"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
“‘Dr. Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby’s body and the arms—everything but the head. The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus. . . .“‘The baby’s little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby’s arms jerked out, like a startle reaction, like a flinch, like a baby does when he thinks he is going to fall. “‘The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, and sucked the baby’s brains out. Now the baby went completely limp. . . . “‘He cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he had just used.’”
-- A description of the "procedure that opponents call 'partial-birth abortion'" (to use the formulation favored by the Globe, the NY Times et al), as described in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, by a nurse who witnessed the method performed on a 26½-week fetus.
Harry Forbes at Squaring the Boston Globe (from which the above description is taken) observes neither the Globe's news coverage nor its editorial on the recent Supreme Court ruling in Gonzalez v. Carhart informs readers in any detail about the procedure at the heart of the case.
Forbes presents a graphic description, upon which the Supreme Court drew in its ruling. He comments:
This text is very disturbing reading. I reproduce it only to illustrate how the editorials and news coverage in the Globe obfuscate, posture, and advocate to readers as much or more than they actually inform. The material below is almost completely unmentioned in the Globe coverage. As I said, the Globe's 1000 word news story gave it a single sentence. The editorial said nothing at all about it at all.
A similar omission of detail is noted in this Globe report on doctors outraged by the Court ruling, and in this column by Ellen Goodman headlined, "Trumping women's rights." Both items are long on talking points – government interference! Terri Schiavo! – but silent on the actual details of the procedure "whose illegality," in Harry Forbes' words, "the Globe editors view as an erosion of fundamental human rights."
Elsewhere in the media, the Know Nothing spirit raises its head. But just what is the practice the enlightened press wishes to protect from the Vatican (but won't describe?)
A commenter at Forbes' blog raises the question of the health of the mother. What I would like to know is this: in how many circumstances is the health of the mother benefited by delivering a baby – then killing it? If a late-term baby can be delivered, why not do so and let it live?
The nurse's testimony above describes the method performed at 26½ weeks. Now consider this picture of an unborn child at 21 weeks grasping a doctor's finger during pre-natal surgery.
Lo, those many years ago when I was editor of Commonweal, I remember getting pr releases about partial-birth abortion. I didn't even read the first ones, but finally I did read one and looked at the pictures, and read the description. My dismissive attitude was replaced by curiosity and then repugnance. I couldn't see how pro-choice people could defend a procedure that delivered a live baby and then stuck a pair of scissors (or other medical tool) into its skull to kill it. Why isn't this infanticide? And why shouldn't it be prohibited?
Having previously edited the Hastings Center Report, I was also familiar with the advances in neo-natal medicine that were keeping some second-trimester preemies alive. Why save one infant, while killing another?
Roe v. Wade has been surpassed by medical innovation; its trimester divisions have now been brought back into play. Good for the Supreme Court. Good for Justice Kennedy. And good for the rest of us. #