“It” being the pain, the punch to the gut, the dissipation of oxygen in the room.
I was at a staff meeting this morning and heard our DC correspondent explain in precise language that to obtain an “intact specimen” an unborn baby would likely need to, in fact, become a born baby in order for his or her parts to be of any use to the medical specimen purchasing agents.
For some reason the thought of babies being forcibly delivered alive and then murdered was just gruesome enough to churn even my steely pregnant stomach, and I looked down at the conference table with bile rising in my throat, willing the just-gulped espresso to stay put.
You see, my unborn baby was moving vigorously, as he or she has been keen to do for hours on end these past few days, interspersing bursts of activity with increasingly uncomfortable (and disappointingly transient) contractions that amount to little more than late night cereal bowls and crocodile tears. But as I felt my baby move and I envisioned a smaller, younger baby than mine, delivered alive and then dispatched by syringe or shears, I felt nauseatingly aware on a visceral level that we were talking murder, and that, thank God, I was at long last having an appropriate emotional response to the annihilation of a child.
When I was in 5th grade a girl from my hometown, who played on the same softball league as I did, was kidnapped from her bedroom window during a slumber party, and she was murdered. I’ve never been able to think of Polly Klaas without feeling a sickening drop in my stomach, imagining her innocence and her security shattered in an instant by a monster at her bedroom window while her mom slept down the hall.
I imagine that the 20-week old baby in the video released today had a similar, if less self-aware, experience of shattered innocence and lost security. Dragged from the dark safety of his mother’s womb and dispatched by monsters, his humanity denied and his body violated and finally, destroyed.
Maybe it’s strange, but I’m glad I felt something. I’m glad I haven’t become so jaded by the constant, sickening stream of horror coming through the internet and across the airwaves that I could still hear something genuinely horrifying and feel the depth of depravity associated with it.
Part of why abortion continues to be socially-accepted is because of the hiddenness of it, the illusion of privacy afforded by the womb and a closed operating room. Aborted babies don’t make headlines. We don’t see their tragic faces on billboards or hear their weeping parents begging for their safe return. Their faces are hidden, known only to God save for perhaps a handful of human witnesses. And their parents weep in private, if they weep at all, their cries dismissed and largely unheard.
That’s what makes this investigation so powerful. That’s what makes these videos so damning. The illusion of privacy is shattered, blown apart by tiny limbs and heads and hearts. Abortion apologists and Planned Parenthood supporters must confront the reality of their business, tearing up little humans, and must offer to the general public some sort of explanation for how this can be right, how this can be, period.
Because the former standard response of “it’s not a baby” is no longer feasible, not in an age of digital film and globally-connected social media.
If it’s not a baby, where did the liver come from?
If it’s not a baby, why am I looking at a tiny hand connected to a tiny arm, bent perfectly at 90 degrees at the elbow, same as mine?
Polly Klaas was robbed of her innocence, her security, and her very life. And we had the decency to weep for her and to grieve as a community shattered by fear and anger.
Pray God that as a nation, as a world, we can confront these videos – and through them the reality of abortion – with hearts similarly open to and moved by injustice.
Polly’s death, too, was a holocaust to selfishness, her life robbed from her by a heinous choice. Let’s don’t let the rhetoric confuse us that there is some fundamental difference in value between her life and Emmett’s. We’ve been blind and deaf too long.