There are certain topics that are considered “hot-button.” These are topics like gay marriage, abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, and euthanasia. These are the topics that, if you’re not me, people tend to shy away from discussing at work or at social gatherings. They tend to bring up bad blood among people that is pretty unpleasant. I’ve dealt with my fair share of hot-button conversations, most of which end with the other person raising their voice. One hot-button issue is in the news today.
In Belgium, new legislation from the Socialist party is being submitted that would augment the existing laws regarding euthanasia. Belgium is the only other nation, besides The Netherlands, that participates in legalized euthanasia. The new laws would extend the right of death to minors–suffering from terminal illness–who are judged to be cognizant and mature enough to make a decision about taking their own life. In addition, the law would be altered to allow those with Alzheimer’s to take their own lives.
This is a hot-button issue for many reasons. It is heavily debated all over the world, and has been discussed in this country quite often. The discussion about euthanasia is so important because it deals directly with the most sacred aspect of our existence: life itself. Those who support it say that it is merciful; those that oppose it say it is selfish and could set dangerous precedents.
In general, I am not adamantly opposed to assisted suicide if the person is already dying. What concerns me is that by adopting this attitude regarding euthanasia, the value of life is being diminished in our collective minds. We already live in a country where an estimated 1,000,000 infants are slaughtered each year through abortion–about 94% of which are elective and unrelated to rape, incest, or the life of the mother. If the United States adopts the same laws as Belgium and The Netherlands, we will be sliding further down the slope. And don’t think those laws aren’t coming; they are, and probably within the next 20 years.
My point is in comparison. The subject of assisted suicide–though I don’t adamantly disagree with it–always makes me think about the value of life in America, specifically in regard to abortion. So many people in the United States are firmly opposed to euthanasia; so much so that majority approval of laws like those in Belgium are far off. But where are all those people when abortion is brought up? Approximately 1,000,000 infants are terminated every year, and the majority of Americans don’t bat an eye.
Though abortion is hotly debated, nothing is ever done about it. I think I know why. Assisted suicide is something easy to understand; it is simple. If you ask anyone what euthanasia is, they could probably tell you exactly. Abortion, however, is shrouded in propaganda; it is cloaked in ignorance and far off imaginings. Few people actually know what takes place during an abortion. I have asked friends who support “a woman’s right to choose”–as they call it–and they cannot really describe to me what the procedure of abortion is. Most people don’t know the truth about the bloody, barbaric massacre that is taking place every day, just around the corner. Most people have never seen pictures, or videos; read about D&E or Saline injection (both methods of abortion), or really just sat down and listened to what pro-lifers have to say.
The Pro-life movement is demagogued and mocked; it’s proponents are called dangerous when one crazy man decides to bomb a clinic. The media and the Democrats have effectively laid a tarp over abortion. We are living in a society where on one hand, life is revered, and on the other, it is deemed unworthy of thoughtful debate.
The laws in Belgium have once again brought abortion to the front of my mind. I hope that abortion can be debated as thoughtfully as euthanasia. Each practice involves the termination of life, and I would like it if they were treated with equal reverence. I would like news stories to talk about pro-life groups without derision; and I would like those on the Left to stop interrupting, stop raising their voices, and just listen. If they did, maybe something would finally be done about abortion.