By Dave Andrusko
It’s hardly unfair to say that New York Times is enraged each and every time a piece of pro-life legislation is introduced (let alone passed). The only time the Times is happy when pro-life Republicans talk about abortion is when a GOPer has trouble articulating what he or she means to say which makes it possible for the Times to announce, “Ah hah! Another campaign in the never ending war on women.”
So you can only imagine how angry most of the reporters, virtually all of the columnists, and the entire editorial board is when it is pro-abortion Democrats who are largely at a loss for words—in other words on the defensive. That is the current situation as one of the Democrats’ most important allies—Planned Parenthood—is in the middle of turbulent seas and taking on a lot of water.
So you get headlines like this: “Republicans Alter Script on Abortion, Seeking to Shift Debate.” Which is another way of saying how dare pro-life Republicans talk about the extremism not only of PPFA but also the Democratic Party. You are supposed to act like a piñata—and like it.
So when they talk about their kids and grandkids and ultrasounds and all the things unborn children can do, it’s all reading from a ”script.” Which is not to be confused with the White House (and Hillary Clinton) which hews to the PPFA line, syllable for syllable.
But it is not pro-life Republicans who are altering the script on abortion but prominent Planned Parenthood officials. Even if you’ve only seen the short version of the videos and skimmed the complete transcripts, you’re stunned by the callous and cavalier way Drs. Deborah Nucatola and Mary Gatter talk about harvesting baby body parts.
The lone pro-life New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat, wrote about the mounting controversy over the weekend. As always he is very much worth reading.
He especially debunks the false parallelism that PPFA and all abortionists trot out: all surgery is bloody and abortion is surgery so if no one gets upset by removing a gall bladder, why get upset by removing an unborn baby in parts—or intact?
Pro-abortionists tell us, “It’s unsettling, yes, but just because it’s gross doesn’t prove it’s wrong.” Douthat responses
Which is true, but in this case not really true enough. Because real knowledge isn’t purely theoretical; it’s the fruit of experience, recognition, imagination, life itself.
And the problem these videos create for Planned Parenthood isn’t just a generalized queasiness at surgery and blood.
It’s a very specific disgust, informed by reason and experience — the reasoning that notes that it’s precisely a fetus’s humanity that makes its organs valuable, and the experience of recognizing one’s own children, on the ultrasound monitor and after, as something more than just “products of conception” or tissue for the knife
The Abortion Lobby talks as if all that matters is process—how a diseased tissue or an “unwanted” child—is removed. But it’s more than that, which even an elementary capacity to see beyond WHAT is being done to see to WHOM it is done will demonstrate. We don’t bond with our appendix or walk our liver down the aisle.
But because PPFA is “at the heart of respectable liberal society,” Douthat writes, it is very difficult to “start pondering the possibility that [it is] an institution dedicated to a practice that deserves to be called barbarism.” He explains
That’s a hard thing to accept. It’s part of why so many people hover in the conflicted borderlands of the pro-choice side. They don’t like abortion, they think its critics have a point … but to actively join our side would require passing too comprehensive a judgment on their coalition, their country, their friends, their very selves.
True, but for how long? How long will honorable people insist on averting their gaze from what PPFA does just because they are “one of us”?