Pretend Not to Know or Admit Not to Care

I forget what movie it was, but I remember the scene. Two friends were arguing with each other and one was saying, “But you don’t get it, you don’t get it, you killed someone!” And the friend responded, “No, you don’t get it – I don’t care.”

Abortion advocates either deny that the baby is a baby, or they say they just don’t care that abortion kills that baby. More and more over the past decade have been taking the latter approach.

And in some ways, they have less and less choice in the matter. Not only has science indisputably confirmed fertilization as the starting point of each unique human life, but the law is catching up with the science.

A law was passed in South Dakota’s in 2005, and subsequently upheld in federal court, that actually requires the abortionist to tell the woman who comes for an abortion that the procedure destroys a “whole, separate, unique, living human being”. North Dakota has passed the same law. A couple of other states have also introduced such legislation.

This is a tremendous victory for the pro-life movement, and a wonderful triumph of truth over an industry based on the denial of truth. The truth about who unborn children are, after all, has come to light more in the time since the law deprived those children of protection than it did from the beginning of human history. It is only in recent decades that we have developed ultrasound and other visualization techniques, as well as fetal therapy and surgery, not to mention amazing advances in genetics.

While considering this law, the court concluded that evidence like this, presented by the state, “suggests that the biological sense in which the embryo or fetus is whole, separate, unique and living should be clear in context to a physician, and Planned Parenthood submitted no evidence to oppose that conclusion.”

One of the things that abortion advocates complained about through this process was that the state should not be allowed to force a doctor to convey an ideological message (like pro-life). But the Eighth Circuit court pointed out that there’s a difference between that and requiring the doctor to provide truthful and accurate information about the abortion. The fact that such information may lead the person to choose life over abortion does not, the Court said, make it unconstitutional to require doctors to provide such information.

So there you have it: abortionists being required to admit that the abortion destroys a “whole, separate, unique, living human being”. The law and the courts are awakening from an almost forty-year slumber induced by the assertion in Roe vs. Wade that “we need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.” Laws and court decisions like the ones coming out of South Dakota are declaring, “Yes we do need to resolve that question, and yes we already have resolved it.”

So abortion advocates must decide: will they pretend not to know, or will they admit that they just don’t care?

Fr. Frank Pavone


Father Frank A. Pavone is an American Roman Catholic priest and pro-life activist. He is the National Director of Priests for Life and serves as the Chairman and Pastoral Director of Rachel's Vineyard.

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  • The abortion advocates who “don’t care” remind me of an argument my wife and I had with a woman more than 20 years ago. She not only admitted to an abortion years previously, but expressed satisfaction that she killed the nuisance. Otherwise, she said contemptuously, he’d now be begging for the car keys. She was selfishly single, and had no qualms about the idea of killing her own offspring.

    My wife and I were taken aback at the time by her brazenness. But now, after living another two plus decades in postmodern America, we’re getting rather jaded, I’m afraid. Our fellow citizens’ capacity to go from bad to worse, and to sink lower and lower, is no longer surprising. Though it’s still very disheartening.

  • PaulSmithJr

    The opening quote was from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after Faith accidentally killed a human while she and Buffy were in the midst of a running battle with a group of vampires. Episode “Bad Girls,” Season 3, episode 14.