I posted “The Scourge” on my web site originally on March 31, 2001. It had no links at the time. I have added the link in the first line of the second verse because the scene has since become available through the 2019 movie, Unplanned and because, with the growing use of ultrasound viewing, the womb has become more and more “transparent.” Abortion has actually been on the decline in the United States, and I believe that this increased “transparency” is a major reason for it. Some of the comments on the YouTube clip suggest to me that quite a few people are still very reluctant to confront the reality of abortion, though.
Blessed by a blinkered majority,
Dressed in the robe of a right,
An easy evil stalks the land,
Taking first, second, and third unborn
As though in sacrifice to the false gods
Of progress, convenience, and self-indulgence.
Passing over the houses of the righteous,
It attacks first the mind, then the heart
Of the misguided, finally snuffing out
The incipient life nestled warmly in the womb.
O, that that womb were transparent,
Lo, the results we would see!
No longer would we have the excuse
Of the upright, self-satisfied burgher
That we were unaware of the true nature
Of our crude solution to a delicate problem,
Of the wholesale killing of society’s expendables.
Forfeit would be our claim to forgiveness
By the Most Forgiving One of All,
Who could not say, “They know not what they do.”
How our hearts have calcified
Now that life is so cheap!
Taking up the sickle of mortality
We create the new categories of “wanted” and “unwanted.”
Thus we blithely rationalize the violent stilling
Of a fully functioning human heart
That pumps the blood of one yet unnamed.
To wield the sickle has been adjudged a personal choice.
Wanted? Unwanted? By whom and compared to what?
Who can presume to make the Divine decision?
Dismembered to ease the extraction,
Remembered for what he was not,
Euphemistically, but not painlessly, “terminated,”
The small, powerless unperson is doubly deprived,
Both of the glory of birth and the dignity of death.
Rather, a prenatal medical procedure will be his fate.
Unwanted birthdays will not be celebrated;
An unwanted funeral will not be preached;
His casket will be a clear plastic bag;
His resting place will be an incinerator.
Heedlessly, we seek our pleasure.
Needlessly, they die.
Antiseptically, but not easily, they die,
For the will to live is very strong,
Even in those who have not tasted,
And will never taste, the full sweetness of life.
Eagerly we await the arrival of the potent potion
That will make the killing easier,
Which, when the skull is crushed to ease the exit,
Will console us that the subject is already dead.
Abusing the latest technology,
Misusing the tools of their trade,
Doctors a world away from ours,
Reflecting the ancient priorities of their people,
Reserve their death-dealing devices
For the ones they find to be female.
Already a dangerous imbalance is emerging.
“What an appalling reason to end young lives!” we say.
“Our reasons are much better.”
That is to say, any reason…or no reason.
Fearing no day of reckoning,
Steering our selfish course,
We rush headlong toward a destination
Of which we are increasingly unsure.
All we know is that in our wake
The accumulation of detritus grows greater,
And potential contributors to human destiny
Make up an ever greater part of it.
Posterity, one fears, will judge us harshly,
That is, those who are allowed to become posterity.