In the final weeks of 2015, media outlets have begun running their annual "top stories of the year" segments, highlighting the most notable and/or newsworthy stories of the past year. The Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage makes most lists, as does the Paris terror attack, the string of mass shootings across America, the Black Lives Matter movement, the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, and the phenomenon that is Donald J. Trump's presidential campaign. Bruce, a.k.a. Caitlyn, Jenner's highly publicized transition from male to female snagged a mention on some lists, as did the royal birth of Princess Charlotte and David Letterman's retirement from CBS's Tonight Show. The tragic death of Cecile the Lion even made the cut.
Conspicuously absent from any major media outlet's coverage of the top stories of 2015, however, was the undercover exposé of Planned Parenthood's involvement in harvesting and sale of aborted fetal remains. The only mention of Planned Parenthood that does show up is in relation to the shooting that occurred at a clinic in Colorado Springs.
This demonstrates that our society has absorbed the reality of legalized abortion to the point where it has ceased to merit serious public debate. So successful has the pro-abortion lobby been at framing the deliberate killing of unborn children in terms of a "woman's health issue" that all only the most fervent pro-life activists have the temerity to challenge the practice on moral grounds. The videos published by the Center for Medical Progress revealed the callous, exploitative attitudes of abortion doctors and clinic directors involved in the legally questionable sale and harvesting of aborted fetal tissue, as well as graphic footage of aborted fetal cadavers being scavenged for "parts." As might be expected, America's pro-life cohort was outraged and disgusted, as were prominent conservative pundits and commentators. As for the rest of America and much of the mainstream media, they seem to have collectively decided to avert their eyes and accept Cecile Richard's assertion that the videos were "highly edited" pieces of propaganda produced by disreputable people "with an agenda."
And that's that. Our federal government gives millions of dollars to an organization that appears to have a profit-seeking motive at play in their abortion business and apparently it's not worth the media's time or attention. Images of a tiny dead body on the Turkish shore elicit worldwide sorrow and spark a debate about the plight of refugees in the Middle East but images of a tiny dying child being dismembered in the name of "science" are not enough to compel a national debate about the ethics of abortion (http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/251436-latest-planned-parenthood-video-describes-fetus-with-beating-heart).
It seems that the collective conscious of the American people has become so seared we are no longer capable of knowing grave evil when we see it. For decades the folks at Planned Parenthood, pro-choice activists, Supreme Court judges, and the mainstream media have been telling the American people that abortion is an essential component of basic human liberty. A woman must have the right to control her own body, we've been told. Anything less is tantamount to tyranny. Abortion is about "women's health," and "the right to privacy." The "rape and incest" canard is constantly used. We are told that evil old white, rape-denying Republican men want to keep women barefoot and pregnant and out of the workforce, and this is why legal abortion without restrictions is so critical to women's liberty!
This campaign has effectively shamed most American people into silence on abortion, even though a majority when surveyed will report being personally opposed to it in all but the rarest cases (http://www.gallup.com/poll/183434/americans-choose-pro-choice-first-time-seven-years.aspx). Our sense of morality has become so perverted that we as a society can somehow accept as rational the idea that someone can be "personally opposed" to a mother killing her child but supportive of the legal right to do so. This kind of morality is what allows self-professed "devout Catholics" like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden to "separate their faith from their politics" on the issue of abortion.
In what other area of ethics does anyone draw this bizarre line of demarcation between "personal belief" and public policy? When it comes to animal welfare, or environmental issues, or any other matter of social justice or human rights, do Progressives twist themselves into absurd knots to avoid calling evil and injustice by its name? The world saw the tiny lifeless body of a Syrian child washed upon the Turkish shore, and we responded with moral outrage at the persecution happening in the Middle East and a sense of compassion for the plight of refugees fleeing from it. We saw images of Cecil the Lion's regal countenance bloodied by a hunter's rifle and we recoiled in collective horror at the inhumanity of it. We see footage of a police officer shooting someone in the back and there's no disputing the injustice of it.
These things are obviously wrong and we all know it. But videos of an abortionist discussing the "good stuff" procured from an "11-weeker" or footage of a technician picking over baby body parts skewed in a pie dish? All of a sudden our mortal compass loses its true north. We might be able to admit being "troubled" by these images but that's as much as we'll allow ourselves to admit, and then only until we're liberated from this troubling sensation by Cecile Richards telling us there's nothing to see here, just the hardworking folks at Planned Parenthood carrying out their mission of women's health being scapegoated by an unscrupulous group of extremists with an agenda.
It's odd how the accusation of an agenda is supposed to discredit anything anyone has to say when it comes to the issue of abortion. When animal rights activists produce undercover videos exposing the abuse that occurs at factory farms, few call their agenda into question. Indeed, their agenda is lauded as a noble one: shining light on injustice in the hopes that the public will respond with outrage and take action to stop the injustice. This is the exact agenda that animated the Center for Medical Progress. They wanted to show the world the reality of the abortion industry in the hopes that the public would finally wake up and see that a holocaust has been happening right under our noses for over forty years, that our government is subsidizing it, and that it needs to stop.
For better or worse, much of the American public relies upon the newsmedia to tell them what's important, what's worth caring about and what's worth paying attention to. There was an opportunity this year for a serious discussion to reemerge regarding the morality of abortion and its impact on the public health and consciousness of America, and the people who had the power to foster that discussion said no. It is both fascinating and very sad that the birth of one baby girl made the cut for 2015's top stories of the year (http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Royal-Family-s-year-2015-Princess-Charlotte-s/story-28434324-detail/story.html), when the deliberate murder, dismemberment, and sale of countless unborn children wasn't deemed worth a mention. Happy New Year, indeed.