Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Thirty-Five Years Since Roe v. Wade

January 22, 2008, marks the 35th anniversary since the landmark case decision Roe v. Wade. A recent article in the OC Register entitled "Who gets an abortion and why?" discusses some of the reasons women are choosing to abort their unborn and provides some very interesting statistics and quotes. While 2005 saw the lowest number of abortions in the United States (1.2 million) since 1976, the total number of abortions for the past 35 years is estimated at close to 50 million. More than one-third of adult women are estimated to have had at least one abortion.

So why are women having abortions? According to the Guttmacher Institute, an organization which supports abortion rights, the majority of abortions, well over 90 percent, are performed for what would be considered social/economic reasons. In other words, the unborn are being aborted simply because they are not wanted or due to the economic strain they might incur.

The following quotes in italics are from the above mentioned article. These quotes provide excellent examples of the rhetoric and fallacious reasoning which often accompanies the assertions of pro-abortion choice advocates.

"But often the women getting the abortions say they act in the interests of children they already have. 'It wasn't a hard decision for me to make, because I knew where I wanted to go in my life – I've never regretted it...It wasn't hard to realize I didn't want another child at that time...I was trying to take care of the one I had, and going to college and working at the same time.' She was able to graduate, now has an insurance job, and – still a single mother – has a 3-year-old son as well as her first-born, now 11."
  • Notice the assumption that the unborn is not a human being. The article states that women who have abortions "act in the interests of children they already have." This assumes the unborn is not a child they already have! This is begging the question plain and simple. The question is, What is the unborn? If the unborn is a human being, it certainly is not acting in the interest of the unborn to have an abortion.
  • Furthermore, the mother says, "It wasn't hard to realize I didn't want another child at that time." Again, this assumes the unborn is not a child and begs the question.
  • The mother goes on to say, "I was trying to take care of the one I had." Think about that line of reasoning for a moment. In order to better take care of the child which was already born, she decided to kill the unborn one. This also, once again, begs the question since she assumes the unborn child is not a child she already has. Furthermore, why didn't she consider killing the child which was already born so she would be able to take care of her unborn? That would be wrong of course since she would be killing a human being. Ah, so the question is, What is the unborn? You cannot justify killing the unborn to take care of the born anymore than you can justify killing the born to take care of the unborn, if in fact the unborn is a human being.
  • Finally, notice the writer puts this abortion in a positive light by saying, "She was able to graduate, now has an insurance job, and – still a single mother – has a 3-year-old son as well as her first-born, now 11." Notice the rhetoric. A happy ending to this story. No good arguments or reasons are given which justify the taking of an innocent human life for economic reasons. But a nice persuasive story is told which leaves everyone feeling like the mother made the right decision. Pro-abortion choice advocates dare to suggest that women should kill their unborn children in order to make life better for everyone else.

"Martha Girard, on the other hand, says she's appalled by the notion that women should lose the right to choose...'I knew that this pregnancy would end up badly – I could feel it – and we've already got enough problems with the mentally ill son...I was very sad and depressed the first week...But because it's hard on you emotionally and some women regret it, that doesn't mean it's wrong, that you shouldn't have done it, that someone else should decide for you."

  • Abortion here is referred to as the "right to choose." Choose what? This is an incomplete sentence. Choice is a relationship between an individual making the choice and a particular thing which is chosen. "The right to choose" is nothing more than a euphemism which distracts people from the real issue: whether or not abortion takes the life of an innocent human being. You first have to establish what exactly is being chosen before you can assert that you have a right to choose it.
  • Notice that she doesn't consider killing her already born mentally ill son. After all, that would be wrong. Instead, she kills her unborn child. Like the other comments, this begs the question and assumes her unborn is not a human being.
  • Finally, she admits this was a very emotional experience, as I am sure it is. There is no doubt that abortion can be a very psychologically complex decision. But notice that she has to rationalize her decision. She admits she was sad and depressed but ends by saying "that doesn't means it's wrong." Here's something to consider. Maybe the reason you feel sad and depressed is because it is wrong. Is that at least a possibility? Maybe the reason we feel guilty is because we are guilty. In addition, just because something may be psychologically complex does not mean it is morally complex. It's wrong to take an innocent human life simply because they are in the way and can't defend themselves, regardless of how psychologically complex that decision may be.

"The Journal of Family Issues published a report earlier this month asserting that women often choose abortion because of their wish to be good parents...'The women believed that it was more responsible to terminate a pregnancy than to have a child whose health and welfare could be in question.'"

  • Once again, think about what this is saying. Women choose abortion because they want to be good parents? Does that seem wrong to anyone else? Why on earth would anyone think that having an abortion makes them a good parent? Unless of course they are assuming the unborn is not a human being. Our society is so morally confused it sees nothing wrong with suggesting that parents kill their unborn in order to be considered "good."
  • Also, notice the euphemism "terminate a pregnancy." Another great example of rhetoric. You're not "ending a life" or "killing your unborn." You're simply terminating a pregnancy...a simple standard procedure to remove a piece of non-viable tissue mass, no different than an appendectomy. How tragic and degrading for our unborn.

Interestingly enough, why isn't adoption every mentioned? Isn't that an option anymore in our society? In fact, there are currently close to 2 million families in this country waiting to adopt. 35 years after Roe v. Wade and unfortunately our culture seems just as morally confused over the issue of abortion as the Supreme Court Justices were on this fateful day in 1973. One pro-life advocate in the article stated, "We've begun to depend on abortions...We feel we have to choose between our unborn child and our born children. We shouldn't have to choose." She's right. Some choices are wrong. We can do better than abortion.


TimB said...

I'm glad the biological mother of my son didn't decide to abort him in the interest of her other child. As a church (universal) we need to do a better job of reaching out to the women and families who feel their only option is to kill their child (oops, "terminate their pregnancy"). Holding signs in front of an abortion clinic does nothing to help people. My church (local) has been involved with a shelter for unwed mothers and many families are choosing adoption.

Aaron said...

I totally agree. Pro-lifers should not only be pro-child but pro-woman as well. I think we have a responsibility as a church to reach out to those involved in crisis pregnancies. There are in fact over 4,000 crisis pregnancy centers across the United States. It is nice to hear your church has become an active participant.