Common Pro-Abortion Cliches and the Pro-Life Response
By Valerie Protopapas
It has been said that those who define an issue, own that issue. Nowhere is this more evident than in the critical issue of abortion. Abortion propaganda has been presented as fact by, among others, the media and the medical and legal professions for so many years that the public, including many of those who support life, have come to believe this rhetoric and consider these premises as fundamental realities in the abortion situation.
Let us examine the most important and prevalent of these premises and refute their intentional deception.
A women has the right to control her own body
This is the primary feminist premise for abortion rights. It presents the contention by radical feminists that abortion is an essential part of their struggle for power; that power being equated as the ability to control in the most basic way, a woman's reproductive functions.
Feminists recognize that the most obvious and telling difference between men and women is a woman's ability to bear life. In order to efface that difference, they believe that women should have the political and legal power to decide whether or not they want to be pregnant at any given time. However, a critical analysis of their argument reveals several inconsistencies:
To being with, the very fact that a woman has a "crisis pregnancy" demonstrates that she, for whatever reason, lost "control" over her body. There are those who have said that, had she exercised "control" in the first place, she would not be pregnant. However, those in the pro-life movement make no moral judgments in this matter since there always exists the possibility that the pregnancy was due to an external force over which she had no control.
The supporters of life believe that a woman's "right to control her body" exists before she becomes pregnant. In other words, she has the admitted Constitutional right not to become pregnant by whatever means she chooses whether it be abstinence, the use of contraception or through sterilization.
However, once a woman is pregnant, the undeniable fact is, she is going to have a baby. The abortion movement has only provided her with the option of having a dead rather than a live baby. This cannot and must not be equated with providing a woman an "alternative" to pregnancy.
Once a woman is pregnant, there is another human being involved and "her body" can no longer be considered the primary issue. The unborn child is scientifically and medically recognized as a unique and distinct person; separate from his mother and not a part of "her body." To suggest that he is so, simply because he depends upon her for shelter and nourishment, is to suggest that newborn and even older children who need maternal care also fall under the category of being a part of their mother's physical body; a suggestion which is patently ridiculous.
Finally, if a woman's absolute control over her physical body is a constitutionally recognized "right," then the laws against prostitution, drug use and other crimes involving the body must be removed from the books. However, as of this date, all such laws have been found, by the Supreme Court to be constitutional. The premise that a woman has the right to absolute and unfettered control of her body is applicable, judicially, only in the case of abortion.
"Who chooses: the woman or the government?" The so-called "pro-choice" argument
When abortion is seen in terms of the "right to choose," it is supported by the majority of Americans who look no further than the idea that some individual may be deprived of her "rights." Yet, this analogy is false. If the sentiment were cast in another way, such as "Who chooses, the rapist [bank robber, mugger, child molester], the argument of "choice" would have no appeal. For the public recognizes that such acts as rape, robbery and the sexual molestation of children are contrary to the good of both the individual and the society, and cannot be condoned, much less promoted.
Whenever the term "pro-choice" is used to present abortion as being simply the right of a woman to "choose," the question must be asked, what choice is being made? In the case of abortion, the "choice" is to kill an innocent human being which is morally and ethically unacceptable.
We all recognize that not all choices are valid. Serial killer Ted Bundy made "choices," but no one argues that the government shouldn't have been involved in them, as they brought death to countless young women. The "choice" of an abortion has resulted in the death of over 25 million babies in the United States since 1974.
To suggest that "government," the moral force of the state representing all its people, has no part in a woman's "choice" to kill her unborn child, is to suggest that it has no part in the "choice" to commit any other form of murder, which, of course, is nonsense.
If abortion were made illegal, women could be arrested for having or attempting to have one
A Planned Parenthood ad shows a woman behind bars who has just had a miscarriage. The ad states that this could conceivably be the fate of every women who has a miscarriage and certainly would be the fate of every woman who has or attempts to have an abortion.
No pro-lifer has ever encouraged or supported criminal prosecution for women who have abortions. The call for such prosecution is limited to the abortionist and those who aid, abet and profit from the crime. Indeed, women are considered by the pro-life movement as the "second victim" since they are often coerced, bullied and deceived in the effort to force them to choose abortion over all other options.
The cry of most women who have an abortion is, "I had no choice!"
Most of those in the pro-life movement are men. The pro-life movement is anti-woman
Over 80% of those in the pro-lifer movement are women! On the other hand, many of those who support abortion are men. After all, men have the most to gain from abortion. The vast majority of abortionists are men. Abortion removes from men the burden of child support and allows them to escape the commitment which comes with fatherhood.
One young woman standing outside an abortuary carries a sign which read,
A WOMAN'S "RIGHT TO CHOOSE"
HAS BECOME A MAN'S RIGHT TO ABUSE
Polls show that a vast majority of Americans favor abortion rights
This is another "half-truth." Most polls show that almost 70% of Americans favor abortion only in cases of rape, incest and threat to the physical life of the mother. Done for reasons of birth control, sex selection, convenience, or economics, abortion is repudiated by the public in virtually the same numbers, almost 70%.
Further, those who study them know that polls reflect the opinions of those who take them: For instance, the above statement, that almost 70% of the public favors abortion, was made when the question: "Would you favor denying an abortion to a woman whose life was in danger or who had been raped?" brought the understandable answer of "no" from most of those being polled. This most specific answer to a most specific question was then extrapolated to the statement: most Americans favor abortion on demand.
However, if one asks the question: "Do you support abortion for social and economic convenience," the reason for over 97% of all the abortions performed since Roe, the majority of Americans will answer with a resounding No!
If abortion is limited or banned, who will care for the 1.5 million unwanted children who are now being aborted? It will be a tremendous burden on the welfare system and the taxpayers
Ignoring the equation of children's lives with money, this argument has also been proven patently false. When and where access to abortion is limited, the pregnancy rate drops precipitously! In states where parental notification is necessary for minors, it was found that the pregnancy rate dropped almost 75% in the teenage population.
In adult situations where there is [supposedly] more mature judgment, it can be expected that the "unwanted pregnancy" rate will decline even more precipitously when abortion is no longer available as a backup method of birth control.
However, whether or not that should occur, we cannot murder children on the off chance that the taxpayers may have to shoulder some part of the cost of their upbringing. Given that there are millions of couples waiting to adopt children, this is not a real consideration in the elimination of legalized abortion.
There are those who ask the question, "what about the 'unadoptables': that is, minority, multiracial and handicapped children? Should we not provide abortion in such cases?" The adoption situation has changed radically in recent years and, although healthy white infants are still the preference, may couples are willing and even eager to adopt children who are designated as "hard to place." During the time the "natural parents" allowed a Down's Syndrome infant to starve to death in a hospital in Bloomington, Indiana, there were six couples waiting to adopt him.
"Every Child a Wanted Child" [Planned Parenthood slogan]
Sounds great, doesn't it! Wouldn't we want every child born to be "wanted?" Yet think of the implications of this statement! What are we saying is, if you aren't wanted you have no value as a human being! How far is it then to such slogans, as, Every Senior a Wanted Senior, or Every Jew a wanted Jew.
Human beings cannot be killed simply because, at some point in their lives, somebody perceives them as being "unwanted," even if that person is their mother. Almost everyone, sometimes in his life may be "unwanted" by his family, his boss, his peers and even himself. . . . but he is never unwanted by God. Further, being "unwanted" has never been a capital crime in the United States.
Limiting or making abortion illegal would mean tens of thousands of women dying of illegal "back-alley" abortion as they did before Roe vs. Wade
We have all seen the pro-abort signs with the symbol of the coat-hanger and the diagonal slash. And, we have heard all the tales of the dirty, vicious "back-alley abortionists" who preyed on helpless women when abortion was illegal. Yet, according to Dr. Bernard Nathanson who was a foremost proponent of abortion rights and performed abortions when they were both legal and illegal, most illegal abortions were done, not in back alleys, but in hospitals and not by bungling amateurs, but by licensed gynecologists!
The death toll from illegal abortion the year before Roe vs. Wade was 39 women, not the 20,000 claimed by the pro-abortion forces. Also, approximately 150,000 illegal abortions were performed annually in the United States before Roe, not the 1.5 million claimed by abortion supporters. The abortion rate per year has increased by a factor of 10 from 150,000 to 1.5 million, since 1974.
Furthermore, women are dying today of so-called "safe, legal abortions." The admitted death rate from 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions is only slightly lower than the rate of automobile deaths [1 in 5900 as compared to 1 in 5000] and the death rate from 1st trimester abortions [the most numerous performed] can only be estimated as there are no government regulations concerning the reporting of deaths attributable to abortion.
The scandals which have rocked the abortion industry with regard to unsafe practices, including the hiring and use of unlicensed physicians or physicians who have lost their licenses, and the incredible fact that, in some states, an abortionist does not even have to be a physician, would have destroyed any other industry; but abortion is protected by the courts and the media. The "back alley abortionist" is still in practice, only now he is tax-exempt and government subsidized.
It isn't a "baby." it's a "blob of tissue." a parasite. a product of conception, a tumor etc
This is how the abortion industry and its allies describe the unborn child. Yet, they are afraid to allow the public to see the pictures of aborted babies which clearly show severed arms, legs, and heads. Further, the abortion industry has constantly fought against "informed consent" legislation which would require a woman be told about the abortion procedure, the dangers she might encounter in that procedure, the nature of her pregnancy and the facts about the life of her unborn child.
At the moment of conception, the child possesses the 46 chromosomes needed for a new and unique human being. Even before the fertilized egg divides, the genetic patterns have established sex, hair, eye and skin color and such traits as musical, athletic and artistic talent and possible future diseases.
In the month following conception, the child grows so rapidly that, if it were considered in proportion as weighing 1 pound at the moment of conception, at the end of the first month it's weight would be S tons! At 24 days the heart is beating and circulating the child's blood (the mother's blood is never part of the baby). At 6 weeks there are recordable brain waves which are functionally little different from that of an adult.
All organs are present and functioning at the end of 8 weeks of gestation. Most abortions are performed between 10 and 12 weeks gestation. Some children have survived outside the womb as early as 20 weeks [5 months], and development of a human being is not completed until the age of 23 years.
The pro-life movement cares only for the unborn child and not for the woman or the child once he is born. Pro-lifers hold women in contempt
It is not pro-lifers who hold women in contempt, but the abortion industry. Testimony of exabortionists and those who have worked in abortuaries speak ceaselessly to the fact that the only thing abortionists are interested in is money. Women are often misled, lied to, coerced, browbeaten and bullied into getting an abortion. Often they are treated brutally and the horror stories from these places are legion.
Pro-life demonstrators who tell a woman that she is "killing her baby" as she enters an abortuary are only trying to reach her with the facts while there is still time. Many women later lament that there was no one outside the abortuary to tell them the facts when they had their abortion.
Of course, the truth is most women really know that they are killing their baby, but they ignore that knowledge for the sake of convenience. Only later, when the guilt begins to destroy them, are they forced to face what they knew all along. It is infinitely easier for them to face that truth before their abortion than after, even if the truth is both unwelcome and unpleasant.
The Pro-life movement does care for both the woman and her child before and after birth. Crisis pregnancy centers established around the country help women find jobs, apartments or housing with a volunteer if she is homeless, give her help with medical expenses, transportation to medical facilities, provide layettes for newborns, baby furniture, clothing for siblings and a host of other necessities.
It is interesting to note that pro-life endeavors such as these crisis pregnancy centers, receive no funding from any government agency. Only the abortionists and their allies like Planned Parenthood are government funded. In fact, there are government functionaries, like the Attorney General of New York, who seek to close some crisis pregnancy centers under the pretense of deceptive advertising since they refuse to counsel abortion as an alternative. However, these same functionaries do not seek to hold abortuaries to the same high standard of truth when they offer so-called "counseling" which consists solely of "selling" abortion to their clients.
The Pro-life movement is
made up of the wealthy and is financed by the Roman Catholic Church.
Statistics on income distribution reveal that most pro-lifers are in the middle, lower-middle and lower income brackets while most abortion advocates are in the upper-middle and upper income brackets including millionaires. Pro-aborts boast such financial giants as Ted Turner and Donald Trump along with myriad media celebrities. On the other hand, pro-life ranks are filled with blue collar workers, housewives and religious.
The Pro-life movement is not financed by the Roman Catholic Church, not do pro-life agencies receive government funding as do so many pro-abortion organizations. The Pro-life movement is financed solely, totally and completely by the sacrificial offerings of its pro-life members.
If abortion were illegal. what about victims of rage. incest and women whose lives are endangered by their pregnancy?
Abortion is performed today for cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the woman in less than 3% of the 1.5 million annual abortions. In cases where a woman's life is in actual danger from a pregnancy as in the case of an ectopic or tubal pregnancy or cancerous uterus, there has always been a medical, legal and spiritual recognition of the necessity to save the mother's life even when that salvation led, tragically, to the death of the child. No laws were necessary to legalize life-saving medical intervention.
Cases of rape and incest very rarely lead to pregnancy for a variety of reasons. In cases where they do, we must remember that the child in the womb is not guilty of any crime but is also a victim. As we do not ask the death penalty for the actual criminal of rape or incest, why should we demand it for the second innocent victim?
Also, abortion leads to increased trauma as the victim will suffer the emotional and possibly physical damage which is common to all abortions. Between 50 and 80% of all women who have had abortions suffer mild to severe psychological trauma although it may take up to 8 or 10 years before manifesting itself. This is simply piling the trauma of abortion upon trauma of rape or incest. A woman who carried through such a pregnancy may indeed wind up far better off physically and psychologically than a woman who chooses to abort.
Finally, we must remember that, as Christians, we are obligated to offer God's compassion to the woman, not that of the world. The world says that the woman would be much better off killing her child. This so-called "compassion" is wicked and leads to spiritual, moral and sometimes physical death. God's compassion has more respect for the sufferer, offering the suffering of His Son as an example in our distress and the promise of His eternal love and constant support in times of trial.
Abortion is a woman's constitutional right
Abortion is mentioned nowhere in the Constitution. The so-called "right" to an abortion was made up out of whole cloth by the Supreme Court under the guise of the "right" of privacy, which is also unmentioned in the Constitution.
In deciding that the unborn child was a human being, but not a person, the Court did to them what it had previously done to African-Americans in the infamous Dred Scott decision which said that blacks, though human, were not "persons" under the Constitution.
Abortion is legal only for the first three month of a pregnancy
Roe vs. Wade and its attendant case of Doe vs. Bolton legalized abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy. A woman may abort her child for any reason or no reason at all up to the moment of delivery. The admitted "interest" which the State has in second and third trimester abortions is defined in Doe vs. Bolton as allowing the State only the right to determine who may perform an abortion and where one may be performed in such circumstances. The State may not, under these two rulings, prevent or forbid abortion whatever the "viability" of the fetus.
The Webster case, however, has made some inroads in the totality of Roe and Doe; only time will tell just how much. Until both are overturned, however, abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy for any or no reason at all remains the law of the land.
What about the "population explosion"? Aren't there too many people in the world already?
The replacement birth rate of any group is approximately 2.24 children per reproductive couple. All European countries [except Ireland], and the United States, Canada and European Russia have fallen below that level.
We are a dying nation. Only immigration hides that fact. We have a current birth rate of 1.9 children per reproductive couple which means there are fewer and fewer young people to carry the burden of every growing numbers of elderly. Pro-life prophets see the current push for euthanasia as a way of handling the crisis of elderly dependency in the coming years.
Furthermore, if one placed every human being on the face of the earth together in a large crowd, they would fill the state of Rhode Island. In the Third World, most poverty is the result of inefficient economies, political strife and poor management. Well run governmental and economic structures in such "overcrowded" places as Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan put the lie to the belief that people are a detriment.
Most people who accept the "overpopulation" theory, don't want to be eliminated themselves to lower the number of people in the world, but rather are worried about having to share their abundance with someone else. When one says "there are too many people for the resources available," the concept is overpopulation. However, when one says, "there are too few resources for the people," the concept is poverty. There is more than enough arable land and goods available for all humanity; it is a matter of distribution and the poor management of much that should be far more productive.
Regarding "ecology" and "conservation," we must remember that, as Christians, we are stewards of our planet. However, we cannot "save the whales," and "kill the babies." Our brothers and sisters around the world are sacred to God, just as we are. If we follow His Commandments and seek His help, people, plants, animals and the whole "biosphere" can live in harmony without slaughtering our fellow man to save the snail darter.
The new abortion pill, RU-486 and the development of new contraceptives [such as "Norplant"] will end the debate
Contrary to the hopes of abortion advocates, RU-486 will not end the abortion debate. This dangerous chemical is not a "morning after" pill which can be taken to "prevent" a pregnancy nor is the use of the pill "simple" but rather, a very complex and involved process which often results in the need to resort, after the course of medication, to a surgical abortion.
The kill "window" for RU-486 is limited and it is ineffective before and after that time. Further, RU-486 has relatively low "kill percentage" unless taken in conjunction with doses of prostaglandin, another dangerous and powerful drug.
The pill itself has only been tested a very short time in the nature of drug testing but already shows many problematic side effects. Also, many drug firms are loath to carry the first "human pesticide." The push to get this infamous material into our nation is reminiscent of the push to legalize that other "wonder drug" from Europe, Thalidomide.
The newly accepted and soon to be marketed "contraceptive" Norplant, is a device which will be surgically implanted in women's arms, having a 5 year+ life-span. According to the medical community, Norplant suppresses the production of ova in a woman by the use of the gradual emission of a low dosage of a particular hormone. In this action, it mimics the low-dosage birth control pill and women who can't take "the pill" are advised to avoid this new product. The cost of implanting the five "match-stick" like receptacles will be on the average, about $300.00 according to most medical sources.
Unfortunately, what is not said is that, failing to prevent production of the egg, Norplant makes the lining of the uterus hostile to the now-fertilized egg, causing a failure of implantation. Thus a woman may abort up to 60 children in one five year period and never be the wiser.
Finally, abortion is abortion is abortion whether surgical or chemical, and will be fought by those who value the sanctity of human life.
Limitation or prohibition of abortion will increase the incidence of child abuse as most abused children are the result of unwanted pregnancies
The Truth? Over 97% of the documented cases of child abuse involve "wanted" children from "planned" pregnancies
Since Roe vs. Wade, the incidence of child abuse has risen over 700% in the United States alone. Violence against women and societal violence has also risen precipitously. Killing human beings cannot be used as a solution to social problems because, inevitably, the society collapses. Today we are seeing our society in the throes of physical, moral and ethical collapse and abortion must be considered as a primary reason.
Abortion is necessary to help preserve relationships which might otherwise end under the strain of an unwanted child
Numerous statistical studies over the years show that, of those couples unmarried at the time of an abortion, over 70% break up within one year of the abortion.
Statistics on the situation among married couples is unavailable, but interviews with aborted married women indicate that these women harbor deep resentment and hostility where they perceive the abortion as due to the wishes of the husband even when they outwardly concurred with that decision.
Similarly, married men whose wives abort despite or directly contrary to their desire, evince feelings of impotence, anger and helplessness. Neither situation bodes well for any marriage.
Deception: "I am not pro-abortion. I'm pro-choice", "I would never have an abortion myself, but I cannot tell someone else what to do." "I am personally opposed to abortion, but. . . . " "You can't legislate morality!"
These are the arguments used by politicians in an attempt to court both pro-life and pro-abortion constituencies. These are also arguments used to excuse the pro-abortion beliefs and actions of politicians and others who belong to pro-life religious bodies. Finally, every felony law against rape, robbery, incest, murder etc. are laws which establish a cultural morality. Law has always been the vehicle by which any society described its most cherished moral and ethical beliefs.
What conclusions can be reached after studying these intentional deceptions which have been foisted on the American public for so many years?
The primary conclusion is that abortion is totally destructive. It destroys the woman, the child, the health care professional, [American doctors no longer take the original version of the Hippocratic Oath. This Oath which protects patients from the depredations of unscrupulous physicians has been abandoned only twice in 2500 years, in Nazi Germany and today in America.] the family structure, the relationship between men and women and, eventually, the society which has employed it as a "solution" for its problems.
Abortion leads to infanticide [which is already happening in this country], euthanasia [which is already happening in this country] and a loss of respect for human life which fosters increased societal violence and suicide [both of which are already happening in this country].
Death becomes a solution to all of life's difficult problems; death, not only for the individual, should he desire it [as in euthanasia], but for those whom the individual finds inconvenient - an unborn or handicapped child, an older parent and/or all those who are on the fringe of society whom the individual might be called upon to support through taxes or in the name of charity; the poor, the homeless, the elderly and the ill.
Elite coteries of people in government, the judiciary and medicine become arbiters of who shall live and who die. At the moment, age and physical condition determine who will die, but it is only a matter of time before such considerations as religion, race or political philosophy place a human being on the "unwanted" and "inconvenient" list.
America can no more survive "half-death" and "half-life," than she could "half-slave" and "half-free." All those who value life, liberty and due process as well as those who love God and Neighbor have a duty to fight for an end to this holocaust and a return to the understanding of the sanctity of each and every innocent human life.
Valerie Protopapas is Executive Secretary and Educational Director of Orthodox Christians for Life (P.O. Box 805, Melville, NY, 11747, (516) 271-4408).
Taken from the OCA Resource Handbook for Lay Ministries