Tuesday, January 22, 2013

40 Years Ago

40 years ago the decision of Roe v. Wade made abortion legal.  Since then it is estimated that over 55 million abortions have taken place.

A few months ago, I saw a post on Facebook by someone in support of abortion and a women's right to choose to have an abortion.  I read through some of her comments and was shocked when she said that a fetus wasn't human life, it was only the "potential" for human life.  I wasn't really sure what to say at that point in time, or how to rationally get my point across so I knew it would be a good topic for a blog post.

As someone who us ultimately pro-life because of my Catholic faith and beliefs, I am also a scientist.  I'm inquisitive by nature, I want to know the how and why of things and how to explain them using logic, even secular logic.  While it is passion behind personal beliefs that is usually an impetus to speak-out on things, I fear it sometimes gets me in trouble when trying to defend my beliefs.  I know I can get a little worked up.  I'm going to use very secular terms in the next part of my post to show things in as plain language as possible.

Let's go back to the basics: from the moment when a sperm and egg combine during the biological process of fertilization, a new human has been created.  Now, is this life or is this the potential for life?  It is life!  It is a human life with it's very own unique DNA.

Now the to crux of the issue that was posted on Facebook: it is only the "potential" for human life.  I do not disagree that the newly created human life can not survive outside of the woman's body.  But how would the situation surrounding how a life is being supported or sheltered make it less of a human?

Take another biological example: developing from egg to tadpole to frog.  A tadpole would not survive outside of water during stages of it's development.  It is still a frog that is living, growing and developing in an environment that is different from the environment it will need to survive when it reaches the next stage of development.

Let's take this a step further, a human life that has been born/exited the womb of the biological mother.  I think most people would be hard-pressed to find someone who said that it would be acceptable or a choice to kill that human life.  The only change is that it is no longer living inside another human being.  The recently born human life can now breathe air and consume food.  Is this new human life all of the sudden not dependent on another human as it was approximately 38 weeks before it exited the mother?  No, this life still needs to be fed and sheltered and can not accomplish those things on it's own.  Is this still only "potential" human life because it can not survive without support of another?  Should this new life be able to be legally killed simply because another chooses not to support this life?  No.  Although it is possible that there are those who believe this should be an option, which I know is not necessarily a "mainstream" belief as abortion unfortunately is seen.

Abortion is the killing of human life during a stage of development because a woman chooses not to support that life.  Does pregnancy and birth affect a woman and her life?  Absolutely, there is no doubt about that fact.  I believe there needs to be support women who choose to have babies regardless of circumstances.  I know there are support programs out there with the potential to grow to support more pregnant women.  Perhaps I will try to gather those things into a future post.

Maybe it also needs to be clearly stated that I am pro-life, not just against abortion.  I do not believe in or support the death penalty or euthanasia.

On this tragic anniversary of Roe v. Wade please feel free to check out some other well done posts marking the passing of 40 years or on the topic of abortion/pro-life.

I hope this post has made sense to those who are reading and that everyone can take the time to reflect on it.  I hope and pray everyday that abortion becomes a thing of the past.  I also am asking for a prayer request for the 55 million or more lives that have been lost due to abortion in the past 40 years.

I welcome any and all comments/questions to this post.  I only ask that everyone keeps their comments respectful.  Open debate/discussion is never a bad thing in my opinion.


  1. Who would support these 55 million lives? The parents who dont want them or do we force people to have unwanted children to abuse and neglect? Does it make you feel better if women go back to back alley abortions or clothes hangers in hotels? I dont think many people are "against life" but against the idea we should force our decisions on others. We cannot roll all women into one group of making wise decisions concerning their reproductive rights and therefore cannot control unplanned pregnancies. I fear the futures of some of these unborn babies could be far worse than the fact they were never allowed to be viable to begin with. This is much greater than a pro life debate...I doubt anyone likes the concept of a dead baby. It involves educating on many levels. Ive heard many say before and I agree to a certain degree. Who is going to give all these babies we force mothers to have safe homes and a healthy 9 months in the womb? I consider forcing a life on an unwanted child quite risky and unfair. Its easy to say its a life and have the baby but it appears the Catholic Church and pro lifers support ends there. Preventing unwanted pregnancies and teaching young women to be emotionally intelligent and respect their bodies go hand in hand. Otherwise i expect the Catholic Church, its followers, and all the pro lifers to put your money where your mouth is. Say you will adopt and pay for every child that is potentially aborted and the healthcare of the mother. Otherwise we all better come up with a plan of prevention rather than arguing about whether conception is life or not. I think its the least arguable part of Roe v Wade

  2. I don't believe that someone not having an abortion means the child is destined to be abused and neglected. I highly doubt that every woman who has had an abortion is someone who would abuse and neglect their child. I don't think that is a fair conclusion. I also don't believe it is fair to say that because of potential suffering in life it is not worth living. If someone *might* get cancer at some point in their future should they have just not been born? I know cancer and abuse are different forms of suffering, but it is also not necessarily a guarantee that something terrible will happen to someone. (Ok, yes it would be ignorant to say that bad things don't happen in everyone's life because they do.)

    I understand that we can not control people's every move (in this case meaning their choice to have sex or not), but as you mentioned above education is extremely important. The Catholic Church does try to teach and promote how important it is to treat your body with respect and share the knowledge that the only way to guarantee not getting pregnant is to not have sex. (Obviously in the tragic cases of rape it is not a choice to have sex, but that is a whole separate topic in & of itself.) No form of family planning (artificial birth control or not) is 100% effective.

    Yes, these women and families should have proper emotional/medical/financial support through their pregnancy & raising the child (if she chooses to do so). I am not sure why you are assuming that the pro-life community (Catholic or not) is not providing support and services for women who choose life for those children. There is an organization that is local & smaller (only in about 4 states) that myself and some friends have worked with in the past that supports women through their pregnancy and raising the child through education programs, donations of clothing, etc. Their website is www.womenscarecenter.org if you want more details on the services they provide. I know there are many more support organizations out there that I am planning on compiling into a future post with more details on locations & support services.

    The medical & medical cost side of things is extremely complex, because in my opinion there's the cost side and the availability of services that you have to delve into. The reason everyone feels the need to have medical insurance these days stems because of how crazy expensive medical charges have become over the years. I think the reason that has happened stems from everything from pharmaceutical companies wanting profits to the medical lawsuits that require expensive malpractice insurance to be carried by the providers to the fact that it is so expensive to go through the education and training to become a doctor or nurse (or get an education in general). All of these things result in the high costs of medical care today. I can speak of the local hospital system of Mount Carmel hospitals/medical facilities which continues to provide millions of dollars in medical treatment (emergency & preventative) to those who can not afford it. There are Catholic hospital systems all throughout the country (and the world) that are doing the same things!

    My point about the fact that human life begins at conception and going back to the beginning of my comments all go back my firm pro-life stance and that it is not acceptable to take a human life. Regardless of the human's age or stage of development, disease or mental capacity which goes from conception to natural death.