By Dave Andrusko
The welcomed news that NIH is going to spend $20 million to find (and refine) ethical alternatives to scavenging tissue from aborted babies is also a reminder of how seductive is the language of “redeeming” abortions. If we are going to obliterate 900,000+ unborn babies each and every year, why “waste” the “resource”? Why not “get some good out of it?” goes the response.
I immediately thought of the videos that documented various and sundry Planned Parenthood high mucky mucks talking about fetal organs over a salad. And then there were the technicians discussing how they use tweezers to hold up large baby body parts as they fish around for and talk about kidneys and lungs and livers and eyes (”orbits”) and intestines and calvarium (skulls) and trachea and a “long bone.”
It isn’t only tissues and entire fetal organs kept in cold storage. So, too, were the consciences of those involved, or what was left of them.
I also was reminded of an unforgettable 1976 essay by the late physician and surgeon Richard Selzer that appeared in a collection of his essays titled, “Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery.” In it Selzer describes a very strange suburban scene.
People go outside in the morning in his neighborhood, after the garbage trucks have passed, and they find “a foreignness upon the pavement,” a softness underfoot.
Looking down, Selzer first thinks he sees oversize baby birds, then rubber baby dolls, until the realization comes that the street is littered with the tiny, naked, all-too-human bodies of aborted fetuses.
Later, the local hospital director speaks to Selzer, trying to impose order on the grisly scene. It was an accident, of course: The tiny corpses were accidentally “mixed up with the other debris” instead of being incinerated or interred. “It is not an everyday occurrence. Once in a lifetime, he says.”
And Selzer tries to nod along: “Now you see. It is orderly. It is sensible. The world is not mad. This is still a civilized society…
But as he ponders what this shock of recognition means, Selzer concludes
But just this once, you know it isn’t [sane and sensible]. You saw, and you know.
And once you see and once you know, you can never, ever stop fighting to save unborn babies and our culture.