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Monday, April 29, 2013

"We don't use the word 'kill.'"

Live Action just released their latest undercover video from a Women’s Health Center in the Bronx. In it, a woman 23 weeks pregnant questions Health Center employees about what would happen should her child be born alive. The response is chilling.

One employee tells the pregnant woman that a born-alive infant would be killed with a toxic solution. Specifically, “it won’t be able to breathe anymore.” The pregnant woman asks the employee what she should do if she goes into labor and births her child at home. “Flush it.” Does that sound a lot like infanticide? If so, that might be because it is infanticide.

Such a matter-of-fact response to a “post-birth abortion” begs the question: how common is infanticide? What happened to the “rare” in the pro-choice trinity of “safe, legal, and rare”? The employee confirms our fears when she gleefully announces that even late-term abortions are a “daily” occurrence.


So Live Action’s video suggests employees regularly encourage mothers to commit infanticide. Are we even surprised? Both pro-choicers and pro-lifers can see that there’s no difference between the same child inside or outside the womb. As Nathaniel wrote in his excellent piece on abortion rhetoric and cognitive dissonance, Gosnell and Abortion, Part 2 of 3
The reality is that as much as pro-choicers protest that Gosnell crossed some kind of bright, clear line: he didn’t. There’s no bright, clear line between killing a 24-week fetus in her mother’s womb and killing a 24-week fetus outside her mother’s womb. It’s the same damn thing.
If killing a fully-developed fetus is acceptable, ultimately this means killing the same viable infant outside the womb is acceptable. Combine that with the apparently nonexistent legal oversight, and law-breaking becomes trivial; there goes “legal”.

So we are left with, “safe.” How comforting.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the second Health Center employee bristles when the pregnant woman uses the word “kill.” The employee uses phrases like “pregnancy tissue” (what, we can’t even say “fetus” anymore?), “it” (the fetus is definitely a “he” or a “she” at this point), and “removes the pregnancy” (now that’s just sloppy). She also insists that what’s really happening is a termination – not a killing –  because life in the womb is an interpretive concept as opposed to a rigorous, scientifically defined one. I guess she believes when it comes to fetal development, we should just “teach the controversy.”

Finally, notice the contrast between the two employees: one employee is strikingly insensitive, laughing and joking about the child’s limbs coming out in pieces, or the child suffocating in toxic solution. The other employee can’t even bring herself to use appropriate terms like “fetus.” The comfortable acceptance of the first employee is repulsive, but is the second employee’s discomfort to the point of denial any better?

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