Photo by Robert Phelps
Commentaries and observations about the conflicting moral beliefs and psychological issues facing our culture.
New essay every week
"AWAY WITH WORDS"
You will receive an email announcing future posts to "Today's Ideas."
Your email address is safe with us, it is held with strict confidence and is not shared.
Sign up now
28 October 2020
I Speak For The Child … And For Her Mother
An Elder’s Personal Reflection
As we know, abortion is the deliberate taking of a child’s life before, during and (in our “woke” era) even after a child is born.
The Abortion-Industrial Complex has vastly expanded the notion that abortion is a human “right.” Some argue that even healthy newborn babies should be left, without care, to die. The newborn should be kept comfortable while her new life slips away. Let her die unattended - but comfortable - while medical staff go about their routines. This is, after all, a “reproductive right.”
A “reproductive right.”
Think about that for a moment. Some people in our society believe it is moral and reasonable, even desirable, that a healthy newborn baby be ignored until she dies. Do not attend to her needs nor heed her cries. Let her die … but comfortably.
This, in our country … in America … in our lifetimes.
The Price Of Regret
On the other hand, countless women have undergone abortion but later express authentic grief and lasting recrimination. One woman expresses her post-abortion regret this way:
“… My unwise decision has not relieved me of unwanted pain. Rather, my loss has negatively impacted my life. At the time of my pregnancy I was very emotionally immature, as are so many women who find themselves in this position. Planned Parenthood is more than willing to step in with their pro-choice stance and encourage abortion as a desirable option…”
We are moved by the sincere regret of a vulnerable women who became pregnant and was later overwhelmed by the gravity of a decision so often made in an unstable or abusive relationship.
We are also moved by the remorse of a teen, bombarded by our society’s encouragement to recklessness, pregnant through an act of trust betrayed, now deeply depressed by a bleak and frightening future.
And we are moved by the emotionally deluded, profoundly gullible young woman who is wounded by her own naivete.
We are moved by the regret which weighs heavily on all their hearts. And we wonder what our society can do to ease their sincere remorse and support their search for virtue.
Most of all, we hope their regret gives birth to respect for children born and unborn; children whom we choose to defend and sustain at all costs … or is it too late in our nation’s history for such a hope to occur?
The Abortion – Industrial Complex
Many young women and men are encouraged to ignore the risks and responsibilities of sexual behavior. Be free, they are told. No matter your age, you have the right to experiment sexually - or so they are now taught … even in many grammar and high schools, and by endless media.
It’s obvious that youngsters (and many grown-ups, too) are psychologically immature, without a moral compass, lacking the guidance of attentive, intelligent adults in our sexually confused, morally adrift society.
As a result, pregnancy after fleeting moments of cavalier excess is all-too-common. Many learn the hard way that passionate indulgence has nothing to do with true love’s enduring, often costly, commitment.
Many men and women pay a price for their naivete – or their indifference. But it is the woman and her child who are isolated, often without moral clarity or support, simply overwhelmed.
Instead of respecting her vulnerability and honoring her child, Planned Parenthood and other profit-oriented purveyors of abortion say: “Let us take the life of your child; it is your quick-and-easy way out. After all, the Supreme Court and much of our society say, ‘Do it…be done with that intrusive child.'”
The Abortion-Industrial Deception
Abortion is the monied font by which the multi-billion-dollar Abortion-Industrial Complex thrives, often with government assistance (which exceeds a half-billion dollars annually).
The fact is that the 1973 Roe v Wade is the result of judicial usurpation, i.e., the Supreme Court’s making new law, not interpreting and applying existing law. Moreover, the Roe decision rests on admitted manipulation of the plaintiff, Norma McCorvey (alias Jane Roe) by her attorneys.
The Roe decision eclipses common sense, obliterates the Constitution’s right to life clause, violates fundamental moral traditions, shreds rationality and internally weakens America immeasurably.
But in 1992, the Planned Parenthood v Casey decision upheld the “essential holding of Roe.” The Casey decision also prompted Justice Kennedy to state that each individual person has a constitutional “right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life,” relegating scientific evidence, legal principles and moral traditions to profound decline.
Despite all this, Roe, Casey and other court decisions have made abortion an American standard. Abortion is now so deeply rooted in American culture that it is available to any woman, for any reason - to the shame of our nation.
Yet one must ask: Is it not self-evident that God has given every human being the unalienable right to life? Is this Constitutional right to life not basic to our nation’s very existence? How, then, can “reproductive rights” displace this most fundamental God-given right - unless one dismisses both the existence of God and our inherent responsibilities to one another.
The Medical Argument
Abortion advocates adamantly insist (during the recent Barrett hearings, for example) that without abortion, suffering might be inflicted on a woman who has an extreme, even fatal, medical condition. Abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life, they say. Such cases are referred to as the “hard cases.”
They claim a “hard case” woman may develop a serious medical problem. Therefore, all women must have access to abortion 1) to save their lives, or 2) to preserve their health or psychological stability, or 3) for any reason, or 4) for no reason at all.
This “hard case” argument has been extended so broadly that it is now used as justification for killing millions of healthy babies whose mothers are also healthy. The argument is, of course, aimed at the shallowest of emotions: who would be so mean and nasty as to deny a woman an abortion if she has a medical problem – or if she might have a problem someday … or does not want to be bothered with a baby for any reason?
From this singularly irresponsible argument, a general principle is promulgated: A woman might suffer. Therefore, all women must have the same deadly choice - and all children thereby placed in mortal jeopardy. A woman’s choice – her “reproductive right” - takes precedence over the God-given life of her child. No questions asked….
This argument is central to the credibility and legitimacy of the Abortion-Industrial Complex. Given the extreme gravity of the outcome, it is absolutely essential that we inquire:
How often does such a medical “hard case” actually arise and require termination of a pregnancy to save a mother’s life or protect her physical or psychological health?
Research makes it immediately evident that the frequency of potentially “hard cases” is less than 4-5% - at most. The main reasons given by the vast majority of women are 1) for their own convenience, 2) for the sake of their careers, 3) they are unready to be mothers, or 4) to avoid embarrassment.
Additional statistics from abortion clinics, medical journals and government surveys show “hard cases” are rare. In self-reports of abortion clinics, less than 2 % of abortions occur in “hard cases.” Even the Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood’s research affiliate) estimates the percentage well below 8%.
To Save The Children
The medical argument is a self-evident fallacy. It cannotstand as a credible justification for universal abortion-on-demand. It cannot rationally support the killing of millions of healthy babies by their healthy mothers. Yet it is promoted by pro-abortion advocates to militantly facilitate abortion throughout America and in other nations across the world.
Common sense tells us the Abortion-Industrial Complex rests on lies and on an extraordinary denial of facts and reason. Thus, the success of the abortion industry among America’s courts, legislators, educators, religious adherents and much of the general public is simply mind-boggling.
America’s astonishing allegiance to, and tolerance of, abortion is testament to 1) the power of GroupThink over facts of science and medicine, 2) the persuasive toxicity of peer pressure even among so-called adults, 3) the collapse of public morality in favor of the manipulative tenets of “victimhood,” 4) denial of the Commandment to love God and our neighbor, 5) rejection of legal restraint, and 6) the dismissal empathy and mercy toward the most innocent amongst us.
The Example Of Poland
One nation has not succumbed to the Abortion-Industrial Complex. Poland’s Constitutional Court just struck down a discriminatory abortion law which had allowed unborn babies with disabilities to be aborted. The Court agreed with pro-life challengers that this deadly exception violates constitutionally-protected human rights and was “incompatible” with the Polish constitution.
Babies with “disabilities” will not be killed….. Poland’s pro-lifers successfully argued that killing children with “disabilities” actually discriminates against them as human beings. The pro-life petition is worth our consideration:
“Since the attribute of human dignity belongs to man from the moment of the inception of human life, and the protection of the right to life is a direct consequence of the protection of human dignity, … the Constitution of the Republic of Poland leads to the conclusion that the right to life is a human right in every stage of development, at which the child is also entitled to the protection of human dignity, and therefore also in the prenatal period.”
Then they added: “… Since life begins at conception, from the first day of pregnancy, constitutional protection applies to human life in every phase of it.”
For Mother And Child
Alternatives to abortion are many, including adoption. But no solution is healthier in every way for mother, father and child than traditional marriage and a loving family environment.
This family solution is Nature’s invitation to a mother (a woman) and a father (a male) to commit themselves to one another in marriage. Their children are the thoughtful overflow of married love between husband and wife. Their child is deliberately conceived and fully welcomed into the embrace of their mutual parental decision.
This sort of marriage is a transformative union requiring candid communication, humility, self-sacrifice and mutual respect. Both persons willingly give of themselves for the Beloved and for their children whom they mutually agree to bring forth into family life.
It is within this setting that a child is intended by God and Nature to be lovingly conceived, born, raised and nurtured.
Abortion contradicts all of this in the name of “reproductive rights.” But what constitutes “reproductive rights”?
What exactly does “reproductive rights” mean in practice?
Most people do not know - and few speak of - the extreme violence of an abortion. Human reason and civility, simple decency and common sense abhor the violence exerted against a helpless child - except when “reproductive rights” are at stake.
Moreover, moral common sense should move us to be appalled at the number of abortions in America since Roe in 1973 - well over 61 million childrenand counting. But even if the total were one child, the same moral issues of right-and-wrong and the same challenges to cultural sanity would still plague our country over “reproductive rights.”
Our nation’s willingness to kill our healthy children - our youngest citizens - for the sake of “reproductive rights” has become the keystone issue in the growing historical evidence that America is in serious moral and social decline.
Abortion is a self-inflicted wound which empowers our enemies within and abroad. Why? Because when facts are denied, as they are in the abortion credo of “rights without responsibilities,” our moral insight is deeply injured. Truth is, as we see daily, rendered meaningless.
Final Reality Check
Despite Roe v Wade, the Abortion-Industrial Complex cannot erase scientific evidence and medical facts over “reproductive rights.” The facts cannot be negated by emotional reasoning, denial or avoidance. Science and human reason affirm that, from conception, a living human child grows and matures in the womb of her mother. A person - a human being - is there. No appeal to “reproductive rights” can change that.
Despite “rights without responsibilities” promulgated by the Abortion-Industrial Complex, there is (and always will be) the truth of human dignity and the abiding mystery of human life, beginning at conception. Thin about it:
- We have all held a newborn baby in our arms.
- We see her move and grow and change and blossom from the instant of her conception.
- From the first awe-inspiring moment of her sonogram, we know she is a living person.
- We watch her as she matures and we marvel as her features emerge and her body changes - just like we did …just as each one of us did.
- And we know she is a distinct person, blessed with her own unique identity, granted life by God and her parents.
These facts we know. They are obvious to every person of good will. Our minds and hearts and souls know these truths, and our emotions are rightly moved by the irreplaceable beauty of every child’s innocence.
To deny these obvious realities is to deny one’s own experience.
Given all this, let us ask God to assist every mother and every father and every child to grow and prosper. May the love and kindness and self-sacrifice of a stable family be always present and sustaining to each and to all ….
May this hope be realized someday. May it someday be so.