Marvin Olasky

A pro-abortion culture requires eternal vigilance. Heresy can sneak through. The New York Times has for four decades maintained abortion orthodoxy, but an editor should be fired for not cutting out a tender dialogue in the next-to-last paragraph of a 7,500-word lead story in the newspaper six weeks ago.

Let me set the scene: A husband and a wife have had 15 failed pregnancies and in vitro fertilization non-starters. Author Alex Kuczynski, a fine writer, comes perilously close to falling off the cliff when she describes a "fetus" that didn't make it past 10 weeks as "a small dead baby" and quotes a nurse as telling her, "In case you were interested, it was a girl." But she quickly regains her footing and writes, "I was not, in fact, interested in attaching a gender to the coagulation of cells, briefly and potentially human. . . ."

Kuczynski and her husband then decide to hire a surrogate mother to bear their child. They chose one "not so different from us. Later, during the election season, she and I were unaccountably pleased to learn that we were both planning to vote for Obama." The article proceeds with great specific detail about the emotions involved as the author's baby grows in another woman's womb. When baby Max is born, the author notes "the mind-bending philosophical weirdness of it all: there is our baby—coming out of her body."

A month later Kuczynski is sitting with her baby on her back porch in the Hamptons. She wonders whether she has, in a sense, cheated to have him. Here's the offending section: "My husband came out and sat next to me. He took my hand. 'You gave birth to our baby,' he told me. 'The doctors went in and took our baby out of you 10 months ago.' He was casting back to the day the doctor removed my eggs. 'It was like a C-section. They just went in and got him when he was very small.'"

Excuse me? Technically the husband is incorrect, in that what doctors removed from his wife was an egg that had not yet encountered a paternal sperm. But his poetic wisdom is solid: It was like a C-section bringing out a tiny baby. And if that's the way it is, then maybe we shouldn't be cavalier about killing small creatures for embryonic stem-cell research, especially when scientists have discovered that adult stem cells are as likely (maybe more so) to work well in healing some sicknesses. Maybe we shouldn't think of a 10-week-old unborn child as merely a potentially human coagulation of cells. Maybe we shouldn't have legal abortion of older coagulations.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin Olasky is editor-in-chief of the national news magazine World. For additional commentary by Marvin Olasky, visit
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