By Jonathon Van Maren
Not since the Center for Medical Progress videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby body parts has there been so much widespread outrage against abortion. Despite New York State’s already-liberal abortion regime – feticide was permitted up until 24 weeks – Governor Andrew Cuomo hailed the recent passage of the so-called “Reproductive Health Act,” which essentially allows abortion up until birth by adding “health,” a term that is nearly always used to rubber-stamp all abortions, as a justification for any late-term abortion. Cheering and a standing ovation greeted the passage of the bill, and Cuomo ordered New York landmarks lit up in pink to celebrate the expansion of abortion.
Perhaps it was this ghoulish grave-dancing that triggered the outrage. Across social media, tens of thousands of people who rarely (or never) speak out about abortion were suddenly posting incredulously about the New York legislation. I saw many people who usually do not post about abortion on my own social media feeds sharing articles, videos, and photos condemning the callousness of the celebration and the gruesomeness of abortion itself. Thousands shared posts by medical professionals explaining why abortion, and especially late-term abortion, is never necessary to save the life of the mother. Others posted descriptions of late-term abortion procedures, which include caving the baby’s head in. New York pro-life groups have reported an overwhelming number of requests from people who would like to get involved, with even the BBC taking note of the backlash.
Or maybe it is because New York’s abortion legislation highlights just how radical today’s abortion advocates actually are. There is no such thing as too many abortions for them – in a state where more African American babies are aborted than are born and where abortion is already legal past the point of the child’s ability to survive outside the womb, Democrats did not see an opportunity to pass legislation ensuring that abortion is not necessary for the many women who choose it out of desperation. They saw an opportunity to expand New York’s abortion regime even further. And not only that, they then dispensed with the language of “safe, legal, and rare” and decided to hold a light show to celebrate the deepening of the darkness, with the One World Trade Center lit up in pink. It reminded me of a few lines penned by author (and veteran pro-life activist) Karen Swallow Prior last year:
Tonight on Instagram
Someone posted an image of an unborn child
Torn limb from limb.
At first glance I thought it was
A picture of delicate pink rose petals
Scattered by the wind.
It is always interesting to see what provokes people to outrage and pricks their consciences. It has also been depressing to see the primary defense of late-term abortion that has emerged in response to this outrage. Both on social media and in the press, stories of children who would not have survived birth or would have died soon thereafter are being pushed as an apparent justification for the dismembering and skull-crushing of late-term abortion. There are actually people posting photos of children who died soon after birth, saying that they were crushed with grief by the passing of their beautiful baby and thus should have had the right to kill her before she was born.
I have never understood the logic behind this. The argument is that because the child will not live long, we should be able to shorten the child’s life further by violent means. Those putting forward this supposed justification seem to be saying that the admitted trauma of late-term abortion (with all its accompanying guilt) is preferable to the grief of losing a loved one naturally. A child who will die during birth, they are saying, should meet her end at the hands of a doctor who will use tools to pull her body apart rather than breathing her last in the arms of her loving parents. This defies natural affection. When we know that we have but a short time with a loved one, do we endeavour to shorten that time even further? Or do we treasure and cherish the precious moments we are given? How is death the solution to a short life?