Abortion,  Bioethics,  Culture of Death,  pregnancy,  Pro Life

I finally felt it

“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?

If it’s not a baby, why does my own heart clench and recoil at the sound of phrases like “another boy!” and “intact specimens?”

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.

Unborn baby at 20 weeks.


  • Sara Elise

    Unfortunately, I think a lot of PP supporters just turn a blind eye to this. Someone on my facebook offered the opinion that surely no-one really thought that PP was actually out there selling baby parts. Even despite all the video evidence to the very same, I guess. She literally chooses to not believe that it’s real, because, my guess is, that recognising it for the evil that it is, would force her to realise the gravity and horror of abortion.

    • Theresa

      Sara this reactions is exactly what the Nazis counted on when they planned the extermination of the Jews. It would be so hideous that normal rational people simply would not believe it could be true. Planned parenthood obviously, based on their responses, wants/expects the same public reaction. Only right wing fanatics would believe and accuse them of such horrors. For too many people the logic stops there. For the sake of argument lets say PP is correct and the videos were made by right wing fanatic extremists the like of which murder abortion doctors, the videos still show what they show, PP doctors and executives discussing the harvesting of “fetal cadavers” In response to the post on your FB page its not that we actually believe this, it is what they actually state they are doing. Are the PP doctors and executives lying? It boggles the mind how blind people choose to be on this issue . Probably for personal reasons and personal sanity; that, is the only thing that makes sense with that type of reaction.

  • [email protected]

    It’s gut wrenching, heart breaking, maddening, disgusting…there are not suitable words in the English language to encompass my feelings on abortion. I cannot comprehend how people continue to defend this barbarity. It makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Amanda

    I had this exact reaction to the last video. (The description. I can’t watch.) I spent the rest of the the day in a crying foggy haze, scaring my children, and I was ultimately relieved I still feel things. Also it inspired two divine chaplets, so some good occurred.

    I just keep thinking about what would happen if a vet suggested this as a method of pet euthanasia. He’d be tarred and hung from the rafters. “I’ll just crush his skull and then dismember him. It’ll be over quickly. It’s ok, he’s not a person.”

    And these are the people yelling SCIENCE!! The ones who call their own pregnancies babies and other people’s tissue. As if the basic nature of something can be changed by its being wanted.

    Take care of that baby. Let her kick your bladder and be glad. I’m trying too.

  • Jessica

    At first I thought you meant you felt real labor contractions, and I was like, “Girl, as much as we love the updates, get off the computer and go have a baby!”

    But. That’s not what you were posting about.

    Everything about abortion is so tragic. And the mental gymnastics required to continue to support abortion after SEEING that these aren’t just “clumps of tissue,” that they are tiny innocent children, are incredible. But since they can couch their defense in words like “women’s rights,” and shut their eyes and ears to the actual evidence before them, the left will just keep on keepin’ on. Abortion is necessary to the culture of the sexual revolution. If sex is a normal part of any adult relationship, and contraception is the approved way to prevent unwanted consequences… well, contraception fails, and babies are conceived, and then they need a way out. The whole culture is so damaged, and their experience of sexuality is so shallow and broken. And babies die because of it.


    • Jenny Uebbing

      I know that was some terrible click bait, I’ll admit it.

      You’re spot on re: the sexual revolution. We can’t consume sex the way we do apart from the availability of a ready “remedy” to the outcome.

    • AthenaC

      I do disagree that abortion is a necessary result of the sexual revolution; back when I was younger and much more liberal about sex it was always 100% obvious to me that a new life began at conception. A life that I didn’t have a right to take. The way I saw it, playing fertility roulette (even with birth control) is the adult responsibility side of the adult pleasures of sex.

      Abortion seems to be a enabled by the fact that for the most part people are allergic to actually thinking through the implications of what they do. It’s so frustrating that the last time I wrote something laying out why abortion shouldn’t even be a thing, the responses I got were along the lines of “Well, I don’t like abortion but I’m glad it’s an option for women.” Which responded to exactly none of my points. Oh well.

      • Jessica

        Athena, thanks for your response. I do think it’s certainly possible to be sexually active while accepting the idea that life begins at conception; some people have sex with the possibility of a baby in mind. And I think you’re right, too, that a large part of the problem is that many people these days don’t want to think through the logical consequences of their actions. But that is related to our culture’s understanding of sex–pre-marital sex is normal, healthy, good; so why should they be “punished with a baby” (in our President’s words) when they have played by society’s accepted rules? That’s where the disconnect comes in between actions and consequences. Society’s rules, after the sexual revolution, imply that consequence-free sex is not only possible, but an absolute right. It’s all a big lie, but it feels good, so people play along. And the price is that abortion is their escape hatch when things go “wrong.” They’ve been told over and over, in different ways, that they aren’t ready for babies and that they should be having lots of sex. So they FEEL unjustly punished when a baby results from their actions; when really there is nothing unjust or punitive about it.

  • Theresa

    Thank you for this because it did not clue in on me they must be delivered alive then killed. Our grandaughter, Ireland Lily May, passed away, in body, in uteri, at 20 weeks gestation, May 2015. The umbilical chord suffocated her. I don’t want to upset any young or expecting mothers. I want to testify that her little body had developed so much , eyes – ears – nose-feet-hands etc. It was amazing how beautiful she was at 20 weeks. Her body was big enough to be wrapped and placed in a bassinet for viewing for parents and family. She had lived until 20 weeks, the same age this woman is referring to in todays video. Inspired by Amanda, I will go to her grave today and say the Divine Mercy.

  • Lucy

    Thank you. Thank you , thank you, thank you! You have written exactly what has been on my heart. I think many turn a blind eye to abortion because they don’t want to acknowledge the truth behind it. For many, ignorance is bliss. While the videos are unbearable and nauseating, I’m glad they’re circulating around social media, because it makes it much more difficult for a person to remain ignorant.

  • Heather

    This reminds me of what I once heard from a priest and theologian (paraphrased and through cloudy pregnancy brain!), that in order to truly forgive, you’ve got to feel *everything.* All the hurt, injustice, betrayal, all those horrible nasty uncomfortable feelings. Then you can finally get around to forgiveness. When I type it out it sounds a little new-agey and psychobabbly, but I promise it sounded better and deeper at the time! Anyway, this is why real forgiveness is so rare. These emotions are so extremely uncomfortable, most people would rather pack them away in the back of their minds rather than feel their way toward forgiveness. But they’ll eventually come out in the form of sin, continuing to infect us and the people around us, propagating outward.

    Now, I’m not trying to draw an exact comparison, but I wonder if a similar thing is going on here. Who really wants to face up to the horror, the utter horror, of abortion? But until we do, this culture of death is going to continue ripping us apart. It affects us all. This same priest said (different post, different topic), that from a historical perspective, our country appears to be completely war-torn. What else would bring the birth rate so low, fracture families, separate relatives, break up communities, move us to cities where no one particularly knows us or cares about our welfare? Even if you escape the brunt of it, you’re still surrounded by the predominant culture, which is bound to have some effect on you.

    And we did this to ourselves.

    Feel the horror. Then we can begin to heal.

  • MaryRuth

    I spent my nap time looking at a few of the videos today. It is amazing the horror that they not only witness but participate in DAILY! How could anyone deny the humanity even in the ‘parts’. These are babies. They call them babies. I pray this makes a difference in the culture but I am afraid too few people will see it to make a difference. May God have mercy on their souls.

  • Kaitlan

    I don’t feel anything most of the time. I think I always knew how monstrous this whole concept was, and I figured the dark rabbit hole must be very deep. Ooh, but when they say things like, “another boy!” And “it was twins,” it’s such a human way to refer to someone; it’s nauseating.

  • ethyl Weiss

    When I was a young girl contraception was illegal. Safe abortion was not available at any cost. Girls had to leave town if they got pregnant and they didn’t get married. Homosexuals went to jail and afterwards were outcast and unemployable.

    Being like you are is a good thing. Good for your babies.

    Most people aren’t like you. They are never going to be.

  • Amanda H.

    I have two thoughts about this:

    1) I prayed the rosary last night and wept, contemplating our Lord being crowned with thorns. How humiliating! How loving! If Jesus could allow Himself to experience that kind of ridicule and disdain, surely I can submit myself to the same. Lest we not forget, “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    2) If these videos, at the very least, strengthen the resolve of those of us who choose life and spur us to action, then they have been effective. And for so many of us (maybe it’s just me), there is this fear of being regarded as irrational or irresponsible by “society,” so we just go along to get along. It is PRIDE, plain and simple. Our culture has twisted and perverted what it is to “do the right thing” – what it is to be a good citizen–even what it means to be compassionate. Many good people have been passive and we cannot afford to continue our inaction-even if that action is just very intentional prayer. Bottom line –Evil happens when good people do nothing. Plus, we’ve got the reigning champ on our side. I say, “Bring it on.”

  • Pat Filley

    Apparent in all the denial is that PP can no longer claim this is not human body tissue and FORMED tissue at that. Their stone cold way of acting like we are the ones who don’t understand the English language and it’s multiple inuendos is blatant ignorance and diabolic mentation. I would suggest it is time to start investigating their FedEX or UPS delivery records. What are they declaring is being packaged for transport.

  • Cami

    I can only hope that shedding light on this darkness, this despicable business and its evil practices will scare off any demonic influences that convince these practitioners to do the devils work and bring about clarity and a realization of the true sanctity of life. This MUST result in resolution and a conversion for all those defending the murder of our most precious family members.

  • Lisa

    Jenny, I would like to email you a question regarding this, but I do not want to start an internet fight in the comments. I can’t find an email address though. 🙂 I think you are the best written blog I have the privilege to read and I would very much like your thoughts on my particular question. I’m just not sure how to go about that! 🙂

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