The Corner

Why Be Horrified?

A 17-year-old girl was stopped at the Victoria’s  Secret at Herald Square in New York City on suspicion of shoplifting, and when police searched her bag, they discovered alongside the liberated lingerie a dead fetus

People were, naturally enough, horrified at this discovery.

But why?

If the fetus is, as we are constantly told, a meaningless clump of cells, why be bothered about it any more than if it were a rotten tomato — icky, but without moral weight? If it is, after all, a woman’s own business what she does with  ”her own body” — and we are constantly assured that there is no second body in question — why be bothered at all? 

People are, in fact, bothered by this sort of thing, even in New York. The human moral sense may be attenuated by the inhumane elements in our culture, but it has not yet been extinguished. Contents identical to those of this young woman’s purse may be found in medical-waste containers across the country, more than 1 million times per year. No doubt some of those mothers go lingerie-shopping (or lingerie-shoplifting) the next day, too. 

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