I have written before on why I believe that abortion is a cut and dry matter. Lately, I have noticed some people saying that they are pro-choice but still oppose abortion. While they say abortion is something they would never personally do, they want others to have the right to an abortion if they want one.
But is such a stance realistic? Here are some reasons it is not okay to be pro-choice but anti-abortion:
1. Life in the womb has value
The reason I am “pro-life” is because of my understanding of the life of an unborn child. My reasons for valuing the unborn come from my understanding of two biblical concepts:
While your reasons to oppose abortion may not be the same, if you believe abortion is wrong for the life of your unborn child, it has to be true for the lives of all unborn children.
2. Rape/incest cannot erase a person’s worth
A person’s value is independent of the circumstances of his or her conception. While pro-choice and pro-life individuals can both agree that rape is a terrible act that hurts women, a life created as a result of that heinous act is a still a life. The problem with the rape and incest argument is that the life of the child is taken out of the conversation.
Of course, we must consider the mother in this situation, but if those of us who are against abortion are not also considering the child, who will? Should we force an innocent 8-week-old baby (with a steady heartbeat, arms and legs beginning to grow, separate DNA from mom, her own blood type, hair, eye and skin color all genetically determined) to pay for the crimes of her parent? There are always at least two people involved in an abortion and one of those people cannot yet speak for herself. Counseling is what victims of rape and incest need, not enduring another layer of trauma from an abortion.
3. Abortion hurts women
I have counseled many women living with regret even three decades after their abortion. One study found that post-abortive women “are at an 81% increased risk for mental health problems including anxiety disorders, depression, drug abuse and suicidal behaviors… close to 10% of all mental health problems in women can be directly attributed to abortion.”
I have talked with women experiencing every symptom of the mental health problems described above, so I know that these lasting effects are real. I have a friend who endures awful flashbacks at the unexpected sound of a vacuum starting—because it sounds similar to the suction machine used to extract her first child from her womb. Another friend struggles with depression every Christmas because, even after twenty years, a great marriage, and two other kids, she knows there is one more child she should be buying presents for. One woman began crying every time we talked about the abortion she felt pressured by physicians to have. She was in college and on a medication she knew could harm a baby. She called every obstetrician in the phone book hoping someone would tell her to take the chance and continue the pregnancy but she heard nothing but death sentences for her unborn child.
(Read more stories from those impacted by abortion here )
4. Even with an adverse diagnosis, abortion doesn’t prevent any pain
Two years ago one family caught national attention with their Baby Bucket List. Six months before their son was born he was diagnosed with anencephaly and they were told that their baby was not likely to live long after birth. Instead of aborting him and going on with their lives, this couple decided to celebrate every day of life their son had. They went to favorite vacation spots, their favorite sporting events, and national landmarks, sharing every experience with their unborn son. Because they chose to deliver Shane instead of aborting him, their son lived for what they describe as “four miraculous hours” surrounded by friends and family and with the lasting images a Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep photographer captured for their family. They showed their son the very best life they possibly could and enjoyed snuggling their little man rather than the suctioning away of their child with nothing more than a freezer bag of his body parts to provide closure.
My mom worked as a labor and delivery nurse for over two decades. She worked with many families who endured stillbirths or the loss of their newborn hours after birth. She always noticed the hope and support these couples experienced, even in these heartbreaking situations. There is a difference between your child’s life being taken from you and choosing to take the life of your child—and moms know that.
5. The woman whose story legalized abortion now regrets it
Even the famous woman behind Roe v. Wade, Norma McCorvey, regrets her involvement in legalizing abortion. She never had an abortion, but her guilt from her involvement in the historic case drove her to a lifestyle of substance abuse. She now champions the pro-life movement because she has seen the devastating effects of abortion on women. This “right” her story gave to our country destroyed her life for many years.
If I know that abortion is bad for the baby and bad for the mother, how could I fight for the right of others to have abortions? We have believed the rhetoric that we should trust women to make these decisions, but the casualties have left blood on the hands of all Americans and women are left to put back together the pieces of their broken lives. If you are against abortion in one situation, it has to transfer to all situations. The horrors of what abortion is and how it impacts women cannot be ignored.