Kathryn Lopez

In the face of the darkness that befell Newton, Conn., there has been an expectation of something more, but it doesn't have to do with legislation. Father Peter Cameron, a Dominican priest, preached to the families gathered at St. Rose of Lima Church there the Sunday after the school massacre about the hope that he saw in them.

In their need to love in the face of such darkness, he said, the grieving families were sharing a certainty with the world--they were sharing a great, selfless gift.

Love, or more correctly, the lack of it, was something that came up on the floor of the House of Representatives recently. The headlines were about guns and immigration and the budget, but for one hour on the House floor, members talked about darkness emanating from Philadelphia. Led by Rep. Christopher Smith of New Jersey, members spoke of the details emerging in court about the case of Kermit Gosnell, an abortion provider accused of horrific crimes, including killing fetuses that were delivered alive.

Smith was direct in his words, hoping to do what the national media has failed to: tell the story. "Murdering newborns in the abortion clinic, it seems to me, is indistinguishable from any other child predator wielding a knife or a gun."

But our society doesn't see it that way. According to the confused morals of our time, doctors may kill a fetus if the mother wishes it. A mother may feel pressured to abort her fetus, through lack of options or lack of hope. She may not truly want to do it, but she may feel like she has no other choice. It's wrong, and it's poisoning our republic.

When Newtown was attacked, our instinct was to react politically. Our way of dealing with evil has become trying to legislate it away. In the case of Gosnell, though, it was legislation -- the laxness of regulations, yes, but also a legal climate that promotes the idea of unborn children as non-people, undeserving of care, love or even the briefest consideration -- that created a space for Gosnell to work.

As Dr. Andy Harris said on the House floor, the Gosnell case is just a logical extension of abortion law, which has created "an ethical framework completely consistent with abortion policy ...that a late-term, third-trimester fetus has no rights as a person."

With the Gosnell case as a harbinger, a future where babies are aborted because of their gender, or because they show signs of what our society could term "genetic weakness" is not too hard to imagine. And that's the worst nightmare of all.

Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.