By Tim Stanley
4 July 2013
Texas is undergoing a rough, ugly battle about abortion. On Tuesday, activists for and against a proposed abortion law that would prohibit the procedure past the 20th week of pregnancy gathered at the state Capital in Austin for a bizarre shout-down. The prolife side sang Amazing Grace. The pro-abortion side tried to drown them out by shouting “Hail Satan!” I’m not making this up: you can view one of the confrontations on the video above and another via this link. Quite what Satan thinks about it all, we can obviously only speculate. But I'm guessing that even the Horned One would regard association with the US abortion industry as bad PR. More on why in a moment.
The mainstream media has, of course, been in the bag for the opponents of the bill. Embarrassingly so. Last month, State Senator Wendy Davis tried to block the legislation with a filibuster speech in the state house that lasted nearly 11 hours, and since then she’s been treated like a latter-day Joan of Arc by the media. Ross Douthat has transcribed some of the questions that ABC posed to Wendy and they are, to say the least, softball. For example: “Why did you decide to wear your running shoes? Let’s take a look at those … they’ve kind of been rocketing around the internet!” And does Wendy prefer kittens or puppies? There are plenty of other examples of this absurd love-in, but I’d point you to this interview with Anderson Cooper which might as well end in a high-five: “What was it like standing for that long, speaking for that long, not going to the bathroom? What is it like to filibuster for eleven hours?” How do you stay so fit, girlfriend? At no point in the interview does Anderson address the bigger questions about the morality or physical reality of abortion after 20 weeks. No, he’s far more interested in her ability to stand and talk for a very long time.
The abortion bill isn’t that big a deal; it’s already on the books in 12 other states. Charles Cooke has written a brutal take down of opposition to the 20 week ban, pointing out that a baby is pretty much a baby by that point (some studies show it can recognise its mother’s voice) and that a ban is actually supported by a narrow plurality of the American people. Women back it by larger percentages than men, which shoots down Wendy’s claim to speak for her gender. What she does speak for is a profitable industry damaged by bad PR that is desperate for poster-children like Wendy Davis to improve its image after the awful Gosnell case. Remember him? The guy who butchered women and babies through late term abortions carried out in filthy conditions in a surgery that reeked of cat pee? That’s the sordid reality of “safe, legal and rare”.
But back to the happy campers who yelled “Hail Satan!” at the prolife advocates who tried to sing a hymn. Of course those protestors aren’tactual Satanists, but their casual blasphemy reflects the nihilism at the heart of the pro-abortion lobby. They represent an extreme materialist philosophy that is uninterested in subtle debates about when life begins or in genuine attempts to negotiate between the needs of the infant and its vulnerable mother. No. They are only interested in total, unrestrained liberty – in the freedom to do whatever the Hell they want without any regard for ethics or the lives of others. They would do better to chant “Hail Ourselves!” – for they are a movement of the human ego at its most monstrous.