Outrage over three horrific abortion-related news stories is moving the public toward protecting human life.
Last month, a shocking story came out of Great Britain that the remains of more than 15,000 babies were incinerated as "clinical waste" by hospitals there, with some used in "waste to energy" plants. Dr. Dan Poulter of Britain's Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice and called it "totally unacceptable."
Even more recently and closer to home, it was discovered that aborted babies from Canada were used to power homes in Oregon. Sam Brentano, chairman of the Marion County board of commissioners in Oregon, said, "We will take immediate action to ensure a process is developed to prohibit human tissue from future deliveries."
Again in Britain, 23-year-old Josie Cunningham, 18 weeks pregnant with her baby, received her fair share of criticism when she announced that she planned to abort her child in order to increase her chances of being selected to appear on a British reality TV show called Big Brother. She said, "I'm finally on the verge of becoming famous and I'm not going to ruin it now. An abortion will further my career. This time next year I won't have a baby. Instead, I'll be famous, driving a bright pink Range Rover and buying a big house. Nothing will get in my way."
In one online survey, 93 percent of readers of a British magazine said they would boycott the show. This is very telling. It should be noted that Cunningham has now changed her mind about the abortion on the way to the abortion facility after feeling her baby kick for the first time 24 hours earlier. She tearfully regrets making "that ridiculous statement."
But is there some kind of public multipersonality disorder occurring here? On one hand, Josie seemed like the perfect embodiment of the pro-abortion philosophy: "My body, my choice. Why should a baby get in the way of my dreams and goals? I have the right to plan parenthood." Although she changed her mind about the abortion and we breathe a collective sigh of relief, millions of other women are quietly making the decision for abortion, and abortion advocates applaud their "right" to do so. Was Josie Cunningham different because she wanted to do it for fame as opposed to just climbing up some corporate ladder?
Why does it bother us so much that dead babies are being burned for energy here and abroad, but not that they were killed by abortion before ending up in the furnace? Abortion is illogical. As one writer notes, it could be that "British society sacrifices Cunningham as a collective easing of the conscience of a society with blood on its hands." Not that America is any different, with the blood of 56 million unborn babies on her hands.
It is good to see the knee-jerk revulsion so many people have upon hearing these stories. It means we're finally coming to our senses. And the pro-life movement is gaining momentum—a fact that polls and bills across the country proves. Guttmacher Institute reports that between 2011 and 2013, more pro-life bills were signed into law than in the entire previous decade. In 2013, 70 pro-life bills in 22 states were introduced. In the first quarter of 2014, legislators in 38 states introduced 303 pro-life provisions. By March 31, 2014, three new pro-life bills were enacted, and 36 had passed one legislative chamber. Our country is continually growing more pro-life. A January 2014 Marist poll found that 84 percent of Americans think abortion should be restricted.
We should continue to be shocked by the violence of abortion and follow the line of thought to its logical conclusion: Abortion is the killing of another human being, and no one has a right to take someone else's life away, especially someone who is so vulnerable. The fact that we're shocked is a good thing.
Arina Grossu is director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. Travis Weber is director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council.