Buried Skeletons

Pro-life people are continually frustrated over the protections and kid-glove treatment given to the abortion industry.  We routinely see politicians, law enforcement officials, medical boards and others in official capacities blatantly ignoring the abortion industry's flaunting of state laws and regulations. 

Sometimes, these people go beyond simply looking the other way and openly run interference for the abortion mafia.  In effect, they become a member of the abortion mafia.   A textbook example of this has been seen recently in Kansas regarding notorious late-term baby killer George Tiller.  (If you are unfamiliar with the details of this scandal, go to the archives section of this Blog under December 2006)

In a nutshell, it is undeniable that corrupt public officials, Sedgewick County District Attorney Nola Foulston, State Attorney General Paul Morrison, and State Judge Paul W. Clark are shielding Tiller from criminal prosecution. 

The evidence against Tiller is overwhelming, but with the support of a filthy alliance between Foulston and Clark, the first week he was in office Morrison dropped 30 criminal charges against Tiller that had been filed by outgoing Attorney General Phill Kline.  Public records show that Morrison received over $250,000 in contributions from Tiller during his recent election campaign but, to no one's surprise, the leftstream media is not making a big deal out of it.  I guess that those of us in the great unwashed masses are supposed to believe that this is just a coincidence.

All across America this sort of thing is repeated on an almost daily basis.  The fact is, the abortion industry routinely skates for doing things that would put anyone else in prison.  The question is: why?  How do they get away with it?

During our years of undercover work in the abortion industry, we have gained some insight into the way our enemies think and operate.  One observation we’ve made is that they figured out a long time ago that no one – be they an abortion industry employee or customer – wants to be identified with abortion. 

In short, the abortion industry knows that the filthy nature of their business can be used as a weapon to protect themselves.  Moreover, it fits perfectly within their nature to do just that.   

At Life Dynamics, we see this played out in our litigation support program.  We have worked with many clients over the years who have been severely injured during abortions or raped by the abortionist but would not bring lawsuits because they don’t want it to be publicly revealed that they had an abortion.  Once, we even had the parents of a girl who was killed during an abortion refuse to sue for that very reason.

Of course, the abortion industry knows this and anytime an abortion-injured woman asks the court to allow her to sue anonymously, their attorney will viciously fight it because they know if the court rules against her she may drop the suit.

Now apply this scorched earth philosophy to the following scenarios:

• an abortion clinic customer tells the clinic counselor that the baby’s father is a prominent public figure or a potential “rising star” in the future, or 

• the customer herself is a known public figure or someone the clinic thinks may be a “rising star” in the future, or

• the customer, or the father of the baby, is a member of a prominent political family; law enforcement agency, medical licensing board, etc.

The number of possible scenarios is unlimited but the point is that, given the nature of the abortion industry, it is not farfetched that copies of these medical records would end up at the National Abortion Federation or in the internal files of Planned Parenthood's political operatives.

Think about this.  Even his most ardent supporters admit that, during his eight years as president, Bill Clinton betrayed every constituency group that put him in office.  The lone exception was the abortion industry.  He literally gave them everything they wanted.  He even allowed the Department of Justice to be turned into their private police force.  

With Clinton's history, is there any doubt that during his rise to the top a few pregnancies occurred?  Put another way, is it unlikely that more than a few babies had to die in order to salvage his political career?  And if you are an abortion clinic worker with a client who says that the father of her baby is the up and coming governor of Arkansas, is it beyond the realm of possibility that her chart ends up in a political file somewhere? 

If that is so, and you would have to be hopelessly naive not to think it is, the fact that Clinton demonstrated only one area of loyalty is suddenly not so difficult to understand.  He was simply smart enough to know better than to betray the people who helped him bury his skeletons.     

The point is, if you need the kind of information that could be used to control the police, politicians or state regulators, where is it more likely to be found than at the friendly neighborhood abortion clinic?  And you can bet the family farm that if they have it, their buddies in the political arena also have it. 

If nothing else, they at least know where to dig.

Averting A Pro-Life Disaster

No one can be an effective advocate for the unborn without a complete understanding of the fundamental principle guiding the pro-life position.   The good news is, it's actually an easy concept to understand.

The term “Pro-Life” is founded on the acknowledgment of the biological reality that (a) human life begins at the moment a woman's egg is fertilized by a man's sperm, and that (b) every human being is entitled to have his or her life protected by law from that moment forward. 

Regrettably, the pro-life position is often compromised or watered-down for political expediency or in a misguided effort to appear “reasonable.”  You'll hear people say that they are pro-life but that there should be “exceptions” for certain circumstances. 

The most common exceptions being for pregnancies which threaten the mother's life or health, when the pregnancy resulted from either rape or incest, or when the unborn child is handicapped.  Some people – especially politicians – will even claim to be pro-life while openly stating that abortion should be legal in the first trimester.

To see how illogical these “exceptions” positions are, simply paraphrase them.  For example, the statement, “I am pro-life, but I think there should be an exception when the pregnancy was the result of rape” should become, “I am pro-life, but it should be legal to butcher babies who were conceived in rape.”  Other paraphrased positions would be, “I am pro-life, but it should be legal to butcher babies with Down's syndrome” and “I am pro-life, but it is okay to butcher babies in their first trimester of life.”

Every exception can be paraphrased to more accurately reflect what is actually being said.  In doing so, it becomes clear that there is no such position as “Pro-Life With Exceptions.”  By definition, it is impossible to accurately label someone pro-life who approves killing certain groups of children.  It is as illogical as someone in 1860 saying, “I am an abolitionist but I believe slavery should be legal in some circumstances.” 

Remember, the only legitimate pro-life position is that a 10-week-old unborn child is morally equivalent to, and has the same right to life as, a five-year-old born child.  When someone says they are pro-life but that abortion should be allowed in some circumstances, the question is whether they would support killing a five-year-old in those same circumstances.  Since they are certainly not going to take that position, the only logical conclusion is that they don't see born and unborn children as morally equal.  In other words, they are not pro-life.  

The bottom line is, when someone takes the “Pro-Life With Exceptions” position, what they are saying is that they support the “choice” to kill some babies (conceived in rape, handicapped, etc.) but oppose the “choice” to kill other babies.  Given that, the only honest way to define their position is “Pro-Choice With Exceptions.”

That brings us to the issue of legislation.  Let me make it clear that I have never been a fan of the incremental approach to pro-life legislation.  I continue to believe that if we had forced the American people to choose between absolute unrestricted abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy or no abortion under any circumstances at any time, we would have won by now.  I am also concerned that the wording in some incremental legislation could be twisted by a future court to establish abortion as a right in state law when Roe is overturned.         

Having said that, I am alarmed at the growing level of animosity between the so-called “purists” like me and those who believe in the incremental approach to legislation.  I am also concerned that most of the acrimony seems to be coming from people on my side of the debate.  

The controversy centers around the question of whether a pro-life individual or organization that supports legislation to prohibit some killings but allow others is a sell-out?  For example, should the pro-life movement back a law that would prohibit abortions except in the cases of rape, incest and when the pregnancy threatens the mother's life?  This is the kind of argument that has plagued our movement for years.  It is also the main source of the infighting and turf-wars that have destroyed so many worthwhile pro-life initiatives.  

The resolution of this conflict resides in the distinction between support and advocacy. 

Any group or individual that advocates legislation that would permit the legal killing of even one unborn baby has no legitimate claim to the label “Pro-Life.”  If, in the legislative process, the choice is between a pure bill and a bill that allows exceptions, anyone who claims to be pro-life while preferring the exceptions bill is a fraud.

However, the choice we have to make is seldom between a pure bill and a bill with exceptions.  In almost every case, the choice we are given is between a bill with exceptions and no bill at all.  When that is the situation, pro-life support of that legislation is not the same as advocating it.  The necessity is that we make it absolutely clear that the moment a bill is in place that saves some babies, we will not lose one minute in returning to the battlefield to save the others. 

A good analogy is seen in the legislative efforts to end America’s epidemic of drunk driving.  When those who fight this battle lobby for legislation to reduce the legal blood/alcohol level from .1 to .08, they are not advocating that people should be allowed to drive with a blood/alcohol level of .08.  Their principle and their goal is the same as it has always been.  That is, people should not be allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in their system.  However, they support the .08 legislation because they feel that is the most they can get at the time.  As soon as it is signed into law, they will be back at work trying to take the next step.  That defines the distinction between support and advocacy.

Several years ago, there was a movie about a wealthy Catholic businessman who helped save Jews from being sent to the Nazi death camps.  His name was Oskar Schindler and the movie was called Schindler’s List.  The title came from the fact that Mr. Schindler kept a list of people he thought it would be possible for him to help.  In the end, he was able to rescue about 1,100 people.  But until his death in 1974, he was haunted by the fact that he had to choose between those he could save and those he could not.  The lesson in this for us is that when Schindler left someone's name off his list he was not saying that they should be killed.  He was simply saying that he couldn’t save them. 

In a sense, the pro-life movement already understands and accepts the concept that the perfect should not become the enemy of the good.  Those who work at a pro-life crisis pregnancy center or do sidewalk counseling in front of an abortion clinic, know that they will not be able to save every baby.  In fact, these people must accept that in the environments in which they operate their success rate will be small.  But their inability to save all the babies does not prevent them from trying to save the babies they can.  And no one in the pro-life movement criticizes them or questions their integrity over the ones they had no choice but to leave behind.

For pro-life political operatives who are attacked for proposing incremental legislation, this seems like a double standard.  They will tell you that they want to protect all the babies but, until that is possible, they will protect the ones they can.  So how is that different than the crisis pregnancy center or sidewalk counselor?        

The answer is: it probably isn’t different.  Although I am firmly in the “purist” camp, I can’t see how supporting legislation to protect some babies until you can do better automatically makes one a sell-out to the pro-life principle.      

I think the reason this conflict has festered for so long is the same reason pro-lifers get involved in the first place: we care.  We also understand how high the stakes are.  This is not some ivory-tower debating club where adversaries wear plaid smoking jackets with elbow patches.  This is a street fight against moral degenerates who kill helpless children for money.  If we did not care so deeply, and if we did not know what the consequences of losing are, the often bitter conflict between those who say, “all or nothing” and those who say, “all or something” would not exist.   

However, just because this tension is understandable, perhaps even natural, we cannot afford to ignore it.  In fact, we are coming to a point where it is destined to become exponentially more dangerous than it has been in the past.  Ironically, it is our success that will cause this conflict to take on this new and more ominous potential. 

Today, the momentum is clearly on the side of the pro-life movement.  It is so indisputable that even many of our enemies are now predicting that Roe vs. Wade will soon be history.  However, as it stands now, we have not yet passed one piece of legislation in one state that returns legal protection to even one baby.  Statutes related to parental notification, clinic regulations, waiting periods, bans on partial-birth abortion, and etcetera do not legally prohibit the killing of the unborn; they simply define the circumstances under which the killings can take place.  This is not due to any failed political strategy, but to a Supreme Court that will not allow anything more than that. 

Because the Court’s argument has always been that Roe invalidates any legislation we pass whether it prohibits every abortion or almost none, the dispute between purists and incrementalists has been mostly a philosophical one.  But when Roe goes away, it becomes possible for us to start proposing meaningful legislation to protect the unborn. 

At that moment, this dispute stops being philosophical.  Instead, it becomes a powderkeg with the potential to explode into a pro-life civil war that destroys everything we’ve worked for since the day this battle began.

The stakes are simply too high for us to let that happen.  This is a problem that must be addressed now so the wounds can heal before the great post-Roe battles begin.  Those confrontations are going to be viscous and costly and our potential for success will not exceed our ability to focus on the real enemy.

To those who, like me, have profound misgivings about the incremental approach to legislation, let us resolve to never challenge the motives or commitment of those who embrace it.  As long as their ultimate mission is to provide legal protection for every child from the moment of fertilization, and as long as they are joining us in the sacrifices necessary to see that job done, they are our brothers and sisters in the battle.

Designers and Deformers

Pro-lifers and bio-ethicists have long warned that we were headed toward the day when people would order babies like they order a new car.  In this brave new world, abortion, altered genetics, in-vitro fertilization, frozen embryos and a myriad of other Frankenstein-like scientific “advances” will allow us to spec-out perfect designer babies to suit every need.  Men and women will no longer be mere parents, but informed and enlightened consumers.  At the same time, babies will be transformed into a product whose value is not intrinsic, but only determined by what they can do for those who order them.      

Apparently, we can stop predicting that such an environment will one day exist.  One day is here.  In San Antonio, Texas, a company called the Abraham Center of Life is now offering off-the-shelf embryos for single women and infertile couples.  Customers make their selection after reviewing information about the egg and sperm donor of the baby they are thinking about buying.  This data includes the race, educational background, personality type, physical appearance and other relevant characteristics.  Customers are also allowed to see pictures of the donors at various times of their lives.  For customers who are unable or unwilling to carry the child, the company will even arrange for the services of a surrogate mom.  

The company’s founder, Jennalee Ryan, rejects the charge that she is ushering in the creation of a “Master Race.”  However, her center requires that egg donors have at least some college education and sperm donors must have advanced post-graduate degrees.  
Neither can have a criminal background.  

Responding to the claim that she, and her clients, are making decisions based on IQ points and physical appearance, she told the Washington Post that, “If I do discriminate, it’s that I only want healthy, intelligent people.”      

Meanwhile, some people with physical handicaps are insisting that they too be allowed to design their own perfect babies.  To this group of people, perfect means a baby with the same handicap they have.  A survey published in the medical journal, Fertility and Sterility, found at least four embryo screening clinics in the U.S. that admit to having assisted people in creating what are being called deformer babies – children with disabilities specifically requested by the parents.  

To date, it appears that the most common reason for using this technology is to create babies that are either deaf or dwarfs.  One deaf lesbian couple, Sharon Duchesneau and Candy McCullough, say that when they wanted a baby they chose a particular sperm donor because he was deaf and came from a family with five generations of deafness.  The baby was born with residual hearing in one ear, but Duchesneau and McCullough have made it clear that they will not allow the little boy to be fitted with a hearing aid.

In the past, whenever the issue of sex-selection abortion was brought up, pro-lifers were ridiculed for suggesting that they represented some kind of slippery slope.  But now, Duchesneau and McCullough are openly stating that their use of technology to create a deaf child is no different than someone using technology, for example sex-selection abortion, to get a baby of the desired gender.    

Going down the deformer baby trail raises some interesting, and probably unanswerable, philosophical questions.  Perhaps the most troubling is whether a line can ever be drawn.  If a blind couple discovers that their unborn child is sighted, do they have the right to insist that their doctor do something to cause the child to be blind?  If not, why not?  

After all, they could have it legally killed through abortion if they so chose.  What about mental disorders.  Does a schizophrenic mom have a right to turn her mentally healthy unborn baby into a schizophrenic?  Again, if not, why not?  Who gets to design the “perfectness” scale?

When dwarfs Cara and Gibson Reynolds were criticized because they were considering using embryo screening to create a child who was also a dwarf, an outraged Cara replied, “You cannot tell me that I cannot have a child who’s going to look like me.”  Then, in an astonishing perversion of logic, she went on to attack people who oppose the intentional creation of deformer babies claiming that they are “... playing God.”

The reality is, at the moment America decided that it was acceptable to create designer babies it became impossible to oppose deformer babies.  They are opposite sides of the same coin.  It is as legitimate for a deaf person to consider a hearing child imperfect as it is for a “normal” person to consider a Down syndrome child imperfect.  It is also true that Duchesneau and McCullough are correct that artificially creating a deaf child is no different than artificially creating a girl instead of a boy.

The underlying problem is, legal abortion transformed babies from being full and valued members of the human family into a commodity that we can choose or unchoose just like we choose or unchoose what brand of toothpaste to buy.  Until we correct that, things far worse than pre-fab embryos and deformer babies are on the way.  It may be frightening to contemplate, but we are not even close to the bottom of the slippery slope.

Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics