The uproar over New York State’s Reproductive Health Act, which allows late-term abortions performed by “health-care practitioners” when the “patient is within 24 weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health” should come as no surprise.
These and similar efforts in other states are the rotten fruit of a culture that has long-abandoned the sanctity of life. Listen to the rhetoric for proof. Women make abortion decisions, no one else. Men lost their right long ago to have a say in the matter. The familiar cliches about “a woman’s right to choose” and “a woman’s body” are repeated as if that settles everything.
Even in cases of abortion after birth, which a 2012 article by bioethicists Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, cited in The Washington Post, claims is not out of bounds. After-birth abortion, they maintain, ” could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. We propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion,’ rather than ‘infanticide,’ to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child.”
And then there’s Norwegian bioethicist Joona Rasanen, who argues that a case could be made for giving ” the genetic parents a right to kill (or leave to die) their newborn infant, even if the infant has a right to life people have a right to their genetic privacy and having the newborn infant in the world that carries the genetic material of the genetic parents violates their right to genetic privacy.”
Sound extreme? Abortion on demand once sounded extreme, too.
What has been legislated in New York, been attempted in Virginia and may be coming soon to a state near you, can be considered nothing less than an updated form of child sacrifice. Some ancient cultures offered their children on altars of fire or killed them and presented them to “gods in hopes of receiving some twisted blessing. Instead, their uncivilized civilizations collapsed from moral rot.
Child sacrifice was specifically condemned in the Bible. In Leviticus 18:21, 20:3 and Deuteronomy 12:30-31 and 18:10, there are condemnations and laws against child sacrifice, along with human sacrifice in general. Human sacrifices are seen as the barbaric customs of idol worshippers. “They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and daughters to false gods. They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.” (Psalm 106:36-38, NIV).
Modern idols — personal peace, convenience, pleasure — are more sophisticated. Our sacrifices today are justified on the basis of who is inconvenient, imperfect or even the wrong sex. Did we think we could get away with this and not suffer national, cultural and spiritual consequences?
Many countries disallow abortions after 20 weeks. China allows nearly universal access to contraception and abortion, except in matters of sex selection, though how that is policed is almost impossible to comprehend. How many pregnancies were terminated in service to China’s former one-child policy? Are we headed in that direction? Is it too horrible to contemplate? Not really. It’s only a matter of time and conditioning.
We’ve abandoned the slippery slope, and now find ourselves wallowing in an ocean of blood. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and a eugenicist, would be happy.
“These two words [birth control],” she wrote, “sum up our whole philosophy. … It means the release and cultivation of the better elements in our society, and the gradual suppression, elimination and eventual extinction, of defective stocks — those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”
When the story of America is written in the past tense, its collapse will have been caused by our indifference to God, and to all of the horrors that historically and inevitably follow it.
• Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist. His latest book is “What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America” (Zondervan, 2014).