Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Abortion: A Red Herring Issue or Reasons for Concern?

I was told the other day that life issues are a “Red Herring” used to rally the base. Perhaps, but I see them as a cause for grave concern.

The way I see it, human life is inherently worth protecting, but we abort more than 1.1 million genetically distinct pre-born humans every year. To me, all other issues that interest me (and there are many), must be balanced against 1.1 million innocent lives lost to our abortion industries. I believe that one should vote based on the good of the nation and one’s fellow citizens rather than for one’s own self interests. Accordingly, to those who are in danger of being aborted access to free healthcare, just wages, safety from war and low taxes probably seem like insignificant issues when compared to the right to safely exit their mother’s womb.

While there are many fiscal conservatives in the Republican party who don’t care about abortion, the Democratic Party has made it quite clear in their platform that they support full access to abortion, paid for by taxpayer, and with no apparent restrictions as to the age of the client, the opinion of the father, or the procedure used. With Democratic control over the Executive and the Legislative branches, that party will have to act upon its platform, and deliver its promises or forever lose the support of NOW, NARAL, Planned Parenthood and every other “pro-Choice” group that helps bankroll their campaigns. Even with laws on the books and judicial fiat supporting abortion on demand, the Pro-Life movement is very hard to silence (much to the chagrin of the Canadian government judging from recent news articles) and will continue to press its counterattack, ensuring that the Democrats will still be able to rely upon Pro-Choice groups for as long as there is a Pro-Life opposition.

What promises have the Democrats made that they will have to deliver on?

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. The Democratic Party also strongly supports access to comprehensive affordable family planning services and age-appropriate sex education which empower people to make informed choices and live healthy lives. We also recognize that such health care and education help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and thereby also reduce the need for abortions. The Democratic Party also strongly supports a woman’s decision to have a child by ensuring access to and availability of programs for pre- and post-natal health care, parenting skills, income support, and caring adoption programs. p. 50 of the Democratic Party Platform

The position of the Democratic Party is why I left it many years ago. They have grown more devoted to the “Pro-Choice” cause with each election cycle since then. Senator Obama’s voting record indicates that he is in full agreement within the party’s platform:

Barack Obama (in his Statement on 35th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade Decision):
"Throughout my career, I've been a consistent and strong supporter of reproductive justice, and have consistently had a 100% pro-choice rating with Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.
When South Dakota passed a law banning all abortions in a direct effort to have Roe overruled, I was the only candidate for President to raise money to help the citizens of South Dakota repeal that law. When anti-choice protesters blocked the opening of an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic in a community where affordable health care is in short supply, I was the only candidate for President who spoke out against it. And I will continue to defend this right by passing the Freedom of Choice Act as president.
As of May 11, 2007, Senator Obama became a co-sponsor of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).

Excerpted from the Senate’s version of FOCA, which Senator Obama is co-sponsoring:
(a) Statement of Policy- It is the policy of the United States that every woman has the fundamental right to choose to bear a child, to terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability, or to terminate a pregnancy after fetal viability when necessary to protect the life or health of the woman.
(b) Prohibition of Interference- A government may not—
(1) deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose—
(A) to bear a child;
(B) to terminate a pregnancy prior to viability; or
(C) to terminate a pregnancy after viability where termination is necessary to protect the life or health of the woman; or
(2) discriminate against the exercise of the rights set forth in paragraph (1) in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.
(c) Civil Action- An individual aggrieved by a violation of this section may obtain appropriate relief (including relief against a government) in a civil action.

Health is not defined in the FOCA, but courts have often interpreted to include any sort of physical, mental, or emotional discomfort.

Woman is not defined here. There is no indication that the law applies only to adults 18 and over.

So, what Texas laws will be overturned by Sec.4.b. Prohibition of Interference?

There are many, but the two that bother me most are parental notification laws and the ability of pro-life medical staff to refuse to provide abortion services:

From the Texas Family Code:
(a) A physician may not perform an abortion[0] on a pregnant unemancipated minor unless:
(1) the physician performing the abortion[0] gives at least 48 hours actual notice, in person or by telephone, of the physician's intent to perform the abortion[0] to:
(A) a parent of the minor, if the minor has no managing conservator or guardian; or
(B) a court-appointed managing conservator or guardian;
(2) the judge of a court having probate jurisdiction, the judge of a county court at law, the judge of a district court, including a family district court, or a court of appellate jurisdiction issues an order authorizing the minor to consent to the abortion[0] as provided by Section 33.003 or 33.004;

From the Texas Occupations Code:
§ 103.001. RIGHT TO OBJECT. A physician, nurse, staff member, or employee of a hospital or other health care facility who objects to directly or indirectly performing or participating in an abortion[0] procedure may not be required to directly or indirectly perform or participate in the procedure.


Now, you might ask, why do I care about abortion at all? After all, having been a Social Darwinist for many years, my gut instincts have a hard time standing the way of people who disagree with me destroying themselves and their offspring. The fewer of “them” there are, the less competition my children will face for educational and employment opportunities!

Unfortunately, I have come to believe that human beings are a special creation, superior to slugs, dandelions and spotted owls, and that all human life has an inherent dignity and worth that cannot be measured in strictly utilitarian terms.

I believe, based on my somewhat limited knowledge of human biology, that a genetically unique human being is created when the sperm joins with the ovum, and that, barring interference, that zygote will implant in its mother’s uterus and eventually become visibly recognizable as human and be born. This development is continuous from one moment to the next, and there is no other distinct point during development besides the moment when sperm and ovum join at which one can clearly say “This genetically distinct creature is not fully human and has no right to exist while this genetically distinct creature, one second later, is human and should have full rights to exist.”

Currently, our legal system seems very confused. A child killed by accident, in utero, during an assault can cause an assailant to be charged with murder. While a child killed, deliberately, in utero, is merely fetal tissue subject to a medical procedure.

Likewise, a child born prematurely, seven months into development, has full human rights though it is dependent on external life support systems. While a child nine months in utero, can be partially extracted via C-section and have a pair of forceps plunged through the base of its neck to kill it, even though it is only an inch or two from being able to live outside the womb with no external life support.

Being a fairly simple minded person, this is very confusing to me. Who gets to decide when life begins or when human rights should be protected? Is it the biological parents? Is it only the mother, or shouldn’t the genetic father have some say as well where consensual sex is suspected? Right now, the answer is that only the mother can say whether a biologically distinct creature within her is human with an inherent dignity and right to life, or not. And her answer to that question can change from one day to the next up to the moment when the child is completely removed from her body.

It seems to me, that if the start of life is negotiable and subject to constant reinterpretation by a family member, then the end of life might also be negotiable…

What has abortion wrought?

Using the stats found at:

From 1973, to 2005, there have been an estimated 45,669,110 abortions according to stats analyzed using CDC and other data.

About 7.9 million of these abortions were performed between 1986 and 1990…those individuals killed would now be between 18 and 22 years old. About 20 million live births took place those same years. If those people had been allowed to be born, then the number of 18 to 22 year olds would be about 35% larger than it currently is, and I doubt we’d have ever fallen short of a single military recruitment goal…

Approximately 21 million were aborted from 1973 to 1990. Had they been born, would corporate America be demanding that we allow 12 million illegal immigrants (not screened for criminal records or terrorist ties) into the country to perform labor that American’s won’t do? Or would we have the manpower to perform those jobs? (as an aside, I have no beef with the immigration rate, but only with the fact that we don’t know specifically who is coming in)

Right now, we abort one child for every five live births in this nation.

If our workforce was 20% larger, would Social Security be “in danger”? Without the abortion losses, the age 25 to 34 cohort would be larger than the age 35 to 44 cohort…and larger than all previous cohorts. We would still face a pinch with the 24 and younger cohorts, but it would take longer to feel it.

Admittedly, there is a practical advantage to killing off a workforce’s children and importing adult workers from other nations to replace them at the time when they would be entering the work force. You don’t have to expend the resources in feeding or educating them while they are “non-productive”! The downside is, they aren’t your people. They don’t know the culture, and they haven’t necessarily been trained for the types of jobs that need to be performed.

Unfortunately, I hold human life to be sacred. I believe in protecting the lives of innocents whenever possible and I believe that states have a fundamental self-interest and moral duty to protect their citizens from conception to natural death. Right now, the nation, its courts, its legislators and many of its people do not see it that way. Unborn, genetically distinct humans are a commodity that can be dispatched of at will and their remains (or leftover siblings from in vitro processes) can be used for medical research. Social acceptance of these laws will only change when we have a change of heart, but in the meantime, I will support whatever legal protections can be put in place for the most vulnerable members of our society and fight against the removal of those protections which have already been established.

Of the major parties, the Republicans are somewhat pro-life, while the Democrats, the Libertarians and the Greens all support abortion on demand. This leaves me few options if I want to execute my duty to vote as a citizen.

While taxes, war, education, and economic development are all significant issues, if one does not have the right to live, then these other things become irrelevant.

A child aborted is not going to care about the free healthcare he would have been afforded if he’d been born or about the war he did not have to fight, or the taxes he did not have to pay. While pragmatism might lead me to think my children would have an advantage should their competitors be destroyed in utero, cutting the size of their generation by 20% increases the work load and tax burden on my children when there should be more people to help with the heavy lifting of moving our society forward into the 22nd Century.

Finally, if the life of an innocent person, filled with unlimited potential, is not worth protecting, then is anyone safe from being deemed unworthy of life? If we choose not to protect life when it first begins, will we long tolerate the presence of those in their waning years? I think that we, as a nation, are better off becoming a Culture of Life!


L. Shepherd said...

The economic reasoning is interesting. I'm not about to debate abortion, but I did read this entry and thought it was interesting that no one has brought that up as a reason for the low number of people in the workforce.

Although, taking strictly about numbers, another reason that's just as valid is the number of autistic children now. There are so many of them that get disability and are unable to work that it has affected the number of people in the workforce and will get worse as the numbers of autistic kids gets larger.

Another number of interest is the crime rate. It has gone down because of the number of children aborted from the lower socio-economic level, and they generally commit more crime than the other levels. Abortion is most often found in that population and has therefore been shown to reduce crime overall.

lastrati said...

I'm glad you found my article interesting. I am grateful to my wife for letting me post it here.

I've not heard that abortion could be used as a preventative for autism. However, there are many physical disorders that are commonly tested en utero, and positive tests frequently result in abortion. My understanding, though I don't have any stats handy, is that downs syndrome births have dropped dramatically as pre-natal screening and "selective reduction" have become more effective.

Yes, I have heard the argument that the crime rate has dropped due to abortion among the lower socio-economic groups. I understand that was one of the original purposes of abortion as argued in the early Eugenics movement. I don't have any of Margaret Sanger's quotes handy, but they shouldn't be too hard to find.

If the Democratic party's pledge to make abortions free to those who cannot afford it is carried out, we might expect further drops in crime fifteen thru thirty years from now. I don't think too many people will be openly pitching it as a "pre-emptive death penalty for potential future criminals" though.

When Bob Bennett mentioned the relation between abortion and falling crime rates (he didn't endorse it, he just mentioned it), he was drummed off radio locally as being a racist (he also happened to mention that there was one abortion for every two live births to African American mothers during the same discussion).

However, just because an argument seems to be true does not mean that it is. There are many variables in play with crime rates (and economic impacts). Has there been an actual drop in crime rate? Is this tied to abortion, or is it due to stronger enforcement against drug abusers or repeat offenders? Would crime have gone up more due to a general glamorization of violence and the lack of male role models/intact families? There's a lot of moving parts and few (if any) control groups with which one can compare to determine the absolute impact of any given variable.

All of this leads me to what I think are the two major reasons that nobody argues the economic impacts of abortion.

First, those who oppose abortion tend to have a hard time thinking of human life is such a strictly utilitarian manner. If innocent human life is inherently sacred, then there is no point in looking at the trade offs in economic terms. It simply must be protected. Conversely, I think the Pro-Choice advocates are afraid of what will happen when people do look at the social and economic costs. Impacts such as population stagnation and decline, objectification of women, devaluation of families and a recreational view human sexuality, etc. They seem to prefer to couch their arguments in terms of personal liberty and privacy, so examining the costs to the community would be a concession that "personal" decisions have direct impacts on society as a whole.

Second, and more difficult for me when trying to pull numbers together, is that there are many moving parts to an economics argument. If abortion is not readily available, will the rate of unwanted conceptions drop as well? Wouldn't women be a bit less promiscuous if they knew they might have to carry a child to term? Wouldn't they limit their partners to men who could (and would) actually support families? If so, then the number of children conceived might drop...so the additional number born if abortion were banned might not equal those who would have been conceived and killed while it is legal. Or the number of conceptions might grow, as one night stands were traded in for marital unions.

Who knows? I believe that human life is inherently worthy of protection, but I like to fiddle with stats just the same.

Ladysopinion said...

I wonder how many babies have been aborted that would have grown up and found the cure for cancer? or another source of energy rather than oil? or the cure for alzheimers? or given the world fantastic music, or paintings? or dress designers, "green" home builders, city planners with extraordinary abilities, inventors, brilliant minds that would have helped all of humanity like Einstein did?

We are reaping what was sown. In ECONOMIC TERMS the US has aborted so many babies that would have helped pay into social security as workers that the parents of aborted babies now may not get social security.

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