On October 16, The Walking Dead returned to AMC. Created by Robert Kirkman, the show follows former sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes as he and other survivors make their way through a zombie infested landscape. Shot on location in the Metro Atlanta area, the production has received accolades for using make-up and prosthetics to create terrifying ghouls, like the one pictured here.
I’m sorry, apparently that’s not a zombie–it’s actually Dr. Nicola Louise Moore. A contractor for Planned Parenthood, her job is to perform abortions in rural areas. Many doctors refuse to be involved with abortions, and those who do perform them usually shy away from these locations. So, the self-described “fly-in abortionista” traverses the country “terminating pregnancies” (killing fetuses) in smaller communities. She claims to be in fear for her safety, and thus needs to wear a mask. This makes sense–obviously, the best way to keep a low profile is to dress like an undead monster.
It’s interesting that Dr. Moore picked a hideous disguise, since Planned Parenthood’s supporters typically want to put an attractive face on the organization. They have constructed a nonthreatening facade out of noble sounding words like “choice” and freedom.” What lies behind it, however, is a reality more disturbing than anything Deputy Grimes and his band are apt to encounter.
In October of 2011, The Santa Fe Reporter ran a sympathetic portrayal of Moore. While the article used a pseudonym for the doctor (“Clara Taylor”), it was surprisingly detailed in its account of her life. But details got fuzzy when it came to describing Moore’s work: at no point were the words “fetus” or “baby” used when referring to the abortions that Moore performs. Instead, “pregnancy” is always the noun of choice. This is done even if it makes for awkward sentences, such as when explaining that “a pump suctions out the pregnancy,” or recounting how “ultrasound waves bounce off the pregnancy” that Moore is “about to terminate.”
This ambiguity is understandable, as a more forthright explanation could be off-putting. Thus, nothing is said about how at six weeks gestation, a fetal heartbeat is detectable. Nor is any mention given to how “termination” might be regarded by “the pregnancy.”
In her testimony to Congress, anesthesiologist Dr. Jean Wright remarked that, “An unborn fetus after 20 weeks of gestation has all the prerequisite anatomy, physiology, hormones, neurotransmitters, and electrical current to close the loop and create the conditions needed to perceive pain.” This claim is consistent with the research of Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand, as well as that of Dr. Nicholas Fisk, who specializes in fetal-medicine at the University of Queensland. In fact, Fisk argues that a fetus could begin feeling pain even earlier. That might explain the observations of former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, who reported seeing a fetus appear to kick and struggle while she assisted with an ultra-sound guided abortion.
Little is said about the alternatives to Dr. Moore’s services, either. That there are long waiting lines of couples seeking to adopt goes unmentioned, as does the fact that care centers exist to help women facing unexpected motherhood.
Perhaps it’s fitting that Dr. Moore chooses to resemble a zombie. In Robert Kirkman’s world, zombies roam America, bringing death to the living. Nicola Moore does the same. What is not fitting, however, is the relationship between her employer and the US government. Every year, Planned Parenthood receives over three hundred million dollars in federal funding. The Constitution permits Congress to spend money for the “general Welfare of the United States.” Subjecting unborn children to a grisly death hardly fits that description. This, along with evidence that Planned Parenthood misallocates funds and aids sexual predators should be reason enough to stop writing checks.
When confronted by a zombie, Rick Grimes goes for the head. In dealing with Planned Parenthood, Congress needs to aim for the funding.