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Approaching the Cass Street Bridge from downtown La Crosse, one is greeted by a billboard showing a sweetly sleeping infant, accompanied by the words:

“A Baby is a Baby! Born and unborn: Heartbeat 18 days after conception”

These and countless other billboards posted around the U.S. by the nonprofit Prolife Across America declare in simple words what we all know when we are not being misdirected by verbal trickery.

Christopher Ruff

Ruff

Examples of our common sense abound. Remember how the news media gushed over Meghan Markle’s “baby bump” when she was first expecting?

Consider, too, today’s trend in baby photos – the first picture parents share is often an ultrasound image proudly posted on social media and on the refrigerator door. Advances in science strengthen our common-sense awareness, as seen in this report from the Aug. 21 issue of the Times of London: “An unborn baby was saved after a doctor managed to perform a blood transfusion through the umbilical cord at just 20 weeks, one of the earliest interventions ever performed.” Baby Teddy was born healthy, one of many triumphs in the rapidly progressing field of intrauterine medical treatment.

This simple reality – that there’s a baby in there – is what has to be dodged by every supporter of Planned Parenthood, including Liam Moran in his Aug. 25 commentary in the Tribune, “Essential Health has provided vital help.”

As a board member of Essential Health Clinic, recently merged with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, Moran expressed moral outrage that money will no longer be allowed to flow through Title X to clinics that perform or refer for abortions. He referred to this as a “gag rule.”

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Not so, because clinicians can say what they want. They just can’t push abortion with one hand and rake in Title X money from our taxes with the other. The fact is, for every Planned Parenthood clinic in the United States, there are 20 qualified community health centers that offer comprehensive services without abortion entanglements.

Planned Parenthood had the option to step away from abortion but said no. It is their biggest money-maker, and even Planned Parenthood clinics like Essential Health that don’t offer surgical abortions are expected to buy into the company philosophy and make abortion referrals.

Yes, consider this overdue rule for what it really is — the freeing of taxpayers from being forced to help fund organizations that are in the bloody business of abortion. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, the lives of more than 60 million children (who can fathom that number?) have been snuffed out in the U.S. alone in the name of “reproductive health care.” There will come a day when we will look back in disbelief and shame at the way we packaged the intentional killing of preborn babies with “health care.”

What about “a woman’s right to choose?” This verbal sleight-of-hand is designed to draw our attention away from what is being chosen. Consider that we regulate all kinds of choices for the protection of others. The law forbids us even to choose to litter, or to ignore a stop sign. Moreover, this is not about “a woman’s own body,” but rather the body of a distinct human being at an early stage of development. We know this not from faith, but from science. Yes, the child depends on the mother to survive, but that dependence on others for survival will continue long after birth.

Of course, it is also true that no woman should have to face childbearing alone, especially in circumstances that are difficult, often even agonizing. That is precisely the reason for the outreach of pregnancy care centers all across the country. Without a dime of taxpayer funding, they offer women compassionate care and material assistance before, during and after childbirth. They can help the mother place her child for adoption if she desires. Extensive listings of pregnancy care centers, city by city throughout the U.S., can be found with a simple Internet search .

If you have seen the box office hit “Unplanned,” you will know that even a former Planned Parenthood clinic director and employee of the year had her eyes opened. As she assisted for the first time with an ultrasound-guided abortion, she watched in horror what was happening on the screen. That day, Abby Johnson came face-to-face with a truth that would turn her beliefs about abortion upside-down, a truth that in happier circumstances we all celebrate:

“A baby is a baby, born and unborn.”

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Christopher Ruff is director of the Office for Ministries and Social Concerns for the Diocese of La Crosse.

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(36) comments

oldhomey

Here is some verbal trickery:



"Examples of our common sense abound. Remember how the news media gushed over Meghan Markle’s 'baby bump' when she was first expecting?



"Consider, too, today’s trend in baby photos – the first picture parents share is often an ultrasound image proudly posted on social media and on the refrigerator door. Advances in science strengthen our common-sense awareness, as seen in this report from the Aug. 21 issue of the Times of London: 'An unborn baby was saved after a doctor managed to perform a blood transfusion through the umbilical cord at just 20 weeks, one of the earliest interventions ever performed.' Baby Teddy was born healthy, one of many triumphs in the rapidly progressing field of intrauterine medical treatment."



Megan Markle is a world-wide celebrity and member of one of the richest families in the world, and she and her husband and larger family all were anxious for her to conceive and have children. It was a heart-warming event that raises anticipation of a glorious royal life to be.



People who cherish pictures of the fetus of an anticipated baby in the their womb and have the resources available to go to heroic lengths to save the health of a weakened, threatened fetus in the womb are decidedly enthusiastic and prayerful for the birth of a healthy baby.



What about women for whom a pregnancy was totally unplanned, and the prospect of giving birth will bring catastrophe to her life? Should she consult with Mr. Ruff to see if he can make it all better for her? If all these myriad, terribly generous services are available to women in this situation, why are there so many women ignoring them and opting for abortion? Could it be that Mr. Ruff is playing with words while being overly optimistic about what is available? In desperate situations, women have every right to decide the fate of their bodies and of themselves.



Here is some common sense: If Mr. Ruff is against the idea of abortion, he and his loved ones and his compatriots in his religious community have every right not to subscribe to abortions. He might be shocked, however, how many women in his own community avail themselves of their right to an abortion.


thomaslind949

" what about women for whom a pregnancy was totally unplanned, and the prospect of giving birth will bring catastrophe to her life". She should think about catastrophe before she takes part in sexual intercourse. By the way, for many, religion has nothing to do with being against abortion. Scientific advances like ultra sound give a pretty good picture of a little human being

.My guess is that there would be outrage over a video of the abortion of a litter of puppies. And not just by the PETA folks either! I don't condemn women who have had abortions, I've dated 3. And I'm not going to chain myself to the doors of Planned Parenthood. Abortions in the case of rape or incest are something I'm smart enough to keep my mouth shut about. An abortion to make up for too many drinks, is different.

oldhomey

Oh? Are we to take it that you were celibate when dating the three young women who had abortions? Is that how you avoided being a party to another abortion by any of these young ladies? Or did you use birth control methods? That is the major part of Planned Parenthood's mission. Perhaps it had a hand in your avoiding pregnancies with women with whom you have been romantically involved. Or is it your practice to not have intercourse with anybody until you are married? You don't have to keep your mouth shut on this, Tommy. Let us know, since you are so smug about how women who have unwanted pregnancies can avoid them. You owe us an explanation. And by the way, an awful lot of married couples have unplanned and unwanted pregnancies, too. Should they follow your edict of absolute celibacy, even in marriage?

thomaslind949

Another head scratching comment by the old one. I didn't say anything about celibacy, did I? As far as my being smug about avoiding unwanted pregnancies. I just stated fact.

I owe you an explanation about how women who have unwanted pregnancies can avoid them??? Women don't just find themselves pregnant all of a sudden. It takes a willful act by two people (unless it's rape or incest)to become pregnant. Take precautions if you want to have fun. In other words BE RESPONSIBLE! My girlfriends and I were smart enough to have a lot of fun WITHOUT having to make a decision about abortion. I'm so smug about how women who have unwanted pregnancies can avoid them? Call Planned Parenthood, Homey. They'll say about the same thing I told you.

oldhomey

Well, good for you, Tommy. I take it that you are a firm supporter of Planned Parenthood and its mission to disseminate information and birth control devices like those used by you and your girl friends, giving millions of women and men the benefit of instruction on how to avoid pregnancy. Would you put in a good word for that here? Most people want to be responsible, as you know, but often they don't have the means or even the basic knowledge to know how to be, especially teenagers.

Ona Watch

You don't have a "right" to kill other people. You merely are allowed to do it under current law. Just as you used to be allowed to own other humans.

martian2

comparing slavery to abortion is asinine. Slavery was a whole different subject that had to do with people already born, fully conscious and functional being exploited for profits. Abortion has to do with the unborn, especially the first two trimesters where person hood has not been established. One has nothing to do with the other.

johnnybragatti

Verbal trickery and diarrhea, from the Trump-Humpers, who always seem to be white males, with absolutely no conception, of a womans body. Most all voted for the Orange Carcass , who has paid for more abortions, for females as young as 13, than any American. Look it up double standard hypocrites. Do it for Jesus.

meklos

How about the view of a black, female then? Dr. Alveda King, the niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. no less. http://www.pagadiandiocese.org/2017/08/15/abortion-is-racism-dr-alveda-king/

Ona Watch

Johnny you are a horrible excuse for a human being, and none of what you wrote is even close to being true.

martian2

All I can say is Mr. Ruff, if you don't like abortion then don't have one. A heart beat is not an indication of being a conscious human being, brain function is. Often we let those on life support, with a heart beat, die because there is very little or no brain function. Much like we have here with the far right fanatical posts.

thomaslind949

The people we let die, because of little or no brain function,have no hope and no future. A fetus , if not murdered, can develop into a fully functioning,productive human.

Jobaba

More verbal trickery. If a procedure is legal it cannot be murder.

DMoney

Whatever makes you sleep at night.

thomaslind949

I'll change it for you then, Jo . If a pregnancy is not terminated, the fetus can develop into a fully functioning, productive human. Unlike the patient on life support, who's life is obviously over.

Ona Watch

Just like owning a human being wasn't slavery because it was "legal"?

martian2

um what do you mean no hope or a future? Who are you to say that? Some believe being a vegetable has a purpose too, it creates an opportunity for others to show love and care. I was merely stating that the slogan of a beating heart by anti abortionists doesn't prove anything. Yes if a fetus is allowed to be in the mother long enough it will achieve brain function, but before it does it does not meet the description of a person. And therefor the mother has that right to chose. And that is between the mother and God and the doctor, not you thomas or anyone else.

thomaslind949

Your response Martian, is typical of people who don't have an argument. " If the fetus is allowed to be in the mother long enough it will achieve brain function". After brain function occurs it's a person, according to you. There are many abortions performed after brain function occurs. By the way, the first three mindless sentences in your post were a good lead up to your mindless argument. A little sarcasm thrown in as a diversion from your idiocy.

martian2

my first three sentences were mindless you say thomas, so why don't you counter argue them intelligently, Instead you say they are mindless and leave it at that. Your response to my 8:33 post is inadequate. If your argument is that all abortions should be made illegal, you will have rioting in the streets for a woman's right to chose. Back allay abortions with be done, women will die as a result. If you don't like abortions don't have one, but don't force your so called moral purity on others. this writer from the catholic church is deceiving, he doesn't say how he and the church are also against birth control or sex education about birth control. Something that helps reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Talk about mindless, that takes the top prize.

thomaslind949

Martian,Martian, Martian........ I was Catholic from birth until I was 14. Haven't been to church ever since. Looking at the facts, as well as listening to the "arguments" by people like you, is what formed my opinion.

martian2

still haven't adequately responded to my 8:33 post. I never said anything about you being catholic there thomas. I was referring to the author of this column who works for that church. Try to concentrate. I stated the stance of the catholic church against birth control of all types and how that makes no sense if you want to stop abortions. But again you can't come up with something intelligent so you last out again with personal jabs. Making yourself look foolish there thomas. Better to not respond than to come up with something like your 9:23 post.

oldhomey

Remember, martian, Tommy Boy dated three women who previously had abortions, so he either followed his own advice and refused to have intercourse with them (which may explain why he no longer dates them), or he and the young ladies used birth control methods that the Catholic Church and many fundamentalist Protestant sects are also trying to ban. I wish Tommy, who feels women can and should avoid pregnancy by avoiding sex altogether, would explain how he handles this in his personal life. He would be much more believable if he did.

thomaslind949

Both you and Homey, like most liberals, have distorted what I've said. You didn't successfully argue about abortions performed while there's no brain activity, because many are performed while there IS brain activity. Homey keeps repeating his celibacy nonsense, something I never mentioned. By the way martian, you should use some of your brain activity to learn how to spell. Never mind...... just go back to Mars where you fit in. And take your psychological twin, Homey, with you!

oldhomey

Well, Tommy, while you did not mention celibacy, your response above, which I will reprint here, could reasonably be considered a disdainful sneer at women who have unwanted pregnancies because they could not control their impulses: "'what about women for whom a pregnancy was totally unplanned, and the prospect of giving birth will bring catastrophe to her life'. She should think about catastrophe before she takes part in sexual intercourse."



You did not bring up contraception, so far as I can recall. I have not mentioned a thing about "fetal brain activity". I am not sure what argument you are making in this regard, but this is pretty much settled science: "Crucially, the co-ordinated brain activity required for consciousness does not occur until 24-25 weeks of pregnancy. We cannot say when consciousness first emerges, but it cannot rationally be called before the end of the second trimester at 24 weeks of pregnancy."

martian2

well it all goes back to if you don't like abortions then don't have one thomas(spell check). I made my point on fetal heart beat being used by anti choice people. I made my point on brain activity or consciousness (spell check). All you can come up with is eventually if left alone a fetus becomes a person. While true, until then it is legally up to the woman and her doctor to make a choice. How would you thomas (spell check) write the laws on abortion. You so called pro lifers like to whine about the law. How would you resolve this issue? Pretend you have unilateral powers to write a law regarding women and abortions. What would you write? (spell check) What about birth control measures, remember none of them are 100% effective. How would you handle that issue too?

martian2

well thomas has had adequate time to respond to my post but nothing but crickets again. Another one bites the dust. Funny how these right wingers when pushed hard enough to explain their opinions all of the sudden disappear, they just walk away empty handed. Well if I made them take a second look or think twice about their positions on issues then my work is done. It is tiring work, never ending and ongoing, but it must be done. Onward there go I! (or is it there I go?)

A Veteran

martian there would not be the fool that you are if your mother believed in abortion!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

martian2

oh that one stung there fake veteran. Wow you are a smart one. I could say something about your dad wearing a condom on a certain night but I won't. Its labor day, so have a good one.

A Veteran

martian the childish coward if you believe I am not a Veteran turn me in to the law.It is a crime in Wisconsin to claim you are a Veteran if you benefit from it,being that I receive free health care and a pension from the V.A. if I am not a Veteran it is a crime.So show us you believe I am not a Veteran by turning me in.Grow a pair and do it COWARD!!!!!!!!!! Just remember I will also be able to see your real name!!!!!!!!

martian2

oh poor poor fake veteran. Why don't you ever post about the subject of the column instead of personal insults directed at me or others? Is that too hard for you. Does that involve too much thinking for you? You never say what branch of service you belonged to so obviously you are no veteran. I'm not going to call the authorities cause I don't know who you are and don't care. Besides you are the one who has to live with yourself. That in itself must be punishment enough.

A Veteran

martian--You mean you are too much of a coward to turn me in ,but the main reason is you know I am telling the truth and you are lying as usual.I have stated many times that I served in the infantry in Viet Nam ,and that I am a disabled Veteran.So man up COWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

martian2

oh poor poor veteran/ricky boy. You both write the same style of stupidity and name calling and personal attacks so of course you are the same person. And you are a fake. Admit it. No matter how many exclamation points you use you will always be a fake veteran. No matter how many lies you use you will always be a fake veteran to me. Real veterans don't have to announce it to the world, and they respect everyone in this great country that they served/ fought for. You obviously are a fraud.

A Veteran

martian is once again proving he is a LYING COWARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ona Watch

Martian, it is clear then that YOU are not a "conscious human being". Go jump off the blue bridge and save the planet from over-population.

martian2

oh my, Ona is mad at me! Ouch that really hurt Ona. Your post really is something to behold. Such intelligence and integrity is so rare these days. So that is your answer to abortion, jump off a bridge. Very smart. Another right winger who reverts to being a three year old, just like that fake veteran.

Jobaba

What'iss? Verbal trickery? Ain't no baby in there. Ain't no children being murdered. Best we can tell it is a human fetus. Calling it anything else is verbal trickery.

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