Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A different argument against abortion

For the longest time my position on abortion mirrored that of many of our political leaders. I was personally opposed to it, but I had trouble imposing that personal belief on others through laws. As time went by, I began to see things in our culture that troubled me – things that signify that we’re on a bad path and only getting worse. In many ways, I see a link in these problems to the fact that we, as a society, have lost respect for human life. It seems to me as though the value of each human life just hasn’t held over the past several decades, and it does indeed seem to be getting worse. It’s quite disturbing to me when I see how easy it is for one human being to do some of the awful things to another that are constantly filling our daily news broadcasts. It’s become much too easy for people to take a life with such little hesitation and I can't help but wonder what role Roe v Wade plays in that.

Whether we’re talking about a little girl being kidnapped, raped and murdered in Florida, or a college student randomly killing a number of his classmates, it all just seems like the sanctity of human life has waned in value. Every night there is another example of the innocent being brutalized by bad people. Of course, this all can’t be pinned on Roe v Wade, but I find it hard to argue that this particular Supreme Court decision is not in anyway connected to what we’ve become as a society.

Because of this, and because of some growing personal convictions and experiences, my position on abortion has evolved. Now, I realize that a human fetus does constitute a human life and carries as much value as any other innocent human life. I feel that life should be protected, as we would protect any other innocent person. But we have failed to do this. We’ve agreed as a nation to place more emphasis and more value on one person than another, and that attitude is spilling over into other areas of our society. I feel that we are paying dearly for Roe v. Wade. That’s why this should be overturned. That’s why I will not vote for anyone who is pro-abortion. That’s why I oppose embryonic stem cell research and applaud Bush's most recent veto. When a society begins to stratify the importance of its citizens, it has a deep and lasting impact on us all.

This article presents some interesting trends that have occurred since Roe v. Wade. Here is a sample:

"One often misunderstood fact: Legal abortions just didn't start with Roe, or even with the five states that liberalized abortion laws in 1969 and 1970. Prior to Roe, women could have abortions when their lives or health were endangered. Doctors in some states, such as Kansas, had very liberal interpretations of what constituted danger to health. Nevertheless, Roe did substantially increase abortions, more than doubling the rate per live birth in the five years from 1972 to 1977. But many other changes occurred at the same time: • A sharp increase in pre-marital sex. • A sharp rise in out-of-wedlock births.• A drop in the number of children placed for adoption."

I’ve heard the arguments for abortion. What about women who were raped or molested? What about a fetus with severe birth defects? What about safety? They are very tough questions, with no easy answers. I’ve heard that it’s a privacy issue, that no one is harmed. I’ve heard the notion of “safe, legal and rare”, but is that how things are playing out?

Here are some recent statistics: In 2003, nearly 24% of all pregnancies in the US ended in abortion. So much for the “rare” thing.

As for rape/incest: that accounted for less than 0.5% of all abortions in 2004. Concerns for the mother’s or baby’s health accounted for 7% of abortions that year. So for all the arguments given, only 7.5% of abortions are carried out in support of those arguments. The rest? Reasons given basically supported the mother’s preference, either she couldn’t afford it, didn’t want to be a single mom, was too old or, my favorite, was “unready”. At what point do we admit that legalized abortion has become a form of birth control? At what point do we admit that this is just about protecting our rights to engage in inconsequential, irresponsible behavior, and not about protecting those 7.5% of women I mentioned? At what point do we admit that Roe v Wade is about our right to behave as sluts?

Latest estimates (mainly because in some states abortion stats may not be as accurate) show that since Roe v Wade, approximately 30 million abortions have been performed in the US. Can anyone argue that this practice doesn’t harm society? Why on earth is there not an outcry to, at the very least, impose severe restrictions on when these procedures can be performed? How did it become so easy to have this procedure done?

So, religious beliefs aside, being an evidence-based kind of guy, when I look at the abortion statistics on one hand, and then look at the rise of illegitimate births, drop in adoptions, sharp rise in “inconsequential sex” and the erosion of the sanctity of human life…I have to ask: What good has come from Roe v Wade? What problems have we solved? What problems have we created? Is it worth it?

The pro-life crowd, myself included, has been painted as a bunch of religious fanatics who want to impose their beliefs on others. Well, when you look at the numbers I just posted then you see that’s simply not the case. This is about much more than religion. Abortion is bad for society, and that alone should be a driving argument against it – never mind the moral issues behind it. We have failed at what we set out to do. Legalized abortion has become much worse than we could have ever imagined, and the ramifications are seen in every day life within a culture of death. We've done no good with this, but we have done a lot of bad. How long does this continue?

I have come to the conclusion that Roe v Wade represents a turning point in our society, and I feel the statistics support that. It symbolizes how selfish and irresponsible we truly are. It symbolizes how cheap human life has become in our eyes. It symbolizes our gluttonous “me” society. It symbolizes the right to “take” rather than “give”. All of these are bad things that erode our inner fabric as they build, and if we are to recover then we will have to do something about this. We can legislate and educate all we want. We can use catchy slogans like “safe, legal and rare”. But if we want to restore America’s moral fiber, then that will have to somehow include an overturn of Roe v Wade.

2 comments:

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Anonymous said...

I believe that guns and gun owner's are responsible for more death than abortion is. I believe that a fetus is as much a living, breathing human as an egg is a chicken. I know that hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos are thrown into a dumpster every year at invitro fertilization clinics all across the country. I guess it's OK to let them die of heat stroke than to use these cells or pre-embryos to help cure the diseases of those of us who have been through the womb - unlike a frozen fetus. Bush's "adoption option" will be as useless as FEMA, as life saving as the NRA, and somewhere someone will be making a pretty penny on this so-called plan.

God Bless America. Save her from George W. Bush.