Babies in the womb deserve chance at life

To the editor:

A number of Democratic governors, senators and representatives have expressed the desire to legalize late-term abortions, even at the time of birth by letting the child die. I call this infanticide. Have the government and the citizens of the United States come this far? The country that sat in judgment at Nuremburg?

There have been over 50 million abortions in the United States. Germany was reluctant to legalize abortions because of their past, but encouraged by the U.S. and the U.N., abortions in the first 12 weeks have been permitted in Germany since 1996.

There is a community called Bethel near Bielefeld in Germany. It was started by Pastor Friedrich von Bodelschwingh. He started Bethel to house and teach people with epilepsy and then later included physically and mentally handicapped people. His son, Dr. Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, carried on his work. In 1934, Bethel served about 3,000 patients. In 1939, Hitler’s National Socialist Party enacted Action T-4, which called to euthanize all unproductive citizens. In 1940, registration forms were sent to Bethel. Dr. Bodelschwingh refused to fill them out. He appealed to Hermann Goering, several times, but was denied to be heard.

Dr. Bodelschwingh stated: “You can put me into concentration camp if you want to, this is your affair, but as long as I am free, you do not touch any of my patients. I cannot change to fit the time or the wishes of the fuhrer. I stand under the order of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

He appealed to Hitler’s personal physician Dr. Karl Brandt and even met with him in person.

At the Nuremberg Trials in 1945, Dr. Brandt testified the following: “When I talked to Pastor Bodelschwingh, the only serious warning voice I ever met personally, it seemed at first as if our thoughts were far apart, but the longer we talked and the more we came into the open, the closer and the greater became our mutual understanding. At that time we were not concerned with words. It was a struggle and a search far beyond the human scope and sphere. When the old Pastor Bodelschwingh, after many hours left me and we shook hands, he said as his last words: ‘That was the hardest struggle of my life.’ To him, as well as to me, that struggle remained, and it remained a problem, too.”

Today, Bethel serves over 200,000 handicapped people and enriches their lives. Do we have any men like Pastor Bodelschwingh?

Elli Kohls,