Twelve Things That Caught My Eye #AshWednesday Edition: Jean Vanier, Assisted Suicide & More (February 26, 2020)

Catholics line up to receive a cross of ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday at a church in Abuja, Nigeria, February 26, 2020. (Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters)

1. How can I reconcile the good and evil of Jean Vanier?

Some of my own thoughts on the same here.

2. Maureen Ferguson takes a little tour of D.C. late-term abortion offerings for the benefit of the conscience of senators, among others:

In the nation’s capital, just a stone’s throw from the Senate chambers, four clinics routinely perform late-term abortions.  They operate in plain sight and openly advertise purely elective second- and third-trimester abortions. The abortion lobby’s own research shows late-term abortions are primarily performed on healthy women carrying healthy babies: “data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

The DuPont Clinic website advertises its third-trimester abortions this way: “If you are farther than 26 weeks into your pregnancy, we can still see you, regardless of your medical history, background, or fetal indications. We do not require any particular ‘reason’ to be seen here – if you would like to terminate your pregnancy, we support you in that decision.”

The CARE clinic in the D.C. suburbs boasts that it provides “abortion care throughout pregnancy, meaning 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester abortions. Whether you are 5 weeks or 35 weeks, we are here to help you get your abortion.”

The Washington Surgi-Clinic, just four blocks from the White House, advertises second- and early third-trimester procedures – “surgical abortions from the very earliest pregnancies up to 27 plus weeks of pregnancy.” Question: Just what does the “plus” in “27 plus weeks of pregnancy” mean?

Clinic number four, Capitol Women’s Services on Georgia Avenue, advertises elective abortions through the sixth month of pregnancy. Indeed, the clinic’s website offers potential customers even later abortions “up to 36 weeks,” using the artful legal term “health of the woman” as justification. In abortion jurisprudence, “health” is defined to include all factors related to a woman’s well-being, including a woman’s age, family size, and emotional health.

Late-term abortion is not so very rare, it seems, that four clinics in one metropolitan area cannot stay in business.

3. Charlie Camosy on Tucker Carlson’s show talking about assisted suicide

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5. Nigerian Catholics to don black clothing on Ash Wednesday to protest violence

6. A helpful website about foster-care and adoption and religious liberty

A post by Walter Olson on the same

7. In Defense of ‘Paternalism’: Why Choice Schools Need to Get Better at Grappling With the Family Lives of Their Toughest-Case Students

8. On the Decline of Social Trust in America

9. Christianity, Pluralism and Public Life in the United States: Insights from Christian Leaders

10. Fr. Paul Scalia: Jonah’s Flight and Ours

11. My friends at the Thomistic Institute are jazzed that they have 25,000 subscribers and counting to their Aquinas 101 initiative. (Fr. Gregory Pine, O.P., explains more here.) Something good to fill your mind with during Lent.

12. What Dorothy Day wants you to know about fasting.

Plus: For your Lenten planning: I’ll be at the Sheen Center in lower Manhattan with Fr. Donald Haggerty talking about prayer the Friday before Holy Week (details here). (He’s a favorite of many of the daily-Mass going young Catholics at National Review.) After we talk (and take questions), he’ll be signing his new book, Contemplative Enigmas: Insights and Aid on the Path to Deeper Prayer and I’ll be signing A Year with the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living.

And here’s something for now about Lent

Ash Wednesday prayers! I’ve linked to some Ash Wednesday things here Twitter. Also my Catholic Channel (Sirius XM Channel 129) spot for today (audio).

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