Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Confessed Lies Behind Abortion

          When abortion was legalized in 1973, one of the principal arguments offered to justify it was the claim that thousands of women died each year from illegal, and therefore unsafe, abortions. 
         That claim was unfounded and intentionally false.  It was a lie.
         Dr. Bernard Nathanson -- co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), a man who later become pro-life -- admitted that he and others in the early abortion rights movement knowingly and intentionally lied about the number of women who allegedly died as a result of illegal abortions:  “In NARAL we generally emphasized the drama of the individual case, not the mass statistics . . . [W]hen we spoke of the latter it was always “5,000 to 10,000 deaths a year.”  I confess that I knew the figures were totally false, and I suppose the others did too . . . But in the "morality" of the revolution, it was a useful figure . . . The overriding concern was to get the laws eliminated, and anything within reason which had to be done was permissible." (Nathanson, Aborting America, p.197).
         Later, Nathanson started telling the truth, and the official statistics of the Center for Disease Control backed him up.  According to the CDC, only 24 women died from illegal abortions in the year before Roe v. Wade legalized the practice in 1973.  Far from reducing the number of maternal deaths from abortion, in the wake of Roe v. Wade that number actually rose, both in 1973 and in the years immediately following. 
         Those who concocted the lie about women’s health and abortion still won’t tell you the truth.  But gynecologist Horton Dean will.  According to Dean, as many as 15 percent of all first trimester, 40 percent of all second trimester, and a startling 90 percent of all third trimester abortions end in problems requiring serious medical attention for the mother (George Grant, Grand Illusions, pp. 65-66).  Obstetrician Thomas Hilgers will tell you the truth also.  According to Hilgers, “natural pregnancy was found to be safer [than abortion] both in the first and second 20 weeks of pregnancy” (Francis Beckwith, Politically Correct Death, p. 128).  Furthermore, maternal deaths due to illegal abortion have now been replaced, almost one-for-one, by maternal deaths resulting from legal abortion (Stephen Krason, Abortion, p. 307).
         In other words, the abortion rights movement was built on a lie -- but not one lie only.  Norma McCorvey, the infamous  “Roe” in Roe v. Wade, a woman who (like Nathanson) has since become a pro-life advocate, now admits that the rape claim she then alleged stood behind her desire to get an abortion was a lie.  It never happened.  These are just the lies to which they have confessed.  Doubtless there are others.
         But those wicked lies are not my point; abortion is.  Nor am I saying that the death of even 24 women is insignificant.  I am saying that it pales in comparison to the 700,000 females who are legally aborted every year.
         Not only was the plea to make abortion safe by making it legal a plea based on a lie, it also begs the moral question.  Abortion ought to be made safe only if it is moral, only if those who advocate it can prove that the unborn are not human.  But if the unborn are human, and if abortion kills them, then the effort to make abortion safe is as morally misguided a project as making bank robbery safe for thieves.
         The unborn are, indeed, human.
         Just like the mother herself, the one being killed in abortion has a unique combination of 23 sets of paired chromosomes, a distinct combination that identifies them as human beings.  The victim in abortion is both genetically human and genetically unique.  That is, the unborn person is not only human, but a human.  The one being killed in abortion is not a member of some other species.  But if you think that they are, then name it.  They are not canine, feline, equine, or bovine.  They are not mineral or vegetable.  They are human.  Their genes say that about them, just as the mother’s does about her.  Being human isn’t something you become, it’s something you are or you are not.  That determination is made genetically.  In that light, the unborn are human beings.  Unlike some pro-choice advocates, the genetic code doesn’t lie. 
         Nor is the unborn person a part of the mother’s body.  If the body in question were truly hers, its genetic code would be the same as hers.  It is not.  It never is.  Indeed, half the time the body in question is male.  The child lives in the mother’s body; the child is not the mother’s body.  To speak differently on the point is just another lie.
         For nearly 40 years we have endured this colossal evil.  It grew from a falsehood and it proceeds by falsehoods.  Abortion has taken the lives of approximately 50 million persons in America alone.  It claims a staggering 4,000 lives per day, every day. 
         It’s time that the lies and the killing stop.


Anonymous said...

I agree with everything the article states, except I think the number of deaths quoted (24) from illegal abortions is underreported because of the stigma. My mother was a nursing supervisor at a a county hospital. She told of a nurse at the hospital who fatally tried to give herself an abortion, and many others she had seen admitted who had been sterilized by botched procedures. Abortion is not a 20th-century problem. This sin has persisted since ancient times as have all forms of sin. Like all sin, it is setting up one's own desires (choice) as higher than God, so it is a form of idolatry. We live in a culture where self-enhancement and self-advancement is god. Just as making abortion illegal cannot stop it, making it legal only makes it worse and gives it legitimacy. Recognizing that we are dealing with self-interest, we have to eliminate as many excuses as we can by providing supports (pre-natal and natal care, daycare, family financial aide, supports and counseling for parents of handicapped children, adoption assistance, etc.) But any attempt to limit it must attack, at its core, the culture of living for oneself (and avoiding "inconvenience") and denial of God. As long as we treat all philosophies as equally valid and individualism as the supreme good, then we will be faced with those who say: "It's my life and my choice."

Dr. Michael Bauman said...

Anonymous, Thanks for your comment. You might be quite right about unreported abortions. But we can go only by what the official data tell us. Beyond that, we are guessing. Those guesses, however, might be correct. Who knows for sure?

You are quite right that abortion is not new. As far back as about the 120s, in a text called The Didache, early Christians denounced the practice, as well they should.

Right, making abortion illegal won't stop it because making it illegal won't change human nature. But making it illegal will curtail it noticeably, especially if stiff penalties are involved. I am pleased to curtail it as much as I can, even if that is not to stop it altogether.

Best to you,