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Speaking our language

"Speaking our language" Continued...

Issue: "Opium wars," May 12, 2007

Tiller, Carhart, and other real-life abortionists operate behind a romantic media façade, said USD Professor Hendershott: "With movies like The Cider House Rules and If These Walls Could Talk, Hollywood has popularized the image of the 'kindly abortionist with the heart of gold.' We have elevated abortionists, and nobody's been questioning what they've really been doing-which is delivering babies and killing them on the way out."

Kennedy's Gonzales opinion changes all that with a return to realism that includes in the majority decision the plain-language testimony of a nurse who watched abortionist Martin Haskell kill a 26 1/2--week baby: "Haskell went in with forceps and grabbed the baby's legs and pulled them down into the birth canal. Then he delivered the baby's body and the arms-everything but the head. The doctor kept the head right inside the uterus. . . . The baby's little fingers were clasping and unclasping, and his little feet were kicking. Then the doctor stuck the scissors in the back of his head, and the baby's arms jerked out, like a startle reaction. . . . The doctor opened up the scissors, stuck a high-powered suction tube into the opening, and sucked the baby's brains out. Now the baby went completely limp."

In his own references to partial-birth abortion, Kennedy consistently avoided words like "disarticulate" and "reduce," clinical terms often used by abortionists to obscure the violence of the procedure. Instead, he used terms like "ripped apart"-and in doing so ripped down a curtain of abortionist pretense.

The high court's introduction of new language can prove to be an exception or the beginning of a trend, said Virginia State Solicitor Thro. With the hindsight of 50 years, he said, legal experts see that school segregation began to crumble in cases preceding Brown v. Board of Education. Thro said, "We may look back on this as the moment that the abortion debate changed."

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