Jewish World Review May 14, 1999 /28 Iyar 5759
(JWR) ---- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com)
A CERTAIN PROFESSOR who teaches students who aspire to become speech
pathologists begins by showing them the development of the various organs
involved in speech. When he shows his class an ultrasound picture of the
development of the palate in an unborn baby, it is not uncommon for one or
two women in his class to have tears in their eyes, or to say to him
afterward that they have had an abortion and were very much affected by
seeing what an unborn baby looks like.
For too long we have been led to believe that an abortion is the removal of
some unformed material, something like having an appendix operation. The
very expression "unborn baby" has almost disappeared from the language,
being replaced by the more bloodless and antiseptic term "fetus."
Many vocal advocates who declare themselves "pro-choice" do not want women
to have the choice of knowing just what they are choosing before having an
abortion. Ferocious opposition has stopped the showing of pictures of an
abortion in process --- even in schools or colleges that show movies of naked
adults performing various sex acts. Still photographs of aborted fetuses
have been banned as well.
The particularly grisly procedure know as "partial-birth abortion" cannot
even be referred to in much of the media, where it is called a "late-term
abortion" -- another bloodless term and one that shifts the focus from what
happens to when it happens.
What happens in a partial-birth abortion is that a baby who has developed
too far to die naturally when removed from his mother's body is deliberately
killed by having his brains sucked out. When this is done, the baby is not
completely out of his mother's body because, if he were, the doctor would be
charged with murder. There is no medical reason for this procedure, which
has been condemned by the American Medical Association. There is only a
legal reason --- to keep the doctor and the mother out of jail.
All this is smoothly covered over in the media by calling such actions a
"late-term abortion" and refusing to specify what happens. Such patterns of
determined evasions and obfuscations show that "pro-choice" in practice
often really means pro-abortion. Knowledge is the first thing being aborted.
Philosophical questions about when life begins may preoccupy some people on
both sides of the abortion controversy. But the raw physical facts of what
happens in various kinds of abortion have turned many others, including
physicians, from being pro-abortion to being anti-abortion. One doctor who
had performed many abortions never performed another one after seeing an
ultrasound movie of the baby's reactions.
With most other medical procedures, "informed consent" is the watchword.
But, when the issue is abortion, great efforts are made to keep "choice"
from becoming too informed.
Politically and legally, the abortion issue is too complex for any easy
resolution. We have gone through a quarter of a century of bitter
controversy precisely because the Supreme Court went for an easy resolution
back in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade decision.
Before then, various states had made differing efforts to wrestle with and
balance the weighty concerns on both sides of the abortion issue. But
Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun rushed in where angels fear to tread,
with a one-size-fits-all decision, washed down with the blatant lie that
this was based on the Constitution.
Far from settling things, Roe v. Wade has led to polarization and
escalating strife all across the country, including bombings and
assassinations. It has corrupted the media, academia and other sources that
are supposed to inform us, but which have instead become partisan organs of
However this highly-charged issue is ultimately resolved -- and there is no
resolution on the horizon today -- surely honesty must be part of that
resolution. Political catch-phrases like "a woman's right to do what she
wants with her own body" cannot be applied to situations where a baby is
killed at the very moment when he ceases to be part of his mother's body.
One of the few signs of hope for some ultimate resolution is that most
people on both sides of this controversy are not happy about abortions. The
women who shed tears at the very sight of an unborn baby may not be
politically committed to either side of this issue, but their feelings may
be part of what is needed to bring opposing sides
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©1999, Creators Syndicate