Frequently Asked Questions on Abortion
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." 1 Peter 3:15
"Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and careful instruction." 2 Timothy 4:2
"Every pro-choice argument requires that we pretend, that we play mind games, that we forget, ignore, or deny the humanity, worth, and dignity of unborn babies. The pro-choice movement thrives on having a silent victim. It thrives on our ability to forget and ignore innocent victims as long as they are out of our sight. Tell a lie often enough and people will eventually believe it and end up reciting it. This is the story of the pro-choice deception." Randy Alcorn
1."Freedom of Choice"
"Don’t women have a right to choose what they want to do with their own body?"
There are two aspects to this statement:
You can't always do what you want with your body. For example: we have laws of public decency and laws against rape and prostitution. It is against the law to take certain drugs. You may not use your body to assault another person. The key question is whether what is done with one person's body brings significant harm to others. Obviously, abortion does - abortion kills another person!
The baby is not your body! A woman does have rights over her own body, the right to choose what to wear, what to eat, her career...but she does not have rights over someone else's body. When our rights infringe on someone else's rights that's where our rights stop. The baby within her is a separate human being often having its own blood type. The baby has its own heartbeat, brain waves, lungs, hands, feet, eyes, ears, fingerprints and it can, of course, be of a different gender. The baby has an entirely different and unique genetic structure.
"It would be unfair to restrict a woman's choice by prohibiting abortion."
Yes, you do have a right to choose what you do with your body - but that choice is made before the baby is conceived. Men and women are free to choose to obey God's moral Laws and abstain from sex outside of marriage; to disobey God's moral Laws but use birth control; or to disobey God's moral Laws and not use contraceptives. Your choice is made before conception. Once fertilization has occurred, you no longer have a choice - you have a child!
Mary O'Brien Drum points out: "After a woman is pregnant, she cannot choose whether or not she wishes to become a mother. She already is, and since the child is already present in her womb, all that is left to her to decide is whether she will deliver her baby dead or alive."
Once the baby is born, the woman is again free to choose - she can keep the child or give him up for adoption. The option that pro-lifers oppose is that of murder!
Those Who Hate God Love Death
What does God think about abortion? In Psalm 139:19 we read: "If only You would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of You with evil intent; Your adversaries misuse Your Name." There are so many people in this country who call themselves Christians who are saying that they stand for "the right to choose" whether women should have an abortion or not. Is it "a right" to choose whether to murder? Which of us has the legal right to choose to take someone else's life? They speak about "women's rights", how about equal rights for unborn women? Much more than half of aborted babies are girls.
In Communist China, every family is restricted to only one child. They are forcibly given abortions if they conceive any more children after their quota of one. Therefore, China has the largest number of reported stillbirths of baby girls. Often when they see their firstborn child is a girl, they strangle her or drown her in a bucket of water and report a stillbirth so that they can have another child. This is the end result of abortion. No freedom of choice at all - just murder.
"Pro-Choice" in China means that the government is the only one who has the choice. You can only have one child. The rest get killed. In China, demographers calculate that every year they have about 600 000 more boys born than girls. Presently, in China there are millions more males than females.
This imbalance is even greater in India. There they use amniocentesis tests to determine the sex of the baby and many choose to abort their baby girls. They prefer sons to daughters. Consider the effect on society when these sons begin looking for wives.
So those feminists who are marching for women's rights are only marching for a holocaust - a massacre of women. They should be campaigning for equal rights for the unborn women instead. Those who hate God, love death (Proverbs 8:36). There is no other way to describe the motivation of the pro-abortion lobby. Humanists love abortion. They love euthanasia. They produce violent films. Those who hate God love death.
2."But it's internationally accepted."
A couple of hundred years ago slavery and racism were widely accepted. Few people doubted that blacks were inferior, that they could be enslaved. But just because it was widely accepted did not make it right.
Equally, just because abortion is widely promoted these days does not make it right. We now have discrimination based on age.
“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this’, does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will not He repay each one according to what he has done?” Proverbs 24:11-12
3. “What about the women who were dying from backstreet abortions? Legal abortion prevents deaths from unsafe, illegal abortions.”
The statistics of 200 000 – 400 000 backstreet abortions per year in South Africa before abortion became legal in 1997, were not only gross exaggerations, but blatant lies. There is no documented proof for such claims. The Department of Health estimated that between 42 000 and 167 000 illegal abortions were performed per year (Natal Mercury 31/01/94). The report however, admitted that estimates varied widely depending on which model was used to determine them, the higher figures being chosen on extrapolations from other countries such as the USA. However, before abortion was legalised in the USA, 100 000 illegal abortions per year were being performed. South Africa’s population is roughly one tenth of the USA so is it unreasonable to estimate an illegal abortion rate of 10 000 per year?
The legalisation of abortion was supposed to lead to fewer deaths from backstreet abortions. But, not expectedly, the explosion in legal abortions led to an increase in maternal deaths from abortions. The South African press reported that an estimated 500 women die annually due to the misuse of Misoprostal (Pretoria News, 5 March 2004). The newspaper surveyed 18 healthcare facilities and each one admitted that women had died from legal abortions. Compare this to the estimated 425 women dying each year from complications from illegal abortions pre-1997 (Medical Research Council, 1994).
We are also aware of two deaths from legal abortions in the Western Cape, neither of which were recorded by the Western Cape Department of Health. Deaths from legal abortions are rarely reported as some doctors are keen to defend such a procedure, as they believe it is helping women. For private abortuaries such as Marie Stopes, it would be bad for business to report the deaths, or injuries, of women from abortion.
In addition, as for deaths from HIV/AIDS, there is a social stigma attached to deaths from abortions. Death Certificates politely refer to haemorrhages and infections. The family has no incentive to push for the truth, and the abortionist doesn’t want to admit that the abortion, sold as a ‘quick and safe procedure’, has in fact harmed them. Furthermore, the number of maternal deaths rose from 425 to over 500 in addition to thousands of babies’ lives.
‘Backstreet’ abortions have also not decreased because of the easy availability of a pill used to induce abortions called Misoprostal (or the abortion pill). Backstreet abortionists usually buy the pills on the black market and are able to sell them to vulnerable women for very cheap. Illegal abortionists operate with impunity in virtually every city and town in South Africa - due to the failure of police and city officials to investigate or make any arrests. It can confidently be contended that there are now more illegal abortions occurring than there were before abortion was legalised. Serious complications, including severe bleeding, can occur from incorrect use of the abortion pill. Due to the ubiquity of these illegal abortionists, there are no doubt dozens of women dying from these abortions every year.
The argument also seems ridiculous in the light of the following statement: Because people die, or are being harmed while killing other people (i.e. pre-born people), the state should make it safe for them to do so.
Many women will not attempt to have an illegal abortion simply because it is against the law and society frowns upon it. This is evident from the history of legal abortions in the USA. Before abortion on demand was legalised in 1973, approximately 100 000 illegal abortions were performed per year. Now 2 million legal abortions are performed a year!
“No-one doubts that legal abortion is marginally safer than illegal abortion, but neither is there any doubt that decriminalization has encouraged more women to undergo abortions than ever before. Risk goes down, but numbers goes up. This combination means that though the odds of any particular woman suffering ill effects from an abortion have dropped, the total number of women who suffer… from abortion is far greater than ever before. In 1969 the number of abortion-related complications treated in US hospitals was 9 000. In 1977 it was 17 000.” David C. Reardon.
In the USA in 1967, before the legalisation of abortion, the Federal government reported 160 deaths from abortions. By 1972 abortion was still illegal in 80 percent of the country, but the use of antibiotics had greatly reduced the risk. Hence, the number dropped to 39 maternal deaths from abortion that year (U.S. Bureau of Vital Statistics). Even with significant under-reporting, the figures are nowhere near 5 000 to 10 000 deaths a year claimed by pro-abortionists. Consider the words of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, the co-founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League:
“How many deaths were we talking about when abortion was illegal? When we spoke of statistics it was always 5 000-10 000 deaths a year …I confess that I knew the figures were totally false. But in the ‘morality’ of our revolution it was a useful figure, widely accepted, so why go out of our way to correct it with honest statistics?”(Aborting America, Nathanson, 193).
It is not necessarily true that legalisation of abortion prevents criminal abortions. Speaking before the 93rd Congress of the US, Senator James Buckley stated:
“Data from foreign countries having far longer experience with legalised abortion than we had in the US, suggest that legalisation has no effect on the criminal abortion rate. In at least three countries, the criminal abortion rate has actually risen since legalisation. Legalised abortion moves the back alley abortionists into the front office where their trade can be practised without fear of criminal prosecution.”
The media tends to focus on the horror stories of backstreet abortions, but very little is said about the thousands of women, who, despite being very poor, decide to keep their babies.
Regardless of whether abortions are legal or not, some women will have abortions and some will die from complications. Certainly all the babies will die. However, legalising abortion greatly increases the number of abortions. In various surveys 40 to 85% of the women surveyed said they would not have aborted their babies if it was illegal (Aborted Women, Reardon, p. 321-322).
We must not legalise procedures that kill the innocent just to make the killing process less dangerous.
4. “But if abortion becomes illegal again, won’t we go back to mothers dying from back-street abortions?”
We have an example of an entire nation – Poland, which refutes this argument. Under Communist rule there were consistently over 100 000 abortions registered each year. In 1990, with both the Church and doctors discouraging abortion, the numbers fell to 59 400. Then in 1993, abortion was banned except for danger to the life of the mother, foetal handicap or rape. In 1994 there were only 782 abortions and not a single death reported due to illegal abortion (Why Can’t We Love Them Both, Wilke, p.222).
5. “Having more unwanted babies produces more child abuse….”
A landmark study of 674 abused children was conducted by University of Southern California professor, Edward Lenoski. He discovered that 91% were from planned pregnancies; they were definitely wanted by their parents. What is startling is that, in society in general, 63 percent of pregnancies are planned. Hence, among abused children, a significantly higher percentage were `wanted children' compared to the percentage of ‘wanted children’ in society at large.
Child abuse has dramatically increased since abortion was legalised in the USA. It has not decreased. In the first 10 years of legalised abortion in America, child abuse increased over 500% (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Report; National Study on Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting, The American Humane Association, 1981 & 1991; 1977 Analysis of Child Abuse and Neglect Research, U.S Dept of Health, Education and Welfare, 1978). If children are viewed as expendable before birth, they will be viewed as expendable after birth. It is illogical to argue that a child is protected from abuse through abortion since abortion is the most horrific form of child abuse.
6. “What about poor women who cannot afford a child? It is cruel to let a child be born into such abject poverty.”
The “quality of life” concept breeds a sense of human expendability that has far reaching social complications. Historically, this has always slid society in to further human exploitation. The slippery slope starts with the concept that some lives have more “quality” than others.
“Quality of life” is a euphemism for those not allowed to live. There is no “quality of life” for those whose lives are taken. For those allowed live, life becomes more precarious. Variables such as age, health or handicap may take one out of the position of privilege, making him a potential victim of somebody else’s “quality of life”.
Legalised abortion is often offered as a solution to the problem of the Third World. What makes us think that they want this choice? In most of Africa, for many years, medical personnel have attempted to introduce and establish family planning - without much success. In Africa, from the man's perspective, children are a measure of his virility. Children are an insurance policy for his old age. Many children mean that he can work more land and produce more food, or look after more cattle. More daughters mean more dowries when they marry. Rural people tend to have large families. Contraceptives have been viewed negatively. In rural Africa, larger families are seen as necessary and healthy for their economies.
A parent’s income and circumstances can change dramatically in his/her lifetime. Think of many famous people who were born in poverty yet went on to make a positive difference in the world. The Lord Jesus Himself was born into poverty. The death of the innocent is never God’s will and therefore we must do everything in our power to prevent the murder of the innocent.
There are many Christian ministries dedicated to helping the poor and the destitute and women facing a crisis pregnancy. They need our support.
7. “What about overpopulation?”
The current world population is estimated at 7 billion (by the United Nations). Population growth has been slowing rapidly and this trend will continue. In recent decades, according to the US Census Bureau, world population growth as a percentage hit a high in 1962 and 1963 at 2.19% and has been in long-term decline ever since. It was only 1.15% last year and is projected to be 0.46% in 2049. Population growth in absolute numbers is already dropping despite the increase in total world population. That number peaked in 1989, when the world added a net 88 million new souls, declined to 74.4 million last year, and will be only 42.2 million in 2049 despite the increase in total population to over 9 billion. Of course, since the experts believe life expectancy will continue its rise, this drop in population growth will come from an astounding further decline in families and births to extend the one the world has already seen since the '60s.
Historically, population experts have tended to overestimate their numbers, so it is likely that these numbers will be even lower than currently projected. The population controllers have won: The world has long been on the path to population decline and shows no signs of deviating from it. Slowing population growth rates is due largely to the spread of HIV/AIDS but has also been significantly influenced by the “population control” policies of many nations such as China which include the promotion of abortion as a means of birth control. (Population Research Institute – www.pop.org.)
It is simplistic and inaccurate to attribute most of our global problems to overpopulation. The problem of starvation for example, is a combination of many factors including socialist governmental economic policies, corruption, natural disasters, wars, lack of technology, misuse of resources, waste, greed, government inefficiency and failure to distribute food properly. Having fewer people alive to experience social problems is not the solution to those problems.
“We must ask ourselves whether we want to live in a society where the standard of living was bought with the blood of the innocent.” Randy Alcorn, Pro-life Answers to Pro-Choice Questions
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