Christian Living

healthenews 06/01/09

Abortion, Murder, and Nazis

The killing of abortionist Dr. George Tiller is a revealing homicide. Naturally those in favor of choice have mostly focused on what a travesty this is. No one should have his life taken away in this way.  

Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH), a group in which Tiller had once served as a board member, was "outraged." The organization called on the United States government to find the killer and "anti-abortion leaders" to denounce this "cruel and cowardly" act.

As to the government, that insistence on apprehension and prosecution seems superfluous because that's what law enforcement does routinely by nature and by duty regardless of the victim's status. As to anti-abortion leaders, groups like National Right to Life not only condemned the killing but extended sympathy to Dr. Tiller's family. The NRL hardly needed PRCH to tell them to do what comes naturally to them -- to be saddened about lives taken away. 

From a moral standpoint, PRCH is in a more difficult position considering the nature of the organization. How do you condemn the taking of one life and not condemn the taking of millions?

True, one can see in the personal history of Dr. Tiller a concern over women who died from poorly done, illegal abortions. That's a rightful concern -- but the key is what you do about that concern. 

In fact, most of us were taught that two wrongs don't make a right. That teaching was usually in the context of something inordinately more mundane. Parents didn't want us pounding Jimmy because he made a nasty remark about one's sister Suzie. But this is about life and death, the ante is ultimate. 

And some wonder how doctors can turn from a concern for promoting life to a practice of inflicting death -- until we think of human nature. Doesn't sin make us capable of doing the wrong thing -- even taking the lives of the innocent?  Perhaps for what we think of as good reasons?

Consider the case of Dr. Carl Clauberg, a German gynecologist whose research at one time focused on helping women with fertility issues. Historian Raul Hilberg in his book The Destruction of the European Jews describes how the veteran physician eventually approached the Nazi leadership to request "permission to set up his apparatus in Auschwitz and to perform experiments there with a view to perfecting mass sterilization methods for 'unworthy women' (fortpflanzungsunwürdige Frauen) as well as producing fertililty in 'worthy women.'" Clauberg thought he was really helping the German people.

Similarly, our society allows our offspring to be divided into "unworthy babies" and "worthy babies" for what is portrayed as the common good. And like the Nazis, there's even a racial component to this taking of lives -- with a disproportionate number of the aborted being black or Hispanic. The Nazis would naturally have applauded this ending of lives whom they considered unworthy.  

Some may even find a strange twist to all of this. The PRCH website -- viewed on June 1, 2009 -- features physicians primarily of African, Latin, and Asian descent. Strangely, those whom the Nazis would have targeted end up largely targeting minority babies.



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