First published on Finding UnCommon Ground on October 15, 2012.
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Abortion. The word ushers tension into any conversation. No matter what I write, someone will be offended. It’s a sensitive, complicated subject and a tough post.
This election season, I’ve been surprised by the ease with which some pro-choice women assert they speak for all American women when, in fact, they don’t. Gallup reports 50 percent of Americans now call themselves pro-life while a record-low 41 percent are pro-choice.
January 22, 2013, is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion in the United States. More than 54 million unborn American citizens have been legally killed by abortion in this country since 1973. More than 54 million American citizens. More than 3,200 a day.
What would our nation look like today if those people had not been killed?
Imagine what our economy might look like if those people had been allowed to live, mature, and enter the workforce. Imagine what the demand for goods and services of 53 million more people would mean to American businesses today. Imagine what 53 million more taxpayers would mean to our underfunded Social Security. Imagine the leadership, ingenuity, talents, and service our country lost when we sacrificed 53 million of our citizens to abortion. About two million families are waiting for children to adopt in the U.S. Imagine what it would mean to them if children who were aborted were adopted instead.
Celebrities like to repeat the pro-choice rallying cry: If abortion is limited rather than expanded, women’s rights will somehow go back 40 years. If you’re not pro-choice, then you’re not pro-woman! Hypothetically half of the people who have been killed by abortion in America were women. That’s more than 26 million women who’ve been killed by abortion in this country since 1973. The pro-choice position cannot support this killing of female babies and call itself pro-woman at the same time.
Guttmacher Institute reports if current rates continue, three in 10 American women will have an abortion by age 45. I don’t condemn women who’ve had abortions. But I wonder about their private suffering. What are the emotional and psychological costs to parents who abort their children? How does abortion desensitize our culture, cheapen the value we place on human life, and threaten the well-being of our society?
Some will argue that the child who is subject to abortion is inside a woman’s body so it’s different. But the child inside the womb is still a child. The old school feminist arguments that the child in the womb is a piece of disposable tissue or an unwanted intruder no longer hold. Science shows and common sense knows life begins at conception. Even feminist Naomi Wolf admitted abortion ends human life.
Other women will say that although they would never choose abortion for themselves, they remain pro-choice because they don’t want to tell other women what to do. They don’t want the government to meddle in our personal business.
Is killing another person ever really just an order of personal business?
Our government declares it’s illegal to abuse or kill dogs, cats, whales, and all sorts of other creatures. We agree it’s illegal to murder people. It’s illegal to abuse or kill children. How can we apply a different standard to the killing of unborn children?
President Obama and Mitt Romney part ways when it comes to abortion. Obama’s pro-choice position is well-known. For him, gone are the days of “safe, legal and rare.” Liberal media and pundits have tried to spin Romney’s position on abortion as murky. But Romney’s own website states his pro-life views quite clearly.
Pro-life and pro-choice advocates believe the sun rises and sets with Supreme Court appointments. What if Roe v. Wade was overturned or made more restrictive? Would prohibiting or limiting the killing of our own people really be that bad?
There are many questions and no easy answers. I would say the same to Obama and Romney. Whether or not you agree with my beliefs, surely we agree the abortion issue is wildly unsettled in the hearts of Americans. We will continue to struggle with this. As well we should.
To read more of my thoughts about abortion, please see my post entitled Whisper.