Send in the clowns

Hyperbole dressed up like fact continues to interest me, especially when it emanates from the culture of death’s chief analysts. That’s why William Saletan’s commentary on the future of Roe v. Wade caught my eye. The man presents himself as a serious thinker, and indeed much of what he has written over the years is quite thoughtful even though misguided. His writings have been, I think, most helpful to the more practical leadership in the pro-abortion movement.

For those unfamiliar with Saletan, his most recent work, Bearing Right: How the Conservatives Won the Abortion Wars, details quite a bit of the factual evidence upon which the history of the “abortion wars” has been based. Of course he is a total supporter of abortion, but he does make an effort to be reasonable. Thus his recent commentary fascinated me.

But the reasons may surprise you. First, on the day I happened upon his analysis of what abortion supporters could possibly do to save Roe, I received a link to a blog, “Molly Saves the Day,” containing information on how to provide do-it-yourself abortions. The author of the blog included a list of the medical instruments you would need were you to open your own personal underground abortion shop. She even tells you what you would have to do to prepare the mother for the planned execution of her baby.

I couldn’t stomach reading the entire manual, but I did find it interesting that the Internet has become the host for fanatics who take their love of abortion so seriously that they will tell you, among other things, how to sterilize your instruments and how to determine precisely how large the uterus is. And all this time we thought medical schools had a purpose.

The contrast between Saletan and “Molly Saves the Day” is stark at first, but after thinking it through, I have come to the conclusion that the goal of both presentations is the same: protecting death no matter what it costs, no matter how many details and facts have to be massaged in the process.

While “Molly” is right out there with her clear and unwavering commitment to killing babies, she never uses the word “mother” and she steers clear of the word “baby” in an effort, I am sure, to soften the blow for those who might fall prey to the enforcers of her plan.

Saletan, on the other hand, is a bit less confrontational, sticking to clever terms that lead one to believe he really is making a sincere effort to get people thinking about the future of Roe and abortion itself. And that’s where he got my attention.

He tells his readers that contraception holds the promise because “contraceptive use rose 22 percent from 1982 to 2002, and during this period the abortion rate dropped by about 30 percent.” He assures his readers that not only is contraception more common, “it’s more effective.” He applauds injectibles, implants and other methods that, he tells us, result in “no pregnancies.”

But wait. What is he actually marketing here? Is he writing about “foolproof” contraception, or is he selling the idea that chemicals designed to kill preimplantation human embryos do the best job of “contracepting” by intercepting babies before their moms even know they are there?

Saletan doesn’t like the idea of second and third trimester abortions (his words) and thinks the folks on his side should do all they can to convince expectant moms (pregnant women, as he puts it) not to wait that long for their abortions. He says the public doesn’t like those later abortions either and so abortion promoters could be seen as compassionate if they worked to convince women that earlier aborting is better aborting.

Get the picture? I sure hope so, because the plan is evil, deceptive and cunning. You can see the devil in the details without a whole lot of thought.

If the public agrees that nobody is home in the mother’s womb for the first eight days of an actual pregnancy, then all those preimplantation aborted children won’t count and the body count will continue to go down.

If the public agrees that the first few weeks of “established pregnancy” are simply a time when that “blob of cells” is insignificant, then the body count will go down even more. At least that is what Saletan wants us to believe.

He is wrong. There is no such thing as a more acceptable abortion. If a human being is present at his beginning, and his mother ingests a chemical (whether she is or is not aware of the way her implant or injection works), and that human being goes silently to his death, that is still abortion.

The only reason the surgical abortion rate is descending is that the chemical and medical abortion rates are going through the roof. Let’s be clear on that point, because in the coming weeks, particularly during the debates and discussion of laws like the new South Dakota abortion ban, facts are going to be critical.

If the public continues to be swayed into believing that early human beings are non-persons, the result will be bad for those people who are living the first days of their lives.

If the public continues to sleep during the Biology 101 lesson that every pro-lifer worth his salt should be giving right now, victory will be shallow and meaningless, regardless of what the media may say.

To put it simply, Roe v. Wade, which was spawned by the Griswold v. Connecticut decision of 1965, is based on a lie. Abortion is a crime, not a right. But the most fundamental fact is that abortion at any time, whether one moment after a person begins or two weeks after a person begins is just as serious, just as ghastly, and just as cruel. A dead baby – a child robbed of his right to life – is no less to be mourned because of his age.

The public does not believe that – not yet, anyway. It is our job to make sure they do believe it. For as uncomfortable as it may be to expose the lie that “contraception” cannot be “abortion,” that is the fact that remains hidden from view. And that is what Saletan, and perhaps even wildly outrageous Molly, both want. They want pro-lifers to accommodate contraception and be silent about its abortive effect. They want pro-lifers to quietly buy the lie that pregnancy really does not begin until the baby is eight days old.

Remember the words from Stephen Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns":


Don’t you love farce?
My fault, my dear.
I thought that you’d want what I want.
Sorry my dear.
But where are the clowns?
Send in the clowns.
Don’t bother; they’re here.


Abortion is the farce; it is a lie. But if we pro-lifers fail to assure that each of our fellow Americans understands the truth about who dies and why no mother or father should desire such a dastardly fate for their child, even if that child is one moment old, then what we want will never occur. If we want what we know the babies want – freedom from imposed death – but fail to spend ourselves in defense of these basic, simple truths …

Well, the clowns are here.