As I watched the news the other day, the old saw about a man and a woman at a dinner party came to mind. You know, the one where he asks her if she would sleep with him for 10 million dollars and she replies in the affirmative. He then asks her to put up for 10 dollars. Aghast, she says, “What do you take me for?” Comes the reply- “That’s already been established, we’re just haggling over the price.”
Something akin to this is happening in the Kermit Gosnell trial and its coverage in the media and in popular culture. Outrage at what has happened behind the clinic’s doors is causing many to recoil at the barbarity of the procedures and their timing. One might ponder-why the outcry? As in the vignette above, we’ve already established what abortion is; we are now just haggling over how much we are willing to be confronted by the images of what we condone. What DID we think happens during abortions anyway? Why so much up in arms now if we haven’t been so before? Snipping the neck of a newborn outside the womb is repugnant yet suctioning the fetus in a jumble of body parts into a bio-waste receptacle is de rigueur these days? Is there truly a moral difference?
One news program showed the visual of a jar with a tiny, solitary leg and the implication of the inhumanity of it all. Why should this be so abhorrent if we as a society have been assenting to abortion all along? This is what abortion is and not a sanitized version of what we would like to think it is- where the fetus magically disappears in a cloud of pixie dust. If we have implicitly approved of abortion as the “law of the land”, then this is the bargain we have struck. And for those who don’t like the visual reminders of the bargain, perhaps it is time to rethink the terms of the deal.