CATS OR VIABLE FETUSES: WHERE ARE MORAL PRIORITIES?
This is an article clipped from the Rock Island Argus dated 4-18-10. The author is John Donald O’shea, a retired judge. I must commend the Judge for his insight and going on record with what he believes.
“I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy.” – Hippocratic Oath, “Classical” version.
The purpose of this article is to make a comparison. It is to question our moral values. It is not to condone or make light of cruelty to animals.
Consider two cases. The first is that of “Dutch” the cat. The second reached the Supreme Court.
Case No. 1
The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus reported on the first case: “The plight of a cat found beaten and nailed to a utility pole on April 5, 2010 in Henry County raises the question, ‘Who would do such a thing? …
“Dutch’s story has sparked national attention, including a story in USA Today and phone calls from Florida and Georgia to the animal control officer who transported Dutch. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal (PETA) also is offering up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.”
Dr. Carl Vincent, a doctor of psychology with South Park Psychology in Moline commented on Dutch’s case: “Acts of animal cruelty, among other destructive behaviors, are common in the backgrounds of certain criminals and ‘typical to serial killers that we have studied in society.’
“A person who would commit such an act would have to have the complete absence of remorse. There’s no internal monologue, no moral compass inside their head. They nailed that screaming cat to a tree; it was funny” to them. It was perhaps accompanied by a though process such as,” ‘I don’t like cats. Never did. But I got this one.’”
He added that if the perpetrator is an older child, adolescent or adult, he or she likely would be antisocial or sociopathic.
A younger child likely would have a conduct disorder. Such people can’t conduct themselves within the boundaries of social norms or within the boundaries of what’s expected.
As they age, he added, they have “that type of detached ability to inflict pain without any real remorse.”
While most people “naturally feel sorry for hurting other people,” he said, sociopathic people or those with a conduct disorder will often tell you, “I don’t care,” “I don’t mind,” “I’ve seen that.”
“It’s quite chilling,” the doctor said. “It actually registers as quite alien to us,” because “we’re emotional creatures.”
Dutch has since died.
Case No. 2
On April 18, 2007, the U>S. Supreme Court decided the case of Gonzales v. Carhart, and upheld the Congressional Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.
In discussing what was involved, the Court stated “(1) The Act does not regulate the most common abortion procedures used in the first trimester of pregnancy, when the vast majority of abortions take place.
“(2) In the usual second-trimester procedure, “dilation and evacuation” (D&E), the doctor dilates the cervix and vagina. The fetus is usually ripped apart as it is removed, and the doctor may take 10 to 15 passes to remove it in its entirety.
“(3) The procedure that prompted the federal Act and various state statutes, including Nebraska’s, is a variation of the standard D&E, and is herein referred to as “intact D&E.” The main difference between the two procedures is that in intact D&E a doctor extracts the fetus intact or largely intact with only a few passes, pulling out its entire body instead of ripping it apart. In order to allow the head to pass through the cervix, the doctor typically pierces or crushes the skull. In the days when I was hearing criminal cases, I always believed that criminals who were guilty of wanton cruelty deserved the harshest sentences. I was appalled when one defendant went on a horse killing spree in Henry County, and more so when a child was wantonly murdered in the old incinerator building in Rock Island.
I am appalled by what happened to this cat, but I find consolation in the fact that the press and public are also revolted by this cruelty. But where is the concern for all those viable fetuses aborted under the second or third procedures described above?
Why aren’t all the people who are revolted by what happened to this cat repelled to an even greater extent when a doctor makes “10 or 15 passes” to rip a tiny human being apart to “remove it in its entirety?’
Why isn’t everyone outraged when a doctor brings the head of a viable child through the mother’s cervix and then “typically pierces or crushes the child’s skull? Is it worse” to nail a cat to a pole, or to crush the head of a tiny baby – one that is capable of independent life outside its mother’s womb?
Is a cat called “Dutch” more important than an unnamed fetus?
Could a reasonable person apply all or any part of Dr. Vincent’s remarks to doctors who routinely abort viable babies, using the second and third abortion procedures described above? Is it more immoral for a sadist to crucify a cat than for a mother to allow her child to be shredded – ripped to pieces, or to authorize her medical agent to destroy her child by stabbing into the base of its skull, or by crushing its head, which “is made in the image and likeness of God?”
After Dred Scott, slavery in the territories had legal protection. Notwithstanding that, Abe Lincoln at Galesburg said “No one has a right to do a (moral) wrong.” Do you agree or disagree?