When the Sanctity of Life Unravels

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Wednesday, September 4, 2002

By Angie Vineyard, Research Fellow

Last week in Palm Desert, California, 9-year-old Nicholas Michael Farber was snatched early one morning out of his bed at gunpoint, wearing nothing but his Fruit of the Loom underwear. That same week, the remains of 12-year-old Ashley Pond and her 13-year-old friend, Miranda Gaddis, both of Oregon City, Oregon, were found in the neighboring back yard of Ward Weaver, who is currently being held on unrelated charges of raping his son’s girlfriend. And in San Diego, California, David Westerfield, a 50-year-old engineer, awaits sentencing after being convicted of kidnapping and murdering his 7-year-old neighbor, Danielle van Dam.

If you haven’t noticed lately, there is a war on children.

All across the country, tiny, wide-eyed tots are clinging to the hems of their mother’s skirts, petrified that a stranger will snatch them in an instant and hurt them. They have every reason to be petrified. They are innocent and defenseless. One moment they can be tracing the steps of a parent in a grocery store aisle, while the next moment kicking and screaming in the arms of an abductor. One moment they can be frolicking about in a neighborhood park, while the next moment led astray by a stranger under the guise of finding a lost puppy.

Children can be taught to say no to strangers, to walk away, to run. But their safety can never be ensured. They have every reason to fear.

In America, a mother has a right to kill her child, as long as it’s in utero. She can even have what’s known as a partial-birth abortion, a late-term procedure in which the baby’s head is stabbed at the base of the skull and its brains sucked out.

But wait a minute. What does partial-birth abortion have to do with the kidnappings and murder of innocent school-age children?

It has everything to do with it. This all-out war that’s been declared on our children is one of our own doing. With government funds and court approval, American women can choose from a bevy of options on how to end a child’s life. There are first trimester techniques, second and third trimester techniques

But wait! Abortion is legal in America. And even though Congress twice voted to ban partial-birth abortion, President Clinton twice-vetoed it, giving women even more “pro-choice” options. The law is clear.

Ah, but the lines are blurred. Inside the womb, outside the womb, even coming out of the womb. It’s all the same, isn’t it?

In 1973, we did more than sanctify the reproductive rights of women, (which have nary a mention in the Constitution). We communicated a resounding message to children. It doesn’t matter that they haven’t yet learned the alphabet. They understand the message loud and clear.

They are insignificant and expendable. They are an inconvenience. They are powerless and defenseless. They can be snatched while sleeping, tortured, dismembered and murdered. Their bodies can be easily disposed of and buried. No one will miss them when they’re gone.

Why should we be surprised? Will society not inevitably move from sanctioning the murder of its unborn offspring to the murdering of its own young? Why shouldn’t we expect the sanctity of life to unravel, especially when we are the ones pulling the string? Oh but we’re appalled at the murder of our children. And when their perpetrators are caught, they will be punished.

For now, at least.

Whether or not we have the internal fortitude to admit it to ourselves, our children understand perfectly clear. The enemy is us.

But isn’t it a stretch to equate abortion with the kidnapping and murder of innocent children?

Is it?


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