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A horrible crime is being committed daily in our land. Lives are being snuffed out. Well over a million lives are destroyed annually. Why is so little heard of it? 

We decry the horrors of the concentration camp and the executions of Nazi Germany. Rightly so. We speak of those who had perpetrated such crimes as “criminals” and (to put it mildly) “uncivilized.” And who would disagree? 

Yet millions are being destroyed in our land—and who says much of it? 

Organizations rally to fight to prevent the taking away of the life of one criminal in Utah. It is said that capital punishment does not preserve the “dignity” of life. His case is reported in all the newspapers and news broadcasts. It is remarked that should this one man be executed, hundreds more sentenced to die might soon be led also to their legally appointed death. 

But these millions? Who defends them? How can such crimes be perpetrated daily—and little is done to stop the horror? What blood already rests upon the soul of the nation! Where are the noted lawyers of the land who are so ready to defend the poor and helpless criminal? Where is the righteousness of this land which has by so many been labeled “Christian”? 

The blood of the destroyed unborn cries out to heaven. And the consequences of such awful crime are yet fully to be seen within the land. 

Even those who at first advocated the right of abortion, are having second thoughts. Some of these changing attitudes were reported in the March 1976 issue of Good Housekeeping. Some of the comments were as follows:

One of the most dramatic turnabouts in recent years is that of Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson. Once a militant crusader for abortion on demand and director of a pioneer clinic where upwards, of 100 pregnancies were terminated each day, Nathanson now marches to a very different tune. 

He has come to believe that abortion “is the taking of human life,” and that a legal climate that is “completely permissive” on that issue may be a threat to the very fabric of our society. 

Dr. Nathanson is now associated with St. Luke’s Woman’s Hospital in New York City, where he oversees a special medical unit devoted to the sophisticated testing of unborn babies in the wombs of their mothers.

Dr. Nathanson, in the beginning, took the position that “what was in the womb was a ‘blueprint,’ a model for what would be, but not the real thing.” In New York, the Legislature passed a law in 1970 allowing abortion on demand up to the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy. Nathanson became director of one of the largest abortion clinics in New York. 

But things did not go well within the clinic. Those who thought that the aborted fetus was not the “real thing,” nevertheless showed some signs of uneasy consciences.

“The pressures, external as well as internal, on everyone were just enormous,” (Nathanson) recalls. Doctors regularly worked 12-hour shifts. 

But it wasn’t just a matter of overwork. Psychological factors, stemming perhaps from subconscious guilt and inner misgivings, must also have been playing a part. Doctors began “losing their nerve in the operating room,” Nathanson says. 

“I remember one sweating profusely, shaking badly, nipping drinks between procedures.” Heavy drinking became a problem with several. Some doctors and nurses complained of deep depression, and some were plagued by terrifying recurring nightmares. One doctor’s worried wife cornered Nathanson at a party and anxiously reported that her husband was dreaming continually of blood.

The doctor had second thoughts. He took another position, where his task was rather to preserve the lives of the fetuses. He began to wonder why, on the one hand, so many of these could simply be destroyed, while, on the other hand, so much effort would be expended to preserve them in other situations. His attitudes changed. Although he does not take any sort of a Christian position on the subject, he has realized some of the evils of the murder which is abortion.

“I said to myself: ‘All that propaganda you’ve been spewing out about abortion not involving the taking of human life is nonsense. If that thing in the uterus is nothing, why are we spending all this time and money on it?'” 

“I became convinced that as director of the clinic I had in fact presided over 60,000 deaths.” 

He elaborates: “AS early as six weeks we can detect heart function in embryos, with an electrocardiograph. We can record brain activity at eight weeks. 

“Our capacity to measure signs of life is becoming more sophisticated every day, and as time goes by we will undoubtedly be able to isolate these signs at earlier and earlier stages in fetal development. To vehemently deny that life begins when conception begins is absurd! 

“The product of conception is a human being in a special time of its development, part of a continuum that begins in the uterus, passes through childhood, adolescence and adulthood, and ends in death. 

“The fact that a fetus depends on the placenta for life and can’t survive independently doesn’t nullify its existence as a human being. A diabetic is wholly dependent on insulin, but that doesn’t make him less human.”

BUREAUCRATIC INTRUSIONS 

Christianity Today, Nov. 5, 1976, contains an article entitled, “Of Equal Opportunity and Other Bureaucratic Intrusions” by Dennis F. Kinlaw. The article contains some interesting observations concerning governmental intrusion into higher education. We, perhaps, do not always recognize the extent of governmental control and regulation in such institutions. Often we consider governmental assistance to our own schools as an ideal way of lifting some of the financial burden from Christian parents. And perhaps even now we have already received enough governmental assistance which will permit government to demand increasing controls over our schools as well. The article points out that a little more than 20 years ago, our government tried to steer clear of support of higher education:

As late as the 1930s the federal government had little or no control over higher education. Laws such as those providing for social security, workmen’s compensation, and unemployment insurance, binding upon almost every other sector of society, specifically exempted educational institutions. 

Just a little over two decades ago the Commission on Financing Higher Education declared that the strength of higher education was in its freedom and that this freedom “must be protected at all costs.” It predicted that federal financing would bring federal controls that would be destructive to originality and diversity and would finally produce uniformity, mediocrity, and compliance.

Soon, however, changes were seen. Increasingly, government was asked to help institutions of higher learning. And they gave this help—albeit, with attendant controls. And even the institutions which shunned this assistance, found that the government insisted upon controls over them as well. The author writes:

But the careful respect by the government for the independence of the educational world is long gone. Non-involvement has changed to intrusion, respect to financial and regulatory control. The extent is frightening. 

President Bok reports that compliance with federal regulations in 1974-75 at Harvard consumed over 60,000 hours of faculty time. President Willis Weatherford of Berea College says that one-fourth of his time this past year has been spent on governmental matters . . . . 

Someone may say that the schools deserve their fate because they were foolish enough to accept federal funds. A number of administrators felt that with federal money would come controls, and so they courageously resisted the urge to enjoy the benefits of government aid. It is instructive to see how they have fared. One regulation from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare on July 21, 1975, simply redefined the term “recipient” of federal financial assistance. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 declared any institution to which “federal financial assistance was extended directly or through another recipient” (italics by author) to be officially and legally a recipient of federal aid and thus bound by all the governmental regulations that control such recipients. To have one veteran attending on the G.I. bill puts the institution in the “recipient” category. No institution is now exempt. President Kingman Brewster of Yale suggested that the government’s philosophy is, “Now that I have bought the button, I have a right to design the coat.”

The article points out that now our government “is becoming the judge of matters of deep religious import.” An institution receiving government assistance may not inquire into the marital status of its employees. Pregnancy outside marriage of any of the employees may be considered only as a “temporary disability,” not basis for dismissal from a job. None may discriminate against an employee or applicant for “termination of pregnancy.” One may not legally make distinction in work between male and female. In short, governmental regulations prevent institutions receiving governmental assistance from operating according to Scriptural principles in many instances. The author concludes:

Academic freedom and religious liberty have been vital parts of the atmosphere that has enabled American democracy to flourish. Both are fragile and need some protection. It is an illusion to think that political liberty will long survive if these freedoms go. Today the balance that has made possible American academic freedom and American religious liberty, to the envy of much of the world, is threatened. How tragic if in the fight for social reform, very valid in its own fight, we should destroy the integrity of the institutions essential for achieving social justice and equal opportunity.