Of course Planned Parenthood and its defenders value money and power over human life. Every statist, socialist, and collectivist does. They worship government, and government is force, ultimately deadly force.
Modern “liberals” aren’t interested in using persuasion to encourage voluntary cooperation. They demand obedience, and those who persist in disobeying will eventually answer to people with cudgels and guns. Ideally, they will also have badges, although unofficial mobs will do in a pinch.
One of the major ways collectivism sells itself to its foot soldiers is by promising them “freedom” from responsibility, which is an exercise of power. True freedom is inseparable from responsibility: you choose your own path, and you are fully responsible for the consequences. No one is obliged to surrender their own freedom, property, or life to indulge you. The Left’s ersatz version of freedom is more properly described as license, the redistribution of liberty. Some are freed from the consequences of their actions, while others are saddled with burdens they did not consent to. That’s usually an easy deal to pitch to the beneficiaries, especially when those who bear the unfair burdens are subjugated by making them feel guilty about strenuously objecting.
Or when those who bear the burdens are unable to object at all.
There is no greater power imbalance in human affairs than the one between unborn children and their parents. The child cannot say or do anything at all. His or her life rests entirely in the hands of the man and woman whose choices led to the pregnancy. We come to the most uncomfortable ground in this great moral debate when we consider pregnancy resulting from sex that was against the will of one parent (usually the mother, although the possibility of sex against the will of the father should not be completely discounted.) It is also difficult to insist that a woman complete a pregnancy that is likely to kill her, although the breathtaking love and courage of women who do should be celebrated. You’ll notice those who embrace power above human life are very reluctant to engage in such celebrations.
No moral and legal model that makes due allowance for these most difficult of decisions can include the grisly perpetration of late-term partial-birth abortions, with an eye toward selling the baby’s organs for profit. The perpetrators understand that, which is why they’re so reluctant to discuss it honestly, or allow their media organs to report clearly on the story. They know their actions lie far beyond the point at which most Americans agree that responsibility must trump power, with a human life indisputably at stake.
Abortion extremism is all about power: the political influence harvested from zealots and those intimated by the enormous sums of money taken from taxpayers with that power, and the absolute expression of power defeating responsibility contained in the act of killing a late-term, undeniably human baby. No wonder so many on the Left treat abortion as a sacred ritual. For them, it truly is. They even talk about it as an expression of power: the “right to choose,” with absolutely zero percent of the choice in the tiny hands of the person who pays the cost in this ultimate power transaction. They castigate their opponents as religious fanatics and patriarchal oppressors who are merely interested in a different power relationship, namely imposing their will upon subjugated women.
Nothing makes them more angry than talking about the previous choices that led to the day on which the late-term abortion is performed, because what they’re truly talking about is the triumph of power over the paramount responsibility, the one upon which so much of human society is built: the responsibility to care for our children.
Pro-lifers debate the exact moment at which that responsibility begins, but those who argue it begins after an indisputably human child can survive outside her mother’s womb tread upon monstrous ground. It’s no coincidence that the advent of ultrasounds made people, including very young people, more sympathetic to the pro-life side of the spectrum, because it became more difficult to deny that abortion was an exercise of raw power against a helpless human being. Some people – a sick, twisted few – relish such exercises, as the ultimate ritual validation of their philosophy, or because they’re afraid of losing influence when those under their sway discover where the embrace of power over responsibility ultimately leads.
For most women, there comes a point when the feeling of powerlessness from continuing a pregnancy they don’t fully want is measured against the powerlessness of the baby who will never be born. (Sadly, too many men bail out of the process long before that point is reached, in the process demonstrating they are not truly grown men.) Almost every aspect of abortion policy influences that measurement, most definitely including abortion profiteers with vested financial and ideological interests in ensuring one particular “choice” is made. Among other things, knowing that abortion decisions can be delayed until late in the pregnancy makes it more likely that such a difficult decision will be delayed.
Society is all about expectations of responsibility, from small matters of how we dress and speak, to the most painful questions about life and death. It is natural for these expectations to fluctuate, if we are free to debate and revise them. But at some point, the burden of law approaches the limits of expectation, and people – especially young people under a great deal of emotional stress – ask why something supposedly terrible is not illegal.
When they know the government actively supports the activity in question, over-riding individual conscience and forcing dissenters to provide funding for it, using all the little games made possible by the supreme liquidity of money, it seems less terrible. We must make it clear that harvesting living children for their organs is terrible, no matter how powerful, rich, and well-connected the harvesters are. There will still be plenty to argue about after we get that off the table. People can still be quite firmly “pro-choice” while agreeing choice has moral limits.
But then, we might start arguing more passionately about the limits of political power, and the immorality of imposing coercive judgments against the inalienable rights and dignity of individuals… and the Left can’t have that, now can they?