Right to Life: The Pro-Choice Crowd’s Inconvenient Truth
“Simple morality dictates that unless and until someone can prove the unborn human is not alive, we must give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it is. And, thus, it should be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” – Ronald Reagan
Many people protested this weekend when President Obama gave the commencement address at the University or Notre Dame. Many students and the Catholic community felt that Obama’s strong “pro-choice” stance on abortion disqualified him from being an appropriate speaker at the university. Some students protested silently by wearing a sticker on their mortarboards as they attended the ceremony; others decided to skip the graduation all together and stood outside to loudly voice their opinions. In the news, this weekend, so much has been made of the religious aspects of the abortion debate, but a human’s right to life is so much more than that.
Growing up, as I was forming my own ideology, I always heard the phrase “when life begins.” “When life begins” is a very simple point in time. It’s something I learned at a very young age and something I never thought to question or even associate with religion, for this was taught in science class. Peggy Noonan once said that anyone who buys birth control knows exactly when life begins and I’ve yet to hear a valid argument otherwise. I don’t want to turn this into a sex education post but life begins when life begins, unless, of course, science and health teachers have been lying to students for decades. Some people will still argue that “no one knows that for sure” but the exact same argument could be made in return. How do you know it’s not true? Based on what we do know, the time of conception seems the most likely time to appoint the label “when life begins” until we know otherwise. I can’t help but feeling that anyone who says it’s not has some sort of ulterior motive. Somehow, I’m guessing the nice people on the Supreme Court don’t actually have the answer to that question, either, yet we’ve allowed them to make that decision for us.
The United States Declaration of Independence grants every living person the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and simple science dictates that once conception has taken place, there’s a new living person on this earth. I don’t have it on hand, but I’m pretty sure there is not an asterisk after that “life and liberty” phrase with a footnote suggesting that this does not apply to babies who have not yet been born.
Of course, I’ve heard the “pro-choice” crowd attempt to use some excuse to justify their belief in abortion but even still, none of them makes a very valid argument.
One argument I always hear from friends of mine who are on the fence is “if abortion is illegal, women will still try to have them and may not receive the proper care and procedure.” First of all, when did we become a society that creates laws for the convenience of those who plan to break them? Should we make burglary legal because someone who is trying to steal something could be subject to getting hurt while committing the crime? Second of all, statistics show that in 1972, the year before abortion was made legal, only 39 women died from illegal abortions and most of those were performed in secret at doctor’s offices. And even with abortion being legal, women still die and have health complications, not to mention the mental implications of the procedure. Finally, if you are dumb enough to want to go somewhere that is doing something illegally and not providing you with the proper care when there are dozens of other options, well, I hate to say it, but that’s your problem…not mine.
There is the argument that women who seek abortions often do it because they can not afford pre-natal care or to raise a child. Guess what? Those pesky “other options” present themselves again. Almost every city in this country has a pregnancy crisis center that helps pregnant women (and even expectant fathers) from the time of conception through the birth of the child and beyond. They provide medical services, counseling, and any range of help to women who are pregnant and unable to take care of themselves or a child. Just because having a baby may be inconvenient for you, doesn’t mean you must have an abortion. Even if you’re not interested in becoming a parent with a little extra help, adoption is one of the best decisions you can make! There are so many people in the world who are unable to have children or who, because they simply want to help others, are perfectly willing to take the duty of parenthood from someone who can’t or doesn’t want it without anything in return. Adoption is a win-win situation because not only are you helping yourself and your unborn baby, but you are helping another person or couple cope with their mental and physical needs.
The argument that a woman has the right to do whatever she wants with her body is a valid one, but once she makes that decision to have sex, she knows that becoming pregnant is a possibility. As a woman, I find the mere idea of abortion an insult to my character. It’s as if someone, somehow is implying I am too weak to handle the nature of my body. Back to that silly old science class, but once I found out how one got pregnant, I’m pretty sure it became my personal responsibility to see to it that I did not end up in that situation until I was prepared, even in the case of an “accident.” When we ask for government to step out of our lives, we still have duty to take care of ourselves and others because as I mentioned, everyone ever conceived in this country has the right to live. Don’t even tell me “babies can’t survive outside of the womb.” Many people you know can’t survive without a number of things such as medication and medical treatments. Does that mean we should end their lives, as well?
There is the case of rape, a situation in which even many pro-life people concede their point of view. That is not the case for me. Just because a child was conceived from a incident of rape, a crime committed by the father of that child, does that take the child’s right to life away from them? Why don’t we focus on putting sex offenders in jail for longer periods of time or even sterilizing them? A friend of mine once suggested that by aborting the children who were a product of rape, we were helping the gene pool along, doing away with more potential rapists. I’ve never researched to see if the need to force sex upon others is something passed down through our DNA but if we begin that sort of cleansing of the gene pool, where do we stop? Should we abort the children of people with disabilities and impairments? People who are addicted to drugs? People with bad attitudes?
There are many other arguments and “what if’s,” of course, but it seems as though the pro-life crowd is always on defense when it comes to the debate of “life.” It’s time to turn the tables. Abortion is archaic and unnecessary today with all of the medical and social advances we’ve made in the last 36 years. Seeking harsher punishment for rapists, supporting pregnancy crisis centers, making adoption an easier process, and providing more education on the subjects of sex and pregnancy are just a few things on which “pro-choice” activists’ time would probably be better spent.