The acceptance of abortion is destroying both the legitimacy of the state and the integrity of the medical profession, says a pro-life media personality, former associate professor of philosophy and one-time U.S. presidential candidate.

“Doctors perform medical miracles on pre-born babies..(while) in the very next room, the same doctor or his colleague may be killing perfectly healthy babies,” says William A. Marra. “Thanks to the philosophies of the last 200 years, human life has gotten cheaper and cheaper.”

Marra was in Hamilton recently as a guest of local pro-lifers to give an open lecture at Master University, whose hospital complex performs abortions. He spoke to an attentive audience of about 130 students, most of them pro-abortion, and addressed several classes of Catholic high school students during the rest of his stopover in the city.

Marra, 69, retired in 1994 as an associate professor at New York City’s Fordham University, where he had served for 40 years.

He has contributed numerous articles to periodicals including the U.S. Wanderer newspaper and has appeared on many North American television and radio talk shows. He has hosted the syndicated radio talk shows Where Catholics Meet since 1982.

Marra ran in presidential primaries on the Democratic ticket in 1988 in New Hampshire and New Jersey.

In Hamilton, Marra noted that in philosophical terms, abortion must be seen as nothing less than the direct taking of an innocent life and is therefore always morally evil.

“I’m not saying everyone who participates in an abortion has the same share of guilt . . . (but) the deed itself is an abomination never to be touched by the medical profession.”

Marra pointed to what he called a “selective sacredness” that now permeates Western civilization – a mode of thinking which sees human life as disposable while other, less meaningful things are elevated to a rank of supreme importance.

“On the one hand, we have the rhetoric of praise and approval for the pro-death mentality, yet on the other hand, some of those most vociferous about a woman’s right to choose or a person’s right to commit suicide shirk back in horror at (the concept of) capital punishment.”

Marra said law schools are being destroyed by the concept of legal positivism (“the state is right”) which is more and more coming to be the norm. “But the natural law is superior to state law,” he noted. “If the state law contradicts natural law, then we ought to cleanse the state law.”

Marra said it is the human person and the divine, not abstract principles or concepts of freedom and of choice, which should be soon as sacred. “If you kill an innocent person, their blood cries to heaven for vengeance.”

He pointed to the dangers of atheism and quoted the great Russian novelists Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Fyodor Dostoevsky, who respectively observed that Western nations are in a state of collapse because they have forgotten God and that “if God does not exist, everything is permissible.

“When you have atheism permeating a civilization, you will more and more have men claiming autonomy and a kind of sacredness for themselves and anyone they choose to render sacred. Everything else is up for grabs,” said Marra. “One of the basics of abortion mentality is an atheism of the times – arrogating to oneself the foundation of all morality.”

He concluded by noting a modern age which is characterized by atheism, relativism and materialism wants nothing to do with matters of spirit, soul or morality.

How can this be turned around? “What we need is government, philosophy and serious meditation, not scare tactics,” such as overpopulation myths, he said.