I first heard the term "velocitized" in high school driver's ed. When a driver accelerates from, say, 30 to 60 miles per hour and settles in, he gets acclimated to his new speed and loses his sense of velocity. It doesn't feel as if he's moving any faster at 60 than he was at 30.
This is dangerous on the highway, but it's deadly when it happens to the moral consciousness of a culture. Years ago, theologian Francis Schaeffer said that what was unthinkable yesterday is thinkable today, and ordinary and commonplace tomorrow. In other words, when a culture's decline in values begins to pick up speed, it becomes velocitized.
Keep that in mind as the Supreme Court considers the oral arguments that were presented Nov. 8 on the constitutionality of the Partial - Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.
Remember also that calling a procedure an abortion doesn't magically make it one.
Abortion happens to a child inside her mother's womb. With partial - birth abortion, however, the child is not on the inside of her mother when she's killed; she's mostly on the outside.
The baby is delivered feet first until only her little head remains in the birth canal. The doctor then takes a pair of curved Metzenbaum scissors, punctures the base of the child's skull, suctions out the brain tissue with a catheter, then completes the delivery of the baby's corpse.
Picture it. This is not an abortion. The living baby hangs helplessly before our eyes, no interpretation required. No room for weak euphemisms here. This is infanticide with the baby's head covered. That the Supreme Court must consider the legitimacy of a federal law forbidding this barbarism marks the velocity of our moral descent.
Justice Ginsburg, apparently, can't picture it. To her eyes, abortion is imperiled, not a child. "Anything about infanticide, babies, all that, is just beside the point," she said during the hearings, "because what this bans is a method of abortion."
Ginsburg understands what is at stake. If this ban is supported, then late - term abortion rights seem much less credible. Dismembering a living child inside her mother's womb (D&E abortion) seems just as bad as suctioning a baby's brains when she’s mostly outside her mother's womb (D&X "partial - birth" abortion).
However, if Ginsburg gets her way and the ban is struck down, then outright infanticide will not be difficult to defend. Since the baby is just one contraction away from full birth, why not give a final push, completely deliver the child, and then take her life? Call it a "post - natal abortion" if you like — arguably the safest procedure yet.
To the morally sensitive, no argument is necessary beyond a clear description of this procedure. To the morally velocitized, though, no argument is adequate. They are content with the thinnest rationalizations to condone this brutality done in the name of "choice."
One woman told a radio interviewer she preferred partial - birth abortion because the baby was delivered whole and not chopped up into pieces. It gave her the opportunity to say goodbye. Goodbye? Others said they held their babies and sang to them after their partial - birth abortions.
Another said it's the most "humane" way for the child itself. Odd. Our question is the morality of killing the child, not the manner of the killing. We are not concerned with finding the best way to take a child's life, but whether it's right to dispose of children at all.
Does it somehow strengthen a killer's legal defense because it took only one shot to the back of the head to dispatch his victim? Imagine the appeal: "Your Honor, it was the most humane way; he didn’t feel a thing."
Partial - birth abortion reminds me of the ostrich hiding its head in the sand. A fool thinks the real world is defined by where his head is located. And those defending partial - birth abortion treat the child like the ostrich. His head is obscured, so the rest of the world doesn't exist.
The moral turpitude of partial - birth abortion is self - evident. Either you see this or you don't. If not, there's only one explanation: You've been velocitized.