Birmingham abortion clinic surrenders license after baby’s death

AP Wire | 06/14/2006 | Birmingham abortion clinic surrenders license after baby’s death. THIS has got to be the new Exhibit A in the case against the ability of post-religious society to provide any kind of moral direction.

No longer can we rely on an unchanging Natural Law (the application of which, it is true, will vary with varying times and places): justice and right all depend on what “values” society has decided to push to the fore at any given moment. Next we will have doctors fined for keeping people alive. A passage from C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man comes to mind:

And all the time—such is the tragi-comedy of our situation—we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more ‘drive’, or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or ‘creativity’. In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.

In this age of Our Bodies, Our Selves, where our selves are reduced to nothing more than our bodies, personhood is defined by two things, both physical: 1) bodily tissue, and 2) “autonomy”—i.e., separation from one’s mother. Ergo, anything not meeting these two conditions is not a “person” and has no rights. Once delivered, magic occurs and the thing is now a person with rights.

Even so, people like Barbara Boxer want to leave the right to life with the parents (transcript):

Mr. SANTORUM. Do you agree any child who is born has the right to life, is protected by the Constitution once that child is born?

Mrs. BOXER. I agree with the Roe v. Wade decision, and what you are doing goes against it and will harm the women of this country. And I will address that when I get the floor.

Mr. SANTORUM. But I would like to ask you this question. You agree, once the child is born, separated from the mother, that that child is protected by the Constitution and cannot be killed? Do you agree with that?

Mrs. BOXER. I would make this statement. That this Constitution as it currently is—some want to amend it to say life begins at conception. I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born—and there is no such thing as partial-birth—the baby belongs to your family and has the rights.

The whole thing makes me sick. (Incidentally, most forms and uses of contraception are also forms of leaving the right to life with the parents. But that has already been discussed in the predecessor of this blog.)

Loathe to give Barbara Boxer the last word, I think G. K. Chesterton also whispers in my ear (from Heretics):

In the fifteenth century men cross-examined and tormented a man because he preached some immoral attitude; in the nineteenth century we feted and flattered Oscar Wilde because he preached such an attitude, and then broke his heart in penal servitude because he carried it out. It may be a question which of the two methods was the more cruel; there can be no kind of question which was the more ludicrous. The age of the Inquisition has not at least the disgrace of having produced a society which made an idol of the very same man for preaching the very same things which it made him a convict for practising.

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