Infanticide, Animal Cruelty, and How We’re Confused on Both

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I was running through a mental to-do list for the day and enjoying the beautiful sunrise when the word “abortion” sliced through the silence. I cranked the volume on the radio and listened as the show host gave a brief update announcing that today (April 10, 2019) in North Carolina, a senate committee is scheduled to discuss what should happen when an abortion procedure results in a live birth.

The bill being discussed asserts that, “The newborn is a ‘legal person’ subject to the same protections of the law and care from health providers as any other newborn.”

I kept the volume up and waited to hear if there would be more. But the host was running through a list of news items, and quickly jumped to the next thing on his list.

“A North Carolina man charged with animal cruelty after leaving behind a pet fish with no food….”

“A Life Like Any Dog or Cat”

For a moment, I was convinced I was listening to a satire radio show. Because certainly we don’t live in a world where we debate what to do with an infant lying on the table, and then in the same breath, charge a man for leaving a 6-inch fish with an empty belly.

I Googled the fish story and learned that an NC man was evicted from his home, left behind the fish, and was charged with animal cruelty and abandonment. Evidently the fish was diseased, hungry, and living in filthy conditions.

The sheriff’s officer who found the fish expressed his shock and outrage, saying that this fish “is a life like any dog or cat.”

The pet store employee who is rehabilitating the fish said, “We’re doing everything in our power to get this fish back healthy.”

Since I’m sure you’re dying to know, I’ll tell you how it ends. The man’s charges were dropped, because evidently fish are not protected under the animal abuse law. Tough break for the fish.

In a particularly ironic statement, the DA said, “We take a very dim view of anyone who would abuse any creature great or small and appreciate their enforcement of the laws to protect vulnerable animals. Fish are not included in this statute, however, so my office is dismissing these charges.”

A Morally Bankrupt World

Hey, am I glad the fish is going to make it? Sure. But forgive me if I’m not losing sleep over an abandoned fish while my state and country still debate whether or not to penalize doctors who would leave a newborn baby on a table to die. (If this is news to you, read all about the recent Senate vote here.)

Because this is the world we live in now. We have to have discussions and debates and votes to determine what to do if a child survives a murder attempt and is lying on a table gasping for breath.

Is anyone else completely astounded that the default reaction to this fish found in neglect was to arrest the owner on multiple counts of animal abuse and neglect? The gut reaction of authorities was to arrest him. Their gut reaction was to be repulsed, shocked, and saddened by the negligent treatment of a fish. A fish.

But if an infant is alive and squirming and crying on a table? Well…hold on. Let’s discuss that a little further.

Because this is the world we live in now. We have to have discussions and debates and votes to determine what to do if a child survives a murder attempt and is lying on a table gasping for breath.Click To Tweet

Numb to Abortion

Our consciences have been seared when we think infants or unborn babies are not people worth protecting. People who think this way don’t even realize how inconsistent it is to say that fish ought to have the rights of humans, while at the same time treating some humans as though they have no rights.

There is no difference between a newborn infant and the same infant who was in the womb moments before. There’s no difference between a third trimester baby and a second trimester baby. Or first trimester. Or embryo.

The problem begins when we say that abortions are permissible in certain circumstances. We decide that circumstance, or size, or development, or environment, or whatever, determines the value of a life.

Think about it: if a child could be killed in the womb because he or she is unwanted, then why can’t that same child be killed outside of the womb as a newborn for the same reason? Why not kill that child as a toddler? A pre-teen? An adult?

We are so blinded by depravity that we can’t discern whether we should try harder to protect a human life or an abandoned fish. We’re not just on a slippery slope, we’re halfway to the bottom.

We are so blinded by depravity that we can’t discern whether we should try harder to protect a human life or an abandoned fish. We’re not just on a slippery slope, we’re halfway to the bottom.Click To Tweet

Not to Speak is to Speak

If you’re pro-life, this applies to you, too. We can’t sit around pointing our fingers at Democrats, or politicians, or whoever, while sitting safely in our pro-life bubbles. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man who was executed for his opposition to Hitler’s extermination of the Jews, said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil…not to speak, is to speak.”

Our world is hopelessly lost, confused, and corrupt. And that is why we must speak truth into this darkness. We cannot sit and do nothing while countless unborn children are ripped apart in the womb, and while others are set aside while “a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

And we can’t only be outraged by late-term abortion, or infants being left to die on a table. We must also be outraged by the 6-week abortion, the 12-week abortion, or the second trimester abortion. Every abortion intentionally ends the life of a human being. Period.

If you believe life is valuable at all stages, then say something. Do something. Because, in the words of Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Refuse to Stay Silent

You can use your voice to advocate for the unborn today. Here are a few ways to get started:

Empowered to Advocate

We must know where we stand on the issue of abortion and communicate our beliefs in a clear, concise, and compelling way. If you are burdened by the reality of abortion, I invite you to subscribe to our podcast, The Empowered Advocate. Next week on Monday, April 15, we will release a new episode on how to defend the pro-life position.

When we take the time to evaluate what we truly believe on these issues, we’ll be ready and unafraid to use our voices and speak out against the injustice of abortion. If we create a culture of life that speaks up, shows up, and refuses to remain silent, I believe we will see an end to abortion in our world.

Mary Holloman is the Communications Coordinator for Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center.

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