Today is the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that basically codified abortion and has since led to the death of an estimated 60 million preborn babies.
That’s a lot of artists, taxpayers, researchers, scientists, inventors, caretakers. That is a heartbreaking amount of human capital willfully destroyed. While the pro-abortion crowd continues to make it seem like those lives were not really lives but rather globs of tissue, science has surpassed that rudimentary medical knowledge. We can now peek into the womb nearly to the moment of conception and what is seen there is not at all what we’ve been led to believe is there. It is one thing to speak casually of “termination” when you think you’re just flushing out a few cells in what amounts to a heavy menstrual cycle. It is quite another when you actually can see a human forming – eyes, legs, arms, toes, heart. That “human-like” form takes shape almost immediately. When one sees the rapid growth of humanity in the womb it becomes impossible to deny that form as anything but human.
So pro-abortion lobbyists continue to fight against common sense abortion laws like requiring women to take (and see) an ultrasound before they go through with an abortion. They know what incurious abortion supporters don’t know – that the image of a tiny human being triggers our natural survival instincts and makes abortion repulsive to the feminine instincts of women, who are by design the bearers of both life and humanity’s future.
There are all kinds of safeguards built into our human state that are meant to keep us proliferating. We find cannibalism instinctively undesirable, and those who manage to overcome that instinct are subject to horrific diseases that deteriorate the brain and other vital organs. Even nature “herself” has a built-in failsafe when it comes to desiring to eat our own.
Although murder and mayhem surround us, for the most part, humans everywhere are naturally and extraordinarily disgusted by acts of violence committed against the elderly, children, and pets. Is a dog’s life worth more than a 20-year-old man’s life? No, probably not. And yet we share pictures of abused animals and lament the horror committed against them in a way we would not for an abused 20-year-old man. That is because we instinctually understand that to harm the weakest among us is both vulgar and inhuman.
If we know that a baby can be identified as human by the naked eye even at just a couple weeks gestation, why do we not find the act of tearing that baby from the safety of the womb vulgar and inhuman?
The answer is that we do. So – as not to allow our natural human instincts about life and survival to kick in – groups like Planned Parenthood fight against the rights of preborn humans to be seen. If they are invisible, we can continue to act like this is a medical procedure that affects just one person, instead of the termination of a life that will irreversibly affect at least two people – more if you consider the cures, art, innovation, and leadership that may have died with that infant.
Many on both the pro-life side and the pro-abortion side find the act of holding signs with gory pictures of aborted babies to be awful and unnecessary. I disagree. Almost everyone who supports abortion has never seen or heard what happens in an abortion.
“But this is just a medical procedure and ANY medical procedure will look disgusting in a picture.”
This is an argument often made, but this is the entire point of this column today – abortion is not a medical procedure. If I take a picture of someone’s kidney being removed it may give some people the heebie-jeebies but we’re all still aware that it is just a piece of that patient. It has no form, function or future outside of the body it serves. When you take a picture of a baby being aborted you can come to no other conclusion than that this is a human being that has been savagely mutilated. It is life-changing. There is a time and a place for such images, but I don’t believe that it’s “wrong” to show people exactly what they’re advocating for.
I did this for my own children. My son when he was about 12 and my daughter at about age 9. Both times I told them that as they grew older, people would ask them to have an opinion on abortion. Their opinions would have to be their own, not mine. However, if they are going to have an opinion then they should know exactly what people are talking about when they use the word “abortion”. Their reactions on separate occasions were swift and predictable. My daughter asked how it could be legal. My son saw a model of a fetus at 4 weeks and said, “That looks like a baby” before asking how a doctor “delivers” a baby so small. We talked about the process of abortion and the different methods. I only spoke in medical terms. I tried hard not to let my opinion color my language. I wanted to see what their unfiltered reactions were.
Both were rightfully horrified. When we come face to face with the reality of abortion it stops being a concept and becomes human. One of the best pieces ever written about the subject comes from Frederica Mathewes- Green at NRO. “When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense” details the heart-wrenching reality that scientific progress has thrown in our faces when it comes to abortion. In it, Mathewes-Green shares the story of one surgeon who decided to observe the process for himself and was subsequently sickened by how different his ideas on the abortion process were as compared to the reality of the procedure.
Selzer described seeing the patient, 19 weeks pregnant, lying on her back on the table. (That is unusually late; most abortions are done by the tenth or twelfth week.) The doctor performing the procedure inserted a syringe into the woman’s abdomen and injected her womb with a prostaglandin solution, which would bring on contractions and cause a miscarriage. (This method isn’t used anymore, because too often the baby survived the procedure — chemically burned and disfigured, but clinging to life. Newer methods, including those called “partial birth abortion” and “dismemberment abortion,” more reliably ensure death.)
After injecting the hormone into the patient’s womb, the doctor left the syringe standing upright on her belly. Then, Selzer wrote, “I see something other than what I expected here. . . . It is the hub of the needle that is in the woman’s belly that has jerked. First to one side. Then to the other side. Once more it wobbles, is tugged, like a fishing line nibbled by a sunfish.”
He realized he was seeing the fetus’s desperate fight for life. And as he watched, he saw the movement of the syringe slow down and then stop. The child was dead. Whatever else an unborn child does not have, he has one thing: a will to live. He will fight to defend his life.
The last words in Selzer’s essay are, “Whatever else is said in abortion’s defense, the vision of that other defense [i.e., of the child defending its life] will not vanish from my eyes. And it has happened that you cannot reason with me now. For what can language do against the truth of what I saw?”
Even as a pro-life supporter I too tend to turn a blind eye to the cold reality of an abortion procedure. I must, in order to talk about it rationally. If I ponder the process, the torture, the horrible idea of a tiny, innocent, scared baby fighting for her life in the one place she should be the safest…if I allow myself to dwell on it, the whole thing becomes unbearable. It becomes difficult to resist the urge to scream, cry and beg for mercy for those very alive babies who have no voice to scream their pain.
But perhaps that is the coward’s way. Perhaps we all need to be doing more to show people the actual horror of abortion. Our natural human instincts need to be allowed to inform us here. It is my suspicion most humans would be rightfully appalled upon witnessing what Dr. Selzer witnessed.
Science has caught up with morality on the abortion issue. Now we must demand that our good senses catch up with both.