This year I missed posting anything on the anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade because of a combination of busyness with the "same God" controversy, a bout of political discouragement, and a lack of inspiration.
Here, two days late, I'd like to do a small bit to rectify that omission.
Back in December, Newsweek published an article on abortion that was hardly a pro-life op-ed. But as it happened, the cover picture at Newsweek showed (I know this will horrify you) a pic of an unborn child, and that was just too much for the more-pro-abortion-than-thou Sady Doyle at Elle, who was shocked, shocked, to find that a fetus looks like a baby.
I won't take you through all of Doyle's tedious, anti-scientific gibberish. It's hard to decide which of her statements is the most absurd and/or creepy, but maybe it was her insistence that the unborn baby in the Newsweek picture was "relatively late-term." If you compare the Newsweek cover (as shown here) with fetal development images (here, here, or here, for example), you can see that the fetus in the Newsweek picture appears to be well within the first trimester--perhaps around the ten-week mark. Scarcely "late-term." Look at the development of the ears, for example. Those are little ear-nubbins, not the ears of a late-term unborn child. The scientific fact is that unborn human beings look baby-like really early. Deal with it, Elle.
But Doyle can't handle the truth, and she wants to be sure that her readers can't, either. She even makes some garbled argument based on various reasons for late-term abortions and contrasts the unborn child in those cases with the one in the Newsweek picture because "even in cases where a fetus was carried long enough to look very human, it probably wouldn't look like a healthy, happy baby." Well, that's fine. As long as it doesn't look healthy and happy, killing it is no problem, right?
Contrast Doyle's imitation of Miracle Max when hearing the word "Humperdinck" with Frederica Matthews-Green's story of her own change of heart. Green was impressed by Richard Selzer's historic 1976 piece "What I Saw At the Abortion," and changed her mind on the issue as a result. Selzer's article, much less graphic than the information we have now about abortions, describes the movement of a syringe injecting saline into the mother's abdomen--a movement representing the unborn child's reaction to the burning saline. Selzer is a master with words, and in a sense it is no wonder that Green was struck, reading him, by the violence of abortion. But given the contrast with Doyle, who is suppressing even more information than Green had at the time, Green's 1970's hippie honesty and consistency is refreshing.
Politically, we seem to be at a low point. Even after the Planned Parenthood videos were published, and even with a Republican-majority Congress, our representatives were unable to muster the votes to overturn a presidential veto and defund Planned Parenthood. And to my mind the prospects don't look good for taking even that small step after 2016, whatever the outcome of that election year. I hope I am wrong.
The Planned Parenthood videos were important. They woke some people up. They got pro-lifers willing to protest once more. But I fear (pessimist that I am) that they will have no effect on national policy. Many others (such as Doyle) just doubled down in response to the videos. Sin--including the sin of defending murder--makes you stupid.
At a time like this, there is one encouraging thought: Truth is on our side. The humanity of the unborn child is a patent fact, and technology has made that fact more evident than ever. Some will suppress the truth. Others will let the truth set them free. Therefore, whatever happens, whatever follows, whatever our discouragements, what we must never cease to do is to tell the truth and show the truth--the child and the violence against the child.
If that truth will never actually "win" until Jesus comes again, that makes no difference to what we must do. We shall not have failed of our task if we continue to proclaim the truth, to cry out against the slaughter, to try to save those being led away to death. And meanwhile, there will be the victories--the mothers who see ultrasounds and cannot kill their babies, the men and women who hear facts of fetal development and change their minds.
Let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.