The Casualties Of Selfishness

Over the past 40 or so years, a desensitization of conscience has occurred. This tragic turn of events is often not recognized in those places of influence where public policies are forged. And younger individuals don’t realize that they are part of a growing trend in murderous solutions to otherwise pesky human problems. 

Forty-four years ago, it became the law of the land. Based on the fancy footwork and political agenda of members of the United States Supreme Court, chemical pollution of the human body—the practice of birth control—became equated with a right to privacy. Establishing the stepping stones from contraception for married couples to contraception for the unmarried to abortion on demand wasn’t as clear at the time. Now it is painfully obvious.

The case that started it all was Griswold v. Connecticut. As professors Robert P. George and David L. Tubbs explained,

…the Supreme Court soon transformed the “right to privacy” (the reference to marriage quickly disappeared) into a powerful tool for making public policy. In Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972), the Court changed a right of spouses—justified in Griswold precisely by reference to the importance of marriage—into a right of unmarried adults to buy and use contraceptives. Then, in a move that plunged the United States into a “culture war,” the Court ruled in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton (1973) that this generalized “right to privacy” also encompassed a woman’s virtually unrestricted right to have an abortion.

The aftermath is obvious. Contraceptives became popular to entire generations of Americans. These chemicals and devices were easily marketed to the vulnerable and the ignorant under the guise of a mythical right to do whatever one wished sexually as long as some sort of “protection” was being used. Respect for self and loved ones went out the window in favor of one-night stands, illicit affairs and worse. “It’s all about me” became the slogan of choice.

The result was that a so-called unplanned pregnancy became synonymous with a health problem that required a quick fix. A couple, upon learning they had conceived a baby, were (and are) horrified. Sometimes the mother wants the baby and the father does not. Sometimes it’s the other way around. And sometimes it’s the grandparents who don’t want the baby to be born. Regardless of the situation, the preborn child, who should be welcomed and accepted into the human family, is rejected and must be eliminated. 

In other words, the unquestionable respect due every human person, simply and only because the individual is a human being, slowly became nothing more than an arcane concept destined for the trash heap of the “with it” culture.

Lest we forget, the main players in the Griswold case were the never-to-be-trusted Planned Parenthood ideologues. Appellant Estelle Griswold was executive director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut. She was joined by appellant C. Lee Buxton, M.D., a licensed physician and a professor at Yale Medical School who also served as medical director for the Planned Parenthood center in New Haven. The case began when Griswold and Buxton were arrested and found guilty of providing “illegal contraception.” It is my undocumented suspicion that the entire series of events was orchestrated by Planned Parenthood’s public policy masters of deceit, and perhaps even a Supreme Court clerk or two. That’s a personal theory, but it sure makes a lot of sense to me today.

Prior to that time, I am told, there were condom vending machines in gas stations and that sort of thing; but with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the birth control pill, coupled with the Supreme Court’s supercilious discovery of a mythical right to privacy in matters of human sexuality, a new era emerged. Americans became convinced that abstinence and purity were passé, while fornication and adultery were in vogue. 

It didn’t take long after Griswold for all of the dominos to fall into place. By January of 1973, the Court’s backroom goals were achieved in spades. Abortion became nothing more than a simple “decision between a woman and her doctor.” What has happened during the years following Roe and Doe is not only tragic, but destructive to the fabric that holds a civilized society together. From that push in 1965, faith in God and His laws slowly became antiquated. In place of faith in a Supreme Being, we witnessed an escalating faith in man himself as the god of his personal world, regardless of the costs to others who might cross his self-centered path.

Sound harsh? Perhaps these recent news stories will put things into perspective:

In Los Angeles this past month, Antonia Gomez was accused of fatally slashing the throats of her two daughters. Though the woman has pled not guilty to the charges, it is of interest that she cut herself after allegedly killing her 11- and 17-year-old daughters.

In Thousand Oaks, California, a father killed his two sons and took his own life by taking an overdose of drugs.

In North Carolina, a 15-year-old pregnant teen was fatally shot. Her baby, 32 weeks of age, was delivered alive and later died. The perpetrator of this double homicide has not been identified, though a “person of interest” is under investigation.

In Arlington, Tennessee, a man is facing a double-murder charge after shooting his pregnant girlfriend, whose baby was due at any time. It is alleged that the couple had argued over an abortion and the father of the child intended to kill his baby and his baby’s mother. 

The escalating violence in this country, particularly that of parents against their children, both born and preborn, should not be overlooked, even though examining it carefully might cause some discomfort. Perhaps the status quo really isn’t all that humane after all. Perhaps we, as a people, are becoming barbaric. 

So let's begin to examine the relationship between a declining respect for the value of the human person and the increasing incidents of such horrific crimes. It could prove to be useful as we strive to raise public awareness of the actual humanity of this person whose identity has been relegated to a simple “reproductive health” issue. 

To me, the bottom line is obvious. For as surely as contraception and abortion devalue human beings, by placing self-interest ahead of self-giving, so too does this very same attitude spill over into other areas of life, whether we wish to admit it or not.

One example of this is the work of the Elliot Institute. Dr. David C. Reardon studied the psychological effects of abortion, and he noted a relationship between abortion and violent behavior later in the woman’s life.   

Another example was proffered by Jill Stanek, who addressed the violent killings on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, a couple of years ago and made this insightful comment:

The practice of abortion—typically (and understandably) highest in cities and counties occupied by big state universities—argues powerfully to every participant that the taking of a tiny human life is just fine so long as it's accomplished quietly, antiseptically, and within the law.

Some might suggest that her correlation is a far stretch, but I would argue otherwise. The reason is this: It is difficult to step back and objectively examine what the culture of death and its terminology has done to the national psyche. We have been hearing phrases such as “It’s all about me,” “It’s my right to choose” and “reproductive rights” for such a long time that most Americans have stopped thinking about what such terms mean, including whether or not they affect our attitudes toward human dignity. 

The phrases sound good and life goes on. But it really doesn’t; not for those children whose parents have killed them, not for those expectant young mothers whose boyfriends or husbands have killed them and not for those millions of preborn children who are indeed silently, antiseptically murdered. 

We live in a culture that is increasingly fixated on instant solutions for every problem. Killing is clearly among the most popular options, though few would admit it in the vast majority of cases—those deaths that are caused by chemical, medical or surgical abortion. But the stain of their blood remains nonetheless. With each death, we as a people are dehumanizing each other just a little bit more.

It seems almost surreal that so many could be so blind to the casualties of selfishness.