The response may be outrage or ho-hum, depending on whether the observer is a theist or an evolutionist.
It sparked outrage in the UK in March when The Telegraph reported that 15,000 aborted babies had been incinerated as “medical waste,” with some of the energy going to heat hospitals. The health minister instantly banned the practice, calling it “totally unacceptable.”
Then, the same thing was reported happening in Oregon by LifeSiteNews as part of a “waste-to-energy” program. An outraged commissioner said, “I want to know who knew, when they knew, how long they had known this was going on.”
To many, Live Science hit a new low when it justified the burning of aborted fetuses for energy. Mark Lalanilla’s piece, “Why are aborted fetuses burned?” portrays it as just a practical matter, with legal justification behind it. He puts a fetus in the same category as cancer or dung:
The issue, however, isn’t limited to one incinerator in Oregon: Aborted fetal tissue and other types of medical waste — amputated limbs, organs, cancerous tissue, bones and all manner of bodily fluids — are routinely burned for heat or electricity worldwide.
Lalanilla lists laws in South Dakota, Texas and North Carolina that stipulate the proper disposal of medical waste. But to Lalanilla, an aborted baby is no different from a finger, an appendix, or a piece of garbage.
And because many states and cities now use waste as an eco-friendly source of energy, medical waste (including body parts and fetal remains) is combined with household garbage and other types of waste to create heat or electricity.
The article says Oregon’s county commissioner is working “to exclude all fetal tissue from its incinerator, while other medical waste will still be accepted.” Lalanilla ends by pointing out that amputated limbs will still fall into the medical waste bin, “as gross as that is,” —as if to wonder why fetal tissue deserves special treatment.
Our society seems beyond shock any more. Have we already forgotten? After the Nazi surrender, Westerners were outraged to find what had happened at Buchenwald, where the bodies of Jews had been “recycled” to make lampshades, soap and false teeth. Josef Mengele is still viewed as a monster. But in our modern world a mere 70 years later, “doctors” who should be sworn to “do no harm” take babies and throw them in with the garbage to heat their hospitals—and a science news site doesn’t have a problem with that. It’s legal, isn’t it? It’s eco-friendly, isn’t it? They’re dead (or going to die) anyway; what’s the problem? We were just following the law. Lalanilla forgets that similar rationalizations had been used by the Nazi accomplices. For the Nuremberg judges, it was no excuse, because there is a higher moral law known to all humans.
From an atheist, evolutionary foundation, Lalanilla’s view makes a grisly kind of sense. Sure it’s “gross,” but nature is gross. Animals die and become energy for plants. A fetus is just tissue, like an arm, some tonsils or the dead horse that gets taken to the rendering plant. And if some families choose cremation for their loved ones, what’s the difference? Might as well get some heat out of it.
Does he not see a difference between the hair and fingernails he cuts off and throws away, and his self? Sure, you can amputate limbs, even all four of them, but sooner or later you reach a critical point. The self is not the parts, nor is it divided among the parts. We can sacrifice parts for a greater good, but “amputating” the self is murder.
OK, Mr. Lalanilla, let’s carry your viewpoint a little further. How far are you willing to go? Should we harvest the fetuses for their stem cells? (He would probably like that.) Should we harvest their organs? (Gets a little squeamish, perhaps.) Since the organs are better when fresh, why don’t we wait till after they are born to harvest them? How about making artwork out of aborted fetuses? Shall we make them into racquetballs, or use their eyes for marbles? Should we make cat food out of them? How about making them into frozen food for human consumption? We could go further, but you get the point. What’s the difference, if it’s just “medical waste” that can be used for energy? There are other things you can do with it. How about starting a baby hatchery or flesh farm for organs and cannibal gourmet dinners? Do you want people with that attitude acting as moral agents of the state?
Sane people were outraged about this story, because they know in their consciences that there is something sacred about human life. We don’t treat human beings as commodities. If slavery is wrong, then so is making a human body at any stage an object of someone else’s practical utility. Mr. Lalanilla should remember that even the Neanderthals and Cro-magnons buried their dead. He (and evolutionists who agree with him) have devolved from that pinnacle of nobility into creatures of crass pragmatism, with seared consciences, snickering like psychopaths at the prudery of the outraged.
It’s only logical from an evolutionary world view that Mr. Lalanilla should consider his own body a utilitarian object of no greater consequence than garbage. Since there is no light left in him, let him be the first to offer his body for heat. He can illustrate evolutionary altruism that way (11/03/13), offering his body as a sacrifice for the generation of a few seconds of heat to benefit the other walking garbage. It’s legal, isn’t it?
So what should be done with the aborted babies? You treat them with respect as human remains, not “garbage.” Dead bodies are buried with respect. Cremated remains are either kept by loved ones in special urns, or are scattered at sea. We acknowledge “ashes to ashes, and dust to dust” in the end of life, but that doesn’t mean human bodies are to be treated as commodities or energy sources. Abortion relegates innocent human beings as victims of convenience for the parents, but as long as abortion remains legal, we can and should at least protest the callous disregard for human dignity exemplified by these “waste-to-energy” programs and demand a stop to it.
A TV movie on the Gosnell abortion mill is in the works, Townhall.com reported. We’ll see if America has any conscience left when it sees how America’s biggest serial killer plied his evil trade under the guise of “reproductive health,” while government officials turned a deaf ear to reports of goings-on in Gosnell’s house of horrors. Would Mark Lalanilla be happier if Gosnell had been more “eco-friendly” about it? Abortion is legal, isn’t it?
Recommended resource: Follow the articles by Wesley J. Smith, author of The War on Humans, on Evolution News & Views. Abortion is just one aspect of a larger culture war based in Darwinian thinking that reduces humans to animals, and particularly pesky ones at that. Watch his film The War on Humans on YouTube, sponsored by the Discovery Institute.