[Disclaimer: This is one of my rare politically charged posts. Please skip this is my anti-abortion stance will cause your brain to explode and/or make you want to slap me for being insensitive. I have a point of view and sometimes, I throw caution to the wind and express it. You are free to express your opposing point of view, too, of course, but please, be gentle.]
I clipped this newspaper article by George Will last April. Mr. Will cites the case of a fetus in Britain who was aborted at 28 weeks gestation because it was prenatally diagnosed with a cleft lip and palate. Apparently, this fit the British law that abortion is permitted only when “there is a substantial risk that if the child were born it would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.”
I wonder what Bobby Martin, a boy who was born without arms or legs, but who ended up playing high school football (and appearing on Oprah) would think about that? What is his parents took a look at an ultrasound picture and gasped, “Oh no! We don’t want a boy without limbs.”
No one would blame them. Right? Why bring a child into the world only to suffer?
The case I saw on television the other night would certainly fit the criteria for abortion in Britain. The doctors can’t even diagnose this child, a now-twelve year old girl who hasn’t grown beyond the physical size and mental capacity of a six-month old baby. What purpose does such a life serve? Wouldn’t she (and her long-suffering family) be better off if she hadn’t been born?
Then I turned the channel and saw the amazing story of these children and young adults who communicate almost entirely through music. Though their cognitive and communicative skills are impaired, they all display an amazing aptitude and passion for music, specifically the piano. These children with different abilities face difficulties in their lives most of us cannot even imagine. Would we choose to let them live, if the choice were ours to make?
Not all women take advantage of prenatal testing. What happens when a devastatingly imperfect baby is born? Well, in the Netherlands (land of my ancestry, I might point out) “the Groningen Protocol, as the hospital’s guidelines have come to be known, would create a legal framework for permitting doctors to actively end the life of newborns deemed to be in similar pain from incurable disease or extreme deformities.”
Child euthanasia remains illegal everywhere else. Unless, of course, the child is still a fetus, in which case, in the United States, abortion laws which essentially allow abortion at any time. Did you know that “U.S. abortion law, in terms of how late an abortion may take place, is far more permissive than that of other nations such as France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, for example.”?
The Associated Press article by Linda A. Johnson published on March 10, 2005, concludes, “Experts said the Dutch report [of newborn “mercy killings”] will generate discussion but won’t change American opinion or practices.”
I’m sure that’s true. After all, almost ninety-two percent of American abortions aren’t done because a baby is imperfect. They are done for the following reasons:
25.5% Want to postpone childbearing
21.3% Cannot afford a baby
14.1% Has relationship problem or partner does not want pregnancy
12.2% Too young; parent(s) or other(s) object to pregnancy
10.8% Having a child will disrupt education or job
7.9% Want no (more) children
Not because the fetus has no arms and legs. Not because the fetus is missing a chromosome or has an extra one. Not because the fetus is doomed to die of a birth defect at birth anyway. Not even because the mother’s life is in danger.
No. Most abortions are done because of convenience, not the “health” and “life” of the mother, but for her convenience. While our laws bend over backwards to give women the right to abort a baby which might endanger her life–you know the rhetoric, the heart-tugging stories–almost a million conceived human beings are aborted per year. Dramatic stories (like the boy with no arms and legs and his triumph in life) are matched by dramatic stories of women in terrible, disturbing, horrific circumstances. And I’ll agree that there are ethically challenging cases where difficult choices must be made.
But most unborn human beings are simply obliterated for other reasons. Ninety-two percent of aborted fetuses, gone. Over thirty-three million human beings since abortion was legalized.
And if you are a black fetus in America, you have an even higher chance of being aborted before birth. “In the 41 areas for which race was adequately reported, approximately 55% of women who obtained legal induced abortions were known to be white, 35% were black, and 7% were of other races; for 3% of the women, race was unknown. The abortion ratio for black women (503 per 1,000 live births) was 3.0 times the ratio for white women (167 per 1,000 live births). Additionally, the abortion ratio for women of other races (329 per 1,000 live births) was 2.0 times the ratio for white women. The abortion rate for black women (30 per 1,000 women) was 3.1 times the rate for white women (10 per 1,000 women), whereas the abortion rate for women of other races (22 per 1,000 women) was 2.2 times the rate for white women.”
Only 12.9% of our population is black, yet 35% of the women who obtained abortions in 2000 were black.
Why isn’t Ray Nagin outraged by that? Where is Kanye West’s outcry?
Thirty-three years ago, abortion became legal in the United States. Happy anniversary. Aren’t we all so much happier now?
[Check out Barbara Curtis’ post on this topic over at Mommylife. She’s the mother of 12, including childen with Down Syndrome, and a former abortion-rights crusader.
[Edited to remove reference to Ann Coulter from the post, but you can check out her radical viewpoint here.] I hate for the point of my post to be lost in the distaste many have for Ann Coulter.]