When you combine moral relativism, a war on truth, out-of-control radical individualism, and a pro-death culture, you get the madness that passes for our daily newspaper headlines. Indeed, it can be argued that as we lose the ability to think straight, we also lose the ability to act right.
The sheer madness of modern thought on almost any social issue today is coupled with a moral vacuum in which anything goes. We are becoming dumbed down mentally and morally, and the tragic results are everywhere to be seen. Simply open any newspaper and the ugly effects of all this are clearly on display.
Consider some recent items in the press about abortion, IVF, and morally and mentally confused parents. Earlier this year we heard about parents who aborted twin boys conceived through IVF, because they wanted a girl instead. I wrote this story up here: billmuehlenberg.com/2011/01/08/designer-babies-means-dead-babies/
One news item on this incredible story says in part: “The husband said sex selection should be determined on a case-by-case basis. He said: ‘Girls will go and get abortions and terminate when they know it’s not the right sex. That’s the reality. We think it’s our right to have a chance to do it. It’s ridiculous that sex selection is illegal, actually.’ And one of the country’s IVF pioneers said he agreed the couple should be allowed to choose the sex of their next baby. Professor Gab Kovacs said: ‘I can’t see how it could possibly harm anyone’.”
No harm? What about the death of the unwanted baby, simply because he or she is the wrong gender? How totally bizarre is this? We are creating babies by artificial means, but if they don’t meet our particular specifications, we kill them.
But sadly this schizoid life/death arrangement has become a regular occurrence. In fact, it is so common that the New York Times recently featured a lengthy article on all this. Entitled “The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy,” it speaks to this widespread practice with barely a trace of ethical concern.
The article offers some personal stories of couples who have had twins through IVF, only to kill one of the babies for various reasons. It is a great example of the mental gymnastics people will engage in to push their immoral agendas. The article begins, in part, this way:
“For all its successes, reproductive medicine has produced a paradox: in creating life where none seemed possible, doctors often generate more fetuses than they intend. In the mid-1980s, they devised an escape hatch to deal with these megapregnancies, terminating all but two or three fetuses to lower the risks to women and the babies they took home.
“But what began as an intervention for extreme medical circumstances has quietly become an option for women carrying twins. With that, pregnancy reduction shifted from a medical decision to an ethical dilemma. As science allows us to intervene more than ever at the beginning and the end of life, it outruns our ability to reach a new moral equilibrium. We still have to work out just how far we’re willing to go to construct the lives we want.”
At least the word “moral” is mentioned. But it is all downhill from there. Consider this clear-cut case of mental and moral confusion: “What is it about terminating half a twin pregnancy that seems more controversial than reducing triplets to twins or aborting a single fetus? After all, the math’s the same either way: one fewer fetus. Perhaps it’s because twin reduction (unlike abortion) involves selecting one fetus over another, when either one is equally wanted. Perhaps it’s our culture’s idealized notion of twins as lifelong soul mates, two halves of one whole. Or perhaps it’s because the desire for more choices conflicts with our discomfort about meddling with ever more aspects of reproduction.”
What a minute – stop right there at the first sentence. What do you mean, “terminating half a twin pregnancy”? Just how foolish is this? Twins, as the name clearly indicates, means we have two babies – two, distinct and separate individuals.
When you kill one of the two babies, you have not killed half of anything; you have killed an entire and complete human being. As always, by playing fast and loose with language, the moral relativists think they can cover up a multitude of sins.
And so much of this killing involves the worrying trend in designer babies. We want to create children to order – much like we go to the counter of a hamburger joint and tell them whether or not we want pickles or mustard with the burger. Our cafeteria lifestyle has now even extended to how we have children.
The article continues: “Who doesn’t want to create a more certain and comfortable future for themselves and their children? The more that science makes that possible, the more it has inflated our expectations of what family life should be. We’ve come to believe that the improvements are not only our due but also our responsibility. Just look at the revolution in attitudes toward selecting egg or sperm donors. In the 1970s, when sperm donation took off, most clients were married women with infertile husbands; many couples didn’t want to know about the source of the donation. Today patients in the United States can choose donors based not only on their height, hair color and ethnicity but also on their academic and athletic accomplishments, temperament, hairiness and even the length of a donor’s eyelashes.”
This is brave new world sort of stuff, and it is getting worse all the time. Today it is hair colour, but tomorrow it is what? A perfect race to rule the world? Have we not seen all this before? Have we not yet learned the lessons of history?
Al Mohler recently penned some commentary on the NYT article. His insights are worth sharing. “Those who have tried to justify any and all means of controlling reproduction must face squarely the fact that they have created what amounts to a consumer market for babies — and customers eventually find someone to provide what they demand. When it comes to human life, the stage is set for tragedy.”
He concludes this way: “‘The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy’ is one of the most significant articles of recent years. With chilling and unflinching candor, Ruth Padawer virtually forces her readers to see the twisted thinking that justifies the killing of the unborn, and then she tries to evade moral responsibility by calling the procedure a ‘reduction.’
“There is a story behind this story, of course. The intersection where modern reproductive technologies and legal abortion meet is now a deadly place for many unborn babies. In the name of personal preference and for ‘social reasons,’ some women now demand that their multiple babies be aborted so that they will have only the one baby they want.
“Padawer says that many Americans are uneasy about this knowledge, perhaps ‘because the desire for more choices conflicts with our discomfort about meddling with ever more aspects of reproduction.’ But the procedure so dishonestly called ‘reduction’ is really not about mere ‘meddling.’ It is murder.”
Quite so. Call it what you like; seek to dress it up all you like; play all the verbal engineering games you like, but at the end of the day we still end up with a dead baby – all in the name of choice.