By Dave Andrusko
My guess is that every pro-lifer could offer multiple reasons not to have an abortion. In critiquing pro-abortionists and celebrating pro-lifers, we at National Right to Life News Today implicitly offer our own catalogue of reasons to choose life.
I mention this today because of a piece that ran over the weekend at Live Action News—“10 reasons not to have an abortion,” by Kristi Burton Brown. I’d like to take a few minutes to do an overview. (Her story can be read in full at liveactionnews.org.)
First and foremost abortion kills innocent unborn life and harms many women—emotionally, physically, and relationally— and can (and does) compound problems associated with their future pregnancies.
Of the former, pro-abortionists either deny this happens, or concede it does only to suggest these after-shocks are a kind of temporary price women pay for disposing of an “unwanted” pregnancy. Of the latter category—for example, increased infertility and more pre-term deliveries with all the attendant complications—they have less to say because this is so obviously true.
Mrs. Brown helps the reader focus on less-talked-about components of the after-math of abortion: taking the child’s life only hides problems, it does not solve them. She writes
“Some people believe that having an abortion and ending a child’s life will solve their problems. And in the immediate present, it may appear that the problems have been erased. Perhaps college becomes an easier option, maybe parents never find out that their daughter was pregnant, or possibly an affair remains undiscovered. But in reality, abortion only hides problems – it doesn’t solve them. Many women finish college while still giving life to their baby. Many parents are far more accepting and loving than their daughters believed possible. And the truth is better than a lie, when a lie would cost an innocent person’s life. In the end, that’s what this is really about: our problems are not only solved through killing an innocent person. Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it right. And just because it’s often a hidden choice doesn’t mean it won’t stay with you forever.”
Just one other of her ten reasons not to have an abortion: “It avoids responsibility.” Responsible people, she writes, “have to make hard choices sometimes. …Choosing to raise a child is responsible. Choosing adoption for a child is responsible. But choosing abortion and denying life to a child who already exists is irresponsibly – and irreparably – wrong.”
This bumps up against her tenth reason (“It’s not empowering or liberating for women”). I have never understood the pro-abortion feminist argument that taking the life of someone less powerful than the woman somehow “empowers” women.
More accurately it infantilizes them and sends the unmistakable signal that they should not be expected to deal with a very, VERY difficult situation in a way that acknowledges there is someone else’s life at stake–her unborn child.
As Janet E. Smith, a professor of moral theology, wrote in her 1978 essay “Abortion as a Feminist Concern”:
“Why is it that we assume women are incapable of dealing with the adversity of an unwanted pregnancy by any other means than that of destroying life? Is this a flattering view of women? Is this a true view of women? Are women so weak psychologically that they cannot deal with what I so often hear referred to as the ‘trauma’ of an unwanted pregnancy? I argue that by allowing women to abort their unwanted pregnancies we are telling them that we have a very low opinion of them. Isn’t a mark of a mature and responsible person the ability to face problems squarely? Does not the mature person have the ability and the desire to consider the well-being of all those who are involved in a situation which presents problems—not just herself?”
Ten reasons not to abort an unborn baby? There are more than 55 million reasons in the United States alone.