Jerome Novotny OMI – Many individuals in today’s society understand the pain felt by mothers after they have aborted their babies. But what about Post-Abortion Syndrome which affects men? As the body count of unborn babies continues to increase, research shows that more and more fathers are desperately crying out in pain as a result of these abortions. Several weeks ago while browsing google on this topic, I ran across the following article: “My ‘Friend’ Assumed I’d Be Pro Abortion for Cleft Babies Like Mine & He’s Dead Wrong”. This, in turn, resulted in writing on abortion and unborn babies with cleft lip.
Daily news stories show that unborn babies with disabilities continue to face unbelievable levels of discrimination throughout the world. The latest targeted are babies in the mother’s womb with clefts. I was surprised to discover that suddenly these babies are being aborted at an alarming pace. The sad part is that a cleft is not even a ‘disability’. It is a defect and, with today’s medical technology, can easily be corrected.
What are cleft lip and cleft palate? A “cleft lip” is an opening or split in the upper lip that occurs when developing facial structures in an unborn baby don’t close completely. A baby with a cleft lip may also experience a cleft in the roof of the mouth which is called “cleft palate”. Cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common birth defects.
A child with a cleft palate is still a child – no matter how you look at it. We poor human beings, with our limited intelligence and vision, cannot even begin to perceive the intricacies of God’s plans for our own lives, let alone His intentions for a child who has not even been born yet.
God tells us in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you came to birth I consecrated you.” A defect like cleft palate does not make a person any less human. This means that abortion because of a birth defect can never be justified.
Having a baby born with a cleft can be upsetting to many parents, but in most babies, a series of surgeries can easily restore normal function and achieve a normal appearance with minimal scarring. Children who receive treatment grow up to have completely normal lives. Check this article on “Famous Celebrities Born With Cleft Lips”.
In spite of the fact that it can be easily fixed with minor surgery, the abortion of cleft unborn babies continues to be legal in the United States, Europe and most countries throughout the world. Like Down Syndrome unborn babies, aborted estimate around 90%, the war on cleft unborn babies surges forward. This slaughter of unborn babies is a crime against humanity and those involved should be punished for the intentional killing of innocent human life.
For example, the number of abortions performed on unborn babies with cleft lip and palate has increased by 150% just in England and Wales. More precise data shows that there have been a total of 223 abortions committed during a short period of time. However, the figure is likely to be even higher as abortions for cleft lip are routinely under-reported. In 2013, findings from a European register revealed that abortions for cleft lip and palate can be over ten times more common than what is being reported throughout Europe.
How many babies are born with cleft palate each year? It’s estimated that every three minutes, somewhere in the world, a baby is born with a cleft lip or palate, making it one of the most common birth defects. This is particularly an issue in developing countries in Asia, where the one in every 500 babies has a cleft palate and lip – compared to one in 1,000 in white populations.
Does a cleft palate justify an abortion?Children born with clefts are usually repaired in infancy. These days, it is extremely unlikely to see anyone in society walking around with an unrepaired cleft lip or palate. The answer is self-evident.
Pope Francis summarizes this type of abortion as “inhuman eugenics”. To be more precise, Pope Francis says abortion, even of a sick fetus, is like hiring a “Hitman”. The teachings of the Catholic Church has always held that the abortion of babies with cleft palate or otherwise is 100% unacceptable.
“Is it legitimate to take out a human life to solve a problem?” Pope Francis asks. “Is it permissible to contract a hitman to solve a problem?” He argues that using abortion as a mode of “prevention” could never be condoned and that such a position has “nothing to do” with faith. The “Hitman” can never deny families the right to welcome the weakest of children created by God.
The Catholic Church teaches that Human Life is sacred and inviolable and the use of prenatal diagnosis for selective purposes is never permitted. However, by removing God from society, abortion has become “normal” in many countries. Abortions of babies with Down’s syndrome, deformed feet, cleft lips and palates, as well as other medical abnormalities, have become more and more commonplace.
It’s time for Catholics to come home. It’s time to follow “what God wants” and not “what man wants”. God speaks to us within the framework of the Catholic Church. He speaks to us daily through the comments of the Holy Father, the teachings handed down over the years, and Holy Scripture which are the Words of God Himself. Today, through the Catholic Church, God communicates the “Unwavering Truth” about the protection of human life. He Unwaveringlystands up for the lives of all unborn, from its very beginning until its natural end. He Unwaveringly insists that the life and dignity of every person must be respected and protected at every stage and in every condition.
Through Baptism, Catholics share life with God. And in order to become adult Catholics, it is necessary to make a decision and Trust Him 100%, regardless of what the world around us says. Why? Because He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. When destructive life choices interfere with God’s intended purpose for our lives, we as Catholics must step forward to assist each other on the journey to our heavenly home. What we do for others, we do for God Himself. Matthew 25:40 says, “I can guarantee this truth: whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
We are motivated by our love for Christ. During this Easter season, the “Unwavering Love” of Christ has opened the gate to eternal life for us. This same “Unwavering Love” compels us to reach out to unborn babies with disabilities, wrap them in the “Unwavering Love” of Christ and protect them from the forces of destruction. The time has come for Catholic voices to be heard and to communicate loudly the voice of God Himself. We are His disciples in this turbulent world. There is no one else.
Brian Clowes, a Human Life International speaker, summarizes it very well when he replies to the question “Shall we accept disabled/defected children?”
Disabled children present us with a difficult problem. Society’s answer to this problem will decide whether we truly reflect the glory of God in our families and in our society. If we welcome the child who is “less than perfect,” in either his appearance or his abilities, then we are more truly a human – and Godly – people. Abortion because of birth defects rejects the child in our midst, God’s gift to us – therefore rejecting God Himself.
Jerry Novotny, OMI
(The Difference is LIFE): “A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members.” ~ Pope Saint John Paul II
Websites by Fr. Jerry.
(English) Fighting for the Culture of Life – Fr. Jerry’s Blog
(English) Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate
(Japanese) Human Rights: The Road to a Happy Life – Fr. Jerry’s Blog