Benjamin Conolly: Stop celebrating death

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Fuelled by coffee and take away pizza young people sang and chanted through a 36-hour pro-life vigil from 5-7 August. PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

The prolife movement doesn’t need supporters who approve the tragic deaths of our opponents

In the age of global news, I find it interesting how some names stick while others fade away. People we otherwise never would have heard of, from distant countries, in towns and cities we may also never have heard about, but something happens and their names are burned into minds around the world.

Their situation is elevated in the media and they become global figures, symbols of a fight or cause with reach right across the planet.

Well, Maria de Valle Gonzalez Lopez is a name you probably haven’t heard of, but one you should definitely remember.

Maria de Valle Gonzalez Lopez is a name you probably haven’t heard of, but one you should definitely remember.

Her story won’t be covered by most media outlets because it doesn’t fit their narrative. It won’t even get recognition from supporters of her own cause, they want it to go away quietly.

You see, Maria was a young Argentinian woman, just 23-years-old, who tragically lost her life on 11 April in La Paz. If the suspected cause of death is true, Maria will be the first known Argentinian case of a mother losing her life as the result of an abortion procedure since the country legalised the practice on 30 December last year.

Maria was also the leader of a left-wing group that protested in support of legalising abortion.

According to LifeSite News “she was a rising figure in the pro-abortion Union Civica Radical, a historic Argentinian left-wing party affiliated with the Socialist International, having been elected last year as president of the Youth section of the Radicals in La Paz.”

As I write this, local sources are attributing the death to an infection, likely caused by the abortion drug Misoprostol.

Misoprostol is used to induce an abortion in early pregnancy by starving the unborn child of nutrients. Some of the drug’s potential side-effects include bleeding and “deadly” hypovolemic shock. It, and the dilation and curettage procedure that follows, can also cause and contribute to a number of deadly infections.

Some pro-abortion advocates are trying to claim there was medical negligence involved in her death. Perhaps there was. We’ll have to wait for the autopsy results and see.

Either way, it is a clear and tragic example of just one of the possible side-effects of abortion that pro-life advocates around the world have been warning of for decades.

But this is not the reason I want you to remember her name.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP addresses a crowd at a 2019 pro-life rally. PHOTO: Patrick J Lee

Anyone can see that this marks a clear “I told you so” opportunity for pro-lifers and indeed many individuals and organisations are doing just that.

“Had [abortion on demand] not been approved, perhaps “Mari” del Valle Gonzalez Lopez would still have been alive today,” says the same LifeSite News article.

Some so-called “pro-lifers” on social media are even celebrating her death.

“I guess bad things happen to bad people,” read one Facebook comment. “This was poetic justice at its finest. Good,” said another.

And of course the obvious mocking, “She was just a clump of cells.”

Thousands of comments across hundreds of social media posts all mocking the death of a 23-year-old girl and, subsequently, her unborn child.

Stop it.

Thousands of comments across hundreds of social media posts all mocking the death of a 23-year-old girl and, subsequently, her unborn child.

Stop it.

If you feel the urge to make a comment or joke on the matter, beat it down. If one comes out, go to confession and beg forgiveness.

We can remember Maria and warn of the dangers of abortion for mother and child. We can point to her completely unnecessary loss as a symbol of the lives we want to save. But contemptuous, disrespectful, mocking of the deceased is not what we do.

We are not those people.

I do want you to remember Maria’s name. I want you to let it live on as a reminder not only of tragic loss, but of who we are and what it means to be prolife.

A reminder that no matter how low and pathetic and at times just plain evil our opposition is willing to be, we will be better.

We will win the arguments with reason and facts, with compassion and support, with integrity and respect. We will not win support – or hearts – by mocking the dead or celebrating every time something bad happens to one of our opponents.

If you’re making those comments, if you are saying “I told you so”, if you are celebrating in any way the death of Maria, you are not pro-life.

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