Remember the old tropes
BY Mark Shea
| Posted 1/19/11 at 3:00 AM
...about how contraception would make abortion go away? Turns out a Spanish study finds, much to its chagrin, that as contraceptive use rates increased, abortion rates skyrocketed, thus thwarting their assumption that they would plummet. Eric Scheidler offers his analysis.
Turns out that when you decouple sex from having children, you teach people that children are an interfering imposition on one’s right to pleasure at all costs. If “costs” include “the cost of the interfering nuisance’s life” then lots and lots of people say, “Works for me” and kill their child (after first swallowing euphemistic rubbish to dull the sense of guilt for their crime).
The euphemistic rubbish doesn’t work well, especially in a culture where so much of our information is visual and not verbal. That’s why, as Ross Douthat points out, the visual media are so exquisitely uncomfortable at showing us what abortion actually means.
I am ambiguous about the good done by the gory shocking photos of aborted children. I think that some people of good will who are still on the fence will simply feel assaulted by them and tune out the prolife cause in sheer visceral numbness. I also think that as Flannery O’Connor pointed out, sometimes the remedy for communicating with the deaf is shouting. Certainly, neither the prophets nor the successful English abolitionist William Wilberforce were averse to making people face the stench of the death they were enabling. But whatever the good done by horrifying images, I think there is no doubt the good done by beautiful ones. The ultrasound is the greatest enemy the abortionist has ever faced. A culture of life that simply shows the beauty of the growing and developing blows to pieces all the lies about “blobs of tissue” and “fetal material” that Culture of Death serves up. A Culture of Life that will likewise show us real stories of women who are supported and nurtured through difficult pregnancies and given a future and a hope in raising their child is a Culture that will defeat the lie. But we had better bloody well keep supporting that woman and her child after the pregnancy comes to term or we simply provide aid and comfort to everything the abortionist says.
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