The Corner

The Child Sacrifice Behind Clinic Walls

In 1519, when Hernán Cortés landed in Mexico he encountered an Aztec civilization dedicated to the practice of human sacrifice on a shocking scale. Tens of thousands of people were hauled to the top of temples and cut wide open with flint knives. Priests pulled out human hearts even as they beat in the screaming victims chests and then discarded the bodies, tossing them down to the ground below. Aztec wars generated an endless stream of prisoners, and thus Cortés found willing local allies when he decided to perform the immense public service of ridding the world of Aztec brutality and tyranny. 

Compared to Planned Parenthood, however, the Aztecs were amateurs. They killed their tens of thousands (and maybe their hundreds of thousands), but Planned Parenthood’s death toll reaches into the millions. The fact that they sacrifice children behind closed doors in (sometimes) antiseptic clinics renders the children no less dead and certainly no less dismembered.

I often see reports that “life is getting better.” And this new century has (thus far) brought mercifully fewer international conflicts than in centuries past. International trade, the immense power of the free market, and a technological revolution every bit as consequential as the industrial revolution has made life better and longer for most of humanity. The world even pays lip service to ending genocide. But all that’s true only for those lucky enough to be born. The world doesn’t even pretend to care about the genocide in the womb. Indeed, in the United States — the “shining city on a hill” — one of our two great political parties protects child sacrifice with religious reverence.

At least the Aztecs had the excuse of being deluded by false gods, by supernatural dictates. Planned Parenthood serves the god of the self — along with its attending deities of career, convenience, and hedonism. When they cut open the heads of living children, they’re no better — and indeed more banal — than the priests of old. There’s no such a thing as moral evolution, but there is good and evil, life and death. People are people, and through all of recorded civilization some members of the human race have been all too willing to kill even the innocent to get exactly what they want. And those deaths have always been messy and gory. Until recently, however, Planned Parenthood’s killing has been private. Now, it’s public. Now, we have no excuse. We never did.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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