Is it a life or a choice?


How should we deal with this controversial issue? (Adapted from The Why Files.)

But first, this paid political announcement . . .

      We hear a lot about “pro-choice” on the evening news and sound bites from politicians. We, too, want to avoid “legislating values and claiming there are moral absolutes.”

      Ethics is a personal choice, not a political or religious concern. That’s why we’ve established “Planned Bank Robbery.” Now, we personally don’t approve of bank robbery, but we don’t want to inflict our morals on anyone else either.

      It must be a personal decision of each individual.

      Education is the key since our studies reveal that 99 percent of senior high teens know that banks are robbed. But it is shocking the number of teens who don’t know how banks are robbed. Or even how to load a .357 magnum, drive a get-away car, or demand, “Give me all of your unmarked, non-sequentially-ordered twenty-dollar bills.” Young people need to know the wide range of career options available to them.

      And we’re also concerned that a lot of young people are robbing banks without proper protection. Personal injury and irresponsibility are much greater crimes than actually knocking over the First National. At Planned Bank Robbery we don’t approve of unauthorized withdrawals. But we do want to offer–free of charge–bullet-proof vests, ski masks, and if necessary a get-away car. This is the compassionate thing to do!

      And young people who need some extra cash from their local 7-Eleven shouldn’t have to get their parent’s permission to obtain this protection. If that were the case, hundreds more teens would be needlessly injured by narrow-minded parents who are trying to inflict their morality on their children.

      Again, let me emphasize that Planned Bank Robbery does not condone or encourage grand larceny. We only want to stress it is a personal decision. We’re “pro-choice”!

Hey, I’m just kidding! And if you think I’m serious, I do hope you don’t know where I live.

But the “pro-choice” debate is often just as misguided as the arguments for “pro-bank-robbery.” If “pro-life” supporters are going to be successful in their campaign, they must pin down the slippery semantics of their opponents and puncture the following . . .

“Pro-choice” arguments

“‘Fetal tissue’ is no more a human being, than a bolt is a Buick.”

Those who argue that abortion does not kill human life must have skipped high school biology, never picked up a medical book, or else are deliberately lying. Virtually every secular medical book and even a senate hearing declare human life begins the instant of conception.

A report from Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, 1981 reads: “Physicians, biologists and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being—a being is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”

A split second after conception, this one-celled forty-six-chromosomed human being possesses everything it needs to grow into an adult human except time.

It’s not a blueprint of a human being. It’s not a part of a human being. It is a human being. Never has a bolt grown into a Buick!

Because words are so important in this debate, Dr. Jack Wilke, the former director of “National Right to Life,” warns pro-lifers to avoid emotion-laden words like “murder” and “baby.” He urges the use of “kill” and “human life.” Pro-choicers can engage in wordplay arguing that a “baby” is not “murdered,” but cannot refute–with any scientific credibility–that abortions do indeed kill human life.

A close cousin to the “it’s not human life” argument is . . .

“A woman has a right to choose what she will with her own body.”

Again, this pro-choice/pro-abortion argument reveals ignorance of human physiology or, again, the perpetuation of a deliberate lie.

The life growing within the mother is not her body.

It has a very different chromosome structure with a separate circulatory system and often a different blood type. There’s even a fifty-fifty chance it’s a different gender!

“A woman should be able to choose life in her medical care”

Only 2 percent of the one and a half million abortions performed each year in the United State were for the express purpose of saving the mother’s life. The overwhelming number of abortions performed do not “save” anyone’s life.

“An abortion is less dangerous than childbirth for very young girls.”

The New York Times quotes The Journal of Youth and Adolescence‘s fndings “that teenage mothers, given proper care, have the least complications in childbirth. The younger the mother, the better the birth. [If there are more problems,] society makes it so.”

In my book The Why Files: When Can I Start Dating?, I list twelve studies from medical journals that list such complications from abortion as pelvic inflammatory disease, problems with next pregnancy, damage to cervix, and severe blood loss to name a few.

I also note that a University of Minnesota study, tracking the psychological effects five to ten years after an abortion, revealed that 81 percent of women having an abortion became preoccupied with the aborted child, 75 percent had flashbacks of the actual operation, 54 percent had nightmares, 33 percent reported visions of aborted child visiting them and 25 percent experienced hallucinations related to the abortion.

Contrary to the pro-choice/pro-abortion rhetoric, abortions are not always “simple and safe” operations.”

“Abortion should be legal because of rape and incest.”

Only a fraction of 1 percent of rape and incest victims become pregnant. That means that for every abortion for rape or incest, there are 25,000 for convenience.

And, we must consider what is best for the rape or incest victim. It’s the vicious attack and violation that causes emotional damage—not the pregnancy itself. Will additional physical and mental health threats noted earlier result by subjecting her to an abortion?

“Abortion reduces child abuse by making each child a ‘wanted child.'”

If that is the case, we should see a reduction in reported cases after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. In 1960, before the Supreme Court decision, five thousand child abuse cases were reported in New York City. Fifteen years following Roe v. Wade, twenty-five thousand cases were reported in New York City–a 500 percent increase!

National statistics reveal that child abuse is sky-rocketing across the United States as well. Over 167 thousand cases were reported in 1973, 711 thousand in 1979, and 929 thousand in 1982, and in 1989 nearly two and a half million!

To be fair, there are many possible explanations for the incredible statistical increase: more people willing to report abuse, more accurate reporting of abuse, stress of economic conditions, increase in drug use in adults, the pressures of single parenting, etc.

But one possible cause could be that abortion creates the mentality of “disposable children.” If children are viewed as having no value in the womb, it follows they may be viewed with little value outside the womb.

However complex the causes of child abuse, pro-abortionists cannot argue that abortion on demand has reduced child abuse when there has been a 1,400 percent statistical increase since 1973!

“Pro-life” strategies

So, what can pro-lifers do?

Pro-lifers mustn’t let people hide behind a “pro-choice” position

“I’m personally opposed to abortion, but I think everyone has a right to choose,” is a dangerous use of words. After all, who in a pluralistic democracy could possibly oppose “choice.”

But those who embrace this particular “pro-choice” position are guilty of ignoring their own conscience (“I’m personally opposed”) by allowing for the killing of human life (“but everyone has a right to choose”).

Pro-lifers must calmly and compassionately refute the medical myths

It’s not a woman’s body: It’s a unique, separate human being.

Pro-lifers must use the truth to refute the careless use of words by the pro-abortion camp.

For while the pen may be mightier than the sword, words are more powerful than both.

© Copyright 1992 James N. Watkins. All rights reserved.

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