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Anti-Life

On 19 March 2009, Quin Hillyer published one of the most thoughtful essays I have ever read on abortion [Please take the time to click here and read it — this President is truly ‘monstrously anti-life’.]. It was the first he had ever written on the subject:

Abortion is a tough, tough topic.

That’s why I’ve never written a single column, in all my years as a journalist, directly about abortion. Oh, sure, I’ve touched on it in passing — quick lamentations about the pathetic legal reasoning of Roe v. Wade and its embarrassing progeny such as the Casey case; reminders that the public strongly supports social-conservative positions on satellite issues such as partial-birth abortion, parental notice laws, and informed consent; utter opposition to making taxpayers finance abortions even if it violates their deepest beliefs — but I’ve always avoided the central issue itself.

Until now.

The most radically anti-life administration in American history is on the march, trampling over every moral qualm of the pro-life community by forcing taxpayer funding of various abortion-related services here and abroad, weakening (and threatening to eliminate) the rights of conscience of those who do not want to aid abortions, making Catholic hospitals fear they might need to close down rather than abet what they consider to be mortal sins, appointing radically pro-abort officials to high positions, and reversing President Bush’s elegant and thoughtful executive order on embryonic stem cell research. All of which should not surprise, considering that our president is so monstrously — yes, monstrously — anti-life that he opposed legislation to protect infants born alive after “botched” abortions. There’s a more precise term for the actions defended by his Illinois legislative position: murder.

In response to the aggressive anti-life moves by the Obama administration, the Susan B. Anthony List, which is dedicated to electing pro-life women to office, had an utterly smashing success at its big annual fundraising dinner March 12, with tables crowded so closely together in a hotel ballroom that there was barely room to walk. It was one sign that the pro-life community is mobilized and on high alert.

And it’s a good thing.

That’s what I’ve never written before. It’s what I’ve always shied away from: directly and unambiguously addressing the issue of abortion itself, square on. I learned long ago that it’s almost impossible to have a reasoned conversation about abortion, because feelings are too strong and too raw. So I just avoided it. Avoidance is so easy.

No longer. With an administration that seems determined to push the outer limits by ignoring even the rough national consensus on reasonable restrictions such as parental notice, it’s time to say that it’s a good thing that groups like the Susan B. Anthony List are fighting back. It’s a good thing because — deep breath — abortion generally ought to be illegal.

I too have shared this reluctance for well over a decade. Emotions run too high when the subject enters a discussion. In fact, a form of hysteria is often the result. More from the pro- rather than the anti- side, but, nevertheless, both cause a degeneration of the discussion into something no longer worth carrying forward.

However, the circumstances, as Mr. Hillyer notes, have changed and those of us who are anti-abortion must speak out against the radical pro-abortionists who now hold extraordinary power.

Our Western world today:

— Despite evidence, the pro-abortionists dismiss the fetus [none dare call it baby, except by slip of the tongue] as nothing more than a collection of cells. As Mr. Hillyer writes: ‘We know a “fetus” is a life form, and we know it is, genetically, only human (not gorilla, not wombat, not cabbage)’. By their denial of the reality of the humanness of the fetus [A is not A], they are able to engage in the self-deception that what they advocate is not violating any basic right.

— Doctors are starting to offer services which involve the altering of DNA for aesthetic reasons [please see Greg Beato’s article over at ReasonOnline by clicking here] and normally reasonable thinkers [like Mr. Beato] are arguing that there is nothing wrong with this.

— Doctor’s are already screening embryos for diseases and/or sex, reporting back to prospective parents if a gene is found that will cause some defect or if it is of the wrong sex then that which they desire, and, if there is one of these found, often the embryo is destroyed or altered.

— Babies born alive in failed abortion attempts are having their skulls crushed or are left alone to die.

— Near-term babies are having their skulls crushed in the birth canal.

— Embryos left over from IVF are being either destroyed or experimented on.

All of this points to one conclusion: we are fast becoming a heartless culture.

These are the first steps in the disintegration of the long-held belief in the right to life that is the core of what makes Western Civilization the greatest civilization in human history. Without such a belief, there can be no right to liberty, to property, or to pursue happiness. Unless we believe that everyone has the right to exist, then everything is permitted and what follows is pain and destruction and death.

It took centuries for human beings to realize that the right to life—The Culture Of Life—is the one right from which all others emanate and, therefore, from which order arises and laws are promulgated and respected. Out of law and order arises secured property rights and that brings about the conditions that allow prosperity. Out of property and prosperity arise liberty under order and the possibility of achieving happiness.

Those who would treat emerging human life so cavalierly through a tortured logic such as they now utilize will have no trouble in the future twisting the logic even more to take the next step in the degradation of human life.

It is a sad commentary on what we have come to in this day and age where the following will not seem outlandish to state: the next step will be the euthanizing of the old and infirm, and of the young [not simply newborns] and defective.

The Romans abandoned defective newborns on the side of hills to starve and die. The whole of their history is a tale of selected and subjective respect for life. They achieved many great things, but their history is bathed in the blood of the murdered dead.

Right reason and history tell us that a lack of respect for human life—that it has a right to exist in and of itself—leads to nothing but willed and perpetrated horrors.

Since it is true that nature abhors a vacuum, as belief in a Culture Of Life diminishes, the void can only be filled by a belief in a Culture Of Death.

That we have allowed all of the actions mentioned above to currently occur and we are contemplating those others mentioned above, that we are even thinking such practices are making us more civilized, is another element of The Present Crisis.

Vivos voco, mortuos plango.

[Originally published on 03 April 2009]

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