The open practice of killing then cuddling does not simply represent a ghastly declaration that children are both fully human and disposable. It signifies a war against the mother-child bond.
The infamous abortionist LeRoy Carhart invites women to cuddle with their freshly killed babies. His clinic also offers them take-home keepsakes such as photographs and footprints of their child.
Carhart specializes in third-trimester abortions, those done when the baby is approximately 24 weeks of gestation and older. You may recall that he was at the center of the debate on partial-birth abortion when the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in 2000. Seven years later, the court upheld a ban on partial-birth abortion.
As I’ll try to explain below, the open practice of killing then cuddling does not simply represent a ghastly declaration that children are both fully human and utterly disposable. It signifies a full frontal war against the mother-child bond itself, the bond which is the fount of all empathic human relationships. To scorn it so openly cultivates social acceptance of infanticide. And it insinuates mothers in that very acceptance.
We’ll Help You Feel Better About Killing Your Child
On page seven of a brochure posted on the website for Carhart’s abortion clinics in suburban Maryland and Nebraska, you can browse an array of post-abortion services that seem more in line for a mother grieving over an unexpected miscarriage than a woman intentionally aborting her baby.
Carhart’s practice brazenly uses the word “baby” instead of fetus. In Orwellian manner, he references “delivery” of the child rather than abortion. As if this is not destabilizing enough, the brochure goes on:
Many patients request a remembrance of their baby to take home with them. The following lists items and services that some of our patients have found helpful in their emotional recovery. Every family approaches this experience with their own unique emotional, spiritual, and cultural background. There is no right or wrong way, just ‘your way.’ Once the process of healing has begun, you may want to consider a token of the precious time you and your baby had together. All of these features of our program will be discussed with you while you are with us.
Ignoring the possibility that the entire killing process may itself be the “wrong way,” the brochure offers the following “Services After Your Delivery: Viewing your baby after the delivery; Holding your baby after the delivery; Photographs of your baby; Cremation services referral; Funeral arrangements referral; Footprints; Spiritual and ceremonial accommodations [through the facility’s partnership with pro-abort clergy of various stripes]; Remembrance certificate.”
The page also shows a photo of an open gift box containing a soft toy ducky, a tiny knit cap, footprints, and the open lid inscription: “In loving Memory of Baby Doe who lives in the hearts of Jane and John Doe.” In other words, the warped idea is to first exterminate your baby, then hug your baby.
Pushing the Overton Window to Infanticide
Abortionists no doubt develop weird pathologies brought on by their gruesome choice of work. Consider, for example, the cases of notorious late-term abortionists Kermit Gosnell and Ulrich Klopfer, both of whom ghoulishly hoarded human remains.
Most tend to be unapologetically aware that they are in the business of killing people. Veteran abortionist Forrest Smith recently testified that he believed Planned Parenthood was deliberately inducing live births in order to get fresh and intact fetal organs to harvest.
As an expert witness in the recent hearings of undercover investigators David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, Forrest stated: “There’s no question in my mind that at least some of these fetuses were live births.” And this (emphasis added): “You can kill a human being, which I admit abortion is, but you have to do it in certain ways.” By which he meant, inside the womb, not outside.
Forrest also indicated that Delaiden only uncovered the tip of the iceberg in his work. Indeed, in other testimony at that hearing, we learned of more gruesome practices, such as keeping the hearts of live-born infants beating so they are of greater value to the labs that pay for them and the trafficking of whole bodies for experimentation. Such blatant examples of infanticide and human vivisection should sicken all but the most barbaric of us.
A New Surreality of In-Your-Face Abortion
The abortion industry and its promoters have always known full well that they market in the death of human beings. But today they flaunt that fact as never before. Gone are the days when pro-abort legislators would deny and squirm when asked if they support third-trimester abortion. Talk about “hard choices” or “keeping abortion rare” is quickly disappearing.
Instead, we hear Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a pediatrician, calmly discuss what to do if an aborted child is born alive, and whether to kill it after consultation with the mother and doctor. We see New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lighting up the Empire State Building in pink to celebrate a new law that specifically boosts third-trimester abortions.
A campaign encouraging women to proudly “shout” their abortions took off last year. There are even subreddits that indulge in talks about abortion fetishes, in which a woman deliberately gets pregnant, enjoying both the pregnancy and the abortion, as does the male partner. The list goes on.
All such developments are a logical part of the trajectory of the pro-abortion culture. Lies get less manageable over time. At some point when denials no longer work, we can expect to hear taunting admissions in the gangster spirit of: Yeah, I killed them, and I’d do it again, so whaddya going to do about it?
Maybe the fig leaf of denial was blown off by Daleidan’s exposes of Planned Parenthood and the grim cruelties of late-term abortion practices such as Gosnell’s and Klopfer’s. Maybe one of the reasons for the decline in abortion rates is that fewer buy the lines about “clumps of cells” and “reproductive health” anymore. If so, that would be a promising sign that conscience still has an effect on people. But something else is afoot.
An Ominous Shift in Mood
In this broader context, how do we make sense of Carhart’s open offer of the post-abortion cuddle option? After 45 years of doing late-term abortions, Carhart is no doubt familiar with the need for emotional recovery. At the same time, he seems content to admit to “delivering” killed infants.
It’s a twisted and Orwellian picture. On the one hand, the cuddle offer is logical in an upside-down and calculating sort of way. The maternal bond is compelling and strong, no matter how much licentious men, their feminist stooges, and the leftist media try to tell women it’s just a matter of choice.
So maybe there is a superficially calming effect on some women who hold the baby afterwards, especially if the corpse is in fresh enough condition to look asleep and still be warm. On the other hand, it serves the abortionist by directing all responsibility onto the woman. A subtext could easily be: “Here’s your dead baby. See. You signed onto this. I only did what you paid me to do. I delivered on your decision.”
Later, what does the woman do with the memory of cuddling, the photo, the footprints of her dead child? Does the knowledge of her baby’s face haunt her? Or does it just harden her heart, perhaps even leading to a perverse sense of empowerment, as the “shout your abortion” cohort would recommend? The haunting would be a sign of hope for the maternal bond, a sign of conscience. But the hardening of heart, I fear, is where we may be headed with all of this.
This shift in overall mood among many abortion proponents—from denial of killing a person to defiant acceptance of it—is the stuff that brutal societies are made of.
Reminiscent of Ancient Attitudes about Child Sacrifice
Callousness is one logical outcome of denial and regret. If we consider the practice of child sacrifice, we might ask how consenting mothers got through it without hardening their hearts. James Michener’s historical novel “The Source” contains a harrowing scene in which a husband insists his wife sacrifice their firstborn son to Malek, the pagan god of ancient Palestine.
‘Could we just run away?’ she pleaded.
‘Timna!’ The idea was blasphemous for Urbaal . . .
‘I will not surrender my son,’ she persisted. . . .
‘We all do,’ he reasoned gently. . . ‘It is to Melak that we look for protection.’
‘. . . Why must he be so cruel?’ Timna pleaded.
‘He does much for us,’ Urbaal explained, ‘and all he asks in return [is] our first-born sons.’
The husband not only views his son as a disposable object, but also anticipates the status he will get from community elders for being so willing to make the sacrifice. Later, Timna watches helplessly as her baby is thrown into the fire. She starts to cry, “but with his free hand Urbaal caught her by the neck and preserved the dignity of sacrifice. He saw that the priests had noticed his action and had smiled approval.”
Modernity offers many parallels to that story. Just as child sacrifice was a male-dominated institution in the ancient world, most of the front-line pushers for unrestricted abortion in modern times have been men. Abortion is also a means to improve or maintain social status. After all, the idols of modernity “do much for us.”
Abortion appeases many of these idols, including the idols of cash flow, career advancement, the meticulously planned life, relationship preferences, social status, body shape, self-will, and sundry other shiny objects. At the same time, the men who impregnated the women along with the priests of modernity are those who most demand the sacrifice. Her choice, you see.
So destroy your baby, then hug the body. This concept signifies a chilling new level of acceptance for infanticide. Nothing more, nothing less. It adds grave insult to grave injury. It doesn’t matter how few women actually undergo that process if it gains cultural acceptance. To accept it is to give a nod to infanticide, an open invitation to ever more barbarism.
Stella Morabito is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Follow Stella on Twitter.
Photo NataszaBlack / NeedPix.com