RU486 AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
by Hugh R.K. Barber, M.D., June 1993
"RU486 and the Catholic Church" by Hugh R.K. Barber, M.D. is
an embarrassment to anyone calling himself "Catholic." It is apparently a promo
puff piece for his book A Crisis of Conscience, a Catholic Doctor Speaks Out for Reform.
After reading this editorial, there is no doubt that Dr. Barber is in a
"crisis of conscience" as he calls it but I think "crisis of thinking"
is more appropriate. And most assuredly, one can object to his claiming to be a
"Catholic" doctor. Indeed, one scarcely knows where to begin with his inanities.
First of all, he is obviously a cheerleader for RU486 and would be
roundly condemned if he jumped on the band wagon for any other medication with such flimsy
evidence for success and with so many unknowns as far as safety. Science is being abused
by Dr. Barber. Period. He is in big company -- only abortion pro-choicers
can get away with it.
Second, Dr. Barber finds it significant that an embryo cannot be found
after the early use of RU486 as if this means anything. When the Nazis burned human
individuals into puffs of smoke, their absence negated nothing about the misdeeds.
Then he assaults the reader with "[I]f history has taught us
anything, it has taught us that when women wish to end a pregnancy, they will do so no
matter what." This is just not true. In fact, the opposite is true. For
millennia, women have done what they are expected to do, just like most everybody else.
Now, however, society has reversed expectations and as Plato said: "What the law
allows, it encourages" or, in other words: most people will do what they are
"expected" to do. Until recently, women have in the main had their children
contrary to what Dr. Barber fantasizes.
Next, Barber crawls to the "First Amendment" addiction. There
are no greater fanatics in the United States than First Amendment fanatics among whom Dr.
Barber must belong. To write as he did that "the banning of RU486 from the United
States could erode, if not crush, the First Amendment" is pompous nonsense.
Seriously. This is marijuana logic. His phrase is not only hyperbole, but stupid.
Then, he writes about the Catholic hierarchy continuing "to harass
conscientious men and women who support pro-choice public policies." Where has he
been? The Church's effort has more and more been to support post-abortion trauma disorder
victims, unscientifically denied by abortion people who are unable to face the truth.
At the same time, the First Amendment does not apply to the Catholic
hierarchy or other Right-to-Lifers who have been harassed maliciously by police
departments, the press, Dr. Barber himself, and even Madonna Kolbenschlag whom he quotes,
hopefully in error because her statement as given is an exercise in illogic.
Finally, Dr. Barber closes with what he calls Solomon's wisdom:
"Let those who are more intimately affected by the consequences make the
decision." Yeah, just like we should have let the Jews fight World War II.
Dr. Barber is no Catholic in openness, in logic, in doctrine, in
expression, and probably in dialogue.