heart defect and will have to have immediate heart surgery at birth. The baby is crucified and lives four months. The guy she tells is the father is not the father but every day he and his mom stay at the hospital and pray. He is willing to marry the girl. The baby dies, the real father never learns he has a son and the mother finds out she has cervical cancer caused by a sexually transmitted disease. The cost to families is in the millions. They and all the other people in the story are are punished severely for this girls sins. Have some compassion for the innocent. Have some compassion on this girl and millions like her that are freely choosing to be used as human garbage. Tell her what she is doing is evil and stop paying for her to commit more crimes against humanity.

            You say you choose to feel compassion. Compassion is not a feeling though. Compassion is the act of suffering with or in another’s place. Would you be willing to take the place of this girls victims? And Love is the sacrifice of the self for the wellbeing of the beloved. Jesus didn’t come to teach us about feelings. Jesus came to suffer and to die for our sins as the Savior of the world. He was not a social worker and was not interested in anyone’s feelings. Feelings are what got this child into the trouble she is in.

            • slainte

              You write, “… Have some compassion on this girl and millions like her that are freely choosing to be used as human garbage. Tell her what she is doing is evil and stop paying for her to commit more crimes against humanity.”

              You acknowledge that she came from a broken family, yet you are willing to condemn her as human garbage? Are you really Catholic?

              The young woman you disparage is made in the image and likeness of Our Lord Jesus Christ; she is not human garbage.

              Lest you forget Jesus’ words in John 8:7…

              “….Let the person among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

              Pax.

              • Isabelle

                I said, she is freely choosing to be used as human garbage. I do acknowledge that she came from an unloveing, violent family but I am certainly not to blame. Her parents are to blame. She is to blame for the way she reacted to her circomstances by treating others as garbage and her own child as garbage even unto death. I did not condemn her, she condemned herself, her child and so many others. She reaped what she sowed, just as her parents did.
                Not only am I a Catholic, I am a strong Catholic, a faithful Catholic and a loving Catholic. I did not disparage her, she freely chose to destroy herself, and so many others. I simply refused to allow her to destroy me and I confront the lie that she rather than others are deserving of compassion. Her son was worthy of compassion. His father was worthy of compassion. His parents were worthy of compassion. The taxpayers were worthy of a little parade and great thanks since she cost them close to $2, 000,000.00 for her sins. That money might have allowed many families to eat, to have heat, to have clothing but they had to pay for a girl that wanted to fornicate while they went without. That is unjust, a grave sin and one that unless this woman repents of may be the one that sends her to hell for all eternity. But what is a soul to someone like you? I have to wonder if you even know that Jesus wasn’t a social worker and was crucified for souls and not bellies. I am not throwing stones. I am proclaiming the gospel. Ever hear that fornicators will NOT enter heaven. Probably not.

      • leogirl87

        Sex does not equal love. Most people we love will never become sexual partners. Real love is putting the other person first, caring for their soul. Someone who truly loves you would never ask you to fornicate, to sin against God.

        • slainte

          Leogirl, I affirm what you say. Please be assured I was describing what I witnessed happen with some women of my acquaintance. I responded to publiusnj because I believe that he might not have been aware how broken families produce broken children who then minimize their own self worth and enter into dysfunctional an destructive relationships.
          If the Church or Catholic lay people were to proactively engage children in broken families, I believe that teaching these children the virtues and right living coud help reverse a great deal of damage.
          It sounds like you have your priorities in order; I hope that you may one day share your wisdom with a needy and deserving child.

  • Tony

    The progressive strategy is flawlessly wicked. It is to use A’s money to buy the vote of B, and to corrupt B so utterly that B will always be dependent upon A’s money. Meanwhile, those among A’s relatives who are on the margins of moral integrity will be nudged — by wickedness in the media and in the schools — to align themselves with those in the B group, and then to join the group outright.

    • Nick_Palmer3

      Tony, I don’t disagree with you, as yours is the model by which I have framed this sad situation. It clearly describes the phenomenon and effect. Where I get uneasy is somewhere in the us-versus-them miasma. This clearly vilifies, nay, evil-ifies “the other side.” Which may be justified. If so, probably justified for a subset of those on the other side. Clearly the evil one, Satan himself working through Screwtape’s nephew Wormwood, “loves” this logic. There are also many, many who dodder along behind him, swathed in emotionalism who honestly believe themselves to be good, compassionate, even God-following people.
      If our goal is to stop this, I find myself unsure of how to proceed. It could be that calling evil “evil” is the right shock therapy. Yet I encounter so many sheeple.
      I wish I had an answer, and pray for guidance. Ideas?

      • Tony

        Dear Nick — Of course you are right. We shouldn’t attribute to malice what we can attribute more easily to stupidity, or inattention, or insensibility. We are all prone to those … But I would like to ask the sexual “progressives” what single thing someone could have instituted sixty years ago that would more thoroughly destroy poor families than the Sexual Revolution? And if that is so, why aren’t we repudiating it, for the sake of the poor if for nothing else?

        • Nick_Palmer3

          Amen to that.
          But, Tony, don’t go too far. I do believe that there are those who do, indeed, swing to your model. Explicitly. It seems to me that our approach must be based on an understanding of both (at least) camps. The Wormwoods among us will react violently and self-righteously to any attempt to shape a more sophisticated understanding of this perverse situation. I believe that any approach that ignores “the Wormwood response,” AND the sheeple’s hurt feelings and unwillingness to confront logic will be destined to fail.
          As we both know, there were visionaries as the SxR took off who predicted quite accurately the situation we find today. Unwinding this mess will be exceedingly complex. And our approach is as likely to suffer from the Law of Unintended Consequences as any. This is NOT a reason not to do something. It is, however, a prescription for thoughtful caution and humility. It is also urgent.

          • smokes

            A weekly Sunday walk from 20 or so parishes to protest DeBlasio would shake him to his boots. The cardinal would never permit it, so he’s part of the problem. Evil triumphs when “good” people…

          • Tony

            Nick — I have written a great deal about the sexual revolution and what it has done to people; I’ve tried to be as sensitive as possible, because in this now very lonely and unnatural life of ours, eros seems to be what Pieper called “the last green thing” in the world. That doesn’t mean that it is the last green thing, or that the Sexual Revolution will bring us happiness. The only way to begin, though, is to begin. But the way that one Christian witnesses, in love, will not always be the same as the way that another Christian witnesses, in love. And we must remember that confusion or lack of clarity may harm people yet to come, who might have stood fast against the world, had they known that the choice was determinative.

  • John O’Neill

    Are de Blasio and Cuomo not part of the American Catholic Left? This group intends to use the Catholic Church to push through their abortion/homosexual/adultery/fornication agenda. Fighting for Federal controlled universal pre school education and more Food Stamps is the new morality of the Catholic Left and it is often reflected in the teachings of Americanized Catholic priests and bishops in the New American World State.

    • Adam__Baum

      Their nation and their god is statism.

    • Arriero

      What does it mean «Catholic Left»?

      That’s is simply an oxymoron. «Catholic» is a self-descriptive noun-adjective; it cannot be accompanied by any other term-adjective.

      There is nothing Catholic in them; why then we usually make the mistake of considering them «Catholics»? If Catholicism has something that differentiates it from any other (subjetivist) religion is that the teachings are perfectly described and written.

      PD- Why always this mixture or religion and politics. What paints here the state? You can carry out good and fair policies through the state, I must say.

      • Adam__Baum

        Google provides 37,000 + hits for “catholic Left”. Google it.

        Here’s the 76 page EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of the report of the national taxpayer advocate detailing the anything but “good and fair policies” through the business end of the government.

        “I must say”, who are you, Ed Grimley?

        • Arriero

          Without laws I don’t know how you expect people to stop from aborting, marrying a cow or having «roman-style» parties. Or how you expect USURERS from stealing our properties and starving to death half a world. Or how you expect to control the GREED and the SELFISH.

          God made men free (luckily, we’re not calvinists, are you?). Men usually choose freely to do the evil. That’s why we need REGULATIONS to our behaviour. One of these regulations have to come either directly from the Church at the centre of religious, political and economical power (absolutism) or, as we surely agree, from a succesful and democratic Republic based upon the Catholic (nor protestant) principles of natural law while having the Church REAL moral control and power to guide society through a path of correctness and goodness. I’ve just summarized for you Catholic Liberalism. The rest, is pure protestanized nihilism, as I’ve already said to you before.

          Oh, wait. But are you of those who just think we just have to pray our God and go to the Church and end of all story. I’ve listened some saying Luther already «invented» long ago a personalized religion for the simple man who hates government and the Authority…

          PD- Left Catholicism is as anti-Catholic as right-wing Catholicism. Pope Francis recently said: I’ve never been a right-winger. Word of Pope. Or you don’t like Pope’s authority either?

          • Adam__Baum

            I am not an anarchist, unlike those wrapping themselves in charity as a pretext to eradicate national sovereignty. I don’t believe in a simple-minded left-right unidimensional political spectrum, so I suppose I’m not a right-winger, either.

            On the other hand, you clearly don’t understand what you are talking about, because Luther was a patron of governments and Lutheranism became a state religion.

            If you want to toss that “Calvinist” nonsense around, schedule a play date with your doppelganger, Seeber. He’s already worn out that feeble strawman nonsense.

            Government doesn’t control greed and selfishness, it empowers it. What planet do you live on?

            You are still a statist, pathetically attempting to insert some statist retrovirus here. If you weren’t, you’d have a real ID so people could assess your other activity. Instead, you prove the dictum about evil men doing their deeds in secret.

            Be gone, Satan.

            • Arriero

              «Government doesn’t control greed and selfishness, it empowers it with taxation and incarceration. The greediest people in the world are fond of public office. What planet do you live on?».

              If not, who controls them? I need an answer. Not an utopic one, please. Did you enjoyed when DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) was ruled inconstitutional in 2013? I prefered the situation when it was enacted to uphold MARRIAGE. Are you enjoying Obama’s policies? Or had you prefered a much more conservative president who would have been able to enact laws to protect OUR values? You also disliked Reagan when he was president because he, as Obama and any other president, was in charge of government (ergo «commander in control»). Probably not, because he did policies you thought were the correct ones. Wouldn’t you’ve prefered Romney (despite being a mormon, for whom a Catholic resembles like an apple to a watermelon) to be president. He probably would’ve never allowed some things to happen.

              «If you want to toss that “Calvinist” nonsense around»

              It’s not a nonsense. American roots are profoundly calvinist. And this should disturb any real Catholic, not playing the same game that they play. In another thread, even another commenter said to you that in seminars is explained that a Constitutional monarchy is probably the «best» system. That’s Catholic teaching. In no Catholic place (apart from those places heavily influenced by protestantism, like northern Germany) I’ve ever witnessed such a disdain towards government, of any kind. Anti-state per se is sheer anarchism, and it’s one of the roots of why Catholicism has lost so much prominence for the last two centuries. And why America is the less Catholic of all Catholic nations (your views are non existent in any of the old’ catholic nations: Italy, Spain, Ireland, Poland…)

              «You are still a statist, pathetically attempting to insert some statist retrovirus here. […]Be gone, Satan.»

              Do not get angry. I just advocate for a succesful and democratic Catholic Republic (small in size and homogenous, following Montesquieu’s thesis) where the church regains its historical role as a leader of all the men of Faith, upholding her papers as the only real House of God, the Advocate of the only true Faith and with enough power to mantain the principles upon which this same succesful republic has been built.

              Let me cite, again, Isaiah: «Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter». Allow me to extol the Catholic Church as the most prominent Institution in world’s history. I want her in the centre of the table, again.

              • Adam__Baum

                I’m not angry, I’m sad that you are a relentless vandal. You ask “then who controls them” as if greed and selfishness have ever been controlled by anything but the individual recognizing their sin. Greed is a state of mind and only God knows that.

                So in your confusion (confusion is a diabolical trait), when you look to the false god of the state to control sinful tendencies, first and exclusively. You will not accept any other answer on then the god you’ve erected. The funny thing is no government on earth, ever has or ever could proscribe “greed” -they can only proscribe effects like theft. Of course as long as the greed is exercised by the state and the theft is called “taxation” and justified with some noble language about the poor, you’re fine with our modern fiscal bacchanalia, right?

                Now as for this Calvinist business, you need to get with the rest of your kind here and decide whether they founders were deists or Calvinists. Let me know when you decide on one, I’m getting bored with the debate. One was Catholic, Charles Carroll.

                Catholic Monarchy? How many times to you have to hear the name Henry Tudor to understand that is a pipe dream. That crumbles the minute the Pope says “one wife, King”.

                As for the Courts, they are a perfect example of olympian rulers hurling thunderbolts down on the masses. They are what you want.

                As for your declaration of sincerity, I’m not buying it. As long as you hide, I assume you have something to hide.

    • leogirl87

      The Catholic Church has always condemned abortion, homosexual activity, adultery and fornication; those teachings cannot change because they come from divine revelation.

      Universal preschool has not been shown to be beneficial… kids develop at different rates and it’s better to have individual or small group attention at that age (private preschool or homeschool with a stay-at-home mom). For kids under 5, every month makes a difference. Kids do certain things faster and other things slower than their peers. Let the parents care for the kids or when that’s not possible, place them in a small class with kids that are at a similar level.

      Food stamps are not a bad thing. Here in California we have food cards with a set amount of cash on it depending on family size for each month. People used to sell their food stamps but now there is a card with a pin number so it makes it much more difficult for people to buy drugs with their food money. The system isn’t perfect, but we live in America and there is no reason for anyone to go hungry when there is so much excess food thrown away at restaurants and supermarkets. Other countries are a different issue because you have to both keep the food fresh and make sure the government doesn’t take the food from the people. But here in the U.S. nobody should go hungry.

      I am not a fan of making people dependent on government aid, but the economy is not in a good state right now. Lots of people are out of work, at lower-paying jobs than they used to have, and adults over 22 are working for minimum wage (jobs intended for high school and college kids). Every little bit counts.

  • hombre111

    Shame on De Blasio if he tries to shut down pregnancy crisis centers, especially the use of ultrasounds. But this article clearly proves that abortion is a matter of economics. Give the poor a chance, and abortions will drop. Conservatives can’t have it both ways. Well, they always try.

    • smokes

      Murdering your baby in a Fabian socialist country is a matter of MORALS. The “natural law” has been aborted by the likes of DeBlasio to permit the murder of some 55,000,000 unborn. (Someone wealthy should be banned from aborting? Nonsense).

  • smokes

    Who ever said Cuomo’s a Catholic? Dolan simply doesn’t have the backbone to officially throw him out. It’s a problem Thomas More, or Cardinals Spellman, Cooke and O’Connor would have broached differently.

    As for Spitzer’s decrees, the pregnancy counseling centers need to ask the court to remove Spitzer’s dictates as too costly, too invasive, unconstitutional and unnecessary. Let the court and the new AG offer their opinions.

    DeBlasio? It’s best for any civilized person, legal or illegal, to flee the Big Apple. It’s being run by a worm. it’s on the verge of total collapse and anarchy….which, after all, will delight DeBlasio.

  • New York City is the world center of inequality. Why should we expect any different?

    • Isabelle

      The governor, (Cuomo) recently told all pro lifers they need to leave NY State. Sounds like Hitler to me. Check out Cuomo excommunicates Catholics at National Catholic Register

      • I did see that. I’m amazed. I wonder if he realizes that would include large portions of his own family.

  • Isabelle

    We can’t begin at pregnancy. We have to begin with God’s teaching on Chastity and the fruits of fornication. Women are being treated as semen recepticles and their children as human garbage. How do girls begin to think of themselves as so worthless that they would allow anyone to treat them as mere sexual objects for mens pleasure? Behind every abortion is an unwanted abused woman with no self respect. Behind every mother and child on welfare, there is a man who put them there because it served his interests for the moment. Politicians will take advantage of such dire circumstances because they know with certainty they will win because the hopeless and those enslaved to their own sins need them to win.

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