With the death of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy Tuesday, there is nothing we pro-lifers can do now but pray for his soul. Kennedy was a huge disappointment to pro-lifers, especially since we had reason to believe, from some of his early statements as a U. S. Senator, that he would be one of our pro-life supporters.
Kennedy’s Letter To Dennelly
We’ve all come across the copy of his letter to Tom Dennelly of Great Neck, New York back in August of 1971 where he wrote, “it is my personal feeling that the legalization of abortion on demand is not in accordance with the value which our civilization places on human life. Wanted or unwanted, I believe that human life, even at its earliest stages, has certain rights which must be recognized – the right to be born, the right to love, the right to grow old.”
Further on in the letter Kennedy writes, “once life has begun, no matter at what stage of growth, it is my belief that termination should not be decided merely by desire.” He tells Dennelly that he shares the confidence of those who feel that America is willing to care for its unwanted as well as wanted children, protecting particularly those who cannot protect themselves.
He concludes that he shares the opinions of those who do not accept abortion as a response to our society’s problems, and hopes that “when history looks back on this era it should recognize this generation as one which cared about human beings enough to … fulfill its responsibility to its children from the moment of conception.”
He Took The Soup
Signed, “Sincerely, Edward M. Kennedy,” this letter has been quoted often during the past nearly forty years, as have statements of other former pro-lifers who, as Rosie Stokes use to say, “took the soup,”-an old Irish expression for going over to the enemy’s side in exchange for a bowl of hot soup.
On several occasions we watched Rosie put that charge on any number of Catholic politicians, including Sen. Kennedy, who somewhere along the line abandoned their Church’s teachings and had decided to support abortion-on-demand. Whatever the reason-the feminist vote, bad advice from other Catholics, a loss of conviction as to the value of unborn human life, Ted Kennedy did go over to the abortion side, and while protesting that he was personally opposed to abortion, he became consistent in his votes supporting abortion.
Kennedy Received Pro-Abortion Edelin Award
He was so strong an abortion supporter that in 1993 he was awarded Planned Parenthood’s Kenneth Edelin Award. Edelin was a Boston abortionist convicted in 1975 of manslaughter when he asphyxiated a six-month-old unborn baby during a hysterotomy abortion.
In receiving the Planned Parenthood trophy Kennedy praised Edelin as “one of the great heroes in our cause, a profile in courage whose name is a symbol of the importance of persevering in a cause we know is right.”
Whatever had happened to his “personally opposed” decoy argument, his actions in the Senate did indeed work to “preserve” the cause of killing babies. Among other things he sponsored the Freedom of Choice Act, made efforts to criminalize anti-abortion protests, voted consistently for laws to force taxpayers to pay for abortion, and more.
We Pray That He Repented, We Pray For His Soul
But without belaboring his pro-abortion record, or digging up his other faults and failures, which most everyone knows about, it is enough now for us to pray that somewhere between taking his last breath and appearing before the judgment seat of God, he repented of his almost fanatical support for abortion.
We have a huge Ted Kennedy file, which includes even a correction from the Southtown Economist editors whose story had mistakenly blamed an anti-abortion demonstrator of throwing an egg at Ted Kennedy. It turned out the egg-thrower was an anti-war protester and a member of the Communist Workers Party, not an anti-abortionist. The Economist blamed the mistake on the United Press International.
But nobody is going to be throwing eggs at Edward Kennedy any more. Let’s just spend some time praying for the repose of his soul. Eternal Rest Grant unto him, Oh Lord.