8 Reasons Why Abort73 is Wrong About Abortion
The following concerns were expressed in a recent email. My response is below.
I don't know who initially receives the e-mail, but please send this to whomever it would most be important too. I am a 19-year-old Auburn University zoology/pre-vet student that was born and raised in Alabama, one of the most conservative states in the country as I'm sure you know. I watched your abortion video, and it didn't completely disgust me, as I'm sure the video was intended, not that I'm a sick person, but I work for a vet where I've seen dogs and cats cut open or put to sleep. I've had to take animal corpses to the local lab. I must say though, that there are a few essential problems with people who consider themselves pro-life. I'm sure most of them see it as pro-life and pro-choice, but a lot consider pro-life as pro-abortion. I can honestly say that I've never met any normal person that was pro-abortion, which would be someone that wants all pregnancies aborted if you think about it. No normal person I've ever met thinks abortion is a good thing. No one thinks it's anything better than very bad. I personally would also rather have the two sides called pro-choice and anti-choice, because people who want abortion to be illegal are basically just saying they don't want people to even have a choice. With all this said, I must also say I read your definition of when life begins. Those are true statements as they were read, but those excerpts weren't exactly saying when life began as I interpreted them. Those were saying when the process of creating a life began. When life actually begins is up to interpretation, and what I see is pretty much irrelevant to the entire point of my writing this. The main reason for me to write this is to tell my views on why making it illegal will not work and are not safe alternatives. For one, making something illegal doesn't stop whatever that is. Abortions took place before it was legal, and abortions will still take place if they're ever made illegal again. People will either go to different places where it is legal to get one, or even worse, they'll get illegal "back-alley" abortions that are unsanitary and unsafe. Think about marijuana or underage drinking or, perhaps the most relevant, murder. All of these still occur. They're pretty commonplace, really, but they're all illegal. Does it make them good? No, but the fact that they're illegal doesn't mean that they don't happen, just as would be the case if abortion were once again made illegal. Also, as I've already said no one thinks abortion is good, but there are times when it might be the best option for the mother. I know that the obvious alternative is adoption, but there are already too many orphans that go unadopted and a lot of the people I know that were adopted are very off balance, inluding someone who is more than likely a college drop out by now, spending his days smoking pot and drinking in his parents house, and a girl who got knocked up, dropped out of high school, sold meth, lived in a trailer in her parents' back yard, and may very well be in jail or dead now. Pretty sad stories for the adopted kids. Other than adoption, someone may just keep their child. It's their fault they got pregnant; they should deal with the consequences, but what if it wasn't their fault? What if a woman is raped? Mightn't she see that child every day and resent it, seeing only the face of the man who forced sex upon her in possibly the most violent of all acts aside from murder? It would be terrible for a child to have to grow up resented and unloved because she was forced to keep the child from the pregnancy caused by her rape. I look forward to hearing a response.
Thanks for taking the time to express your concerns. I do appreciate it, and I'll do my best to address them. Since many of your remarks relate to material that is already on our website, I'll intersperse my comments with links to the appropriate sections. Please take the time to look the links over as they will expand my response and help get you closer to the heart of your questions. Here goes.
1. Pro-Choice or Pro-Abortion, Pro-Life or Anti-Choice?
You are correct in asserting that nobody likes to be called "pro-abortion", and you are correct in assuming that nobody would suggest aborting all children. Nevertheless, I still believe "pro-abortion" is a justified label. In this debate, there is only one "choice" in question and that choice is abortion. It is the only choice being debated. Pro-lifers (or anti-choicers, as you prefer) have no interest in outlawing all choices, and pro-choicers (or pro-aborts, as I prefer) have no interest in making all choices legal. The only reason they like the term, "pro-choice" is because it distances themselves from the actual procedure they are advocating: abortion. Abortion advocates, in fact, universally resist all sorts of "pro-choice" legislation. For instance, they don't think that parents should have the "choice" to keep their underage daughters from undergoing a surgical abortion, and they don't think that tax-payers should have the "choice" to opt out of funding state-assisted abortions. "Choices" that might limit the number of total abortions are directly opposed, but "choices" that make abortions more likely to occur are championed. Therefore, it is dishonest to frame this debate in terms of "pro-choice" or "anti-choice". We must define our terms and clarify exactly what choice is on the table. That choice, of course, is abortion.
The main reason that so many people find comfort in the "pro-choice" label is because they think that it is somehow morally neutral. This is a wrong assumption, however, and it can be clearly exposed if we broaden the context. We'll start with a statement that most "pro-choice" people would readily agree with and endorse:
"I'm not pro-abortion, I'm pro-choice. In fact I would never have an abortion myself, but I certainly won't take away someone else's right to have an abortion."
This statement might seem "normal" in the abortion context, but let's consider a couple variations of the same essential argument:
"I'm not pro-rape, I'm pro-choice. In fact I would never rape someone myself, but I certainly won't take away someone else's right to rape."
"I'm not pro-slavery, I'm pro-choice. In fact I would never own a slave myself, but I certainly won't take away someone else's right to own a slave."
As hard as it is to believe, today, large portions of this country once argued for slavery rights in the exact same way that people today argue for abortion rights. They, too, tried to establish a moral middle ground so they could support slavery rights without supporting slavery itself. You can't make this distinction with slavery and you can't make it with abortion. If slavery strips the rights of personhood from living human beings, then not only is it wrong for one person to do, it's wrong for everyone to do. And if abortion strips the rights of personhood from living human beings, then it, too, is not just wrong for one person to do, it is wrong for everyone to do. It is no more dishonest to say, "I'm personally opposed to slavery but still believe slavery should be legal", than it is to say, "I'm personally opposed to abortion but still believe that abortion should be legal". You just can't have it both ways.
THE "CHOICE FACADE: http://www.abort73.com/abortion/the_role_of_law
2. "No one thinks [abortion] is anything better than very bad."
I don't know that this statement has any direct bearing on the abortion debate, but I've been involved in the issue long enough to assure you that many, many people maintain (at least publicly) that abortion is a very good, and necessary and liberating thing. Some feminists have even argued that abortion is an act of spiritual worship, a loving sacrifice to a pagan goddess.
3. When Does Life Begin?
Beyond the consistent medical testimony that human development begins at fertilization, there are a few other verifiable indicators to tell us that this is a living human being. First, since that which is conceived has human parents, we can be assured it is a human being. Second, since it is growing, converting food to energy, and interacting with its environment, we can be assured that it is alive. Those are the biological facts, but perhaps you're looking for something more "spiritual", something like, "When does this biological life receive a soul?". This is a question that can't be measured, and so cannot be scientifically answered. Therefore, the only safe place to start is at the exact point at which a new, genetically distinct human being comes into existence, and that is at the point of fertilization. But even if there is still doubt in your mind, unless there is conclusive proof that embryos and fetuses are not alive until birth, abortion cannot be justified. Consider a wrecking crew that is preparing to demolish an old building. If someone walks by and says, "there might be a child inside", the only way that crew can go ahead with their plan to level the building is if they're absolutely positive that there isn't a child in the building. If there is uncertainty, we must error on the side of caution.
4. Does Legislation Affect Behavior?
Here are a couple questions to consider based on your observations. If underage drinking were legal, if students could buy alcohol from vending machines on campus or grab a beer with their Big Mac, would drinking among minors increase or stay the same? If it is was legal to buy and sell marijuana at school, would drug use go up or stay the same? If murder was legal, if there were no legal ramifications or consequences for killing people who annoyed you or treated you badly or had something you wanted, would more people be killed or would the murder rate stay the same? Since you're granting that people are still murdered despite laws against murder, are you suggesting that we should make murder legal, or do you still think it's good to have "anti-murder" laws?
Obviously, outlawing abortion won't eliminate all abortions, but it will certainly eliminate most of them. History and common sense both bear this out.
5. Are Illegal Abortions "Safer" than Legal Abortions?
Abortion is always unsafe for the embryo or fetus being killed, and there is no solid evidence that illegal abortions in the future will be any more dangerous for the mothers than legal abortions are today.
ILLEGAL ABORTIONS: http://www.abort73.com/end_abortion/what_about_illegal_abortions
6. "[Abortion is] the best option for the mother."
Abortion, at its essence is an act of selfishness (though it is often masked in compassionate terms). It is the mother thinking only of her own future ambitions at the complete exclusion of her child's. She is being so selfish, in fact, that she is willing to kill her child so that her own future will be unhindered. Some even go so far as to say, "I'm doing this for my child", but the better off dead argument is wicked to the core. Ironically, this one act of extreme selfishness, one which promises women freedom and liberation, often becomes the most singularly miserable experience of their entire life. Abortion is physically devastating to children and emotionally devastating to women.
REAL LIFE TESTIMONY: http://www.abort73.com/HTML/I-G-2-testimony.html
7. The Availability and Impact of Adoption
There aren't any newborns in this country, available for adoption, who aren't being adopted. No matter what their race or health conditions, there are long waiting lists of eligible families eager to adopt them. Most of the children in the foster care system are not available for adoption, and those who are available are all older. Every child that is killed by abortion in this country could be successfully adopted out, and even though you bring in some anecdotal testimony of adopted children who've gone bad, there is no way to determine on the front-end where kids will end up on the back-end. We all know this to be true. Some children who are raised in poverty and abuse shake off their childhood to become productive and virtuous citizens. Others, who grew up with everything they could ever want or need, end up embracing a life of crime and debauchery. There is no magic formula to figure out where each child will end up, so we must assume the best and give them all equal protection.
THE AVAILABILITY OF ADOPTION: http://www.abort73.com/abortion/abortion_alternatives/
8. Does Abortion "Unrape" a Woman?
Finally, no matter how difficult the circumstances surrounding a rape and its subsequent pregnancy, there is absolutely nothing in the world that can "unrape" that woman. She will bear the pain of that memory, every day, for the rest of her life. If she aborts the child, however, there is a very real possibility that her grief will become even more unbearable:
As far as I can tell, these responses should address the essence of your concerns, and I do hope you'll find them helpful. Thanks again for your time and feedback.
Michael Spielman is the founder and director of Abort73.com. His book, Love the Least (A Lot), is available as a free download. You can also find him on Facebook and Google+. Abort73 is part of Loxafamosity Ministries, a 501c3, Christian education corporation. If you have been helped by the information available at Abort73.com, please consider making a donation.