I made the mistake of walking away from my computer after hitting "play" on a Youtube video. All of a sudden, the room was filled with hails to ... Satan. This was the comeback from some Wendy Davis fans outside the Texas statehouse to opponents of the Texas legislator's attempts to kill a bill that would restrict some abortions (20 weeks and later) in the state. Given that Davis has become a heroine of our slouch -- if not plunge -- toward a culture comfortable with infanticide denial, the scene was fitting, and, I hope, jarring.
It came during a week that had begun, as they frequently seem to, with unholy exchanges on the Sunday morning talking-heads shows. In between praise to Davis on the various channels, a host asked a congressman how exactly a marriage between a man and a man and a man and a woman would make any difference to a child. Men and women are actually different. And yet we deny it.
These issues we debate are about the most intimate of issues, and we pretend they can somehow be solved by just the right politician or ruling. But there are also some basics we've lost sight of, or have decided that we have to dismiss -- even suppress. We do this as we embrace the pursuit of individual gratification, sometimes at the expense of life and liberty.
Another "hit play" moment came with the latest video from Live Action, a pro-life group that does undercover investigations in abortion clinics. In this video, a doctor explains how they induce labor in a late-term abortion -- "so you will deliver, a stillbirth." An "injection ... stops the heartbeat of the fetus. The doctor calls the multi-day process "hard."
"It's like you're having a baby, basically," the investigator posing as a prospective patient asks.
"Yeah," the doctor replies. "It's intense."
A counselor at the same Albuquerque clinic explains that if the woman doesn't make it back to the clinic in time -- "If we can't catch it early enough, which has happened," she'll want to call the clinic on her cell and "just sit on the toilet. You don't have to look at anything."
That's probably good advice to a woman who is being advised to deliver her dead baby into a toilet. But this isn't something the rest of us can afford to look away from. Whether it's a motel bathroom or a state-of-the-art women's clinic, this is a gravely miserable state of affairs, as we drown in euphemisms about women and health and freedom. Does anyone really think this is healthy?
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