It was called the slippery slope. A pro-life argument that legalizing and normalizing abortion would lead to further disregard for human life. It was part of the discussion in the early years of the pro-life cause.
Abortion would lead to infanticide and then, first passive, then active, euthanasia.
In 1982, the case of Baby Doe continued the slide. Baby Doe had been born with Down Syndrome and a need for surgery to connect his esophagus to his stomach. It’s a fairly common defect. And usually, there is no question about doing the surgery.
But this boy’s parents hadn’t signed up for an imperfect child. They refused permission for the surgery. The Indiana Supreme Court concurred. Baby Doe starved to death before his case could be heard by SCOTUS.
For the parents, problem solved. A retro-active abortion.
There had been other Baby Doe’s. But their doctors had concurred that starvation was best. Their stories did not make it to the courts or the news stands.
And their stories did not get a legal stamp of approval by a court.
There was a backlash to the Baby Doe story–and to numerous stories of children surviving abortion.
We had legalized death. But we had not yet normalized it.
So the Baby Doe Rules and Born Alive Acts. That battle continues with a federal bill proposed this year.
The 1973 Roe v. Wade SCOTUS decision indeed had been a turning point–perhaps a tipping point for Western Civilization. Other Western nations had eased abortion restrictions, but none provided the sweeping liberality of Roe.
Few realize even today that Roe eliminated every abortion restriction in all 50 states. Abortion became legal at any time in pregnancy and for any reason.
Some states have managed to pass some restrictions. But the fight continues to bring abortion facility standards up to that of an ear piercing mall operation.
There were and still are very few protections against the kind of abuse Kermit Gosnell foisted upon viable children and their desperate mothers.
Gosnell was a physician, but one who had failed to complete his residency in gynecology/obstetrics.
Supporters of Roe and previous efforts to liberalize abortion laws claimed abortion needed to be legal because of back alley abortions in which women were maimed or killed. Gosnell was a back alley butcher who maimed and killed. And he had a Main Street business.
Yes, we legalized abortion. But had not yet normalized it.
We are uncomfortable with the idea that Planned Parenthood’s minions were selling baby parts for profit. That they were adjusting abortion procedures to ensure the acquisition of salable parts, giving less regard to the aborting mother’s safety.
It wasn’t just Gosnell bringing the back alley to Main Street. The abortion industry IS the back alley with a shiny sign and a big budget.
So in the early days of the pro-life cause, we expected that being pro-life would eventually mean fighting the same war at the other end of life. And here we are. Several states have already legalized assisted suicide. Others are considering it.
We don’t have to look very far around our small world to see what’s next.
Japan is looking for a solution. But its shrinking population offers little optimism for its older members.
Japanese culture has built-in protections for the elderly. That culture reveres its ancestors, its predecessors. If violence against the elderly happens in a culture where they are revered, what will happen to our older members in a Western culture that has no such leanings?
What will happen is what is currently happening in many of our schools. The weak and the different are singled out for torture. The torture often leads to suicide. The worst tormenters even encourage their victims to it–retroactive abortion by peers, as it were.
A couple of generations after Roe, the idea that the strong can decide what life should be for the weak is not legal but it is becoming normalized.
There is little regard for those who are different because there is little regard for life itself.
The slope is a slow slide. And we don’t realize while we’re sliding through the ride that it only leads to the bottom.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”