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

about it."

Right on, Rush!

Thaddee Renault

Pro-Life Program

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