Matt C. Abbott
Destigmatizing abortion; Before you participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, read this...
By Matt C. Abbott
August 22, 2014

In an obvious attempt to destigmatize abortion – while soothing her own conscience – abortion "rights" supporter Janet Harris wrote in The Washington Post:
    [W]hen the pro-choice community frames abortion as a difficult decision, it implies that women need help deciding, which opens the door to paternalistic and demeaning 'informed consent' laws. It also stigmatizes abortion and the women who need it. Often, abortion isn't a difficult decision. In my case, it sure wasn't.
How lovely (ahem).

Mark Crutcher, president of Life Dynamics, had this to say in response to Ms. Harris' commentary:
    What's going on here is laughingly transparent. This person, like all her fellow travelers in the abortion lobby, is aware that the American people are increasingly horrified by abortion. So their new strategy is to try and put a happy-face on abortion and convince the public that it is no big deal. I routinely talk to women who've had abortions and I can assure you that most of them don't see it that way. And the American people are never going to see it that way either.

    Ms. Harris can whistle past the graveyard all she wants, but that won't change the fact that it is still a graveyard she put her own child into. In the final analysis, she may be perfectly comfortable having murdered her baby, but, thankfully, most women are just not wired that way.

Regarding the viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, an excellent observation has been made by (among others) Emily Zender, executive director of Illinois Right to Life. She writes:
    We've all seen it. The Ice Bucket Challenge has gone viral around social media. Once nominated by a friend via Facebook, you video yourself dumping a bucket of ice water on your head in an effort to raise awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Then you donate.

    Everyone from Bill Gates and Jimmy Fallon to the Kennedy family and Illinois' own state politicians have participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Harmless, right? Not so fast.

    First, this fundraising effort is absolutely brilliant. We entirely support people raising awareness for ALS and for charities in general. Organizations such as Illinois Right to Life wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the generosity of our donors.

    However, pro-lifers should beware of The ALS Association. While The ALS Association does a vast amount of research – some of it very good and moral – they admit to conducting research using embryonic stem cells from aborted children:

      Adult stem cell research is important and should be done alongside embryonic stem cell research as both will provide valuable insights. Only through exploration of all types of stem cell research will scientists find the most efficient and effective ways to treat diseases.

    So when the Ice Bucket Challenge catches you – and it will eventually – join in the fun! Help raise awareness for ALS! But make a note in the video as to why you are donating to a different organization than The ALS Association.

    We did some quick research, and one suggested alternative for your donation is The John Paul II Medical Research Institute, which states:

      More than 300 institutes and organizations engage in and support human embryonic stem cell research. The John Paul II Medical Research Institute advocates for medical research that recognizes the dignity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death.

    We're not here to rain on your ice bucket bath. We encourage it. But you deserve to know where your money is going. If we create a society dependent on embryonic stem cell research, we will be supporting a society that sees the death of a child through abortion as a necessary good to cure other people. And that surely doesn't respect the value of all human life from natural conception through natural death.
Also, click here to read the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's "FAQ on the Ice Bucket Challenge."

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media, and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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