On the morning of August 6, American surgeon Dr. Richard Selzer endured a horrific experience few of us could imagine. On his way to the bus stop, he felt an unusual softness underneath his shoes. He looked down and saw “a tiny naked body.” He assumed it was a bird at first, a bird with “its arms and legs flung apart, its head thrown back, its mouth agape, its face serious.” Selzer bent down for a closer look at the “bird.” Instead of a bird that had fallen from its nest, he found “a baby…dead.”
This story was uncovered by LifeNews.com writer David Andrusko when he came across a separate article by columnist Ross Douthat. “What Selzer saw is as good an example of the shock of recognition as you will ever find,” wrote Andrusko. That’s putting it lightly.
Selzer remembered peeling back and looking around, shocked and distraught. Another man in the same state of emotional distress as he was uttered the Lord’s name before crying out: “Here’s another!” and “Another!” and “Another!” (Related: Abortion to be labeled “child abuse” in Alaska if landmark measure passes.)
A great number of aborted fetuses were littered across the expanse of Woodside Avenue. There was an answer to the madness, however. One nonchalantly given by the director of the local hospital as the police investigation was underway. “Fetuses accidentally got mixed up with the hospital rubbish… were picked up at approximately 8:15 a.m. by a sanitation truck,” explained the hospital director in a manner that Selzer described as “affable, familiar.” The hospital director continued without skipping a beat: “Somehow, the plastic lab bag, labeled hazardous material, fell off the back of the truck and broke open. No, it is not known how the fetuses got in the orange plastic bag labeled hazardous material. It is a freak accident.”
The hospital director’s professional coolness was unnerving, noted Selzer. He likened aborted fetuses to debris. He offhandedly spoke about how the hospital normally went about disposing of the fetuses they took out: Those weighing one pound or less were thrown into the incinerator; those weighing over one pound were buried at the city cemetery.
Selzer eventually came to grips with what he saw and what he was told. He capped off his retelling of his surreal experience with these words: “The world is not mad. This is still a civilized society… But just this once, you know it isn’t. You saw, and you know.”
The essay was part of a book published in 1976. Yet it still rings true today, well over 40 years later. We do indeed live in a civilized and comfortable society. There are times, however, when we are given brief glimpses into the barbarism and brutality simmering beneath the surface of propriety. Douhat wrote about such an event in 2015, when undercover pro-life activists recorded an exchange between themselves and Planned Parenthood officials. These people met with the activists under the belief that they were interested in purchasing fetal organs from the organization.
Like the hospital director who spoke with Selzer, these same people talked about aborted fetuses in such a casual tone. “… we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not gonna crush that part, I’m gonna basically crush below, I’m gonna crush above, and I’m gonna see if I can get it all intact,” said one official when elaborating on their procedures.
“Let me just figure out what others are getting, and if this is in the ballpark, then it’s fine,” said another. “if it’s still low, then we can bump it up. I want a Lamborghini.”
Little has changed since Selzer’s time, it seems.
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