Star Parker

The trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, facing the death penalty for the deaths of four infants and one woman in his clinic, is over. America has moved on.

It’s exactly what the pro-abortion contingent wants. They want Gosnell out of the news because they want abortion out of the news. Ongoing discussion provokes thought about the status quo. And pro-aborts want to keep things as they are.

And, they have reason to be confident.

Our president, whom no one can accuse of not being politically astute, showed up this week, despite the Gosnell story, as the first sitting president ever to address Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

When Kirsten Powers brought attention to Gosnell, with her USA Today column, she said it wasn’t about abortion. “This is not about being pro-choice or pro-life,” she wrote. “It is about human rights.”

For Powers, the story was about lack of supervision. And, of course, where abortions are carried out legally, clinics should be supervised and inspected.

But to leave the story there is to be content with the tip of the iceberg. And the whole iceberg is a huge story that all of America should be looking at.

The whole iceberg is bigger than abortion itself. It is about how profoundly America has changed since Roe v Wade, in 1973, made abortion an accepted part of American life.

Let’s be clear that pro-aborts and pro-lifers differ on far more than technicalities about when life begins. They differ about what life is.

In the state of Pennsylvania, where Gosnell was doing his dirty business, abortion is legal until the developing child is 24 weeks - 6 months - old. Among Gosnell’s many transgressions was performing abortions after 24 weeks.

But Planned Parenthood, and their guest speaker, our president, oppose that 24-week limit. They believe abortion should be legal until the child is born.

In 2007, shortly after the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, which banned a brutal abortion procedure most commonly used to destroy infants from 15 to 26 weeks old, then-Senator Obama spoke at a Planned Parenthood event and decried the decision. He called it part of a “concerted effort to steadily roll back” access to abortion.

Justice Kennedy, who wrote the decision, included a description of one of these procedures on a 26-week-old infant. It takes a certain deadening of the heart, of the soul to read the description of the little baby clasping his fingers and toes as the doctor jams his scissors into his skull , and still believe this should be permitted.

Since Roe v Wade, we’ve given birth to a new materialistic culture of narcissism where reverence for life itself is gone. Life has become a commodity and people use each other as cavalierly as they destroy innocent young life.

As our reverence for life has diminished, so has our reverence for the institutions that surround and support it.

Scholars at the Brookings Institution observed in 1996 that Roe v Wade contributed to the collapse of marriage and the dramatic increase in out-of-wedlock births. The idea that children were part of a sacred institution called marriage started disappearing.

The sense of honor, the sense of shame disappears in this culture of self.

In 1965, seven years before Roe v Wade, less then 10 percent of American babies were born to unwed mothers – 24 percent to unwed black women and 3.1 percent to unwed white women. As of 2010, this was up to 41 percent of our babies born to unwed mothers – 73 percent to black women and 29 percent to white women.

Sixty percent of our out-of-wedlock births are to women in their 20’s.

Soon, as our resources diminish to care for our growing aging population, we will start dealing with our elderly as we do our unborn.

But if everything is meaningless, who cares?


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.