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Abortion

Understandably, abortion has captured the imagination of the public quite unlike any other social policy issue. After all, the controversy is about the death of innocents. So it would be hard to overestimate its importance in the political sphere. For many people, it is the single determining factor in selecting their public servants.

But it wasn't always like this. The abortion issue in the United States was happily simmering on the back burner until January 1973. That's when the Supreme Court ruled that Norma McCorvey had a right to kill her developing fetus, contrary to Texas law. Oh, and ditto for every other pregnant woman in the United States as well.

The fallout from Roe v. Wade immediately touched off a nationwide firestorm, especially among conservative evangelicals. This led directly to the formation of the Moral Majority and the election of their poster boy, President Ronald Reagan. The overweening influence of the Christian Right on the political scene even inspired televangelist Pat Robertson to run for President in 1988. Instead, they elected Reagan's protege, abortion foe George HW Bush.

In their rhetoric, rabid Pro-Lifers love to draw analogies to the Holocaust whenever possible, which makes their opponents Nazi sympathizers, if not the gas chamber attendants.

Every once in a while some nut actually takes this genocide talk seriously and decides that it would be wrong to sit idly by while innocents are being annihilated. So they call in some death threats, plant a few pipe bombs, and start torching clinics.

While everybody else is busy working on the demand side of the abortion equation, jokers like Eric Rudolph, Peter Knight, Paul Hill, and James Kopp have been working on the supply side. They have taken the battle directly to the source, by killing the abortion providers themselves.

All of these guys are motivated by their Christian doctrine to prevent the slaughter of innocents. Which is a little puzzling, given that Yahweh specifically sanctioned infanticide more than once in the Old Testament.

And a tumult will rise among your people, and all of your fortresses will be ruined, just as Shalman ruined Beth-Arbel in a day's battle. Mothers will be dashed to pieces with their sons. Hosea 10:14

Samaria will be desolated, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword, their infants will be dashed to pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open. Hosea 13:16

Their infants will be dashed to pieces right before their eyes. Their houses will be ruined and their wives raped. Isaiah 13:16

Then again, nobody really gives a tinker's damn what the Bible says anyway. People just take little pieces from the book whenever it suits them, and ignore the rest.

Your typical abortion opponents (who haven't already snapped) are content to stand in front of women's clinics, shouting slogans and carrying signs. Many of them hold up placards with pithy epigrams, like:

  • EQUAL RIGHTS FOR UNBORN WOMEN
  • IF IT'S NOT A BABY, YOU'RE NOT PREGNANT
  • WHAT IF YOUR MOTHER HAD ABORTED YOU?
  • HITLER MADE 6 MILLION CHOICES

But just because these people haven't embraced violence doesn't mean they're averse to harnessing the power of violent imagery. Nothing quite grabs your attention like a gruesome, four-color posterboard image of an aborted fetus. And they know it.

Anyone holding up a stomach-churning sign like that evidently believes that some people just don't understand that abortion means killing a human fetus. What they fail to realize is that everyone actually does understand that. So their little show & tell has about the same effect as a vegan standing outside a Sizzler, holding up posters of a slaughterhouse. Sure, it gets a viceral reaction, but nobody's actually learning anything.

If you think that's a little much, there's always that famous photo of teensy feet held between a gloved thumb and forefinger. It looks downright classy in comparison. It's certainly less sickening than a jumble of dismembered baby parts.

Meanwhile, what totem have the Pro-Choicers rallied around? A lousy wire coat hanger. How gutless. If they were really serious about winning the PR battle, their logo wouldn't be so abstract. It really ought to be a woman lying in a pool of blood with a coat hanger shoved in her crotch. After all, their argument is that criminalizing abortion leaves women with no choice but to seek out dangerous, back-alley procedures.

The most entertaining thing about the controversy is the fact that it's a magnet for zealots who are also opposed to the RU-486 pill and contraception, like Mother Teresa. Apparently these people believe that God has a plan for each and every zygote (despite the 10-15% of all pregnancies that end in spontaneous abortion).

It's hard to imagine much of a divine plan beyond organ harvesting for the ones that wind up stillborn (sometimes even taking their mothers with them). Or the ones with ultrasevere birth defects (for instance, certain acephalic disorders -- those things are death sentences, plain and simple).

So let's face it: God certainly isn't Pro-Life, not by a long shot. If anything, He's the single biggest abortion provider of all time. And He has no qualms about ripping open the stomachs of pregnant women whenever necessary. Hence, people who are categorically opposed to killing unborn babies aren't really doing the Lord's work -- they're just advancing their own agendas.

Timeline

5 Jul 1919 Armand Hammer (who has no medical degree at the time) performs an illegal abortion on Marie Organesoff, wife of a Russian diplomat. She dies of complications, and Armand's father Julius decides to take the fall. Julius sentenced to three years hard labor for this crime he did not commit. (Dossier.)
1928 Dr. Amenti Rongetti convicted of performing an illegal abortion for Loretta Enders, and refusing to treat her fatal complications. Rongetti is the first man sentenced to die in the Illinois electric chair.
14 Nov 1972 In a two-part episode of the CBS television dramedy Maude, the title character discovers she is pregnant and opts for an abortion.
22 Jan 1973 The US Supreme Court decriminalizes abortion in the case of Roe v. Wade.
1982 The MPAA initially gives an X rating to Fast Times at Ridgemont High for two scenes, one of them depicting an abortion procedure.
Jan 1986 New York used car salesman Randall Terry founds Operation Rescue.
26 Apr 1991 In a telephone interview, Michigan judge Francis Bourisseau explains that he would never grant an abortion to a minor, except perhaps for white girls raped by blacks. For some reason, this statement manages to attract wide attention.
8 Aug 1995 Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe) is baptized in a Dallas, Texas swimming pool, making her an official "born again" Christian.
Jan 1997 Neal Horsley creates a website called "The Nuremberg Files: Visualize Abortionists on Trial" -- a list of doctors, healthcare workers, judges, politicians, and police officers who have helped to ensure availability of abortions.
1997 Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe) tells CNN that violent acts like clinic bombings are the work of the Pro-Choice forces. "I personally think it's the pro-abortion people who are doing this to collect on their insurance, so they can go out and build bigger and better killing centers."
20 Jul 1998 Time magazine contributor Nina Burleigh declares: "I would be happy to give him (Bill Clinton) a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs."
11 Jan 1999 HUSTLER magazine publisher Larry Flynt accuses Congressman Bob Barr (R-Georgia) of having cheated on his wife. He also accuses Barr of paying for his wife's 1983 abortion and subsequently committing perjury when he denied it under oath.
17 Jun 2003 Televangelist Pat Robertson tells CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he reluctantly supports China's forced abortion policy: "Well, you know, I don't agree with it, but at the same time, they've got 1.2 billion people and they don't know what to do... If every family over there was allowed to have three or four children, the population would be completely unsustainable... so I think that right now they're doing what they have to do."
17 Jun 2003 Norma McCorvey (aka Jane Roe) files a motion in federal court to reopen Roe v. Wade. Two days later, the judge denies the motion.
16 May 2004 Pope John Paul II canonizes Gianna Beretta Molla (d. 1962) as the Patron Saint of Anti-Abortionists. Molla was 39 and pregnant with her fourth child, when doctors told her going through with the pregnancy could kill her. She refused an abortion, and died a week after giving birth.


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