Give Me Liberty or Give Me Gosnell

The trial of Kermit Gosnell (who was convicted today on various charges) makes it evident that American’s have slumbered and ignored the meaning of abortion for some time. It’s shocking to think that hundreds of thousands of people simply walked by Gosnell’s clinic going to work, conversing with friends, and getting on with their lives — completely unaware that they were strolling past refrigerators full of dead babies and trophy jars of assorted human body parts.

At what point did Americans decide to engage in what might be the greatest self-deception of our time? The horror of Gosnell isn’t the technique he used. No matter what technique, the outcome is the same: Human life was ended. The evidence is stacked in bags in refrigerators and jars in this man’s clinic for all to see. In the name of freedom, people have deceived themselves into believing this choice is an empowering act, or that is for our greater good.

There is a difference between freedom and liberty. Our founders used the word liberty more often than today’s more popular freedom. The intent being that freedom has come to mean the sole domination of personal preference, while liberty requires something more human and moral. Liberty is the moral exercise of freedom that balances rights and responsibility  Liberty was not an open-ended promise to be able to do anything at any time, the consequences be damned. It was intended to come with responsibilities of a person capable of self-government. Something cannot be a right if it involves taking something from someone else. What is abortion but the taking of a human life?

I understand the compelling brand the word “choice” itself carries. Who doesn’t prefer more options, not less? Even in recent polls, Americans tend to prefer choice for many issues. In some ways, this is heartening, as it’s a sign they prefer to leave choices to individuals instead of government.

That being said,  new legislation is likely not a path to success for the pro-life movement. As much as we hear that American’s are shifting to a more pro-life mindset, this isn’t supported when it comes to polling.

A majority favor abortion, but a majority also favor restrictions. We are a nation, even by admission of supporting restrictions, that knows deep down that abortion should be an act that is rare. It is worth considering the results of this poll if respondents were polled after reading the Gosnell trial transcripts. Overall, it remains clear that the greatest number of lives can be saved today by waging a war to change hearts and minds in our culture.

The best outcome is a world where aborting your child isn’t a choice that a woman would want to make.

Worse is the ugly truth behind most pro-choice women that I know personally. Abortion would never be an option for them, but we must preserve it at any cost for “others”. There is a very Charles Murray Belmont vs Fishtown feel to most conversations on the topic.

It’s never clear who the “others” are when they say this, but they usually follow with “well, then we’d all have to pay for these unwanted babies.” When you suggest adoption, they’re convinced that no one would want to adopt “those” babies. Setting aside the obvious undercurrents of racism that still runs through most pro-choice thinking, it’s a bit nauseating to think the only welfare cuts most committed radical pro-choice people (particularly those on the left) support are the elimination of poor babies. It certainly makes the liberal overtures of compassion ring a little less true when they talk of helping the poor. It also highlights how the views of the radical pro-choice movement and many on the left demonstrate their general preference to manage the poor, not to show compassion or have any real interest in lifting up the poor out of poverty.

Our best efforts should be on repairing the culture not the law. The connection between sex and responsibility has been severed, as abortion has been rebranded as an empowered choice, not a rare and shameful event. The idea that sex should matter has been eroded. The idea that sex sometimes has consequences is apparently earth-shattering to some who would pretend otherwise. Sex has been boiled down by many to merely a transactional activity with a supply chain of management techniques to blight the tie between cause and effect.  Stranger still, pro-choice radicals will blame pro-lifers for denying choice, when clearly a choice had  been freely made. They demand permission to be excused from the responsibility of choices.  A bailout, if you will, from the responsible exercise of freedom required of a moral society.

In the case of Gosnell, Americans need to remember that choices have consequences. Choice requires responsibility not the absence of it. Liberty itself is a recognition that freedom bears responsibility. Gosnell, sadly, is a sign of a culture that has chosen to abdicate liberty for freedom at any cost.

Over 50 Million Americans have disappeared from our world since Roe v Wade. Will Americans keep walking by facilities like Gosnell’s, not giving it a thought, or worse, entering and making such fatal choices for the life they harbor within them?

Americans need to ask themselves: Do we truly believe in or have liberty while we endorse the policy choices (President Obama has a position so radical on abortion that he is opposed to restrictions on late term abortion and opposed to laws that give legal protection to infants born alive after failed attempts at inducing abortion) that lead us directly to Kermit Gosnell?

Or have we chosen death?