A Schizophrenic Nation

By Carol Tobias, President, National Right to Life

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Schizophrenia as psychotic disorder with serious specific characteristics. Its second definition for the word is “contradictory or antagonistic qualities or attitudes.” Based on this second definition, when it comes to life, I think it’s safe to say that our country is schizophrenic.

On one hand, after more than 46 years and more than 61 million dead babies, this country is still not comfortable talking about abortion. It’s not a topic at the family dinner table. “Well, Susie, what did you do today?” “Oh, I went to Planned Parenthood and got an abortion.” Women don’t tell co-workers that they are not working tomorrow because they’re going to get an abortion.

Because of right-to-life efforts to keep the unborn child alive and as part of the public debate, this country still knows that it’s wrong to kill unborn children. Any woman in this country who is considering abortion knows that someone– a family member, a friend, co-worker, or neighbor– would counsel her not to do it.

On the other hand, the loss of respect for the innocent human life of that defenseless unborn child has created a mindset that no human life is special. Elderly and disabled persons are being denied food and water, and medical treatment because someone decided that they are a “burden” who is taking up space and resources.

While our country legally condones the killing of unborn children, the children who did survive, the so-called “wanted” children have become even more precious, maybe because they survived.

Consider these examples of Schizophrenia.

The development of technology has allowed us to declare “Amber alerts” nationwide. If a single child is missing, the entire country is asked to help find him/her. This is an unqualified good– we should search for every missing child and grieve for every lost child. But this highlights our Schizophrenia.

A less unqualified good, perhaps, are parents so overtly involved in their children’s lives that a recent phenomena—“helicopter parents”– has arisen. The parents are “hovering” not just in their young children’s lives– there are stories of parents who phone their college-student children to wake them up for class, or even attend job interviews with them.

Some might say it’s a paradox that at the same time we dispose of over 1 million unborn children each and every year the children who “survive” are cherished and protected.

A better explanation, I believe, is Schizophrenia.