I Didn't Mean to Write a Horror Story
Trigger Warning: fetal tissue research
So I was "this close" to publishing the hardcover of my Catholic novel a couple of weeks ago when an unexpected typo glitch turned up at the last moment and threw me for a loop. Total, complete brick-wall burnout. Sick to death of the whole thing. Wanted to burn it and never look at the shiny, expensive cover ever again. In desperation, I asked for prayers from many sources, but ten days went by and I still couldn't bring myself to work on it despite looming deadlines for printing and delivery before Christmas.
Then yesterday I thought of something. Several chapters are set in Pittsburgh, a city I lived in and grew to love many years ago. In the novel, I laud the resiliency of its people after the downturn in the economy following the energy crisis in the 70s and the closure of nearly all of its steel mills. As one example, I wrote about how the towering U.S. Steel Building downtown was renamed the UPMC Building when that institution took it over from the failing steel industry. UPMC--as in the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. And all of a sudden I realized that my prolife novel as currently written would give positive attention to the institution that, I just learned, claims it wants to become the "tissue hub" of fetal tissue research. (Trigger warning: Grisly details contained in this factual article from a Harrisburg, PA news site. Horrifying topic to be sure, but I am greatly encouraged by the large numbers in the young pro-life crowd protesting at the state capitol in August.)
Basically, according to the above-linked article, abortions are routinely performed at UPMC, and the dying fetus is immediately shuttled to the research department, enabling them to have access to organs that are "fresh, not frozen." As in the heart was still pumping, trying to keep the little one alive. They admit as much in their grant applications to the National Institutes of Health. (Yes, dear taxpayer. Your coins to Caesar are fueling this Frankenstein-ish assembly line. Or what should more properly be called a "disassembly" line.)
I can attest from personal experience that there are many excellent doctors, nurses, and staff in the UPMC hospital system. I don't want to condemn them or their healing work. But the freakish fetal research going on at Pitt has to stop. As wonderful as her people are, the city of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh/UPMC need our fervent prayers to combat this reprehensible, ghoulish abuse of the unborn.
So my novel is getting a footnote to my "isn't Pittsburgh wonderful" chapter. Maybe then Our Lord will give it the green light, and I can get on with publishing this story about people dealing with, among other things, the hidden, horrific reality of fetal murder and its chilling effects on the soul.
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If I have erred in any statement, whether directly or by implication, in any matter pertaining to faith or morals, I humbly invite fraternal correction.