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October 26, 2006

Abortion doublethink

Perhaps one of the saddest parts of Roe v. Wade's legacy is the doublethink that it has caused to permate our culture. After all, at the most fundamental level, it's our habits of thinking -- and our refusal to speak honestly and quit hiding behind the most threadbare slogans and clichés -- that have allowed all the horrors of abortion to arise. "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts [and] murders . . ."

Consider this, courtesy of Jim Tonkowich at IRD (a former colleague of ours):

Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, said it was no longer able to afford the dignified disposal at a local crematorium of foetuses from unwanted pregnancies.

Instead, they are being burnt in the hospital's main incinerator -- which is normally used for rubbish and clinical waste.

The revelation sparked anger and distress among church leaders and pro-life groups, as well as women whose pregnancies were terminated at the hospital. . . .

One local woman, who asked not to be named, said after the heartache of deciding to have an abortion she was mortified to find the hospital had used the same furnace they burn rubbish in to incinerate her terminated baby.

She said: "I am furious and very hurt. Imagine my horror when I discovered that my baby was incinerated in the same furnace as the hospital rubbish."

As James Taranto succinctly but brilliantly put it, "Huh? What baby?"

Orwell himself might be staggered by the amount of doublethink we use today to soothe our consciences and not just justify, but sentimentalize, our decisions to kill our children. You can hardly turn around without running into an example. Consider some of the testimonies from the much touted "We Had Abortions" issue of Ms. magazine.

An abortion was the smartest thing I have ever done in my life! I cringe at the thought of what my life and the child's life would have been like!


After [my] baby was born, she was put up for adoption. That was the hardest decision I ever had to make, and has affected me my entire life.

After that I went to work for a while, and then went on to college. I was using birth control, but it failed and I came home at Christmas in 1969 pregnant again. At that time, in the District of Columbia, you could get a legal abortion if you had a psychiatrist write a letter saying your mental health required the procedure. My OB/Gyn sent me to a psychiatrist to get the letter. This doctor sexually assaulted me before he would give me the letter. I didn't have any recourse because I needed the abortion and so I had to do what he asked. It was humiliating and disgusting and I felt completely helpless. The abortion itself was nothing compared to what I had to do to get it.

I do not in any way regret the abortion while I do regret, horribly, giving my baby up for adoption.

(Emphasis mine)

And then there's this from Mark Steyn's America Alone, which I quoted not long ago (and will probably keep quoting excessively, so don't say I didn't warn you): "When it comes to the future, most Russian women are voting with their fetus: 70 percent of pregnancies are terminated." Seventy percent! Steyn doesn't footnote, so I checked the statistic online. According to this, it was true as of 2002 (other sources put the figure a little lower). Not only that, but this was after a drop in abortions.

Steyn continues:

Allen C. Lynch of the University of Virginia recalls visiting the country when the American pro-life film was shown on TV there. The film is very graphic and unsparing in its examination of the effects on the fetus, its object being to prompt in the viewer revulsion and disgust at the procedure. "It turned out that more Russian women," wrote Professor Lynch, "became more positively attuned to the idea after having watched the film." Instead of the baby's pain, Russian viewers noticed the clean hospitals, the state-of-the-art technology, the briskly professional doctors and nurses. Women marveled: "Wouldn't it be great to have an abortion in the West?"

This at a time, when, as Steyn points out (and as Chuck Colson pointed out on the air yesterday), Russia is dying because it can't produce enough children.

There are no words adequate to decribe this mentality. How could there be, when words have been twisted and maimed until they no longer have any meaning, to serve the purposes of such unspeakable evil?

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