Please read the whole post before responding. It is my hope that we can have a constructive discussion and become united for change.
Even thinking of writing an article on abortion is nerve wrecking, doing it has my stomach in wicked knots. However, I feel inspired to do so and I have learned, especially as a mother, to always listen to that tiny little voice.
Let me tell you what inspired this post. Mr. BWF likes to stay up on current politics. He researches all candidates, topics, etc. Don’t worry this is not going to be a post on who to vote for. In Mr. BWF’s reading he came across this excerpt in a book titled The Revolution by Ron Paul (again not telling you who to vote for, just happens to be his story):
One of the most contentious issues in our public life over the past three and a half decades has been abortion. As a physician, and in particular as an obstetrician who has delivered over 4,000 babies, I have always had a special interest in the subject of abortion. When I studied medicine at Duke Medical School from 1957 to 1961, the subject was never raised. By the time of my medical residency at the University of Pittsburgh in the mid-1960’s, though, wholesale defiance of the laws against abortion was taking place in various parts of the country, including my own.
Residents were encouraged to visit various operation rooms in order to observe the procedures that were being done. One day I walked into an operating room without knowing what I was walking into, and the doctors were in the middle of performing a C-section. It was actually an abortion by hysterotomy. The woman was probably six months along in her pregnancy, and the child she was carrying weighted over two pounds. At the time doctors were not especially sophisticated, for lack of a better term, when it came to killing the baby prior to delivery, so they went ahead with delivery and put the baby in a bucket in the corner of the room. The baby tried to breathe, and tried to cry, and everyone in the room pretended the baby wasn’t there. I was deeply shaken by this experience, and it hit me at that moment just how important the life issue was.
I have heard the arguments in favor of abortion many times, and they have always disturbed me deeply. A popular academic argument for abortion demands that we think of the child in the womb as a “parasite” that the woman has the right to expel from her body. But the same argument justifies outright infanticide, since it applies just as well to an infant outside the womb; newborns require even more attention and care, and in that sense are even more “parasitic.”
Now, this article is not to bash one side or the other, but to offer information and start a thought process. I obviously lean pro-life, but please stay with me a little bit longer.
I have offered a question to those that are pro-choice and it NEVER gets answered. Let me explain. Anyone who follows BWF knows I am about choices. You may ask then, if you are for choices and women’s rights, then you must be pro-choice, right? Yes and No. It is a little more complicated than that as there are TWO human being’s choices involved. I am pro life AND pro choice…for the child. So, here is my unanswered question for those that are firmly pro-choice for the woman…
What about the choice for the child to live or die? Would you want that choice taken away from you?
I have seen the same sonographer for my last 4 children. She is very good at her job and mostly does ultrasounds for mothers considering abortion. I once asked her how many women choose not to abort once they have seen their baby via u/s. She said 99% change their mind!!! The most common thing she hears is, “Oh, that’s not a blob…that’s a baby.” Women are told their baby is not a human being. They are made to believe at the abortion clinics and by society that their little one is just a blob of cells and it’s no big deal. That it’s a ‘fetus’ in a ‘host’. There is a disconnect there until a mother sees her child and then she knows…that is no blob. That is her baby.
Many pro choice advocates ask, “What about when a woman is raped or what if it is medically necessary? That is why choice is important!” I agree. The issue is, just like with most things (plastic surgery, medically necessary circumcision, the needed interventions in birth), it is not saved for those heartbreaking or necessary times it is needed. It’s overused. It’s used as a form of birth control.
Worldwide: 42 million babies are aborted each year. That is on average 115,000 babies a day. (© Copyright 1996-2008, The Alan Guttmacher Institute. (www.agi-usa.org))
United States: 1.2 to 1.37 million a year (1996/2008). Average of 3700 babies taken from the womb per day.
1% of all abortions are due to rape/incest. 6% occur because of medically necessary reasons (health of mother and/or child), and the remaining 93% of abortions are done for social reasons (child is not wanted or it is inconvenient).*
Like I previously stated, one sonographer who has done thousands of ultrasounds has said that 99% of the time, women change their mind and decide not to abort their baby once they have seen him/her. See, many women do not realize just how deep of a decision they are making. I am sure many do and don’t want to undermine that, but I am addressing the majority of people who do not. So take a look at the ultrasound images and tell me if that is a baby or a blob…
Ask a mother who has miscarried in her first trimester and she will tell you she lost a baby.
Many people may believe that abortions are only done early, but that is not the case. The laws vary state by state and in some states, later term or partial term abortions are done. So many families fight for the precious newborns to survive. Recently one BWF mother wrote about her premature baby surviving after being born at 23 weeks!
I have come to realize that *most* people who are pro-choice are not *for* abortion. They see the issues surrounding taking away choice (illegal abortions, what taking choice away will lead to, etc). I am pro-life and pro-choice for the baby, BUT I still do not think it should be illegal. That is right. I don’t think abortions should be outlawed. I think they are wrong and done way too often, but I can step back and see the long term negative consequences of abortion being illegal. This is the middle ground between pro-life and pro-choice that I think can happen…where the two sides can meet and do something good! So what do we do?
What can we do (on both sides of the debate) to become united? What can we focus on to help reduce abortions while not taking away choice?
May I propose we start discussing the following instead of arguing…
- Education on prevention and birth control for women and men
- Free ultrasounds for women considering abortion in all major cities
- Support for women who become pregnant young and unmarried (account for most abortions)
- Adoption being more affordable for babies who would have been aborted
One thing I am going to personally do is volunteer at the Teen Pregnancy Clinic in my town to give these mamas love and support through their pregnancies and births!
I will leave you with this woman’s story as it has held a special place in my heart since the first time I saw it. She was aborted, but survived and she gracefully talks about her thoughts on this.