Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Study of Inconsistency

At first glance, the two biggest news items from this past week were totally unrelated. Of course, the biggest news reported the brutal slaughter of unarmed students and professors at Virginia Tech. The second was the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that dealt with the federal partial birth abortion ban.

In the first, everyone near a microphone or at a computer keyboard condemned the murders in Virginia. We, as a nation, were universally shocked, outraged, saddened, and empathetic with the grieving families and friends of those whose lives were taken needlessly.

The SCOTUS ruling, however, had its expected polarizing effect. The pro-choice crowd showed its derision of the ruling. There were innumerable comments of impending doom that mirrored that of Senator Hillary Clinton: "a dramatic departure from four decades of Supreme Court rulings that upheld a woman's right to choose."1 The Constitution is dead; the American experiment in freedom is over.

Here is an eye-witness description of the 'dramatic departure' for which these pro-choicers were wailing with loud lamentation:

In September, 1993, Brenda Pratt Shafer, a registered nurse with thirteen years or experience, was assigned by her nursing agency to an abortion clinic. Since Nurse Shafer considered herself "very pro-choice," she didn't think this assignment would be a problem. She was wrong. This is what Nurse Shafer saw:

" I stood at the doctor's side and watched him perform a partial-birth abortion on a woman who was six months pregnant. The baby's heartbeat was clearly visible on the ultrasound screen. The doctor delivered the baby's body and arms, everything but his little head. The baby's body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. The doctor took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby's head, and the baby's arms jerked out in a flinch, a startle reaction, like a baby does when he thinks that he might fall. Then the doctor opened the scissors up. Then he stuck the high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby was completely limp. I never went back to the clinic. But I am still haunted by the face of that little boy. It was the most perfect, angelic face I have ever seen."2

Perhaps in his warped rationality, Cho Seung-hui was just following the logical next step; postpartum abortion. Seeing that, since Roe v. Wade in 1973, the definition of a 'person' worthy of life and protection was solely an arbitrary, judge/woman/physician-made choice, he appointed himself judge.

Both situations are unbelievably tragic. One is rightfully and universally condemned, the other, incredibly, has many defenders.

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