. . .We had arrived at the future we were cautioned about, the place where human life had no value except as a field of experimentation, where men and women manufactured life like canned food. Here, in this new place, unborn babies are called “singletons” and willful killing excites all the moral energy of selling a home.
You have to read the article to begin to absorb how bad things have become. It opens with a focus on “Jenny.” At the time she became pregnant, Jenny was 45. She had gone through six years of fertility drugs, ovulation injections, and other medical interventions. Finally, she conceived twins. And yet . . . “and yet here she was,” said the article, “14 weeks into her pregnancy, choosing to extinguish one of two healthy fetuses, almost as if having half an abortion. As the doctor inserted the needle into Jenny’s abdomen, aiming at one of the fetuses, Jenny tried not to flinch, caught between intense relief and intense guilt.”
You’ll want to read the whole thing.
What twisted my gut in that NY Times article was the woman pregnant with triplets and feeling like they were “monsters” inside of her; part of her rationalization for killing two is “We don’t have family just sitting around waiting to get called to help me with a baby.” So, she kills two of the babies and then “jumps for joy” when she goes out to her waiting mother — all ready to buy baby clothes.
So, she has family just waiting around to accompany her on an abortion/shopping excursion, but not to “help” her with them? Have our families become so populated with self-involved, relativity-saturated-relatives that there is no passion for new life, no one to say, “do not be afraid; I’m with you and I will help”? Are our newest generation of grandparents so detached and into their own things that they can’t be bothered being like their grandparents? Or are they convinced, still, that “good parenting” means giving your child whatever he/she wants and adding the “you’re special,” cherry on top?
Then again, the new generation of grandparents is a generation shadowed by a ghostly population of missing siblings, all aborted by the generation before — the “abortion on demand and without guilt” generation — so they’re well-trained to think that life is cheap and that whether one is born at all is something of a crapshoot.
Preceding generations are supposed to provide wisdom; our most recent can’t seem to get past, “it’s your thing, do what you wanna do; I can’t tell you who to sock it to…”
Speaking of generational wisdom, Joseph Susanka’s piece today is on that very topic:
Forced now to confront a harsh and self-incriminating reality of his own, Shi realizes that his ability to absolve himself from his daughter’s particular accusation does not free him from the underlying charges of neglect, nor from the now-obvious consequences of that neglect. Simply acting in accord with his principles—laudable though they may have been—was not enough for his young daughter; she had needed much more from him. She had needed to understand his actions, not simply to observe them. But his absence had made that understanding impossible. [...] Teaching by example is an important part of living out our lives as effective parents and faithful Catholics. But it is vital to remember that while “actions speak louder than words,” they don’t always say exactly what we want them to say, even to those nearest and dearest to us. Sometimes, what we do is less vital to our children’s formation than why we did it.
Someday, parents who feel free to restructure marriage along fluid lines are going to have to explain to their children the notions of love, honor, vows and stability — but to do it, they’ll either have to use relativistic spin, fully reconstructing those notions, because they will not be able to point to their own lives as modeling traditional understandings.
And some parents and grandparents will find themselves confronted by the children who actually made it into the world, and they’ll have to explain to them why, in the past fifty years or so, the meaning and nature of love has become corrupted — that love, instead of being boundless, has become so limited in scope that one need only extend love to the point where one is not too-inconvenienced, and that is all.
And these parents and grandparents may also be called on to explain the missing siblings — why two others were killed, and only one retained, why a twin “just like you” was disposable, and why killing made one “jump for joy.”
They’ll have a hell of a time serving that up like a treat with a “you are special” cherry on top.