Popular arguments and topics of discussion
Whose human rights are they?
Protecting the weak from the strong is one of the most important principles we have as members of the human family. We all want to watch out for the “little guy.” Sadly, throughout history, there are tragic instances of violations of the human rights of a group or groups of people with the sanction of that particular society.
- Ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia.
- Blacks owned and used as slaves in America.
- Jewish people and those with disabilities killed in Nazi Germany.
- Those of a “lower” class in India.
In sheer numbers, these human rights abuses pale in comparison to the number of unborn children destroyed through abortion here in the United States and worldwide.
- 50 million unborn children destroyed in the United States since 1973.
- 50 million unborn children destroyed worldwide each year.
Mother Teresa once said that the most dangerous place in the world to live is the mother’s womb.
Science and technology have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that each unborn child is a unique member of the human family with his or her own genetic makeup, separate from the mother or father.
Just picture a helpless unborn baby — small, voiceless, unable to speak or defend herself. It’s hard to imagine a more vulnerable victim.
Some argue that the abortion decision is all about the woman and her rights. The mother’s rights surely need to be respected, but no one should have the right to destroy the life of another member of the human family. No one should have the right to “own” another person and place their personal rights above the life of another.
In an ideal society, which respects the human rights of all, both mother and unborn baby are loved, protected and served so that each can fulfill their individual potential and destiny. Such a society is within our reach, if we just care for them both.
I’m personally opposed to abortion but…
Admit it! This reasoning appeals to you as a tolerant, caring person. You have heard other people strongly embrace this argument. You have heard it from candidates for, and those holding, political office.
Here’s how the reasoning goes: I am personally opposed to abortion, but…
- can’t interfere with someone else’s personal choice.
- It’s the woman’s right to make that decision.
- It’s the woman’s body.
- I can’t force someone else to carry a child to term.
- I can’t walk in the mother’s shoes.
But let’s change the context to provide a meaningful comparison. Just think of how ridiculous you would sound if you said something like the following:
- I am personally opposed to child abuse, but I can’t interfere with a parent’s choice to beat their child.
- I am personally opposed to killing, but it’s a person’s right to kill another.
- I am personally opposed to stealing, but I can’t force someone else not to steal.
- I am personally opposed to rape, but I can’t walk in the rapist’s shoes.
This list is also endless – and if we allowed this kind of “tolerance,” we would live in a lawless society where no one would be safe from harm or injustice.
Here’s the good news. Given the advances of science and technology, you are well behind the times if you pretend that the unborn child is not a unique member of the human family who is violently destroyed in an abortion. Numbers of people are recognizing this fact and increasingly oppose abortion as a “solution” to social problems.
So, the next time you hear someone say they are personally opposed to abortion, but – ask them if they are also personally opposed to child abuse, killing, stealing or rape but want to allow it to continue. You will stop them cold!
It’s time for both the mother and the unborn baby to be loved, protected and supported so that each can fulfill their individual potential and destiny.
It’s my body
Your body is your own individual miracle! Think about what it has gone through to become what it is today. You were conceived when your mother’s egg was fertilized by your father’s sperm. Your complete genetic makeup from your hair color, eye color, eventual height, and other physical characteristics were determined at the moment of fertilization. Your development and growth from that time are the greatest marvels imaginable!
But, now you are pregnant and it tugs at you. “It’s my body that is experiencing this pregnancy,” you say. “Why can’t I have an abortion and do what I want with my own body?”
But, is your baby’s body your body, or merely part of your body? Think about this carefully – it is one of the most important clarifications you can make. Why? Because your baby’s life is at risk. You may think you can “replace” this baby with another one later on. But that is physically impossible – your baby who lives in your womb right now is a unique person who will never exist again.
Here are some important facts to consider:
- Your unborn baby started in the same way you did – by the fertilization of your egg by the father’s sperm.
- Your baby has his or her own set of genetic characteristics, separate from yours. You may be carrying a boy! Your baby’s blood type may be different from yours.
- Your baby’s heart is beating with a rhythm separate, and faster, than yours. It is not your heart.
- Your baby has arms and legs and organs which are separate from yours.
- A baby fertilized outside the mother’s body in a petri dish is not part of the mother’s body. It is a separate body.
- When your baby nestled in your body is born, a separate being, not part of your body, enters the world.
Don’t be fooled or enticed by the slogan, “It’s my body.” Facts prove otherwise – and no matter how hard you think about it or try to make the facts go away, you can’t change them. Your unborn baby is not your body, or even a part of your body.
It’s a blob of tissue
Calling an unborn baby a “blob of tissue” is such an ancient and ridiculous argument that it’s hardly worth discussing. It’s troubling that anyone still tries to use this rationale because 40 years of science and technology have established beyond a shadow of a doubt the humanity of the unborn child.
With the advent of ultrasound photos (including the new and amazing 4D variety), every mother and father can see their precious unborn baby turning somersaults, sucking a thumb, or making a fist. Could a blob of tissue do that?
Here are some examples of how ridiculous this argument is:
- You are pregnant and call the father to tell him the good news – you are expecting a blob of tissue.
- You carry an ultrasound photo of your blob of tissue to show your family, colleagues and friends. One picture shows your blob of tissue sucking her thumb.
- You experience bleeding and ask your doctor if you are going to lose your blob of tissue.
- You invite friends to a shower for your blob of tissue.
- You pick names for a boy or girl blob of tissue.
Do something interesting and fun! Google “blob of tissue.” You will find beautiful images of unborn children at various stages of development which come from still pictures, ultrasound, or even intrauterine photography.
Then, think about a famous question asked by a woman in a TV ad: “Why, when I wanted it, it was a baby. And, when I didn’t, it was something else?”
Think about it!
Sexual assault is a nightmare. Any woman will tell you that. Carrying the unborn child of the rapist for nine months seems an added cruelty. Then, there’s the child for whom the truth about his or her father would be devastating.
Wouldn’t both mother and child be better off if the child was aborted? Sounds practical and humane, but victims of rape many times tell of a different experience.
In their book, Victims and Victors (Acorn Books, 2000), editors David Reardon, Amy Sobie and Julie Makimaa draw on testimonies of 192 women who experienced pregnancy as the result of rape or incest, and 55 children who were conceived through sexual assault.
“Of the 192 women who had become pregnant through sexual assault, 164 had been victims of rape…….Of the 164 women who became pregnant as the result of rape, 73 percent carried the pregnancy to term, 26 percent had abortions and 2 percent had miscarriages……..” 1
When victims of violence speak for themselves, their opinion of abortion is nearly unanimous – and the opposite of what the average person expects.
Nearly all the women interviewed in this anecdotal survey who had abortions said they regretted aborting their babies conceived from rape or incest. Women who gave birth to their children reached an unexpected conclusion.
Listen to the story of Kathleen DeZeeuw whose testimony is included in the book.
Kathleen skipped a church meeting to go with a girlfriend to a local coffeehouse. The sixth of eight children, Kathleen was raised in a Christian home. So, perhaps Kathleen was naïve when she agreed to go to a movie with a young man she met at the coffeehouse.
Soon after, her head was being bashed against his car window until she was too weak to resist. Somehow, she knew the rape that followed would make her pregnant.
“I remember screaming over and over again,” Kathleen said, a reaction that brought only laughter from her assailant. He threw her out of the car with a warning that he’d hurt her worse if she told anyone. She made her way home feeling shattered and dirty. Kathleen, only 16, kept the secret until it couldn’t be concealed. She was sent to a maternity home a thousand miles away.
That’s where something began to change in her heart. At first, she was repulsed at the thought of carrying “this man’s child,” yet, as she felt the baby kick and move, her horror began to change to sympathy.
“I began to realize that this little life inside me was struggling, too…..I was no longer thinking of the baby as the ‘rapist’s’….I now thought of this baby as ‘my baby’. My baby was all I had. I felt abandoned by everyone. I had only this life inside me to talk to.”
Not that everything was easy. The first time Kathleen held her son, Patrick, she felt “revulsion,” because he looked exactly like his father – a resemblance that remained as he grew into adolescence.
“Victims of sexual violence need counseling and care,” Kathleen says, “and plenty of time for healing. To encourage a woman to have an abortion is to add even more violence to her life. Two wrongs will never make a right.”
(This story is excerpted from the original version.)
Though many outsiders view abortion as a quick and sanitary procedure that takes place behind closed doors, to the woman who has been raped it is a second assault, a disturbing reminder of the invasive violence she already has endured.
“Many women report that their abortions felt like a degrading form of ‘medical rape,’” Reardon writes. “Abortion involves a painful intrusion into a woman’s sexual organs by a masked stranger….For many women this experiential association between abortion and sexual assault is very strong…Women with a history of sexual assault are likely to experience greater distress during and after abortion than are other women.”2
Fortunately, pregnancy from rape is extremely rare, but it can and does happen. Women should not feel that they have to victimize their own child, or have the child pay for the crime of the father. Women can turn a horrible experience into one that is life-giving. The most important thing she needs at this distressing time is love, support, and assistance for her and her child.
1 “Victims and Victors,” David C. Reardon (Editor), Julie Makimaa (Editor), Amy Sobie (Editor). Acorn Books, May 2000.
2 “Rape and Incest are Tragic, But Abortion Doesn’t Heal the Pain,” by Frederica Matthews-Green, Citizen Magazine, October 2000.
Picture a very young girl who is being sexually assaulted by someone in her family or a close friend and you have the typical, tragic victim of incest. She is helpless and in a seemingly hopeless situation. Someone who is supposed to be protecting her is using her in a vile manner. It is rare, but sometimes she becomes pregnant.
For victims of incest, pregnancy can actually represent their only hope of escaping their abusive situation. To such a girl, incest is the problem and pregnancy may be the solution. The pregnancy forces someone to recognize what she is going through and take steps to rescue her from this intolerable situation.
If she has an abortion, the monstrous perpetrator may even give consent for the abortion to keep it quiet so she can be returned to a life of continued abuse.
Killing the unborn child is a great way to destroy evidence of incest. Dr. Julio Novoa performed five abortions on three sisters who had been habitually raped by their father. The doctor didn’t suspect a thing. “When these patients came to my office, they came with a mother, and you, as a doctor, feel comfortable that the family knows,” Novoa said. “They never, never made mention or a ‘hint’ that anything was wrong. The girls were between 13 and 19, and their mother facilitated the incest and the abortions.”
The shame of incest is kept as a deep, dark secret. Because of trauma associated with incest, abortion is routinely suggested as the only solution.
It may seem at first glance as though abortion is the most caring thing that can be done for a victim of incest. Listen to the story of Sharon Louise and you will think differently:
When I was a child, I had a magical visitor who came to me in the night. As my window was slightly open, I decided my night visitor was Peter Pan. I felt special to have a fairy-tale figure visit me, but was strangely uneasy about his visits.
Nevertheless, it was my secret. I never told anyone. It was not until I was 37 years old that I realized that Peter Pan was my father, and the secret was incest. My father began molesting me when I was two years old. I knew my daddy loved me but why did he keep touching me in a way I didn’t want to be touched? “This is our little secret,” he would say, and I knew better than to disagree.
I hated my father for what he was doing to me, and yet I loved him because he was my father. This added to the guilt I already felt since I, like most incest victims, believed that somehow the incest was my fault. If I could only be a better little girl, if I could only pray harder, he would stop.
When I was 12, I became pregnant. I was fearful that my father would harm or even kill our baby, but I had no idea that he could destroy the child before he was even born. On the evening of November 26, 1966, my father met an abortionist and paid him a sum of money. My father sent me with the abortionist, telling me that I was to be “checked.” I was to have nightmares of that evening for the rest of my life.
Life went on the same as before with my father molesting me and at age 14, I became pregnant again. My father arranged for another abortion. My baby was killed to protect my father from disclosure of the incest. Again, my heart was broken, and I assumed the blame. I felt empty, hopeless, and very, very sad.
It was obvious to me after the second abortion that my father had complete control over me. Willing abortionists freed my father so that he could continue the assaults unabated. I believe it was following the second abortion that I blocked out all memories of the incest.
When memories of the incest returned, pain and grief became my companions. The hardest to bear has been the abortions. It is extremely painful for me to be around babies or pregnant women, and tears flow easily when walking near the baby section of a grocery store.
There are those who would use my story as an excuse to keep abortion legal, since both of my abortions were illegal. But, legal abortion would not have helped me. It would simply have made it easier for my father to victimize me. My pain would not be any less and my babies would still be dead.
People ask how one can be so cruel and heartless to say that an incest victim must carry her baby to term when she’s already been through so much pain. Such people forget that abortion does not relieve the trauma that an incest victim lives with. It does not alleviate the shame, the emotional wreckage, the self-destructive feelings, the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. No! Legal abortion does not alleviate any of these problems; it merely adds one more trauma to the long list of scars that the victim must carry.
(This story is excerpted from the original version.)
Proponents of abortion like to point to the United States as an example of how the legalization of abortion greatly reduced abortion-related deaths of pregnant women. Prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand, one of the most widely accepted arguments for legalization was a claim that 5,000 to 10,000 women died from illegal abortion each year in the U.S.
The maternal death numbers are a fabrication. Former abortion advocate Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the founders of what is today known as NARAL Pro-Choice America, admitted in his 1979 book “Aborting America” that there never were abortion-related maternal deaths of that magnitude in the decades preceding Roe. “I confess that I knew the figures were totally false and I suppose that others did too if they stopped to think about it. But in the ‘morality’ of our revolution, it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest estimates?”
Here are the real numbers:
• In 1972, one year before legalization, the Centers for Disease Control reported 39maternal deaths from illegal abortion.
We mourn the deaths of those 39 mothers along with the 39 children who also died. But 39 deaths are not even close to the oft-repeated false numbers of 5,000 to 10,000 deaths.
The true reason why maternal deaths from illegal abortions declined wasn’t legalization. It was the advent and widespread use of penicillin that saved the lives of women who had botched abortions.
So, you do the math:
- Prior to legalization, there were 39 annual maternal deaths from abortion instead of 5,000-10,000
- After legalization, 1.2 million unborn children die from abortion each year to “alleviate” the false claim that thousands of mothers were dying from illegal abortion.
Deaths of mothers aren’t the only issue for women as there are serious physical and psychological complications associated with legal abortions. For information on these complications, please click here.
Baby Has a Disability / Medical Issues
You are pregnant and asked if you want a boy or a girl. You respond that you don’t care as long as your child is healthy. You have your baby and count her fingers and toes almost immediately for reassurance that she is all right.
With most pregnancies, a normal outcome can be expected. However, in that small number of pregnancies where something has gone awry, hopes and dreams can be shattered, and parents truly experience a sense of loss. Most often, this does not mean the child will be loved any less, but parents grieve for their child and themselves, and experience fear and uncertainty for the future.
What changes will this child bring? How severe is the disability or medical problem? What does the prognosis, which is often overly grim, mean? Will their child live or die?
Increasingly, with the legalization of abortion at all stages of pregnancy, prenatal testing and diagnosis have become tools by which parents decide whether or not to end the life of their unborn child should a disability be detected. Physicians are pressured to offer such tests out of fear they will be successfully sued for the “wrongful” birth of a child with a disability.
Science has advanced to the point where around 450 conditions can be diagnosed when the baby is still in the mother’s womb. With new technologies, that number could increase to over 6,000 diseases.
The positive benefits from prenatal diagnosis are:
- A child can have treatment in utero for some of the conditions detected.
- Parents can be better prepared for the child’s condition and seek resources well before the child is born.
The norm, however, is far more negative:
- Between 80% and 100% of unborn children detected with an abnormality are aborted.
Not only is there a question about killing unborn children, but new technology raises serious ethical questions about whether or not having a baby is analogous to buying a car. Learning more about the baby before she is born allows abortion for:
- A baby who is not the desired sex.
- A baby with disposition to a condition such as Alzheimer’s in old age.
- A baby with a treatable condition.
Here’s a real story to make you think. In 2007 in Milan, Italy, an abortion was performed on a woman three months pregnant with twins because one of the little girls had Down syndrome. The goal was to abort the baby with Down syndrome and preserve the life of the “healthy” twin. But a terrible error occurred. The twin sisters changed positions in the womb between the doctors’ examination and the abortion. The final outcome? After it was discovered that the unborn baby with Down syndrome survived, another abortion was performed to end her life. Goal completed, but what a terrible price to pay with two lives lost.
Can you justify this discrimination against those who are different? Or should our resources be used to assist families who have a child with a disability or medical problem? Many caring families are willing to adopt these children if the family is unable to take care of the child.
Think about how a person with a disability must feel to know that an unborn child with a similar condition can be killed before birth, simply because of the disability. Then, think about how you can help families who are caring for a child with a disability. It is one of the most noble services you can provide to make the world a better place for all, regardless of condition or capability.
For more information on Prenatal Testing and Babies with Disabilities, please click here.
The Economic Impact of Abortion
- 50 Million U.S. Abortions, 1973 – 2009
- 1.2 Million Estimated Additional Surviving Children of Aborted Babies 1
- 275 Million U.S. Population, 2000
- 315 Million Estimated U.S. Population, 2000, without legal abortion 2
What Do 50 Million Lost Lives Mean?
“The basis of any economy is its population, or human element.” 3
- 50 million children’s parents not shopping for bottles, diapers, toys, booties or school books.
- Fewer teaching jobs, manufacturing jobs, health care jobs to produce goods for those 50 million missing persons, to teach them, or keep them healthy.
- 50 million fewer teens filling summer and part-time labor needs.
- 50 million less workers earning, spending, saving, investing wages; paying taxes; added mobility, adaptability, productivity to the labor force; training for the latest technology and occupational needs.
- 50 million fewer consumers of houses, cars and other goods.
- 50 million young people not making the market larger, more efficient and more encouraging of investment and innovation.
- 50 million fewer minds creating new knowledge.
“In the long run, the most important economic effect of population size and growth is the contribution of additional people to our stock of useful knowledge.” 3
“…Scientific and engineering progress has been quantitatively the single most important factor for growth in the advanced countries.” 3
In its long-term forecast, the Social Security Administration predicts that the growth rate of the U.S. economy, as measured by the total of goods and services produced in the U.S., will slow. States the SSA, “this slowdown is mostly due to slower projected growth in labor force and employment.” 3
1. Based on 1991 pregnancy rate for Caucasian women ages 20 – 24 and relevant death rates for both parents and children.
2. Figure adjusted for natural death/childbirth among aborted cohorts
3. Source: Social Security Administration, 2000 Trustees Report, Table II.D.1.
When They Say, You Say
How to Respond to Popular Arguments Against Life
When They Say
If a woman is raped, she should be allowed to have an abortion. After all, that child will do nothing but remind her of the trauma she suffered.
First of all, the incidence of pregnancies resulting from rape is very rare. However, even in small numbers they do occur and it’s important for us to address that.
Rape is a horrible crime – perhaps the worst that can be committed against a person, short of murder. But let’s look at this logically. The guilty party – the rapist – if caught and convicted serves an average of just under 14 years for his crime.1 How then is it fair to punish the second innocent victim of the crime – the child – with the death penalty?
Abortion does not erase rape – in fact, women who have experienced abortions for reasons of rape often refer to the abortion procedure as ‘the second rape’ or ‘the mechanical rape’ because of the physical nature of the procedure. In fact, some even say that the abortion was more psychologically damaging than the rape itself because in the rape they were an innocent victim, but in the abortion they participated in violence against both themselves and another innocent victim… their child.
This brings us to the final point re: abortion for reasons of rape. The child conceived through rape isn’t just ‘the rapist’s child,’ he or she is the victim’s child. Killing one’s own child, regardless of how that child was conceived, does NOT help any woman. We need to offer women life affirming options when they are faced with horrifying circumstances. After suffering through a rape, women can take back control by offering life to their unborn children.
For more information please go to http://www.afterabortion.org.
When They Say
Abortion should be legal in cases of incest, the victims of which are usually far too young to bear a child.
Incest is a horrible crime that shatters the lives of its victims. While pregnancy resulting from incest is rare, (1% or less)2 it does still happen. We need to address this compassionately in regard to both victims – the girl and her unborn child.
While pregnancy at an early age is not ideal, it is actually safer for a young girl than abortion which has serious physical implications, to say nothing of the intense psychological damage it causes.
Finally, abortion for cases of incest does nothing to help the victim. In fact, it covers up the abuse by destroying the ‘evidence’ of the crime – the unborn child – and in many, many cases returns the wounded girl to the same dangerous circumstances that caused the pregnancy in the first place. When faced with a young woman pregnant as a result of incest, we need to provide loving options that will care for both the girl and her innocent unborn child.” 2
Life of the Mother
When They Say
What about the health of the mother?
First of all, we need to be very careful to differentiate between the life of the mother and the health of the mother. While arguments can be made that many pregnancies will impact the health of the mother, there are very few cases where the mother’s actual life is at stake. In cases where a pregnancy directly threatens the mother’s life, every effort should be made to save the lives of both mother and child. If the mother’s life is directly threatened, in cases such as ectopic or tubal pregnancy, the mother’s life must be saved. If the mother dies, the child will also die and it is imperative that her life be saved.
When They Say
Abortion should be legal to save the life of the mother.
The mother needs excellent medical care to protect her health as well as that of her baby during pregnancy. If it were possible that abortion be prohibited with an exception to protect the health of the mother, she could have a legal abortion for virtually any reason. The U.S. Supreme Court in its 1973 Doe v. Bolton decision defined health as all things relating to a woman’s situation, including emotional and financial well-being.
2. Maloof, “The Consequences of Incest,” The Psychological Aspects of Abortion, University Publications of Amer., 1979, p. 74 245