by Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
DEN BOSCH, Netherlands, November 15, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Pro-life journalist Mariska Orbán de Haas says that she has received hundreds of death threats and more than ten threats of torture following the publication of an open letter she wrote to a pro-abortion parliamentarian asking her to reconsider her position on the subject.
The letter, which was addressed to Representative Jeannine Hennis-Plasschaert and published in the Katholiek Nieuwsblad (Catholic News), was written in response to Hennis-Plassschaert's angry reaction after receiving a plastic fetal model from Catholic bishop Everard de Jong.
The bishop had sent the models to Hennis-Plasschaert and all other members of the Dutch House of Representatives. He also included a letter in which he asked the representatives to stop the killing of the unborn in the face of impending budget restrictions, pointing out that defunding "bloody abortion clinics" would save money and help preserve future generations who could care for the elderly.
After Hennis-Plasschaert called the letter from the bishop "disgusting," Orbán wrote to her publicly, pointing out that both she and Hennis-Plasschaert have experienced the suffering of miscarriages, and that the fetal model she received from Bishop De Jong would resemble their lost children at the time of their deaths.
"In that light," asked Orbán, "is it not 'disgusting' that our society permits us to abort more than thirty thousand babies in the Netherlands every year?" She noted that children who die by abortion are "exactly the same as the mysterious little lives that we expectantly carried within us."
The letter, published on October 27, sparked outrage in the largely liberal, pro-abortion Netherlands. Orbán soon offered a public apology, but that has not prevented her from receiving an avalanche of angry responses. French journalist Jeanne Smits reports that the letter has generated 350,000 tweets on Twitter, and various sites have created distorted pictures of her face, portraying her as a devil.
Orbán notes that she had never received such a response from readers, until she began writing as a Catholic journalist.
"I've previously pushed the boundaries as a journalist, in various subjects, but I've never had this kind of reaction," said Orbán. "If you write something about the Catholic faith, then people react so very strongly."
"I hear many liberals say that free speech is so important, but if you have Catholic views it's obviously different," she added.