We all know the reason why the Martin story was news: at first glance, it appeared to be that relative rarity, a white-on-black killing, thus presenting the media with what Tom Wolfe so aptly characterized in The Bonfire of the Vanities as a Great White Defendant – until it was discovered that the alleged killer, George Zimmerman, was half Hispanic. No matter; the New York Times, which is in the grips of an obsession with racial and sexual taxonomy that would do the National Socialist German Workers Party proud, promptly dubbed him a “white Hispanic” and went on their merry way with The Narrative, in which an oppressive White Power Structure visits all manner of evil on the Noble Underclasses.
The story of Kermit Gosnell and his “Women’s Medical Society” is the precise opposite of The Narrative. It features a black villain, who may turn out to be the worst mass murderer in American history. It blows away the smokescreen that abortion has anything to do with “women’s health,” and reveals it for the barbaric, immoral, and murderous practice it, in fact, is. It forces American society to stare at a truth we’ve all known, deep down at our moral core — that a baby in the womb is a human being, not a clump of cells or a malignant parasite. And it’s about time.
Perhaps Elizabeth Scalia, blogging as The Anchoress, is right when she writes of the dawning realization, thanks to God’s grace, that the Gosnell trial reveals something fundamentally rotten in the souls of the American elites:
I see not a glass half-empty, but one half-full and filling. Perhaps I am only an optimist, and a naive one, but I feel like this is a break in the tide; a moment that can perhaps turn America from its myriad and mostly empty distractions, and get her asking important questions about who we are, what we have been enabling, who we want to be and what serving “the least among us” really means.
Coming, as it does, during a honeymoon phase of a popular new pope who embodies the idea of Godly tenderness and forcefully demonstrates his awareness that poverty, marginalization and “least-ness” comes in many forms, this almost seems like a moment handed to us by God.
I guess God’s been shelling peanuts for the past 40 years, but better late than never. A relict of the early 1970s, just as the Sexual Revolution had gone mainstream but while family structures were still largely intact and the legitimate birth rates had not yet taken a plunge, the spectacularly muddled Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision is an object lesson in the Consequences of No Consequences, an inferno of cultural side effects that finally belched up the underlying moral question — when, if ever, is it permissible to take an innocent life? — and propelled it toward its logical and ineluctable final resting place: the abattoir.
But, you cry, abortion is supposed to be “safe, legal and rare.” And late-term abortions — let’s call them by their real name, “partial-birth abortions,” i.e. infanticide — are supposed to be illegal except in dire necessity to save the mother’s life. Yeah, right: once you’ve established the principle some fetal life is worthless, then it’s easy to say (to quote Hillary Clinton on Benghazi) “what difference, at this point, does it make?”