Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Problem With Outlawing Abortion

Just because Abortion is illegal does not make it go away. If outlawing abortion worked then we would not see these statistics:

From kansascity.com

"Experts say the Dominican Republic has one of the region's highest abortion rates, and also a high number of women hospitalized after illegal abortions. According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York, a group that conducts sexual and reproductive health research and policy analysis, a survey conducted in the early 1990s showed 82,000 illegal abortions a year in the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic's rate of 44 abortions per 1,000 women is more than double the rate in the United States, where abortion is legal on demand, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute.


Despite having some of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the world, Latin America has the second highest rate of terminated pregnancies in the world, according to U.N. figures. Only Eastern Europe's is higher than this region's rate of 37 per 1,000 women of childbearing age. The U.N. figures estimate that 4 million abortions take place in Latin America annually - and 5,000 women die each year from complications."

To quote Bill Clinton, "abortion should be safe, legal, and rare." I believe that if we want to reduce abortion in America we keep it safe and legal. To make it rare we need to have a well educated population, on how to prevent pregnancy. We need to make sure poor people can afford to care for their children. The biggest statistical correlation to high abortion rates is poverty, not legality.

5 comments:

Dawn said...

Andrew: "Just because Abortion is illegal does not make it go away."

Murder of human beings outside the womb is illegal, but it still happens. Because it happens should we then make murder legal since we know it's going to happen anyway? Killing a child when it is in the womb is murder. Why should it be legal to murder an innocent child? You are correct that making abortion illegal would not stop abortions, but I believe it would drastically reduce the number of them. Even though it would not stop them in toto, our government should not sanction the murder of innocent babies; rather, it should protect the right to life.

Andrew, what happened to the idea that government should speak for and protect the vulnerable? Do not all babies have a right to life?

News Article: "The Dominican Republic's rate of 44 abortions per 1,000 women is more than double the rate in the United States, where abortion is legal on demand, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute."

So is the logic here that if we make abortion illegal that the abortion rate in the U.S. will automatically double? I'm not getting it.

In our country alone, since 1973, there have been over 40 million babies murdered (aborted). I venture to say that the numbers before legalization was much, much lower.

The truth is that legalization has increased the number of abortions in this country. Over a period of about seven years the numbers steadily increased from about 500,000 to 1.6 million! It is amazing to me that the life of an animal (and I LOVE animals) has more value than the life of a human being. A person faces stiff jail time if he destroys the egg of a bald eagle or kills a bald egale! I'm all for the protection of these animals, but my goodness why aren't we protecting our babies with the same fervor? God have mercy!

Andrew: "I believe that if we want to reduce abortion in America we keep it safe and legal."

I'm sorry Andrew, but that doesn't make sense to me. How does keeping abortion safe and legal reduce the abortion rate?

Andrew: "To make it rare we need to have a well educated population, on how to prevent pregnancy."

I think people are educated enough to know how a baby is made. As a matter of fact, I think one learns this in school around the age of 12 or 13. No, education is not the problem. Selfishness and apathy are at the root of the problem. People feel they can use abortion as a form of birth control in lieu of using an acceptable form of birth control because they are too lazy or it's uncool or it doesn't feel the same or it won't happen to them or whatever. That is unacceptable.

Andrew: "We need to make sure poor people can afford to care for their children. The biggest statistical correlation to high abortion rates is poverty, not legality."

I won’t even address the first half of your statement because it would open up a whole other can of worms. If poverty is a problem, adoption is always an option. There are many agencies who will pay for the prenatal care and the delivery of the baby. So there is no excuse there. Besides, if one is aware that they cannot support a child then they should take every precaution to prevent pregnancy, even if they must abstain from sex. The real issue here is murder. Being poor is not an excuse to allow the murder of an innocent child.

Actually, close to only 29% of women who have had abortions fall into the poverty level which leaves close to 71% having abortions for reasons of mostly inconvenience.

And guess what. The legalization of abortion was predicated on a lie via Roe v Wade. AND, the Supreme Court usurped the U.S. Constitution where states rights are concerned. But I don't want to argue that point. I just bring it up because you said you were all for the rule of law and upholding our Constitution.

Andrew, again, what happened to the idea that government should speak for and protect the vulnerable? Do not all babies have a right to life?

Andrew said...

I know this will open a can of worms but I will say it. Yes I agree that we need to protect children. I think it gets complicated by the fact that early in pregnancy, a "child" is in every way a part of a woman who also has rights over her body. I have a hard time, as a man, telling a woman what she can do with her body at this early stage of a child/fetus' life.

I actually do not think that what makes us human is that we carry a certain kind of DNA. I think that for someone to be "human," and thus accorded the protections under our laws, they need to have a reasonable amount of self awareness, and at least the potential for sustainablilty. All too often the result of making abortion illegal is that it does nothing to reduce abortion rates but many women die having them anyway. I will have to look for some data on this but, at this point, I believe this to be true.

No one, I know thinks, abortion is a thing that shoud be taken lightly, but I also am practical enough to know that making it illegal does not do away with it. If that were true then abortion rates would be low in countries where it is illegal and high in countries where it is legal. In fact the opposite is true in virtually every instance.

I am afraid you are not correct in stating that abortion has steadily gone up since Roe. It actually decreased during Clinton's presidency each year. It has only begun to increase again since Bush was elected.

Now, I am not, at this point, willing to say that Bush's policies (like abstinence-only) are entirely responsible for this increase. I do know that Americans in poverty have increased, and that probably has a lot to do with the increase in abortions. We then need to look at policies that increase poverty and turn them around.

That said, we all agree that abortion should not be common. We just disagree on the methods to reducing its incedence. If I thought outlawing abortion would work, I have to admit, I still would not be for outlawing it. I am not willing to tell women that they need to have a child, no matter what the situation that caused their pregnancy. I also can not fathom charging a 14 year old girl with premeditated murder, and her parents with accessories to murder, if she has an illegal abortion. To me that is a logical consquence of assigning personhood to a new fetus. I just think that going down that road would be ineffective and cruel to too many women.

I realize that you feel abortion is also cruel and the fetus was in no way culpable. There is no easy answer. We may just have to agree to disagree.

Andrew said...

I rereading your post I missed one, at least, thing. I do not believe that all fetuses have a "right to life" I think that our human biology is not that clean and neat. Many fetuses are lost for many reasons. We are probably capable of saving some or many of them yet we let them spontaniously miscarry. Children are brought into this world by the grace of God and often the sweat of a woman. A woman has a right to give a baby life. I believe that she has the right to choose not to give the baby live up to a point in pregnancy. I think that we shoud do everything in our power to help her to choose the way of life. I do not think we can always take that choice away. At least I am not willing to do that.

On a personal note, I know many women who have had unplanned pregnancies. For many years I have only seen women that have chosen to carry the child to term. When I was younger I dated women who had made a different choice at earlier times in their lives. It seemed to have been a traumatic decision for them. They had to choose to abort the fetus or drop out of college and change their lives entirely, as only those of us with children understand. They told me they had made the first choice and it was a brutal one for them. I guess that we could call pregnancy "inconvenient" but being a single mother, isolated and abandoned by their families would have been more than they were willing to handle at their young age. One woman had a mother that was a Right to Life organizer. She was certain that her mother would disown her if she were to find out she was pregnant out of wedlock. She was also certain her mother would disown her if she had an abortion. Only one of these things could be hidden from her mother. She chose the latter.

Another woman had pro-life parents until their daughter got pregnant. Faced with the choice of having a high school daughter as a single mother, they helped her get an abortion. I guess ruling out abortion was easier in the abstract for them.

I do not think it is reasonable to assume young people will not have sex. It just does not work. Teens, and college age kids, do not do well in anticipating consequences for imprudent action. It would be better if they did, but the reality is, they don't. I think we need to come to some terms with that.

Dawn said...

Yes, it looks like we're going to have to agree to disagree, but I do want to address your comments.

Andrew: "I think it gets complicated by the fact that early in pregnancy, a "child" is in every way a part of a woman who also has rights over her body. I have a hard time, as a man, telling a woman what she can do with her body at this early stage of a child/fetus' life."

The child is not only a part of the woman's body in the early stages, but all throughout its development while inside the womb. It's not her body that is in question here, it's the body that is inside of her. That body has life and that life has a right. The woman has no right to decide the fate of that baby. And I say that as a woman.

Andrew: "I think that for someone to be "human," and thus accorded the protections under our laws, they need to have a reasonable amount of self awareness, and at least the potential for sustainablilty."

Then you must believe that babies who are actually born should not be accorded the protection under our laws because every baby I've ever known did not have much in the way of "self awareness" and were utterly incapable of sustainability without the care and nurture of another human being. Babies in the womb have just as much "self awareness" as babies outside the womb. We know this through ultra sound. As I'm sure you know, a true sense of self awareness comes with time and growth.

A couple of questions for you: What if a person purposely kicks a pregnant woman within her first trimester to cause her to lose her baby? In your mind, would that be murder? Or, would you think, oh well, it wasn't human anyway? It is either human or it is not. You can't have it both ways.

Andrew: "All too often the result of making abortion illegal is that it does nothing to reduce abortion rates but many women die having them anyway."

I agree that making abortion illegal would not stop people from having abortions; however, I disagree that it would not reduce the number of abortions as it would make it harder for women to obtain an abortion and they might just be more careful when having sex.

It's true that some women would die from having an abortion. While I do sympathize with women who find themselves in a difficult situation I see their deaths as a sad consequence. Besides, the numbers that are bandied about are grossly inaccurate. At one time the rate was high, but that was when we did not have penicillin and other antibiotics readily available. Women die in child birth, too.

Andrew: "I am afraid you are not correct in stating that abortion has steadily gone up since Roe."

I said the abortion rate had steadily gone up in about the first seven years since 1973. I am aware that that number has since decreased from 1.6 to 1.3 million.

Andrew: "It actually decreased during Clinton's presidency each year. It has only begun to increase again since Bush was elected."

I may be wrong, but I think that the reason for the increase of abortion during the Bush Admin is in part (there are other reasons) BECAUSE of the Clinton Administration. I believe that Clinton's oval office offense, along with his other sexual indiscretions, sparked a curiosity in the children of that time and thus set them off on sexual experimentation. We know that oral sex was an epidemic among elementary school aged children during the Clinton Admin and they probably went on to "bigger and better" things. I believe the effects of the Clinton Admin simply came to fruition during the Bush Admin. But that's just my opinion.

Andrew: "I do know that Americans in poverty have increased, and that probably has a lot to do with the increase in abortions. We then need to look at policies that increase poverty and turn them around."

You know, I don't believe that America even knows what true poverty is. But yeah, there are those less fortunate who live in our country. But poverty isn't an excuse for murder. I'll address the policy issues where poverty is concerned on the other thread. The real problem is self control and moral responsibility. Our leaders should be admonishing the people to value life and not death. The minority leaders should be calling their people to value life and not death, and not only in the abortion issue, but in the arena of drugs and violence as well. This is about being decent and responsible human beings who should value life above all. And it's about a government that should also value and protect the sanctity of life.

Andrew: "I am not willing to tell women that they need to have a child, no matter what the situation that caused their pregnancy. I also can not fathom charging a 14 year old girl with premeditated murder, and her parents with accessories to murder, if she has an illegal abortion. To me that is a logical consquence of assigning personhood to a new fetus. I just think that going down that road would be ineffective and cruel to too many women."

I know we disagree, but human life is life no matter how far along its development is or is not. A woman does not have a right to decide on whether the life inside of her should live or die. The time for choice was when she had sex. And if she decides to have sex and does NOT want a child, she should take every precaution to make sure she does not get pregnant. It goes to taking responsibility, not how much money one makes. Again, adoption is always an option for a woman no matter if she is 11 or 55.

Andrew: "No one, I know thinks, abortion is a thing that shoud be taken lightly, but I also am practical enough to know that making it illegal does not do away with it. If that were true then abortion rates would be low in countries where it is illegal and high in countries where it is legal. In fact the opposite is true in virtually every instance."

The point is not necessarily to make abortion go away (we both agree that it will not though I wish it would), but we, as a nation, should NOT sanction the murder of innocent babies. When a nation comes to a point where life is not highly valued it becomes a dangerous thing for us all.

On the other hand, I'm assuming you are a christian or at least believe in God. Please correct me if I'm wrong on the christian thing. The bible teaches that God knows us in the womb. God believes that life begins at conception. He will hold us all accountable for our decisions and our opinions on abortion. We, as christians, are to uphold the ways of the Lord. I hope that you will seriously rethink your position as we will all answer to God for how we think and vote. I mean no offense by that statement, it is just a friendly warning.

I know that people can get themselves into messes with unwanted pregnancies, but blessing abortion is not the answer. The answer is to get to the root of the problem and the problem is people behaving irresponsibly and then on top of that not wanting to take responsibilty for their actions. Abortion is the seemingly "easy" way out of an inconvenient situation.

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

Romans 12:2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Proverbs 16:25 "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

Dawn said...

Andrew: "I do not believe that all fetuses have a "right to life" I think that our human biology is not that clean and neat."

I do believe our human biology IS that clean and neat. And science proves as much. Life is life. An embryo developing inside of a human being can only be human. That IS proven through DNA.

Andrew: "We are probably capable of saving some or many of them yet we let them spontaniously miscarry. Many fetuses are lost for many reasons."

I do not understand what you're getting at here. Anyone I know who has miscarried did everything in their, and the doctor's, power to save the baby. You are right, many babies are lost for many reasons and those reasons are God-given, as you so much as stated. And only God has that right.

Andrew: "A woman has a right to give a baby life. I believe that she has the right to choose not to give the baby live up to a point in pregnancy. I think that we shoud do everything in our power to help her to choose the way of life. I do not think we can always take that choice away. At least I am not willing to do that."

Again, only God has that right. A woman does not. I've already given scripture for how God feels about us individually while we're yet in the womb. God holds us responsible for life individually and as a nation.

No offense Andrew, but you are contradicting yourself. How can you believe that a woman has a right to kill her child yet, on the other hand, believe that we should try to persuade her to save that life? If you believe she is completely justified in killing the baby, why would you even want to persuade her to save its life, if you don't really believe it is a life? That baby IS a life whether you believe it or not. God has said so. If you don't want to believe God, believe science.

Andrew: "It [abortion] seemed to have been a traumatic decision for them."

There are many traumas that come along with the murder of a child in the womb. Not only is there mental anguish with some women that could lead to a myriad of disorders, there are also physical consequences with some women. Some go on to be barren or have chronic female organ problems. Studies show that women who have abortions are at higher risk for breast cancer.

Andrew: "They had to choose to abort the fetus or drop out of college and change their lives entirely, as only those of us with children understand. They told me they had made the first choice and it was a brutal one for them. I guess that we could call pregnancy "inconvenient" but being a single mother, isolated and abandoned by their families would have been more than they were willing to handle at their young age."

No Andrew, they had a choice to give that baby up for adoption. Pregnancy does not stop someone from being able to attend college, last time I checked. At the very least, they may have had to drop out for one semester. Probably, they could have talked their professors into helping them double up on their studies or in some way helped them to finish the semester since she would only need a few days to recoup from the delivery, having given the baby up for adoption.

Andrew: "One woman had a mother that was a Right to Life organizer. She was certain that her mother would disown her if she were to find out she was pregnant out of wedlock. She was also certain her mother would disown her if she had an abortion. Only one of these things could be hidden from her mother. She chose the latter."

She may have felt that her mother would have disowned her, but she does not know that. Would her mother have been disappointed in her? For sure! But that is no excuse and it doesn't make it right. Really. It goes to a deeper root and that root is responsibility of one's behavior. Again, she chose to murder a baby rather than face humiliation and give up a few days of her life. I'm not saying that it wouldn't be hard on these girls. I'm saying that it still doesn't make it right.

Andrew: "Another woman had pro-life parents until their daughter got pregnant. Faced with the choice of having a high school daughter as a single mother, they helped her get an abortion. I guess ruling out abortion was easier in the abstract for them."

Another sad situation, but the parents, it seems, turned out to be hypocrites. And I don't say that to be harsh. I say it because it's the truth. Murder is never an option.

I sincerely believe that if abortion wasn't so easily attainable and accepted as a viable option to unwanted pregnancy that many girls would be more careful about their sex lives, if they choose to have sex.

Andrew: "I do not think it is reasonable to assume young people will not have sex. It just does not work. Teens, and college age kids, do not do well in anticipating consequences for imprudent action. It would be better if they did, but the reality is, they don't. I think we need to come to some terms with that."

I'm 45 years old. When I was a teenager it was NOT acceptable to have premarital sex; though it was beginning to become more acceptable, but just barely. Did some girls do it anyway? Yes, but they were few and far between, and they had BAD reputations and were looked down upon.

The VAST majority of people my mother's age and maybe 10 years younger than herself were usually virgins when they married (both male and female). So it IS possible for teens to control themselves if they're taught that it is wrong. So the belief that kids can't control themselves is simply wrong. We absolutely can expect them to abstain if they're taught to do so and if society frowns on the behavior. Of course there are always a few exceptions to the rule. As it stands today, the exceptions are those who save themselves for marriage.

I'm assuming you are at least 10 years younger than I am and in your lifetime sex before marriage has been the norm. MANY things that were not the norm in my adolescence WERE the norm in yours.

Sadly, we are living in a time where evil is good and good is evil. But that still does not make it right in the eyes of God.

Andrew, we MUST see things through the eyes of God.

I think that if we reversed Roe that that would be the beginning of some change for the better with regard to women becoming more responsible for their sex lives. And maybe our nation would begin to turn their hearts back to God and teach their children God's truth and maybe God would start to bless us again as a nation.

It would at least be a start.

I hope you will prayerfully ask the Lord to show you the truth in this matter.