By John F. Triolo, Director of Communications
The major activities of present day American society often seem to be seeking after pleasure and avoiding pain. This in itself, does not mark out our culture as especially deficient. It has always been the tendency of most men in most societies to eschew the search for higher things and the quest to refine one’s self in favor of comfort, security, and pleasure. To say whether this tendency is good or bad is not within the scope of this short post, it is undeniably a normal part of the human condition.
The great difference between our present manner of life and that of our ancestors is not that we seek after pleasure, as most men will, but that we have the ability, conferred by our current technologies and confirmed by our social institutions, to satisfy our desires in a more urgent and immediate way than has ever before been available. We are also better equipped (by that same technology and those same institutions) to mitigate, postpone or avoid the negative consequences of seeking after short-term, easily satisfied pleasures to the detriment or exclusion of other, apparently more necessary tasks.
Even the hard laws and consequences of biology itself seem to have become mutable through the agency of modern techne. There is nothing to stop us from moving from pleasure to pleasure without fear for the future. We can dine out for lunch every day and no one ever has to pay the bill.
It is an attractive idea in some ways with only one notable disadvantage: It is a lie.
Someone always has to pay. In our modern pleasure-seeking society the ones who are stuck with the check are the same as those who have always been made to pay for the excesses of cultures going back to the days of Nimrod.
It is unfailingly the weakest class of persons available who must suffer so that others may enjoy themselves to gross excess.
Our society has developed social institutions and technology such that we have access, have had access for forty years, to a class of people weaker than any yet made into a sin offering for a society that refuses to properly regulate its behavior. The easy availability of legal abortion through all nine months of a pregnancy means that the unborn suffer, to the tune of 800,000 or more each year, for the excesses of those who want to have their cake and eat it.
Being a parent can be painful, intensely so, as anyone with children can tell you. Apparently there are millions of people in this country so anxious to avoid that pain that they are willing to inflict greater pain on their utterly helpless children. There are so-called physicians unwilling the suffer through the pain of building a respectable career and take the short cut of working abortion clinics for money–passing on the suffering to the unborn children they execute.
And they do suffer.
Research has long since proved that children as young as twenty weeks or fewer are fully capable of experiencing pain. The human body produces certain hormones when in distress and these hormones have been found present in very high levels in unborn children undergoing a painful or traumatic incident such as types of fetal surgery.
To make matters worse, the unborn have no way of contexualizing pain or discomfort which leads some experts to speculate that pain is probably experienced more intensely.
We know from the testimony reformed abortion workers that sonograms often show unborn children trying to escape the tools of their destruction or writhing in pain as they are dismembered.
The fact of fetal pain isn’t disputed by anyone entering the debate as an honest participant without an axe to grind, so why is the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HR1797), currently under debate in the US House of Representatives, so controversial–even to the extent of being presented by opponents and the media as obviously ridiculous?
Why is opposition to the bill centered around name-calling aimed at its main sponsors and distortions of the intent and extent of the measure?
The reason goes back to pleasure seeking and pain avoidance yet again. The proponents of legal abortion, rather than opposing the measure on its merits and attacking whatever weaknesses they can find, are determined to shift focus away from the substance of the bill by presenting both it and its supporters as radicals and extremists. They see the danger in allowing people to know about the pain suffered by the children killed in abortions. In a society the primary concerns of which are pleasure and pain the best and quickest way to humanize a victim class is to show that its members also experience these things intensely. This knowledge could lead to guilt or shame in a large swath of society being forced to acknowledge complicity or tacit acceptance in causing real pain to fellow feeling creatures. Guilt and shame are painful, pain is too be avoided–the rest would be history.
The other side can’t afford to allow people to feel ashamed of legal abortion in the culture. They can’t allow the unborn to be seen as human. They can’t afford protection for pain-capable unborn children because it would expose the necessity of protecting all children and then where would the cynical operators who have made careers and fortunes at the expense of the weakest among us be? Where would they find their pleasures and how could they afford them?