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Kathryn Lopez: Abortion law ramifications frightening

Posted: April 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: April 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

In the face of the darkness that befell Newton, Conn., there has been an expectation of something more, but it doesn’t have to do with legislation. Father Peter Cameron, a Dominican priest, preached to the families gathered at St. Rose of Lima Church there the Sunday after the school massacre about the hope that he saw in them.

In their need to love in the face of such darkness, he said, the grieving families were sharing a certainty with the world -- they were sharing a great, selfless gift.

Love, or more correctly, the lack of it, was something that came up on the floor of the House of Representatives recently. The headlines were about guns and immigration and the budget, but for one hour on the House floor, members talked about darkness emanating from Philadelphia. Led by Rep. Christopher Smith of New Jersey, members spoke of the details emerging in court about the case of Kermit Gosnell, an abortion provider accused of horrific crimes, including killing fetuses that were delivered alive.

Smith was direct in his words, hoping to do what the national media has failed to: tell the story. "Murdering newborns in the abortion clinic, it seems to me, is indistinguishable from any other child predator wielding a knife or a gun."

But our society doesn’t see it that way. According to the confused morals of our time, doctors may kill a fetus if the mother wishes it. A mother may feel pressured to abort her fetus, through lack of options or lack of hope. She may not truly want to do it, but she may feel like she has no other choice. It’s wrong, and it’s poisoning our republic.

When Newtown was attacked, our instinct was to react politically. Our way of dealing with evil has become trying to legislate it away. In the case of Gosnell, though, it was legislation -- the laxness of regulations, yes, but also a legal climate that promotes the idea of unborn children as non-people, undeserving of care, love or even the briefest consideration -- that created a space for Gosnell to work.

As Dr. Andy Harris said on the House floor, the Gosnell case is just a logical extension of abortion law, which has created "an ethical framework completely consistent with abortion policy ... that a late-term, third-trimester fetus has no rights as a person."

With the Gosnell case as a harbinger, a future where babies are aborted because of their gender, or because they show signs of what our society could term "genetic weakness" is not too hard to imagine. And that’s the worst nightmare of all.

In the relative silence about this case, there is a complacency that cannot stand. It was a lack of charity that drove women to Gosnell’s, and they certainly found no love within the walls of his facility. The desensitization that 40 years of legal abortion has wrought must be undone. We must love and welcome all children, supporting mothers, building up fathers. The most dedicated abortion-rights activist, upon reflection, might agree.

We have been known to be a people of healthy expectations -- about the potential of life, about the heights we can reach. As government and law increasingly shut down that positive view of human potential, as the media and culture at large go out of their way to minimalize or outright ignore these issues, our complacency and indifference become an indictment, too.

Kathryn Lopez is the editor-at-large of National Review Online www.nationalreview.com.

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