Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A terrible symmetry

I'm late blogging today, so chances are you've already seen this:

( – A coalition of pro-life advocates and religious leaders plan to gather in Houston on Jan. 18 to oppose what is expected to be the largest abortion clinic in the country.

Planned Parenthood is renovating a former bank, turning it into a 78,000 square foot facility that will include a surgical wing equipped to provide late-term abortions.

“It’s an abortion super center,” Lou Engle, founder of the pro-life group The Call to Conscience, which is organizing the rally, told [...]

Engle said he believes the clinic was strategically located in a part of Houston that is surrounded by black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

“We want to say that it’s not right to have an abortion super center that targets the minority community,” Engle said. He says Planned Parenthood actively markets its services, including abortion, to low-income, minority women.
I could write a lot about this. But this is one of those times when I think that pictures could say what I have to say a lot better than words.

Here's the former bank building that will become Planned Parenhood's newest killing center:

Here's an ancient Mayan altar of human sacrifice:

Here are ovens at Dachau:

And one more Mayan temple where human sacrifice was practiced:

There is a terrible kind of symmetry present, isn't there, in these buildings dedicated to the cruel and violent murders of innocent human beings. The Houston Temple of Human Sacrifice joins a long and ugly list of altars gleefully reveling in the suffering and death of the innocent.


Charlie said...

As a firm supporter of Roe v. Wade, I would like to be the first to say that this is absolutely OBSCENE. If Planned Parenthood turns out to have created a magnet for pro-life demonstrations, they asked for it. After all, pro-life people have a right to freedom of speech and association too.

The point of Roe v Wade was that this is a very difficult, intimate, poignant, individual decision, which The State should not intervene in. So, if an individual woman is pregnant, and sees good cause to abort, she could quietly arrange that, with her obstetrician and gynecologist, without fearing being hauled off to prison. She might well consult with her preferred clergy as well.

There is nothing individual, private, or even intimate, about an orgy of mass production, offering abortion as an inherent good or a desirable product for delivery on an assembly line.

Anonymous said...

A facility this size; late-term abortions? A human pre-term birthing abattoir. Do the fetuses flinch as their little cold bodies sense the sterile metal tray?

freddy said...

Charlie, you are so right!

If I decide to, say, murder my spouse, it should definately be a "very difficult, intimate, poignant, individual decision" and The State should refrain from intervening with their stupid police investigations and trials and such.

So if I, as an individual woman, am unhappy in my marriage and don't want to deal with the anguish of divorce, I should be able to quietly arrange for my spouse's death with my pharmacist or gun dealer, without the fear of being hauled off to prison. After discussing this with preferred clergy, of course!

Because assembly-line killing as pictured in the Mayan temples or Dachau is just so tacky, you know?


Theocoid said...

I understand that the building in question was once a bank and is designed to resemble a cash register. Seems oddly fitting, no? An altar for Moloch?

c matt said...

Aside from Houston, any more specific address for this monstrosity?

Also can't believe the comments on the CNS site - one pro-abort still thinks (using the term loosely here) that life beginning at conception is only an opinion, not a fact. Guess he skipped high school biology.

Red Cardigan said...

c matt, I don't have one currently. Will do a little digging and see if I can find it.

c matt said...

Located at Elgin and I-45 South. I recall the building long before the renov. It is located right between a low-income Hispanic neighborhood on one side of the freeway, and a low income black neighborhood on the other.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Life begins long before conception. The sperm and egg are alive, so are the cells in (a) father, and (b) mother, which divide to form sperms and eggs. and so on, back to the very first cell(s), described with equal accuracy in Genesis 1:20 and in American Scientist Vol. 94, Jan-Feb 2008, p. 32, "First Life." As C.S. Lewis wisely noted, when a divine command is issued, there is always a series of observable physical events which are the result.

So, life is life, from an ameoba to a frog to a human being. The issue here is not life, in general. That might be the issue on a Buddhist web site. Here the issue is HUMAN life. Erin has made very clear that she is running a Catholic site here, so I am not in the least shocked to hear people speaking from a Catholic perspective. But I for one am perfectly capable of distinguishing between killing my spouse and first or second trimester abortion, just so Freddy doesn't get unduly worried.

I know the distinction means nothing to you, but you might take some comfort from the fact that I would NOT kill my spouse, even in private.

eulogos said...

But, Mr. Jenkins, the issue IS human life. Of course sperm and eggs are alive, for a time, in the right environment, and so may other tissues be, for instance skin cells which are cultured to provide skin grafts. But none of these examples is of an individual of the species. Once the sperm and egg unite there is an unique individual of the human species. What criteria do you apply to say at what developmental stage this unique individual of the human species is HUMAN in capital letters? Is it the physical form of a human being? Would you be willing to apply that standard to those born grossly deformed, or to those limbless and disfigured by massive trauma? Is it cognition? Awareness? Would you also be willing to apply these same criteria to people who have had a serious stroke which has destroyed a great deal of brain function? To those who are so senile that they can no longer speak or recognize anyone? To people in an extended coma? To people so brain damaged at birth that they never speak or walk and require institutional care?

I suggest that every attempt to define "human" in another way than "an individual of the human species" is fraught with horrifying possibilities. And some of these possibilities are becoming actualities all around us. Babies with deformities killed in the Netherlands without even the parent's consent required. Taking people off tube feeding to die because we judge the quality of their lives inadequate. Just to mention two of many examples which could be adduced.

Susan Peterson

Bethany Hudson said...

Mr. Jenkins - I have to agree with Susan Peterson. How exactly would you define human life, if you do not consider a second-trimester infant a human being? I have a friend whose daughter was delivered by emergency cesarean at 19 weeks gestation (that's early on in the second trimester). Her daughter is now two years old. She is beginning to talk, and she walks now. She has a sweet little personality all her own. And, there are women whose little ones are even further along in utero than this precious child was when she was born who are calling their sons and daughters "fetuses" or "tissue matter" and then murdering them! WHAT I ask is really the difference between murdering a 20-week gestation baby in utero and my friend murdering her baby in the NICU a week after she was born? WHAT?? Is it because the mothers with in utero babies don't "feel" like the baby is a human being yet? Because Hitler didn't believe the Jews were human beings, and look where that led. A human being HAS TO BE a HUMAN BEING, no matter how someone "feels" about it, or what we get is eugencis and genocide.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

I too know a preemie baby, who the first time I saw him was in a cradle rigged up with oxygen tubes, who I have played with, entertained, carried, walked with to receive communion (Methodist, but thet use wafers, unlike Presbyterians, who cut up a loaf of bread), walking with the aid of braces and holding my hand, after umpteen operations to get his bones right. He was BORN prematurely due to his mother's body not holding the weight, rather than being DELIVERED prematurely for other reasons. But I love the kid.

I know that I will never agree with other commenters on this site. The premise when is a life human, is a critical one. If we can't agree on that, we can't agree on much else. However, neither of our views is capable of marshalling an overwhelming political consensus to crush the other. Therefore, we should acknowledge the depth of our differences, treasure whatever bits of common ground we can find, and look for some modus vivendi (I guess that should be considered a pun), for our common secular political domain.

I distinguish killing an adult, or a child, or a new-born baby, or a baby about to be born, from first or second trimester abortion on two grounds.

One, my spouse does not inhabit my abdomen, nor do I inhabit hers. We can perfectly well walk away from each other. I have a lot of sympathy for women who killed their husband in desperation after years of abuse. Otherwise, separation does not require destruction. If you had the power to tell a woman "You MUST carry that life inside you to term," you are putting on her a burden you cannot take upon yourself.

Second, I consider consciousness an essential consideration. A zygote will never "know" it has been removed. Neither will a blastocyst or an embryo. In the earliest stages, a fetus won't either. The more a fetus is self-aware, the more entitled it is to be protected. The women most likely to have abortions are also the most likely to abuse their children. If they terminate early, maybe that is best. Now if there were enough adoptive families to take them all -- there definitely are not -- and if we had a perfect system for identifying them at birth, before they were abused, I might reconsider that. Every mother isn't as loving as you are. But there is a point at which it is simply too late -- this is a self-conscious baby now, you may not destroy it except to save another life. It is simple to set that line at the moment of conception, but I don't find it morally essential, and it does come with significant moral paradoxes of its own.

freddy said...

Siarlys Jenkins: truly you have a dizzying intellect regarding life issues.

I know a young lady who could not be in any real sense of the word be described as "self-aware." She is also often ill, and a huge burden - physically, financially, and emotionally, on her family and friends. Now, they, and all who know her, love her and want only the best for her. Given your criteria, however, if she were unwanted or in danger of abuse, she should be killed, no?

I understand that you think you are arguing from compassion, and yeah, there's a lot of hurt in this world. But here's the thing: killing unborn humans in the first or second trimester out of some fuzzy misplaced "compassion" is in no way going to make the world a better place.

Killing innocent humans just because you can't see them or know what they feel will only lead to dehumanizing people like my little friend, or my grandparents, or folks in comas.

You are aware, of course that it's already happening.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

No Freddie, I would not kill this young lady. She has already been born. Abortion is a moot issue as far as she is concerned. Furthermore, she has a history with her family, an identity, that simply doesn't exist when a fetus is in utero. I know you don't see any difference, but I do, and therefore, we agree on the sanctity of this young lady's life. I'm also not sure what you mean by "self-aware," If she is anancephalic, I mean, born with no brain at all, I might say no surgery, let God decide, no intervention. But if she is like one of my bus passengers, the one with a 40 year old body and a five year old mind, who smiles and runs up to give me a big hug and calls me her buddy, who can walk, talk, dress and feed herself, I don't call that not being self-aware at all.

If you want to follow the dizzying line of reasoning in which I find the true meaning of compassion, go to

eulogos said...

Mr. Jenkins,
I really doubt that the women who have abortions are the most likely to abuse their children.
I, for instance, had two abortions before I became a Christian, although that wasn't what I really wanted to do either time, and when I finally was allowed to have children, I wasn't an abusive parent...although I admit that there was some unnecessary yelling and a few slaps which shouldn't have happened. Sadly two of my daughters have had abortions, and each is a good mother to the child she does have.
Many women who have abortions because their parents want them too or their boyfriends want them to, or because they believe that they will be a failure as a human being if they don't graduate from college four years after they graduated from high school. Most of these women would make perfectly fine mothers if they had their babies. Some women have abortions because they believe they ought to be in a perfect life situation before they have a baby, and they are thinking about everything a child ideally should have. These women are unlikely to abuse a child if they have it. On the other hand some people who don't really think about these things, who don't think ahead too much, have kids in a thoughtless way and find they are a lot of trouble, and since they have poor impulse control, they wind up abusing. (and no, they don't need abortions, they need help with parenting, and in general with learning impulse control.)

You already know I don't agree with you about what makes a life worthy of protection, so I won't stay up any later arguing that one right now.
Susan Peterson

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Euglogos, I could speculate that you were a much better mother after you became a Christian than you would have been earlier, but I can't judge that. I don't know you, and if I did, I probably would not be qualified to judge anyway. I do know of women who have had five or six babies who don't know how to take care of any of them, and I see kids in similar situations running around on the street raising themselves. A friends of mine who is on principle opposed to abortion asks sometimes if maybe some women should have had abortions, or better had their tubes tied.

There is no way to take one person's happy experience, or another person's miserable experience, and use it as the foundation for a standard rule for all. Giving every mother help with parenting is a great idea -- but not one in ten are being effectively reached, and some would turn it down if the help were offered. Then there is the woman I just read about who served Hard Lemonade at her ten year old's sleepover...