When the first video exposing the full extent of the moral horror of Planned Parenthood’s murder mills was released two weeks ago, the initial response from the mainstream media was a stony silence. Just as with the gruesome revelations about Dr. Kermit Gosnell, politicians and commentators on the left hoped that by quashing the story, they could deflect the nation’s attention away from the grotesque carnage described by Drs. Nucatola and Gatter of harvesting human body parts from tiny babies in the womb. As it has become clear that the story is not going away, liberals are now starting to step forward to defend this barbaric practice. TIME magazine offers the latest specimen:
Little Gary Dunn meets his older sisters for the first time after returning home to Florida. Gary’s health outlook appears bright thanks to treatment before birth for spina bifida. (CHOP Photo)It was horrible for us to have to end a much-wanted pregnancy, but we made the best of it by donating the fetal tissue for research. We contacted our genetics counselor, who coordinated the donation with a spina bifida research project funded by the National Institutes of Health. We figured that donating the tissue could perhaps spare other families the painful situation we found ourselves in. It was clear to me and my husband that the question of what caused the spina bifida needed to be studied.
Making the best of it, indeed! Doing some arithmetic, the writer of the piece, Katie Lyon, had her abortion ten years ago, in 2005. According to an infographic from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, they performed their first fetal surgery in 1996 on a boy named Roberto. Today Roberto is a college athlete. Perhaps the prognosis for Katie Lyon’s daughter was not as good as for baby Roberto. I have not walked in Katie Lyon’s shoes, but giving her the benefit of the doubt, as a father of two with another on the way, I would be despondent and inconsolable if we discovered not only that our baby had a crippling congenital physical deformity, but to add insult to injury, that it was an inoperable condition. Nothing can prepare you for that kind of emotional and spiritual devastation.
Still, even if you do not believe, as I do, in the inviolate sanctity of the mother’s womb as a place where God performs miracles, Katie Lyon’s ethical calculus rings false. She says, “Why would anyone want to destroy the chance to save another person’s life?” This is the very heart of the matter. Why would anybody want to destroy life at all? Even so, if we are talking about chances, then what is the miniscule chance that butchering your child might benefit science when compared to even the smallest margin of possibility that surgery could save that child’s life? Is the former really preferable to the latter? On the other hand, abortion leaves very little room for miracles: if the procedure is successful, you are 100% guaranteed to end up with a dead baby.
It is true that Katie Lyon was in a terrible situation. It is true that she faced the darkness of inexplicable malice and cruelty. I am sure that she felt every emotion it is possible to feel and reading her story, I am touched with sadness and fear, as any parent would be. Basic human compassion–to say nothing of Christian charity–demands that we approach her personal tragedy with tenderness and sympathy. However, it is not true that she “made the best of it.” Here we must draw the line.
Quite the opposite, now we will never know what that small fragile person might have been. Perhaps she would have died within minutes of being born, but if so, how precious those few minutes would have been! The bittersweet agony of such a short life would be heart-rending and terrible to be sure, but that poor delicate child would have left this world in the fullness of complete and sacrificial love and she would have been given every chance of survival, right until the end. Instead she was crushed to death and dissected for a science experiment. Instead of the consolation of love, Katie Lyons chose the sterile certainty of death.The Massacre of the Innocents by Giotto, c. 1305
Furthermore, what Katie Lyon does not address, and what is even more despicable about the videos, is that Dr. Nucatola admitted that by harvesting organs with a view to maximize revenues, Planned Parenthood not only destroys the precious and feeble lives of helpless innocents, but also places the mother’s life in danger by performing illegal partial-birth abortions. If you want to talk about chances, what are the slim odds of saving one life weighed against the absolute certainty of taking one life and the very real possibility of ending two?
No Katie, I have sympathy for your despair. We are all only human. However, my sympathy does not extend to Planned Parenthood. Whatever genuine good that organization might do in the world cannot justify nor cannot it excuse the grisly slaughter of abortion. If it comforts you that when Planned Parenthood’s activities are exposed to the light of day, you can tell yourself that what they are doing is barely legal (and maybe not even that) then it only magnifies the glaring truth that our present laws are unjust. If it comforts you at night that your daughter was sacrificed for the greater good, then I will fervently pray that you will find a way out of the depths of the night which surrounds you, for it must be a very black and all-consuming darkness indeed. No Katie, the antidote to darkness and despair is light and love–not destruction.