The Devolution of Abortion Rights

Posted on March 21, 2013 by


While we are right to focus on the politics of the day, we too often, in our haste, forget our longstanding woes. Abortion is out of vogue in the current political climate, unless it is used as a club against its opponents. While Richard Mourdock and Todd Aiken still bear the scars of mis-statements (let us be gracious and assume this), and their subsequent defeats, a new abortion story is actually earning headlines of a different sort.

On trial in Philadelphia for the charged murder of seven babies born alive, Kermit Gosnell’s hands, crafted by God, have been used, it seems, not in the glory of his Creator, but as instruments of horror. Were Dr. Gosnell a lab technician, similar treatment of animals would be described as inhumane. What do we call these atrocities? The destruction of post-natal human beings by the snipping of spinal cords? The retrieval of live babies from toilets just so that they might be assuredly killed? One nurse, in her testimony, was so distraught by the killing of an approximately 30 week old boy that she took a cell phone photograph. She said that Gosnell joked the baby was old enough to walk to the bus stop down the street.

George Orwell, in his “Politics and the English Language,” talks of modern political writing as largely a “defense of the indefensible.” The New York Times refers to Gosnell’s victims as “viable fetuses” since they were already born, but in the process of death. The phrase is so clinical, sterile, and white that it tempts us to pass by this defense of the indefensible. The phraseology is a deliberate attempt to pull a verbal shade over the terror the language is meant to describe. Though the Times no longer pretends to subscribe to the virtues of objectivity, I wish it could muster some degree of righteous indignation to paint Kermit Gosnell as the monster he indeed appears to be.

For a colorful description, see Mark Steyn’s commentary. Be warned, however, for the stories and links are graphic and disturbing.

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