Ken Blackwell

Why was this foul Philadelphia facility allowed to operate at all for so many years with an abortionist in charge whose record was so horrible? Before his abortion center was shut down, Gosnell had been pushing devices and practices for years that led to “punctured uterus, hemorrhage, infections, and retained fetal remains.”

Contrast this with a beautiful story this week from the New York Times by Benedict Carey. “Evidence That Little Touches Do Mean So Much.” This article describes touching as “the first language we learn.” The piece reviews the work of Berkeley psychology professor, Dacher Keltner. The touch of the human hand remains “our richest means of emotional expression” throughout life.

The article outlines how important touch is. In professional basketball, for instance, researchers studied the “touchiest” players--Kevin Garnett of the Celtics, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, and Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz. They could be found to reach out and touch their teammates with a supportive gesture. The researchers have not necessarily equated touch with high scores, but they have shown how it brings teammates together. “In effect, the body interprets a supportive touch as ‘I’ll share the load.’”

Dr. Christopher Oveis of Harvard interviewed 69 couples. Results are not yet complete, but Dr. Oveis says “it looks so far like the couples who touch more are reporting more satisfaction in the relationship.”

Reach out and touch someone, we used to hear in ads for the phone company. It appears there’s more to it than we thought. Scripture tells us that Jesus’ touch could raise the dead restore hearing to the deaf and sight to the blind.

Compare all this with the Philadelphia Inquirer story. What are the young women who have been driven to such a place and such a dire strait learning about human touch? For many of them, that visit will mark not only the death of their unborn child, but the death of the relationship that engendered the child.

When Mother Teresa taught her young nuns to care for the poor, she encouraged them to put their healing hands on the oozing sores, to touch the ghastly open wounds of the sick and dying of Calcutta. To many in India, such people were, literally, untouchables. It was at first hard for the sisters to do so. But the Saint of the Gutters said you must understand that it is Jesus whose wounds you are tending, whose love you are sharing with these wretched of the earth.

I hope the editors of the New York Times and The Philadelphia Inquirer will actually read their own papers and seriously reflect on their meaning before they editorialize in such antiseptic terms about abstractions like “a woman’s freedom to choose.” Would they choose to have their own loved ones touched by hands that kill or by the touch that shares the load?

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
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