ABORTING TELEPHONE CALLS INFURIATES ABORTION SUPPORTERS
I recently finished reading Rush Limbaugh`s bestseller, entitled "The Way
Things Ought To Be." Limbaugh, for Canadians who still haven`t heard of
this arch-enemy of the American liberal establishment, is an immensely
popular radio talkshow host who
captures a much bigger audience than Larry King does on television.
He is a no-hold-barred defender of life and a fierce adversary of the
abortion industry which, he says, is the biggest in the U.S. in terms of net
profits. With 1.6 million abortions a year at an estimated $300 each, he
calculates abortionists reap about $480
million per year. Typical of his direct approach to abortion, he invites
people to think about their feelings if they were to shake the hand of
someone who was almost sucked out of her mother`s womb.
To illustrate the moral tragedy of abortion and the absolute hypocrisy and
moral bankruptcy which characterize the political correctness of the liberal
mindset, he tells of a unique stunt he pulled on his pro-choice listeners in
1989 - a move he describes as
the most controversial thing he has ever done.
The episode in question, called "The Caller Abortion Program," sprang
spontaneously in his mind during one of his daily shows. During a
commercial break, he asked his technician to hunt up a vacuum-cleaner sound
effect. "I`m going to abort calls," he
explained to his startled assistant. "I can`t get rid of the ones I don`t
want any other way. I promised the audience I wouldn`t hang up on them".
They came up with a twelve-second sound of a vacuum cleaner turning on,
roaring away, and then switching off. They then mixed that with a
seven-second recording of a scream.
But Limbaugh had some 'philosophical' questions. The first thing he needed
to know was: When does a call begin? After all, he needed to know at what
point it was unsafe for him, the host, to abort the caller. He wasn`t going
to jeopardize his health or his life doing something like that. "So I
called the phone company and finally got a scientist from New York Telephone
on the line. I didn`t want to talk with anyone who had an emotional interest
in this matter. I asked the scientist, Sir, when does a call begin? Does it
begin when somebody answers? And what does a busy signal mean? These are
serious questions. When does that little, unviable electronic pulse actually
become a call? He told me that the phone company starts charging customers
when someone picks up the phone. A call becomes a call when someone answers it."
"But I was still uncomfortable. My assistant answers calls on my show.
Sometimes he puts those calls on hold for minutes, during which they gestate
out there before they hit the air. I had to know how long it takes a call to
gestate to full term. We arbitrarily
decided on twenty minutes. If the call was on hold for twenty minutes, we
couldn`t abort it because it was then viable.
"Some on my staff were horrified at my plan. Rush, they said, you shouldn`t
abort a call. Put it up for adoption. Put it on hold. Let the next host
adopt that call, leave it for someone else to take. I said I couldn`t do
that. That poor call might be abused by the adoptive host and I shouldn`t be
putting the call up for adoption, not knowing what was going to happen to
it. No, I decided, I was going to abort the calls I didn`t want. I even
convinced myself that caller abortions weren`t all that bad. Just think, we
wouldn`t have a homeless problem if we aborted more people.
"I got a lady volunteer. I told my listeners I was going to demonstrate what
happens during a caller abortion. She began to talk, but was suddenly cut
off by a loud whoosh with background sounds of a choked scream. And then
there was silence. I paused for
several seconds. Then I slowly leaned forward and asked the broadcast
engineer the critical question: 'Jim, did we get it all?' From then on
every time I got a call I didn`t like, I just hit that vacuum-cleaner button
and sucked the caller off the air. I must have done about twenty caller
abortions in two weeks.
"Some got my message, but others protested vehemently and nastily. I
eventually took it off the air, and this is what I told my listeners:
.....I`ve been accused of insensitivity...
What is the commotion about? What would you be bothered by? Nothing at all!
None of what I did was real. Yet, in this country an abortion happens four
thousand times a day. For real. The screams are real, the vacuum cleaner is
real. There is real emotional
distress. There is physical harm and there`s death. And you are calling a
guy on the radio and telling him that he poses a threat to society? You`re
telling him that he is cruel and heartless?
"He`s harming no one. He`s just telling you what`s really going on in your
neighborhood. He is forcing you to deal with the pain of thinking about the
realities of real life abortion. We are so far removed from it that we don`t
think of it in graphic terms. Perhaps if more people did consider the
horrors of ending life, they would be much less persuaded by their arguments
of convenience. To the extent that I may have heightened awareness out
there, I believe I have done a service, regardless of how distasteful it may
have been to some.
"Where is the outrage against those who do it for real just down the street
from where they live? It`s not there. They reserve it for calling a guy on
the radio to complain about sounds he plays. I think some of them have their
priorities mixed up. If you didn`t know in your heart of hearts that
abortion was a savage, violent act, what I did wouldn`t have bugged you so
much. I took you inside an abortion mill, and some of you couldn`t take it.
You can`t handle it when it was only dramatized. Yet, you`re not bothered by
abortion when it happens for real. Is there not a contradiction here? Think
Right on, Rush!
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