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On the Use of Human Shields
I'm introducing an important and tricky concept here, so come with me one step at a time. We're going to take a close look at politics at its ugliest. Bear with me.
Until the page was moved, I used to link to a page that I'd run the URL through a program that was intended just for fun -- an Internet Pig Latin translator. This program converts the text in Web sites to Pig Latin -- making it very tough to read. I did this because I wanted you to look at the images, and not to be distracted by the words.
Looking only at the pictures, you'd have had a hard time guessing what the page was about. Were they introducing new staff? Were these stories of people who came to NAF facilities for counseling and ended up having their happy families instead of abortions thanks to the superior counseling provided? What were all these happy folks -- all these happy families, especially -- doing on a National Abortion Federation web site?
Well, the page was "Letting Families Decide." It was a page promoting late abortions.
That's right. Lots of pictures of happy families were advertising late term abortions -- abortions in which the baby is delivered live, all except for his head, and then is stabbed in the head and killed.
These happy families are the image NAF wants you to have when you think about late abortions. Just as a mouth wash manufacturer wants you to assume that if you use their mouth wash, you'll be happy and loved, NAF wants to get the American people to associate brain-sucking abortions with joy, love, and family.
A more disgusting spectacle is difficult to imagine. But NAF is being smart. They're combining two extremely effective techniques -- one from marketing, one from warfare -- to protect their interests. These techniques are positive imaging and the use of human shields.
Positive imaging is one of the oldest advertising techniques. (The technique can also be called "transfer," meaning that the goal of the advertising is to transfer the image of the positive thing onto the product.) The advertiser links the product to things people want -- health, happiness, freedom, what have you -- to lure you closer to the product. NAF takes the quintessential Happy American Family, and links it to late term abortions, as if abortion produces happy families. Of course, the minute you examine what they're doing, it's absurd on its face. Even people who consider abortion a necessary evil don't think it makes families happy. At its best, even the most enthusiastic supporters of abortion don't try to seriously claim that abortion brings joy to families. But NAF isn't trying to get people to think. NAF simply wants you to somehow unconsciously associate the availability of abortions -- even those done on near-term infants -- as promoting wholesome families.
Let's look at the exact words NAF used on the now-defunct page: "[U]ntil now, families and their doctors have decided what to do when faced with a medical emergency during pregnancy."
The picture they were trying to create was of one of these happy families suddenly facing a life-threatening obstetric emergency. Oh, those nasty right-to-lifers! They're trying to prevent nice doctors from doing what's best for these nice ladies when their lives are in immediate danger!
If you believe that, you probably also believe that drinking Dr. Pepper initiates you into some sort of "Peppers" club of joyful free-thinkers who dance down the street with the guy in the red sneakers. Think about the concept that NAF is trying to get you to buy into.
There has never been any law preventing a conscientious doctor from taking whatever steps he or she deems necessary to preserve the life of a patient -- including a pregnant patient. Back in the days before antibiotics made c-sections safe for mothers, some doctors would even resort to using a cranioclast to crush the head of a baby during delivery if the baby's head was too big to safely pass through the mother's pelvis. Until the invention of post-viability abortions by the Supreme Court, doctors faced with a very sick and very pregnant patient would induce labor or do an emergency c-section. Come to think of it, even after the Supreme Court decided that killing viable infants was a "right," the standard of obstetric care was to induce or do a c-section to deliver a live baby when late pregnancy was threatening the mother's life.
But NAF doesn't want you to think about that, because NAF isn't in the business of doing emergency c-sections or inducing premature labor to protect sickly mothers. NAF is what its name says: the National Abortion Federation. NAF has no more interest in promoting emergency c-sections and inducing labor than a tobacco company has in encouraging people to chew gum when they're stressed out. NAF exists to promote the interests of its members, who are, by definition, abortionists. Not, as they would have you think, obstetricians. Abortionists.
Even people like ACOG and Warren Hern (abortionist extrordinaire) -- who would probably rather be staked to an ant hill than see even a teensie weensie bit of regulation of abortion -- admit that there is no evidence that these brain-sucking abortions are safe for mothers. Hern flat out says that there is no way to defend them. There is nobody anywhere who has been able to document a single maternal health concern that calls for dragging the baby out feet first and stabbing him in the head. The best anybody can say for post-viability abortion is that they can imagine that maybe, possibly, by the wildest stretch of somebody's imagination, some doctor somewhere might think it was a good idea. But he'd be basing that conclusion on nothing but a hunch. There have been no peer-reviewed studies of the safety of post-viability abortions in general, or of brain-sucking abortions in particular. In fact, the only peer-reviewed research indicates that after 16 weeks of pregnancy, going to all the trouble to kill the fetus instead of delivering him live dramatically increases the risk of injury or death to the mother.
That's something NAF doesn't want you to think about. If the mother is very sick and they need to get that baby out of her quickly, how can it be promoting her health to do additional invasive measures to kill the baby? To do an abortion after viability is more work, more intrusive, more risky, than delivering the baby live. This is an incontrovertible fact that try as they might, abortion advocates have not been able to escape. The additional intrusive measures taken to kill the fetus jeopardize the mother's life and health unnecessarily. The only reason to perform these procedures is to ensure a dead baby. Period, paragraph.
So we've got the first sneaky, under handed trick: trying to get people to associate brain-sucking abortions with wholesome families just struggling along with their doctors. Now let's look at the second sneaky, under handed trick: using these families as human shields.
If you want to keep the military leaders of a basically decent country to refrain from bombing your chemical weapons plant, you don't do it by putting the chemical weapons plant in the middle of a major military complex. You do it by putting your chemical weapons plant next to a hospital or an orphanage. That way, your enemies can't bomb your chemical weapons plant without killing the sick folks or the orphans. And if the enemy does bomb your chemical weapons plant, you don't show the remains of the bombed weapons plant. You show the orphans that were maimed and killed by the shrapnel. Never mind that you chose to put those orphans or sick folks in danger by putting them right next to your most nefarious weapons establishment. No; this is war. You put the innocent into the line of fire, so that when they get hurt or killed, you can cast blame on the enemy.
The National Abortion Federation and its stooges pulled these families into the line of fire. These families are the human shields being used to protect the interests of the abortionists. Like the orphans outside a chemical weapons plant, they're there to ensure that despicable and evil practices can't be attacked without inadvertently hurting civilians. Say something bad about late abortions, or about brain-sucking abortions, and these families, propped up by NAF in the line of fire, will be pulled into reliving the worst thing that ever happened to them. You can't attack LeRoy Carhart or Martin Haskel without some of the fallout landing on these families. But we have to remember who chose to place these families directly into the line of fire: late term abortionists and the National Abortion Federation.
It's a shame that these families are going to suffer so much additional pain and trauma during the fight to defend children and families from the National Abortion Federation. But it is not the prolifers who drew them into the fray. That was NAF's decision. And the flac should fall back on NAF, not on the prolifers.
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