Saturday, 13 April 2013

More reflections on the Gosnell Case

I said in my post about the horrific Gosnell case, yesterday, that
The only sane conclusion one can draw is that the Savita story was covered because it seemed (as initially reported) to be a useful tool to push for the legalisation of abortions in Ireland.  Whereas the Gosnell story, throwing into sharp relief the truth that abortion kills children, is clearly not welcomed.
I am not sure that is true.  I still think it a probable conclusion, but it it not 'the only sane' one. I am always wary of absolute statements, because I believe in absolutes. I try to avoid making them casually, but yesterday I was clearly so outraged that I was inattentive.

It may be that some media are not reporting the story because it is so appalling, and they do not wish to cause distress to women who have had abortions, particularly late ones.  That would be a more noble motive.

However, another possible conclusion is that the media are working out their strategy to spin this story in a way that furthers their pro-abortion stance.

Even if that was not the initial reason for the (consipracy of?) silence, I think we should ready ourselves for that.

For the abortion issue is a war indeed: a spiritual war, masterminded by a diabolic intelligence, whether those engaged in it are aware of that fact or not.  And in any war, it is always prudent to consider what the enemy's strategy is likely to be and to prepare for that.

So if I were the Enemy, I would be planning how to use this to my advantage.  And I think my strategy would be to use the outrage that the Gosnell case will provoke as the details become more widely known, to press for wider availability of, and possibly a constitutional right to, earlier abortions.  That is, to use it as a counter-attack against the gains that the pro-life movement has started to make in the US.

Therefore I predict that over the coming weeks, we will see numerous articles appearing, arguing that Gosnell's attrocities arose not because abortion is an appalling business, but because the poor women who resorted to him were failed by a system that didn't make early abortions more easily available.  Gosnell will be portrayed as the very thing that abortion rights are designed to defend against; a seedy backstreet operator, rather than, as we see him, the natural development of the abortion industry.

What we need to do is help to use this case to awaken the public's awareness that what  Gosnell was doing is precisely what all abortionists do: killing vulnerable humans at a very young age. If this becomes about the awfulness of late abortions, we have lost this opportunity.  We must work to prevent that.

But that will be very hard. 

One of the greatest difficulties the pro-life movement faces is the fact that so many people have a vested psychological interest in abortion being, at some level, not evil.  So many women have had abortions, so many men have been party to the decision, so many parents and siblings have supported or condoned it, so many medical staff have gone along with them, and so on.  In 1967, when David Steel's bill was passed into law in the UK, it was just about possible to believe that a foetus was not really a human being.  Every advance in knowledge and technology since then has made that belief harder, to any balanced observer; yet many still hold on to it - they need to hold on to it.

These people (women, partners, family, medics...)  know that they are not murderers or accomplices to murder, as that was never their intention.  Therefore when pro-life people point out that abortion is murder, we provoke a defensive psychological response of denial.  Likewise, when we point out that what Gosnell was doing was just the same as what they were involved with, they will respond in the same way.

There are a few, brave, souls who have overcome that response: people who have repented of having abortions, and others who have repented of performing them.

The challenge we face is to find ways to help more people to reach that position. It is almost certainly the case that confronting them with the truth about abortion is part of that process, though we may need to be sensitive about how and when to do that; but I am pretty sure that abusing them or referring to them as 'murderers' is not.  But until we can work out a strategy to address this issue (as well, of course, as reducing the reasons that drive women to seek abortions) , we are a long way from victory in the war against this evil


blondpidge said...

Leaving aside the reasons that drive women to abortion, the answer in terms of strategy is as follows:

1) We must emphasize the common humanity of the blastocyst

2) Make use of the science of embryology that is able to pinpoint development of neural pathways. There is a significant body of medical opinion that holds that foetal pain is a real issue, very early on, before 12 weeks. Equally by outlawing abortion after the detection of a foetal heart rate (5-6 weeks) North Dakota has raised awareness of the humanity of the early stage foetus. It's certainly worth highlighting the rapid growth and development that takes place very early on.

3) There is a widely held belief that because it does not involve surgery, early stage medical abortion is less traumatic for a woman. This myth should be busted. Abortion clinics push this option at women all the time as being safe and easy. It is neither of these things. Clinics exploit women's natural aversion to intimate surgery to rush them to make swift decisions. It's a win for them. Less overheads and a similar price. Push to allow women to abort at home or video link consult and they are quids in.

Ben Trovato said...


Yes, all well and good; but I don't see how these address the issue of helping people acknowledge the truth about abortion without provoking the autonomic psychological defensiveness that I mentioned.

That seems to me the harder part: winning back the hearts and minds of those already damaged by, and to some extent complicit with, the abortion lie.

Mike Cliffson said...

I fear you could be right, see Tim thingy in the telegraph, you can hear the animal farm chorus
"Early abortion Good
Late abortion bad"

Joseph Shaw said...

You are absolutely right about the likely way the abortionists will spin the story, and the psychological barriers to changing minds. It is the same with divorce, contraception, PHSE, IVF, and a whole slew of issues. They can't be debated rationally because too many people have invested too much in them.

This is one reason why I think gory pictures are a mistake in the abortion debate, but that's another issue.

I don't know the answer, except to say that a very careful rhetorical approach is needed.