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August 19th, 2017

Insight

Save the children

Paul Greenberg

By Paul Greenberg

Published Jan. 20, 2017

Save the children

There was a time when those out to kill the unborn were all for the filibuster, since saving it was one way to stop congressional efforts to save these innocents. Old-timers will recall a folk saying about being as safe as a babe in its mother's womb. But that's just where they have become most vulnerable as the culture of death has taken hold in this country and around the world.

Turnabout being more than fair play, now it's Republicans in Congress who are out to stop a group like Planned Parenthood from using federal dollars to wipe out the next generation. Undaunted, the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, says its war against the unborn will continue unabated no matter what Congress does to take away its federal dollars:

"Defunding Planned Parenthood is dangerous to people's health," she declares emphatically, as if the unborn weren't themselves people in embryo but just a mass of tumorous cells that needed to be excised as quickly as possible. "It's unpopular, and it would leave people across the country without care. They cannot afford to have basic reproductive health care attacked. Planned Parenthood has been here for 100 years and we're going to be here for 100 more." Which is its every right in a still free country -- but it has no right to make the rest of us, as federal taxpayers, accomplices to its homicidal program.

With the U.S. House of Representatives and a slim majority of the Senate (52 to 48) now in the Grand Old Party's hands, the way is now open for the GOP to fight abortion as effectively as it once did slavery. Just as in Abraham Lincoln's time, the struggle may not be winnable with a single stroke of the pen but will have to be waged patiently, state by state and congressional vote by congressional vote. Only a couple of Republican senators fought against their party's efforts back in 2015: Mark Kirk of Illinois and Susan Collins of Maine. But Mark Kirk is no longer in the Senate and Susan Collins is withholding judgment for now. ("I don't want to prejudge what's in the ... bill.") Though it's an open secret what is: No more federal money for these baby killers.

If that's too frank a way to put it, there's nothing subtle about Planned Parenthood's aim, which is why it must go to such pains to wrap it in euphemisms about "reproductive health care" instead of coming right out and admitting it's in the lucrative business of killing human beings at public expense. Pardon our French, but killing is killing.

There's a reason this is on the front burner again: that controversial and secretly recorded video of Planned Parenthood's brass discussing fetal body parts a couple of years ago. Over a nice dinner complete with wine, these bigwigs were talking about the market for fetal organs. Much of the American public was disgusted by the sight -- as they might not have been by just all the wordplay surrounding this issue. Pictures don't lie, at least not in the way words can be made to.

Much of Planned Parenthood's program was basically the same as that of any other abortion mill -- but on a much larger scale that requires a CEO and an extensive up-to-date business plan to keep it going. And that could no longer be credibly denied. Getting rid of unwanted life on such a scale requires budgets and economic forecasts and business-as-usual thinking for a business that's anything but usual. These modern-day merchants of death must plan ahead on a grand scale. For theirs is no longer an operation with just a little government support any more than another Holocaust was in a different age.

To quote James Lankford, a Republican senator from Oklahoma: "A lot of the ongoing support in the structural finances for Planned Parenthood goes to build the buildings, the infrastructure that provides abortion." Call it the Big Box Store approach to infanticide or, in this case, feticide.

But in the end, it is the small moments in everyday life that may be most telling. As when a couple of nuns bring traffic to a halt in ever-busy Manhattan just by daring to cross a street. To quote Brian Caulfield in the current issue of Human Life Review:

"At a busy midtown intersection, in a city that stops for no one, there is a sudden, subtle pause. Cabs slow, drivers hold their horns, trucks throttle down, buses idle down at their stops, and New Yorkers who think they've seen it all try not to stare. The mud-patterned rush of 65th and First seems for a split second to hush in startled silence as a pair of religious sisters in long veils and flapping habits scurry across the avenue to beat the blinking red light. Unaware of the scene they have caused, the two Sisters of Life make the sign of the cross as they reach they reach the sidewalk safely and continue their determined trek toward the old convent where they staff a crisis pregnancy phone line at the Visitation Mission.

"Although causing a brief city stir was not what the Sisters of Life were founded for, the moment provided a silent insight into the charisma of the religious community devoted to upholding the dignity of all human life. In our secular age, amid the time-is-money, push-and-pull world of traffic and commerce, two women who appeared as mere specks on the street in a city of millions were recognized in an unspoken way for what they were -- a sign of sanctity in a fallen world; a witness to something better and higher in life; a hint of the hidden God within each heart amid the dust and din of New York."

By all means, let politics run its politic course. Debate defunding Planned Parenthood in the halls of Congress and elsewhere. Call out the legions of partisans on both sides of the issue. March up and down the aisles of public opinion and generally carry on as before. But there are certain moments when what is really at stake in all this hurly-burly of high politics and low intrigue far surpasses our own narrow political passions. In a world saturated with news, here's hoping the Good News will still give us all momentary pause from time to fleeting time.

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Paul Greenberg is the Pulitzer-winning editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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