This Friday, January 24, hundreds of thousands of people from across the United States will come to Washington DC for the largest annual civil rights demonstration in the world – the March for Life.
Our nation has talked about abortion so often and for so long that the word itself sometimes loses its ability to shock our consciences. All too many people would rather change the subject when it comes up. It’s a strange phenomenon – the issue won’t go away, but people don’t want to hear about it.
I do not like the idea of shocking people, and I definitely do not support the use of horrific images to jolt people into awareness about the reality of abortion. But let’s just be perfectly clear about what is actually involved – the deliberate, willful, merciless destruction of a vulnerable human child. Listen to the cold, clinical way that the Supreme Court described the hideous procedure in its decision upholding the federal partial birth abortion ban (Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 135-36 (2007)):
After sufficient dilation the surgical operation can commence. The woman is placed under general anesthesia or conscious sedation. The doctor, often guided by ultrasound, inserts grasping forceps through the woman’s cervix and into the uterus to grab the fetus. The doctor grips a fetal part with the forceps and pulls it back through the cervix and vagina, continuing to pull even after meeting resistance from the cervix. The friction causes the fetus to tear apart. For example, a leg might be ripped off the fetus as it is pulled through the cervix and out of the woman. The process of evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues until it has been completely removed. A doctor may make 10 to 15 passes with the forceps to evacuate the fetus in its entirety, though sometimes removal is completed with fewer passes. Once the fetus has been evacuated, the placenta and any remaining fetal material are suctioned or scraped out of the uterus. The doctor examines the different parts to ensure the entire fetal body has been removed.
Some doctors, especially later in the second trimester, may kill the fetus a day or two before performing the surgical evacuation. They inject digoxin or potassium chloride into the fetus, the umbilical cord, or the amniotic fluid. Fetal demise may cause contractions and make greater dilation possible. Once dead, moreover, the fetus’ body will soften, and its removal will be easier.
Other abortion procedures are virtually the same – something that you would expect to see in a horror film.
Why do we have to keep marching against this? When will America come to its senses? Why do we continue to tolerate this?
It is beyond irony that the March is taking place during the same week as Martin Luther King Day. Dr. King spoke out boldly against the horrendous injustice of racism and is widely and rightly seen as a hero. He had the courage to stand for the inherent humanity and dignity of every human person, regardless of their characteristics. Far too many of our modern political leaders won’t face the horror of abortion with the same courage, and instead hide behind vapid nostrums like “freedom of choice” or “reproductive rights”.
We should not be doing this every year. But we will keep doing it until our society sees the error of its ways and turn away from this terrible injustice and sin. Until that time, everyone should expect to see us every year, on the streets of Washington, speaking the truth about abortion, even to those who don’t want to hear about it.