AbortionUnderstandably, 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:
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.