Saturday, August 15, 2015
A few years ago, a wonderful biopic called Amazing Grace was released. It told the story of William Wilberforce (1759-1833) who was the main influence for the end of the slave trade in England. Inspired by his Christian faith, horrified by the sub-human conditions of slave vessels, he worked in the Parliament to put a legal end to the trade. To do so, he tirelessly advocated for the slaves, worked to educate his fellow politicians about the atrocities, and campaigned and persuaded others to his side. He took many to board one of the slave ships, showing them how the slaves were loaded like cargo, not even given the space to move about freely. There, the the slaves, many simply kidnapped from their homes in Africa, were given less than adequate food and were forced to live in their own filth. Many of those that he introduced were appalled by the circumstances of the trade on which they had relied. He was quoted telling them, “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” It had simply become convenient to ignore the atrocities and sins against humanity, to simply look away. By removing that veil, they no longer could feign ignorance. The law finally passed in 1807 with wide support (though packaged as a means to ban British citizens from participating in the slave trade with France and other countries with which England was at war). Wilberforce knew that it was not the immediate end to slavery, but the start. These last weeks, the same spirit that stirred Wilberforce to action has been moving in the lives of other ‘abolitionists’ - those in the pro-life movement. An investigative organization, The Center for Medical Progress, was formed and acted quietly until July 14. They released an edited video, which also included a full, non-edited video, of a representative from Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of aborted fetus body parts. They followed that with another video of another director, also discussing the sale and quipping that she wanted a Lamborghini (obviously meaning that she would make a profit). Both videos demonstrate that they expected profit from the sale of the body parts (which is illegal). The next videos released were more horrific, demonstrating the lab techs dissecting the bodies of the aborted child, and including discussion of changing methods of abortion to deliver an intact body (which is illegal). I can only imagine that any future videos will demonstrate worse crimes. As horrible as the videos are, we are in a profound moment of history. These already documented activities are only the tip of the crimes against humanity, made possible by an even greater sin against humanity - abortion itself. Whatever more the Center has, really, is only further evidence that those that promote abortion have lost all moral ground. Sadly, though, media attention is fixed elsewhere: on the killing of a lion in Zimbabwe, apparently lured outside the safety of a preserve. Perhaps it is the magnitude of the circumstances. One lion is easier to grasp than 54 million aborted ‘legally’ since 1973. It is easier to look away, to mourn the loss of an abstract lion in a distant land, than to consider the concrete evidence of abortion, sale of body parts for profit, and the skirting of the law to maximize profit, all the while receiving tax money for greater profits. We are told that abortion is legal (but so was the slave trade), and that there is nothing to see but “highly-edited videos”, but isn’t that what all news agencies do. We are told that there is only proof of illegal activity is on the part of the investigators (the misrepresentation of the investigators, the possible illegal filming without consent, and the breach of patient confidentiality, none of which are more grievous than the crimes they reveal.) We are told to ignore, to look away, and are given the distraction of a dead majestic beast. Perhaps it placates the minds of some, but William Wilberforce’s words remain. Will we let the faith that we are fearfully, wonderfully made, knit together in the secret of our mothers’ wombs, move us toward the protection of the unborn? Will we work for the abolition of abortion? Because of these videos, at least we no longer can say we did not know.