Rob Schwarzwalder is Senior Vice President at Family Research Council. This article appeared in Canon and Culture on July 31, 2015.
Earlier this year, National Geographic’s ran a cover story called, “The War on Science.” In the feature article, writer Joel Achenbach addressed a number of issues about which many people dispute the received scientific wisdom.
Ranging from the moon landing to evolutionary theory, Achenbach detailed why skeptics refuse to accept what to many scientists seems established fact. Personally, I’m with Achenbach on the moon landing, vaccinations, and GMOs; on climate change and evolutionary theory, not so much.
My views on these matters are immaterial to a much different and urgent scientific issue, one Achenbach neglected and which regularly receives at best spare coverage in the popular media: The scientific case against abortion.
There is no question that human personhood begins at conception. Not just human life – any cell in the body represents “human life” – but a person, developing and unformed, but no less human than you or me.
Even National Geographic itself, in its beautiful DVD, “In the Womb,” demonstrates vividly that it is an unborn child that begins developing at conception. Her DNA is unchanged from the moment when the sperm and egg fuse – the moment of conception.
Of course, champions of abortion refuse to acknowledge the personhood of the unborn child. Referring to the child as a “fetus” provides a veneer of detachment from the humanness of that which is being suctioned out of or dismembered within a woman’s womb.
Too, “fetus” simply means “unborn young,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. So, for those readers not Latinophiles, let’s use that phrasing: babies within the womb are “unborn young.” Quite so. We’ll go with it.
The Left jettisons science in the name of radical personal autonomy and sexual volition. It cannot abide even modest measures to protect the unborn young. Whether clinic regulations to ensure the safety and cleanliness of abortion centers, prohibiting partial birth abortions, ultrasound laws that require women to see the reality of what they are contemplating abortion, the stridency of those favoring no restrictions on abortion is remarkable.
It’s also understandable: If they concede, in even the slightest degree, that the unborn child has any value, their case is lost. Thus, they will not dialog honestly about the unborn young (and their mothers) who are being victimized by a predatory abortion industry. For example, on Planned Parenthood of America’s (PPFA) “prenatal care” webpage, the authors assiduously avoid any mention of a baby’s health or well-being. In fact, one would think the woman had a growth in her body not dissimilar to a tumor except for a few references to a “fetus” and one reference to “embryo” with respect to having an ultrasound.
Interestingly, PPFA lists a number of things that can be found during an ultrasound; the sex of the unborn youth or her visibly obvious humanity are not among them. It also mentions, repetitively, such things as fetal abnormalities, Down Syndrome, and related matters. Such information might well be useful, but does continuous reference to the possibility of something being wrong with the unborn youth not speak to a different, darker agenda than simply a safe and healthy pregnancy? Especially given that roughly 90 percent of Down’s babies are aborted in the womb?
PPFA also notes that in amniocentesis, “there is a slight chance of infection, injury to the fetus, or early labor.” So: If the mother wants to keep the baby, “injury to” her unborn youth matters. Bear in mind that this is the same organization that provides more than 325,000 abortions annually. In other words, injury to unborn youth only matters if that youth is wanted. Subjective preference determines what’s right? How is this possibly moral?
The recently videos in which Planned Parenthood personnel speak casually about marketing the organs of unborn aborted children add new, oppressive weight to PPFA’s long history of predation on the unborn and their mothers. Here is one excerpt that captures the gory dehumanization that is Planned Parenthood’s stock-in-trade, from their senior director of medical research, Dr. Deborah Nucatola:
We’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact.
Then there’s this, from a filmed recording of Dr. Mary Gatter, President of Planned Parenthood’s Medical Director’s Council:
Gatter talks about changing the abortion technique to get intact specimens, changing from a rather violent suction method that would destroy tissue to what she calls an IPAS, which is a reference to a nonprofit company that makes and distributes “manual vacuum aspirators” which would be a less harmful way to get at the internal organs. She said there would be protocol issues with the patient but that she saw no problem with it. She calls it a “less crunchy” way to get intact organs.
This is the use of medical science to wage war against unborn young. It is the abuse of science in the cause of death. I’d call that a war on the little ones in the womb and their mothers. And on science itself.
Earlier this year Senator Rand Paul, rightly aggravated by a reporters insistent badgering of him regarding abortion, said, “Why don’t we ask the DNC (Democratic National Committee): Is it OK to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus? You go back and go ask (DNC Chairwoman) Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she’s OK with killing a 7-pound baby that’s just not born yet. Ask her when life begins, and ask Debbie when she’s willing to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to me.”
Schultz responded, “I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story.”
Not for Senator Paul: “It sounds like her answer is yes, that she’s OK with killing a 7-pound baby. Debbie’s position, which I guess is the Democratic Party’s position, that an abortion all the way up until the day of birth would be fine, I really think most pro-choice people would be uncomfortable with that.”
This is a defining example of the incapacity of advocates of abortion-on-demand to interact intelligently with the reality of life within the womb. It is indicative of their willingness to wage war on science by refusing to deal with it.
Should Ms. Wasserman Schultz and her allies in what Pope John Paul II called “the culture of death” ever concede that even the slightest provision should be made to protect or enhance the life of unborn youth, they know their house of anti-science regarding abortion would collapse.
In George Orwell’s 1984, “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental, nor do they result from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink.”
These ministries have nothing on the proponents of choice (i.e., abortion) or the designation of the child as merely an untoward, unwelcome collection of blood and tissue.
A fetus – I mean, an unborn youth – and her mother deserve so much better than to be victims of this war on science.
Here are some excellent resources on how unborn youth develop and what actually takes place in the womb:
Fetal development: The 1st trimester – The Mayo Clinic
Slideshow: Fetal Development Month by Month – Web M.D.