What about being pregnant as a result of rape or incest? How can anyone force a woman to carry the baby to term after such a tragedy?
Women who become pregnant by assault need care, comfort, and counseling. They need healing from the rape and support throughout and after their pregnancy. Abortion does not un-rape a woman. Abortion further compounds the tragedy by adding the death of an innocent child to the trauma of rape. Pregnancy is temporary – abortion is forever. There is no death penalty for the rapist; we should not impose the death penalty on the child. The child conceived in assault is biologically no different from a child conceived with wine and roses. Many women who have carried a baby to term after an assault conception choose to parent and some give their children up for adoption. Either way, these mothers report that bearing their children helped their healing, while post-abortive women say they often regret their abortions, even describing the abortion as a ‘second rape’. If they choose life for their child, they can heal knowing that they were honorable and preserved life. The baby has a right to life. The mother’s rights were violated, but not by the baby. Her baby is not the aggressor.
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The Hard Cases
I'm personally pro-life, but I am for a woman's right to choose. Who are we to impose our morality on others?
When people say they are “for a woman’s right to choose” they typically leave the end of their statement unstated. The “choice” the person is omitting as they try to make the claim that they are for free will and not for abortion, is the choice to kill another person. The whole purpose of law is to help us to live in right relationship with each other; to do so, it is widely accepted in other circumstances that one person’s free will must be kept in check to preserve the basic human rights of another. Morality is necessarily imposed in law. The real question is whose morality will be imposed. Our Declaration of Independence explains it clearly. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” These rights are inherent in one’s humanity. As soon as one is human [e.g. at fertilization/conception] these rights cannot be separated from that individual. These rights are also consecutive, not concurrent. The right to life is preeminent. One’s right to liberty should not trump another’s right to life, and the right to pursue happiness should not infringe upon another’s right to liberty. We must be clear that we are talking about the right to kill an innocent person, which is illegal in every other conceivable circumstance. Without the right to live, no other rights have any meaning.
Who are we to say “These children have no right to live”? Are they less human because they might only live a short time? Because they are less than perfect? Few people on earth have a perfect quality of life. It is not that we desire that people suffer, but there are so many misdiagnoses and so many stories of triumph from circumstances that happened because people with disabilities were given a chance. If the parents do not want the child or cannot pay for his or her care, there are many people who would be happy to care for the child for as long as he or she might live.
This is not a question, but a statement that is pure opinion. Many women have come forth since the beginning of legalized abortion and told their stories of pain, nightmares, self-destructive behaviors, inability to maintain relationships or jobs or to connect to other children; men have too. A short list of the most common problems caused by abortion includes: sterility, inability to carry a pregnancy to term, breast cancer, mental illness, post abortion syndrome, and suicide…but the list goes on and on. Statistics show that 70% of women who submit to abortion think it’s wrong. Guilt has a way of eating at a person over time. Most women who have an abortion also say that if even one person had offered them support, they would not have chosen to terminate. There are more services for post abortive women than ever before. The demand for these services is a clear indicator that abortion hurts women.
The principle of intent is the answer to this question. Two lives are in jeopardy. Every effort to save both should be employed. If two people were pinned under a truck, and by releasing one the other was unintentionally crushed, the intended result still was to save both. Similarly, if treatment aimed at saving the mother unintentionally leads to the death of the baby, that death is morally acceptable. It is never acceptable to intentionally kill one person for the sake of the other.
What if the baby just isn't wanted? Isn't it better to not be born than endure a life of abuse or neglect?
This is a two-part question that requires a two-part response.
First, it is a myth that babies are unwanted – a lie perpetrated on the American public by those profiting from the killing of innocent children. There are people on waiting lists for years who want babies and are paying upwards of $50,000 to have one. Adoption agencies have very high standards for parents seeking to adopt. The bottom line is there more people waiting to adopt than there are abortions in our country. Every child is wanted by someone.
Second, regarding abuse and neglect…who are we to pre-judge how another’s life may turn out? How can we know that a child will be abused/neglected? Abuse is temporary; death is permanent. There is always hope for hurting people to be healed, happy, and whole.
There is no question about whether or not an embryonic baby is human. She is human because her parents are human. It is a biological fact, beyond dispute.
What does ‘truly human’ mean? If we start denying humanity to some because of their age/size/location/condition/quality of life, etc., could we not similarly call a person in a coma or one who is senile ‘not truly human’ and terminate his or her life? Who gets to decide whose life is worth living? Would you want someone making that decision for you?
We agree that abortion is evil. The result of abortion is the absence of life, physically and spiritually, for all of those involved. Its practice also displays a lack of resolve to deal with the root problems in our society that lead women to feel trapped into having abortions.
However, it is never necessary to kill an innocent person. Life is intrinsically good. Every person is of inestimable value and worthy of the right to life.
If abortion becomes illegal, women will continue to get them. It's better they have one in a safe environment than in a back-alley.
Would we say that because some husbands murder their wives, these murders should be legal so that we could regulate them in some way so as to make them more “humane?” Making murder “safer” is impossible for the one being killed. Whether it is in a “clean environment” or not, there is still a dead person. Why should the size or stage of development / ability of the person being killed ever be reason enough to make murder a legal right for anyone?
We have laws to protect the innocent because crimes will occur, but laws do not eliminate crimes. Making abortion illegal protects innocent babies and their unsuspecting mothers from being labeled as refuse and treated with indifference. It labels abortion correctly as wrong and detrimental to society.
Also, abortion on demand as we have it today did nothing to make the procedures “safe” or “rare”; it only made it legal and more common than it ever was before. Illegal abortions have resulted in far fewer deaths annually than we have seen result from legal ones.
While it is true that many women submit to abortion because they feel a lack of support, this is a situation that can be remedied, whereas abortion can never be undone. People in many other circumstances feel they don’t have support, but we do not allow them to kill anyone else who is dependent on them to fix those circumstances. There are services and community organizations established for the care of the poor and needy in all areas of the country. Again, we need not choose a permanent action for a temporary situation.
It is the babies’ bodies that are destroyed by abortion (though sometimes women are killed by abortion complications). The Supreme Court was made up entirely of men when the Roe Decision was made. The majority of abortionists are male. Men often use women for sex and then pressure them to abort. When a woman submits to abortion, she kills a man’s child, too. Men who want to father their children should have the right to do so. Abortion revokes the rights of preborn men and women alike. Gender should not be a concern at all when protecting human lives. Both men and women have important roles to play in protecting the right to life for all.
If we apply this logic, would we make allowances for any other form of contract killing? If a husband would hire a doctor to kill a wife, that would be a decision between a man and his doctor. In our great nation, we simply cannot permit the intentional killing of another person without repercussions. Victimization of the innocent for the sake of profit should always be is always our business.
This is an uneducated and unfair remark. Pregnancy care centers offer real help – financial, material, and educational – long after children are born. Pro-lifers are by definition pro-life, meaning they cherish all life and seek to have it more abundantly. So, they open their hearts, give their time, and offer their resources to help families in crisis. Pro-lifers are the people providing the means to help women through support programs before and after birth as well as after abortion.
Project Rachel is a ministry provided by women who have been through the same experience. They can help you find hope and healing, relief from the emotional trauma and give you strategies for your future wellbeing. You can call Rachel’s Vineyard at 1-877-HOPE-4-ME (1-877-467-3463) or find help on their website: http://www.rachelsvineyard.org/
You could call the National toll-free hotline at 1-866-4-MY-RECOVERY (1-866-469-7326) or find help here: http://www.abortionrecovery.org/
Some women find healing by breaking their silence and helping other women to find alternatives to abortion…contact Silent No More at http://silentnomoreawareness.org/ or contact any of its directors whose numbers can be found here: http://silentnomoreawareness.org/contact-us/index.aspx
Please visit our Post-Abortion Help page for other sources.