Abortion Still Matters

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I’ve heard very little about the abortion issue during this political campaign. One reason is that neither Barack Obama nor John McCain seems willing to take a radical stance for or against abortion. I think the likeliest reason, however, is that everyone is everlastingly tired of the issue. Some are tired of hearing about it; others are just as tired of talking about it.

But it’s an issue that is not going to go away.

In the United States, between one in four and one in three pregnancies end in abortion rather than live birth. This is an alarmingly high number, between 1.5 and 1.8 million every year. The number has always been over 1 million per year since abortion-on-demand was first legalized in 1973. Over the past 35 years in the United States alone we have purposely ended the lives of more than 40 million human beings before they had a chance to grow and develop. No other species on the planet deliberately destroys its own offspring in this wholesale manner.

Abortion as we practice it is a terrible evil, a cancer of the human race, a blight on human civilization. It produces no benefits, contributes nothing good, and puts our own comfort and convenience ahead of the precious life of a new child. It promotes selfishness and cynicism. It denies fathers their rights as fathers and makes mothers the arbiters of life and death for their own children. The main reason it enjoys the protected status it has is not because of any benefits it confers on individuals or society but because it is the last resort for disconnecting sex from procreation. In our pleasure-besotted culture, abortion removes one of the painful consequences of sexual adventuring.

I confess; were it not for Democrats’ insistence on supporting abortion, I would most likely be a Democrat. But as far as I can tell, there are no moderate supporters of abortion. Everyone seems determined that no restrictions or limitations of any kind stand in the way of a woman’s legal prerogative to end the life of her unborn child. Parental notification? Too restrictive. Limited to the first trimester? A violation of a woman’s right to choose. I hear dire warnings about a return to back-alley abortions and enslaving women, as if a woman without a license to kill is somehow less free. Abortion supporters give no ground, make no concessions. Even the horrific obscenity of partial-birth abortion does not move them to mitigate their support.

I am well aware that the President has only a limited role in determining the extent to which abortion is available in the United States. Abortion is properly a legislative issue, not an executive one. Nevertheless, I find myself reluctant to vote for someone who joins with those who condemn the innocent and still more reluctant when I consider that one of the first acts of a Democratic President would likely be the repeal of executive orders restricting federal funding of abortions for federal employees and military personnel.

Though abortion supporters are unwilling to curtail the legal rights granted since Roe v. Wade, they say that they want to reduce the number of abortions through early sex education and efforts to make contraceptives readily available. However, none of these efforts has had any appreciable effect on the number of abortions performed. Furthermore, nearly 80% of abortions are obtained by women 20 and older. Does anyone really believe that these women need further education to know how to avoid getting pregnant? No. The problem is not that women need better education. It is that by legalizing abortion, we have also legitimized it. Put simply, our society no longer considers it wrong. If it isn’t wrong, then there is no reason not to get an abortion if the pregnancy comes at a bad time or if the mother just doesn’t want a baby. The number of abortions will not appreciably decline—and I’m talking about a decline to where less than 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in abortion—until we enact laws to restrict it.

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