DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER if you do not want to be distressed for the rest of the day (at least). Do not read further if you feel totally, 100% certain that abortion should remain a ‘choice’ under all circumstances, if you feel that nothing could possibly ever dissuade you from that view and if you don’t want to risk the possibility of your point of view evolving over time with more information and more reflection… as has happened to me — 180-degrees from what I firmly believed just ten years ago.
In short, please click away if you have decided that abortion ought to be legal and that you need never think about this issue again because your mind is made up and closed for all time.
Eighteen and pregnant, Sycloria Williams went to an abortion clinic outside Miami and paid $1,200 for Dr. Pierre Jean-Jacque Renelique to terminate her 23-week pregnancy…
Renelique gave Williams laminaria, a drug that dilates the cervix, and prescribed three other medications, according to the administrative complaint filed by the Health Department. She was told to go to yet another clinic, A Gyn Diagnostic Center in Hialeah, where the procedure would be performed the next day, on July 20, 2006. Williams arrived in the morning and was given more medication.
The Department of Health account continues as follows: Just before noon she began to feel ill. The clinic contacted Renelique. Two hours later, he still hadn’t shown up. Williams went into labor and delivered the baby.
“She came face to face with a human being,” Pennekamp said. “And that changed everything.” …one of the clinic owners, Belkis Gonzalez came in and cut the umbilical cord with scissors, then placed the baby in a plastic bag, and the bag in a trash can.
Williams’ lawsuit offers a cruder account: She says Gonzalez knocked the baby off the recliner chair where she had given birth, onto the floor. The baby’s umbilical cord was not clamped, allowing her to bleed out. Gonzalez scooped the baby, placenta and afterbirth into a red plastic biohazard bag and threw it out… Police recovered the decomposing remains in a cardboard box a week later after getting anonymous tips.
If you aren’t totally repulsed — shaking, weeping, throwing up, or all three — it’s worth finding some quiet time and reading the entire article again. Do it slowly, envisioning the scene in your mind — the sights, sounds and smells; the sense of being there in one role or another (the cop, the mother, the clinician, the doctor… the baby).
Then take a look in the mirror. Think, for a second, about the moment when your mother first stared into your infant face. Reflect on what would be different if someone, perhaps your mom, perhaps a clinician, perhaps someone else, had had the option of simply throwing you out with the garbage.
Whether she would have even thought such a thing is beside the point. If you’re 36 years old or younger and were born in the U.S., she did have that legal option. No, not after you were born. I know that. What happened here was still technically a crime. But the mother had the full legal option for death just ever so slightly before this grotesque scene took place. Were you yet you at that point? You tell me…
That doubt should scare you. It does me. Even scarier: the post-birth ‘option’ is coming soon if our new president is consistent with the radical policies he pursued in Illinois and in the Senate.
Elsewhere in the article, it talks about “people on both sides of the abortion debate” being shocked. That’s wrong. This should not be a shock to anyone. It is the natural, logical outworking of the culture of death and of attitudes, policies and legislation like Roe v. Wade that reflect it. Stories like this are the inevitable result of ‘choice’ being applied to what, in another context, is considered the worst of capital crimes.
The fact that the culture of death is nothing new does not legitimize it. Instead, it reminds us that there is no way to sugar-coat this or find a route ’round to imagining that God is pleased with the act of abortion. That He pours out grace and forgiveness and creates healing for those who’ve had an abortion and turn to Him and repent only makes God that much more awesome to contemplate. It makes His ‘radical’ life-preserving perspective that much more amazing to discern and appreciate.
Better procedural controls and/or better ‘medical’ care do not change the objective of the act. They only make it a bit cleaner and sweep it conveniently out of public view. More scrupulous medical care wouldn’t have changed the fact that, inside or outside the womb, the single object of this sad, sad exercise was death.
When the cool, liberating ideal of ‘choice’ is abstracted away from a close-up look at what is being chosen, it’s much easier to file it away in the same mental drawer as choosing what to have on my Whopper, what color shirt to wear to work, or what to do for amusement tonight.
No, the only thing thing shocking about this is that it happened out in the open and made the news.
UPDATE: I’m still not really sure why I was drawn to go deep on this today. I don’t regret a word of it. Still, some days I know I’m writing for myself and some days… well, the Spirit just moves and the fingers just type and, when I’m done, I’m not quite sure how I got where I did, or why, exactly, but I know God was there.
So, earlier this evening, I was still mulling this post, pervaded with deep, deep sadness… catching up on a few favorite blogs. And I felt drawn, for no obvious reason, to Amy Wellborn’s blog. First time in at least a year that I’ve been there. For those not familiar with her, she’s quite a bright light in the pro-life movement.
On Tuesday morning, quite unexpectedly, her husband, Michael Dubruiel went to be with the Lord… fifty years old and a bright light himself. A lot of you probably knew all that already. His last column is quite something. Faith-galvanizing. Amy and her family could use some serious prayers…