Published: November 10, 2013 12:33 pm
10 reasons not to have an abortion
by Kristi Burton Brown
1) It compounds tragedy.
Sometimes the circumstances surrounding a pregnancy are tragic. Perhaps the woman was raped. Maybe the baby has been diagnosed with a defect. Or the woman’s health might be at risk. However, one tragedy is not answered with another. We do not erase a rape by killing a child. We do not cure a baby by taking his life. And we do not avoid all health issues by avoiding the reality of another human being. Women who have been raped must be compassionately cared for. But compassionate care does not include executing a woman’s child. Parents facing a difficult prenatal diagnosis must be given real facts and directed to others with helpful experiences. They must not be forced into a quick choice for abortion or urged to take the life of their child instead of giving her a chance to defy the odds. Women with high-risk pregnancies must be treated by real medical professionals. But treatment does not include intentionally killing a child. (If a child dies during the course of treating the woman – i.e., during chemotherapy for cancer, removal of an ectopic pregnancy, etc. – this is not an abortion.)
2) It takes innocent lives.
Science could not be more clear. Unborn human beings are living, separate, and unique. From the moment of fertilization – better known as conception – a new human life is in existence. Ending this life is not ending “potential.” It is ending a life. We would do well to understand the modern science that reveals the humanity of the unborn.
3) It violates civil rights.
Civil rights are violated when people are deprived of their basic rights in a discriminatory fashion. Unborn children are deprived of life – the most basic right of all – simply based on their location (their mother’s womb) and their developmental status. This is discriminatory, inhuman, and cruel.
4) It punishes innocent people.
A child does not deserve to die for the crimes of his father. A five-year-old cannot be killed because his father is a rapist. A five-month-old unborn child should not be allowed to be killed for the same reason. A child does not deserve to die because her mother and/or her father were irresponsible. A child is completely innocent. A child did not decide that his parents would have sex or that they would use ineffective contraception. An unborn child is always innocent and should never be punished.
5) It can harm women.
Real-life stories demonstrate again and again that abortion harms women. Harm comes in a variety of forms – mental, emotional, relational, and physical – and in some cases, women’s lives are lost through abortion. They can also experience the loss of their fertility or an increase in miscarriages after an abortion.
6) It is damaging to relationships and families.
Any time a family member dies, the rest of the family is affected. And this is true of abortion. A real, living, irreplaceable child has been killed, and the parents and siblings are damaged. Many women who abort just to convince their guy to stay with them find that they are left alone anyway, shortly after the abortion. Abortion is never the answer to a successful and loving relationship.
7) It never goes away.
No matter how hard we try, we can never erase what abortion does. Abortion takes – it kills – an innocent human being. Time does not erase murder or ease the reality of what it is. Abortion is a cruel tragedy, but it is also a choice that should never be made. Such a choice stays with us forever. For anyone who has already participated in abortion, while there is no way to change your past, there is a way to heal from it. Check with your local pregnancy resource center for post-abortion recovery programs. You can also look into Rachel’s Vineyard or Ramah International. Recovery, hope, and healing are always available.
8) It creates new problems.
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 babies. 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 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. Parents often experience great pressure without being told of the great gift they’ve been given…
9) It avoids responsibility.
Abortion is sometimes used as an easy cover-up for a one-night stand or a solution to a relationship gone bad. However, when two adults make the choice to participate in an activity known to create babies, these adults must accept responsibility. Contraception can fail. The best planning can fall apart. But responsibility should not be avoided at the cost of an innocent child’s life. Responsible people have to make hard choices sometimes. Timing may seem bad, and circumstances might be difficult. But this does not justify killing an innocent person. 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.
10) It’s not empowering or liberating for women.
As a woman who considers herself a feminist, I find it appalling that abortion is classified as part of “women’s rights.” It is not my “right” to kill my child. I should not be the only person who has the power to order my child’s execution at the hand of an abortion doctor. Letting my child suffer a death in which her spine is sucked into a tube or her limbs are torn apart or her heart is stopped through poison is not empowering or liberating. These choices ought not to be choices at all. They are cruel tragedies for all involved, and they should not be permitted in a civilized nation. Women do not receive freedom through the blood of their children. All women should understand exactly what abortion is.
St. Ignatius Respect Life Committee in Cincinnati