in the house of representatives
Tuesday, January 27, 1998
Mr. TALENT. Mr. Speaker, I request the following eloquent article be inserted into the Congressional Record.
[From the New York Times, Jan. 22, 1998]
(By Peggy Noonan)
On the 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we know certain facts. We know that at this point about 1.5 million abortions are performed each year in the United States. And we know that the fight over whether legalized abortion should continue has not waned with time, as many thought it would, but grown.
The debate has always been by adults about adults. What are the effects on women when they terminate a pregnancy? Do they suffer unusual depression a year or two after the procedure?
Opponents of abortion also talk about the effects of abortion on the fetus being aborted. Does it feel pain?
But there is another group of children who have been overlooked in the debate--the children who have grown up in the abortion culture, the children now 10 or 15 or even 20 years old who have had it drummed into them by television and radio and in magazines, what abortion is and why and how it became legal. It is part of the aural wallpaper of their lives. They have grown up knowing phrases like ``abortion on demand'' and ``the right to abortion'' and hearing nice adults, the people next door, talk about supporting politicians who will ``protect'' these ``rights.''
I wonder if such talk has not left many of these children confused, so deeply that they do not even know they are confused, and morally dulled.
We all know the recent horror stories. According to prosecutors and news accounts, a girl at a prom delivers a baby in the bathroom and lets it die, then rearranges herself, washes up and goes back to the dance. A pair of college-aged lovers from ``good families'' in ``pricey suburbs,'' as news accounts put it, rent a motel room, where he delivers their child, which they throw into a Dumpster.
Is it too much to see a connection between the abortion culture in which these young people came of age and the moral dullness they are accused of displaying? Of course, such crimes have occurred throughout time; history and literature are full of them. But what is new, I think, is the apparent surprise of the young girl at the prom, and of the young couple at the motel, at the disapproval society has shown toward them.
And why should society disapprove? What, after all, is the difference between what the girl at the prom is accused of doing and a late-term abortion, something she would have heard discussed, explained and defended on television and in the newspaper?
A late-term abortion means pulling a fully formed but not yet born baby out of the womb, piercing its brain with scissors, sucking out the brain, collapsing the skull and then removing the dead baby. In the girl's home state, New Jersey, this was legal. Why wouldn't she think there is no difference, really, between that and choking a baby to death in a bathroom stall and then dropping it in a trash bin? And what, in fact, is the difference? Only that one death occurred in a bathroom stall, and the other happened in a hospital with clean white sheets and a doctor.
Consider, too, the young couple in the motel and the reasoning that may have left them free of any sense of sin or crime. If the accusations are true, what did they do that was wrong besides refuse to suck into life an inconvenient baby? Isn't that what the culture they were born into, and grew to young adulthood in, does?
I think that's the great ignored story--what we have done to our children by legalizing abortion and championing it. The daily abortion stories and abortion polls and abortion editorials and abortion pictures and stories showing how the movement to ``protect these rights'' is faring--all this has drummed into their heads the idea that human life is not special, is not sanctified, is not a life formed by God but a fertilized ovum that makes demands and can be removed.
What we teach the young every day is moral confusion about the worth of an ordinary human life. This has wounded, in a very real and personal way, big pieces of an entire generation. And I suspect it has left them frightened, too.