Why do Pro-Lifers Focus on Abortion?
It is a fair question since we do not self-identify as anti-abortion but rather as pro-life.
In India, during one of my speaking tours there, people asked me why not focus your efforts on preventing drug addiction that takes many lives every year or trying to end wars? etc.
The answer is simple and convincing. As in every other endeavor, one has to prioritize.
Who here knows how many children have died from abortion worldwide last year? (over 40 million)
The leading recorded cause of death worldwide, is Heart disease with 7.4 million deaths according to the World Health Organization.
The world mobilized against the AIDS pandemic from the 1980s and to the present.
It is a truly horrific disease.
What is the total number of people who have died of AIDS to the present?
39 million. Less than one year’s mortality from abortion.
That leads me to ask, with an estimate of over 40 million abortions annually, how many human beings died by abortion since 1966? Over 2 billion people.
It is shocking, and provides the definitive answer as to why pro-lifers prioritize ending abortion over other evils that take human lives.
I know that some will object preborn children are not persons yet; abortions are not officially included in world mortality statistics, etc. There are answers to all those objections, but the original question was why do pro-lifers, who know that life begins at conception and that human life is precious, why do they prioritize fighting abortion?
I find it curious that pro-lifers are almost the only ones who are expected to solve all the world’s ills while other campaigners are not… Are those animal rights people trying to save the great apes taken to task for not doing more to end whaling? I have not seen that, but in the USA pro-lifers are frequently criticized for not fighting the Death Penalty, 28 executions in 2015 vs. a million abortions, or other activities that could save lives.
This has all the hallmarks of a red herring argument. i.e. You are not truly pro-life unless you devote as much energy to fighting drunk driving or smoking, or Fill in the blank with a problem besides abortion… As pro-lifers we need to know why we prioritize abortion over other causes of death, and we need to educate others about the incredible damage that abortion is doing to our world.
Globally, 20% of established pregnancies end with induced abortion. Historically, one has to go back to the 14th Century and the Black Plague, when 30% of humanity perished, to find a worse catastrophe.
Lies and Myths that Surround Abortion
I began my talk with a large number of statistics. You probably know the proverb “there are lies, damned lies and… statistics”?
This is especially applicable to the abortion debate. It is truly astonishing how often the backers of legalized abortion have lied and continue to lie with statistics.
During the 1960s and early 70s Dr. Bernard Nathanson, then an abortionist and leader of NARAL (the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws), confessed that he and his colleagues claimed 10,000 women were dying every year of illegal abortions when they knew very well the actual number was between 200-250. He revealed this after his pro-life conversion, and he had lied about many other abortion statistics.
I recall attending a United Nations (UN) conference in the 1990s and a huge figure was presented as maternal mortality from unsafe illegal abortion, 500,000 I believe. The liars made a big mistake, however, they broke the number down by country. A person from Venezuela took their figure for mortality from unsafe illegal abortion in her country and compared it to the total number of deaths for women aged 15-45. The illegal abortion mortality “statistic” was higher than the total deaths of women in reproductive age from all causes combined in Venezuela.
I had a similar experience in Benin, West Africa. Since, by definition there are no official statistics for illegal activities, so-called “experts” can manipulate numbers very easily. The fact that many journalists and media sources are sympathetic to the abortion cause means that lying in favor of abortion is rarely exposed.
So do be wary of statistics and check their sources. Fortunately, there are many good pro-life and objective sources of information, particularly on the Internet.
Abortion is presented above all today as a “woman’s issue” a question of “choice” and even as a “human right”.
This is all clever marketing for the atrocious reality of baby killing. There are car bumper stickers that read “Against abortion? Don’t have one”. Now fill in the blanks with any other cause. “Against the killing of baby seals? Don’t club one”… The ridiculousness of this statement leaps out.
Take the most commonly used slogan for abortion activists, “Pro-Choice”. This makes it sound like these people, calmly and dispassionately respect the informed choices that women make. In reality, they are ever more rabidly pushing abortion on many frightened and confused women and girls.
Why is it that so-called “pro-choicers” fight tooth and nail against any attempt to inform women of the facts of the medical and psychological risks involved in choosing abortion? Why do “Pro-Choice” organizations oppose mandatory waiting periods that give women a chance to think through their abortion decision?
How can one simultaneously say they are pro-choice and deny to medical personnel the choice not to participate in abortions? There was the Scottish midwives’ case here in the UK a few years ago. There have been similar problems in Sweden and many other countries.
I did my doctorate in bioethics on the topic of conscience rights in health care, so I could go on and on.
What struck me most were the results of a study by David Reardon in the USA. His idea was something that a true feminist-meaning a person truly concerned about women, would have supported. Let us ask women who had abortions about their experience.
Instead of presuming to “speak for women” let’s listen.
He asked Why did you have an abortion? 64% said they felt pressured by others to abort. 84% said they were not given enough information to make an informed choice.
The abortion movement calls itself “Pro-Choice” and the women actually undergoing abortion felt that they did not have a true choice, that they were being pressured into abortion and denied the objective information needed to make an informed choice.
Pro-Choice is a lie. Pro-Lifers offer pregnant mothers many more choices than abortion campaigners do.
Pro-Woman is also a lie.
I think you would agree with me that any reasonable person would see an action which harms women and is aimed specifically at killing girls is anti-female discrimination of the worst kind.
How many of you are familiar with the term Sex-Selection Abortion?
These are abortions that are done primarily in order to kill babies of a sex unwanted by the mother or father or both. In the real world, sex-selection abortion overwhelmingly means the elimination of baby girls.
Undisputed evidence exists that over 100 million preborn women have been killed for the simple fact of being female since the 1970s and the problem is growing worse. Where are the protests and outrage at the UN and among organizations that self-identify as defending or representing women? Only a few voices have called for action and even described the situation as “the slaughter of Eve, a systematic gendercide of tragic proportions.” There is certainly no outcry in proportion to the worldwide catastrophe taking place. More typical is the UN Secretary General’s global study of violence against children which makes no mention whatsoever of abortion.
Thanks to technologies like amniocentesis and ultrasounds, finding out the sex of the preborn baby is increasingly possible/accessible to parents, even in poor countries. The results have been devastating. China alone has major provinces, like Guangdong and Hainan, with radically skewed birthrates as high as 130 or 135 boys for every 100 girls.
The well known UK medical journal, The Lancet, published a study concluding that as many as 10 million girls were selectively aborted in India in the twenty year span from 1986 to 2006.
Since the normal ratio of boys to girls is known, determining how many girls were killed by sex-selection abortions is relatively easy. The problem is most severe in Asia, but there is concrete evidence of it worldwide and among sub-populations in various countries. I could give a whole lecture on this topic alone, BUT
My point here is that the greatest instance of deadly discrimination against women in recorded history is being virtually ignored by radical feminists and others because they rank the freedom to abort higher than the right to life of the girls who are selectively aborted.
Some feminists, to their credit, do condemn sex-selection abortion, but the abortion activist organizations do not as a rule speak out against it. In fact, they have opposed efforts to ban sex-selection abortions. For that reason alone they forfeit their right to bear the mantle of being “pro-woman”.
Let us take a brief historical look at abortion
It may surprise you to learn that archeologists have discovered curettes for performing abortion that are over 2,000 years old.
We are all familiar with the famous medical oath, the Hippocratic Oath, which condemns both abortion and euthanasia. We should take a moment to reflect that this oath originated in the 5th century BC.
Clearly, abortion existed and was a problem in the Ancient World.
It was not legalized in any nation, however, until the 20th century.
Does anyone here know which country was the first to legalize abortion?
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Soviet Russia in 1920. Lenin placed a priority on free abortion as a way to create the new Socialist Man and Woman and to help destroy the “Bourgeois Family”.
Which was the second country to legalize abortion?
Nazi, Germany in 1935 specifically for reasons of “racial hygiene” and eugenics.
I read a revealing article in the Israeli Medical Association Journal entitled “Doctors, Pregnancy, Childbirth and Abortion during the Third Reich” The author highlights how abortion and sterilization were used as instruments of the Nazi genocide.
So isn’t it interesting that the roots of legal abortion in the modern world are the two most despicable totalitarian ideologies to emerge in the 20th century? There was not much interest in respecting human rights from these regimes, or from Communist China when they imposed forced abortions as part of the One Child Policy that reigned from 1978 to 2015. It is still coercive and forces abortions but has been changed to a Two Child Policy now.
The radical feminists picked up where the Nazis and the Communists left off. The chief campaigner for legalized abortion in America in the middle of the 20th century was Margaret Sanger, the Foundress of Planned Parenthood. This is the largest abortion promoting organization in the world and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is headquartered here in London.
Margaret Sanger was a bigot, a racist and a eugenicist. She admired the Nazi eugenic program in the 1930s and published articles praising it in her Birth Control Review. She wanted to create a “cleaner race” through birth control. She said “We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members”.
There are huge numbers of damning quotes from the foundress of the modern abortion movement, but the facts speak for themselves. Black women represent 11% of the US female population, but they have 36% of the abortions.
In England & Wales in 2014 8% of women aborting were recorded as Black or Black British while they represented 3.3% of the general population.
So, we have shown that the abortion movement has many skeletons in its closet. In the past few months a series of videos showing Planned Parenthood leaders and workers selling the organs of aborted babies rocked the USA, and this scandal continues.
I want to share with you what motivates me to work in the pro-life movement. In every generation there is one cause or crying societal need that is the clear priority.
If one was not supporting William Wilberforce and the Anti-Slave Trade campaigners in early 19th century Britain one had clearly missed the boat.
The same applies to abortion. Saint John Paul II told the founder of HLI, Fr. Paul Marx, that he was “doing the most important work on earth”. That is to say, pro-life work. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta has a myriad of pro-life quotations. One of my favorites was spoken in the presence of US President Bill Clinton in 1994: “But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?” Powerful words that highlight abortion’s corrosive effect on society.
I am very hopeful for the cause of life. For one thing, and to my great sadness, the culture of death eats its own children. In 2015 117 out of 224 nations and territories have Total Fertility Rates (TFRs) below 2.1 children per woman, less than the absolute minimum needed to stave off population decline absent in-migration. The majority of world population today lives in sub-replacement fertility countries and the world fertility numbers have declined without interruption since 1950 and are currently at 2.36. Most demographers are agreed that world population will peak and start a steady decline this century. The only question is when? Given current trends, the world may fall below replacement fertility in as few as 9 years in 2025 and world population will begin to decline, having peaked at 8.7 billion people, in 2055.
What is more interesting from a pro-life perspective is who are having children, pro-lifers or pro-aborts?
In the United States the 2000 census revealed that liberal areas had far fewer children than conservative ones. “In Seattle, there are nearly 45% more dogs than children. In Salt Lake City, there are nearly 19% more kids than dogs”. This is referred to as the “Liberal Baby Bust” by demographer Philip Longman. “In the USA, for example, 47% of people who attend church weekly say their ideal family size is three or more children. By contrast, 27% of those who seldom attend church want that many kids.”
Clearly, those who follow the biblical injunction of being fertile will inherit the earth, while those who embrace abortion and an anti-child mentality are doomed to extinction. There is even a group with this very goal. It is called the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Their motto is “May we live long and die out!”
It would be unconscionable, however, to simply go about our business and wait for the radical feminists, assorted liberals and abortion and euthanasia campaigners to extinguish themselves.
Here is a challenge for all of us.
83% of abortive mothers in one survey said that if even one person among their family or friends had offered support for choosing life they would not have gone through with the abortion.
Let me tell you about the story of my friend Christina. She grew up not knowing many pro-lifers and being formed by the mainstream media and the culture’s acceptance of abortion. My sister challenged her pro-abortion position. Both were teenagers at the time. Christina studied the topic in-depth and became convinced of the pro-life position. When she went to university, she discovered that there was no pro-life student club at her school. She decided to start a group and had a table with a signup sheet and information at the annual event the university organizes for new students. I think in the UK it is sometimes called a “fresher’s fair”. Everything went well, and the group started. The second year she was back with her table and information when a young woman walked up and thanked Christina. She said she had been there the year before and seen the pro-life information. She pulled out a picture and said… her name is Bianca and she is alive today because of you.
Christina saved a human life by standing at a table with some information for a few hours.
It is amazingly simple to become a life-saving hero by contributing our time, our talents, our treasure. 40 Days for Life is a great way to do this. There are many pro-life opportunities all around us if we care to look… among our friends and family, co-workers and society at large. It can be uncomfortable to stand up and be a pro-life witness, but isn’t saving human lives and the spiritual good we can do worth it?