In medical terminology, disarticulation is the separation of two bones at their joint, either naturally by way of injury or by a surgeon during amputation.
I find myself very disarticulate lately, not in the medical but the verbal sense, having been compelled by my own sense of -- what? Justice? Outrage? -- to watch the long versions of all the videos so far released by the Center for Medical Progress, exposing the criminality, the barbarity of Planned Parenthood's sale of tissue from aborted fetuses. There I witnessed the disarticulate (medical) state of an 18-week child, torn limb from limb, and displayed for the hidden camera as if for sale at a grotesque market: orbits (eyeballs), limbs, brain, liver and possibly the elusive thymus, whatever that is. (Of course the intact specimens are more valuable than the disarticulated ones, and for the right price, Planned Parenthood doctors will be happy to try to procure some of those for you, even if that means illegally altering abortion techniques). There are no words adequate for the horror, but those of us who feel it deeply are still compelled to try. If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the millions upon millions of words that must inevitably flow forth as each frame of video triggers an infinite trauma.
I am fortunate; I have no direct experience of abortion to trigger PTSD if I watch these videos. But even so, I am experiencing this as a very real, sickening, terribly depressing ordeal. I believe this is the fundamental moral issue of our lifetime, and we have arrived somehow, this very summer, at a turning point in history.
I don't usually go in for melodrama, but when I learned of the experiments being done with this tissue -- humanized mouse models? -- my immediate thought was that, surely, our civilization is doomed. And not in the distant future, either. God has never withheld judgement for long on those civilizations that practice child sacrifice, and we have the other side blithely articulating the utilitarian argument -- it will cure cancer, HIV, Parkinsons; you must be anti-science -- with no regard for the tiny fetal flutterings of a quickening conscience, because they have long since aborted it.
I have been haunted recently by the short story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas," by Ursula K. Leguin, which posits a sophisticated, utopian civilization which depends upon the abuse and enslavement of just one undesirable imbecile child. What if all our advanced medicine, all our vast wealth, is really dependent on this barbaric trade? I prefer the optimistic view that there are ethical alternatives, and decent people can work hard to create a better world without cannibalizing unborn infants. But what if this filthy practice is so deeply embedded, through networks of graft and backroom deals and kickbacks that stretch to the highest levels of government and academia, that it is like an inoperable parasite stuck to the very spine of our nation? The latest video, although it contains no graphic footage, lists researchers at Harvard, Stanford, U. Mass, Oregon Health Sciences University who receive tissue from Stem Express, the trafficking company that connects Planned Parenthood with supposedly legitimate researchers. These are institutions I would like to think well of, that have all added in some significant way to human health. What if their work is all dependent on the trafficking of infant human spare parts? How many of us would have the courage to walk away? To tell the truth about the abusers? To insist on full informed consent?
Watch if you can, and then read some more articulate than I can be.
- George Will: Planned Parenthood and the Barbarity of America
- This is our Wilberforce moment
- A journalist questions, "I don't know if I'm pro-choice anymore"
- Former abortion clinic worker Abby Johnson on tissue collection
- For now, freedom of journalistic inquiry continues
- Nobody in the Obama White House has bothered to watch the videos. I have, and I think someone there at least should, rather than reflexively repeating Planned Parenthood's talking points. So here's a petition you can sign to encourage President Obama to take the first step in educating himself about the human rights abuses committed on his watch.