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Forty years ago, one of the slippery slope arguments raised by pro-lifers was that babies who somehow survived abortion procedures would be pushed aside to die or killed upon arrival.
I was a naive high school sophomore then, but I remember rolling my eyes at the absurdity of such an idea, wishing pro-lifers would keep their arguments within the realm of reality, instead of embracing unlikely worst-case scenarios, as many seemed to do.
How glad I am that I kept that uninformed opinion to myself. As it turns out, the fears of those early activists were not only justified, they were prophetic.
Case in point: Florida legislators debating a bill that would require abortionists to provide medical care to babies that survive abortions were stunned last month when Planned Parenthood lobbyist Alisa LaPolt Snow testified in favor of post-birth abortion.
When one of the lawmakers asked what "Planned Parenthood would want to have happen" in the event a botched abortion resulted in a living, breathing baby struggling for survival, Snow replied, "We believe that any decision that's made should be left up to the woman, her family and the physician."
In other words, it's OK to let the baby die.
Clearly shellshocked, the legislators pressed Snow to explain what objection Planned Parenthood could possibly have to aiding a newborn infant, but the lobbyist opted to dodge and weave, stammering on about Planned Parenthood's "concerns" with ambulance transport issues in the proposed bill.
You can watch the exchange in its entirety at www.weeklystandard.com. But don't bother looking for it in the archives of ABC, CBS or NBC. Like the ongoing trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the Pennsylvania abortionist suspected of killing a female patient and using scissors to snip the spines of babies that were aborted alive, stories that show the inhumanity of abortion get zero coverage from the mainstream media.
What the media is fiercely determined to ignore can be found instead all over the Internet. Terms like "after-birth" or "post-birth abortion" may sound like the latest thing in the abortion industry, but fringe academia support of infanticide has been around for decades. The new and politically correct term is used simply to make the idea more palatable. At least that's what a pair of Australian bioethicists believed last year, before the Journal of Medical Ethics published their now infamous work "After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?"
In the detached, matter-of-fact tone common to such articles, the authors argue that after-birth abortion should be permissible in all cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is healthy, because newborns, like fetuses, aren't "actual persons."
The ethicists were reportedly shaken by the vitriolic comments and threats they received in response to the article. You could almost hear their plaintive cry from atop their ivory tower -- "C'mon, now, can't we all talk about killing babies like civilized people?"
No, we can't. After four decades of fighting over abortion, that should be obvious. In the wake of the most recent events, it should also be obvious that Americans must now grapple with horrifying reality that the fears voiced by those early pro-life advocates weren't so unfounded after all.
Marylee Shrider of Bakersfield, a former reporter and columnist for The Californian, is executive director of Right to Life of Kern County. She can be reached at 864-7508 or Life@rtlkc.org.