“Abortionists kills babies. They sell baby brains, hearts, livers, kidneys, and other body parts. They eat, drink, and joke about it. No, let’s rewrite that: ‘Planned Parenthood medical personnel terminate pregnancies.” Marvin Olasky
Abortionists kill babies. They sell baby brains, hearts, livers, kidneys, and other body parts. They eat, drink, and joke about it.
No, let’s rewrite that: “Planned Parenthood medical personnel terminate pregnancies. They then perform a public service by making available for scientific research fetal organs otherwise heading to landfills. They work so hard that they have to seize time in restaurants to make sure those parts find their highest and best use.”
Which description is best? Before last year many Americans would have gone with No. 2. Six months ago some opinions changed as The Center for Medical Progress (CMP) began putting online, week by week, videotaped interviews with Planned Parenthood officials that looked a lot more like the first description than the second.
Half a year later, though, pro-lifers who exulted seem like latter-day biblical Leahs: She thought each new son she bore would make her husband, Jacob, love her, but his heart was set on Rachel. Last year abortion supporters typically ignored inconvenient facts, much as they did in 2011 when a jury found Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell guilty of murder.
Furthermore, most Americans did not view the CMP videos, and many barely heard of them. During one two-week period after the initial videos emerged, ABC, CBS, and NBC gave nearly three times more attention to the death of Cecil the Lion, shot by dentist Walter Palmer in Africa, than to the selling of organs from a few of the nearly 60 million unborn children aborted since 1973.
That’s according to the Media Research Center, which along with showing the 30-minute to 11-minute disparity also documented the prompts network anchors gave viewers. NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt noted “anger” and “outcry” over the lion’s death. ABC World News Tonight host David Muir stressed “outrage.” CBS This Morning upped the ante to “worldwide outrage.”
While any criticism of abortionists prompted concern for their physical protection, few seemed alarmed when British journalist Piers Morgan said, “I will sell tickets for $50,000 to anyone who wants to come with me and track down fat, greedy, selfish, murderous businessmen like Dr. Palmer. Then we’d calmly walk over, skin him alive, cut his head from his neck, and took [sic] a bunch of photos of us all grinning inanely at his quivering flesh.”
The relative ignoring of CMP’s work meant that after three months of weekly videotape releases, Rasmussen Reports found attitudes toward Planned Parenthood largely unchanged. Some 53 percent of likely U.S. voters retained a favorable opinion of Planned Parenthood, and 42 percent viewed it unfavorably. Polarization, though, was increasing: Slightly more than half of those on the “favorable” side were very favorable, but three-fourths of the “unfavorables” were very unfavorable.
Another sign of polarization came in September when Amelia Bonow and Jezebel journalist Lindy West started #ShoutYourAbortion. Aborting women have generally been reluctant to speak of their experience; but Bonow said, “Having an abortion made me happy,” and West tweeted, “My abortion was in ’10 & the career I’ve built since then fulfills me.”
Hundreds of women added their sentiments. The most common message was along these lines: “I respected my life, relationship & body enough to do what was right for me.” West even became a denier of ultrasound appearance and scientific evidence: “It is a fact without caveat that a fetus is not a person. I own my body and I decide what I allow to grow in it.” She argued: “There’s a reason why #ShoutYourAbortion has been getting mountains of positive, mainstream press attention. … It’s because we are right.”
That is West’s explanation, but we shouldn’t be so surprised by the popularity of abortion among believers in the “do what’s right for me” ethos: Sacrificing babies to win favor from gods of power and sex has been customary in most societies for which we have records.
EDGAR ALLAN POE WROTE IN 1845 about “the glory that was Greece,” but child sacrifice fills its mythology and history. Agamemnon killed his daughter Iphigenia to obtain fair winds for sailing to Troy. Aristodemus of Messenia sacrificed his daughter to stop a plague. Leos of Athens slaughtered his three daughters after the Oracle at Delphi said human sacrifices would stop a famine. This was part of exchange religion, the most common of man’s devices: You give something valuable to a deity, the deity pays you back.
Other European lands from Rome to Sweden also saw child sacrifice, as did China, India, New Guinea, and Australia. Egyptian mothers were supposed to shout out their pride when holy crocodiles devoured their children. An Algerian inscription from around A.D. 200 reads, “Prosperity and salvation! To the holy lord Saturn a great nocturnal sacrifice—breath for breath, blood for blood, life for life.” In the Western Hemisphere, Aztecs killed children, often as an offering to the rain god Tlaloc, and Incas sacrificed children in a ritual called capacocha.
Excavations at Carthage, a Baal-worshipping Phoenician colony founded around 750 B.C., have found hundreds of urns filled with charred bones of small children and animals. Carthaginians probably filled up 20,000 urns in that way from 400 B.C. until Rome destroyed their city in 148 B.C., with the percentage of infant bones versus animal bones increasing as time went on and the increasingly desperate Carthaginians upped their investment in death. One account from the time describes drums and fifes drowning out shrieks, much as situation comedies now distract us from considering abortion.
In the ancient Middle East, Ammonites sacrificed children to Molech, and Canaanites, Nabateans, Edomites, and Sepharvites also “burned their children in the fire” as an offering to their gods. Psalm 106 describes how even some Israelites “sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood.” Continue reading