Saturday, February 5, 2011

Discovering a Gem

I found this link in a comment on ProWomanProLife:

The Street of the Dead Fetuses

The author, William Gairdner, taught at York University just about the time I was graduating from it. We might have overlapped by one year. Since I wasn't an English major, I did not come across him. But I am certainly going to be visiting his blog in future and reading more. Someone in academia "gets it".

Gairdner is quoting from Dr. Richard Selzer, a general surgeon retired from 26 years at Yale University Hospital.

...fetuses accidentally got mixed up with the hospital rubbish...were picked up by a sanitation truck. 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 wants you to know that it is not an everyday occurrence. Once in a lifetime, he says. But you have seen it, and what are his words to you now?
"He grows affable, familiar, tells you that, by mistake, the fetuses got mixed up with the other debris. (Yes, he says other, he says debris.) He has spent the entire day, he says, trying to figure out how it happened. He wants you to know that. Somehow it matters to him.

He goes on:
"Aborted fetuses that weigh one pound or less are incinerated. Those weighing over one pound are buried at the city cemetery. He says this. Now you see. It is orderly. It is sensible. The world is not mad. This is still a civilized society.
"There is no more. You turn to leave. Outside on the street, men are talking things over, reassuring each other that the right thing is being done. But just this once, you know it isn't. You saw, and you know.
"And you know, too, that the Street of the Dead Fetuses will be wherever you go. You are part of its history now, its legend. It has laid claim upon you so that you cannot entirely leave it - not ever."
Let every citizen, every teacher, ask a schoolchild to read this - and then explain what kind of people we are.

h/t Bob Devine, in comment at ProWomanProLife

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