California recently introduced legislation that would forbid death certificates from mentioning the word “suicide” if the cause of death was physician-assisted suicide due to terminal illness. Apparently, it isn’t the politically correct way to talk about the taking of a life in that particular manner. Supporters of this legislation want to take away the stigma of suicide. The Los Angeles Times editorial board suggests a “’justifiable suicide’ category just as there is ‘justifiable homicide.’”
This isn’t the only movement that is trying to normalize the taking of a life.
Abortion advocates are working furiously to remove the stigma surrounding abortion. They have taken a page from the playbook of the gay marriage proponents and are seeking to have women talk publicly about their abortions. By pulling on heartstrings, they aim to de-stigmatize abortion.
Indeed, Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) used this very reasoning of having heard from women about their abortion stories for justifying his change of heart from pro-life to pro-choice — but not once in describing his flip-flop did he mention the humanity of the child. Not once. Like suicide, or physician-assisted suicide, a life ends. How do you normalize that?
No one wants to talk about abortion. Not cable news. Not newspapers. Not at the dinner table. It’s uncomfortable for many reasons, not the least of which is that it takes a life, just like the decision to end a life because of terminal illness.
But that’s not stopping the abortion industry. They have to talk about it — and find a way to normalize it — because it’s their money-maker. Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider. They are supposedly a non-profit, one that raked in over $1 billion in 2013-2014 by providing 327,653 abortions.
Planned Parenthood’s own president, Cecile Richards, took the lead in talking about the personal side of abortion by admitting to having one herself — a decision she said wasn’t even “difficult.”
Yahoo Health, one of the nation’s most-trafficked news websites, posted a heart-wrenching article about a mother who ended the life of her pre-born baby who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome in utero. She even said that she and her husband “watched him or her morph from a bean-shaped embryo into a little human being with a face and arms and legs — fingers and toes, too.” Yet she choose to end the baby’s life.
And that’s what abortion — and physician-assisted suicide — simply is. It stops a beating heart, takes a life, whether that life is imperfect in the eyes of the world or not.
The Compassion and Choices group was ecstatic that a young woman with a terminal illness became their spokesperson last year, since her story has inspired states to introduce “death with dignity” bills. Brittany Maynard was articulate, young newlywed who chose physician-assisted suicide to end her life last November. She was the “perfect” spokeswoman and one that the general public could easily sympathize with. Her story, like many of those with terminal illnesses — or women carrying babies under difficult circumstances — was heart-breaking.
But just because a story pulls on heartstrings does not mean that the choice to end a life is right. Life is the most precious gift of all. It deserves protection and respect. Compassion and empathy shouldn’t be lost on people who need it — and many do — yet it doesn’t take away the morality of the choice to end life.
Some choices are wrong. Trying to normalize that choice, through words or personal stories, does not make it right..
Kristan Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America.