Prior to the Roe v. Wade draft opinion leak, CNN ran a story that argued women will be less successful without the ability to kill their children at will. The CNN thesis? Women need abortions. The “needs” relayed in the piece vary, from sexual assault to simply not wanting to be pregnant. Regardless of any and all reasons presented in the CNN piece, if a baby’s heart beats by 21 days, and abortion stops a beating heart — both of which are scientific facts — committing abortions for any reason still results in the death of innocent human beings.
Pregnancy, rape, and abortion
The CNN story starts with a woman who became pregnant from rape. While this is an awful event, it should be met with compassion, offers of help (financial, emotional, and otherwise), but not a sudden edict that discriminates against the innocent baby.
However, as pro-life author and minister Randy Alcorn points out in his piece addressing abortion in cases of rape or incest, “Studies conducted by the pro-choice Guttmacher Institute … conducted a write-in survey of 1,160 women in 2004 and found 1.5 percent of abortions were reported as due to rape or incest. Another of their studies cited one percent. Other studies have shown that pregnancies due to rape are much rarer, as few as one in a thousand cases.”
Alcorn adds, “Pro-choice advocates divert attention from the vast majority of abortions by focusing on rape because of its well-deserved sympathy factor. Their frequent references to it leave the false impression that pregnancy due to rape is common, rather than rare… . And why is it that pro-choice advocates are always saying the unborn child is really the mother’s, not the father’s, until she is raped — then suddenly the child is viewed as the father’s, not the mother’s? The point is not how a child was conceived but that he was conceived. He is not a despicable ‘product of rape.’ He is a unique and wonderful creation of God.”
The woman in the CNN piece, Meg Shurr, ironically, works for the Guttmacher Institute now, so she would have access to the very information that Alcorn cites, knowing that despite her terrible situation, her case is not common. Yet even in the rare cases when abortion takes place due to rape, it still is not acceptable. Abortion adds more violence and trauma to the violence and trauma the rape survivor has already experienced; many survivors who underwent an abortion afterwards found that it made their pain even worse. Meanwhile, the preborn child is innocent. The crime of his or her father does not transfer; they do not deserve a death sentence for a wrong committed by someone else.
Why women get abortions
If most abortions are not for reasons of rape or incest — and Live Action News has reported previously on how intentionally killing a preborn child is never medically necessary — then who are the women who have perceived abortion needs?
This week, the New York Times republished a piece it ran last December of the “typical” abortion patient in the U.S. Its analysis painted a picture of the average woman seeking an abortion:
- Already a mother
- In her late 20s
- Attended some college
- Is low income
- In her first six weeks of pregnancy
- Having her first abortion
- Lives in a blue state
The Times’ piece notes, “Increasingly, women say they are delaying having children until they can finish school, establish a career and support themselves.”
CNN’s piece certainly follows this, as it shared the story of Arielle Cohen, who was attending a New York college in 2012 when she got pregnant mid-semester. The story reported that, “with only $1,000 left to last her until the end, an abortion felt like her only choice.”
“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t been able to get the money together for those two pills,” Cohen told CNN.
Cohen added that she was proud to have had an abortion, though the end result was that her baby died. While it is certainly understandable that having only $1000 to one’s name in college is terrifying, a myriad of services do exist for women that will pay for prenatal care, health care, housing, and other associated costs.
Additionally, Title IX is a federal pregnancy anti-discrimination law which states it is unlawful to discriminate against a student for any pregnancy related sickness or absences; pregnant students must be allowed to remain in activities, make up missed work, and more. Schools face harsh penalties for not adhering to this federal law.
Sadly, however, even teenagers believe they need abortions to go on with their lives. CNN cited Heather Young, who underwent a surgical abortion at the tender age of 17. Now 23, Young told CNN, “Even though it was a difficult period in my life, I’ll never forget the amazing people who helped me access the care I needed and deserved.”
The story, of course, does not address what Young’s baby deserved, which was to live. “The guy that got me pregnant immediately switched from seemingly loving and sweet to mean,” Cohen argued instead, adding, “I absolutely did not want to bring a child into the world with how young I was and definitely not with the person I laid down with.”
Certainly these were not ideal circumstances; however, that does not mean another human deserves a death sentence for his or her parents’ choices. In Young’s case, she said, “People need to know that people have abortions for all reasons, not just life or death situations. I was 17, scared. I would probably not be here today if it wasn’t for my mother and doctors who helped me.”
If she also had her mother’s support, it’s not clear why she was not presented by these “reproductive professionals” with the best option, which was to let the child live, support Ms. Young, and care for her during the pregnancy and after childbirth.
Making abortion culturally acceptable
The move to “Shout Your Abortion,” referring to the hashtag #ShoutYourAbortion (SYA), has escalated, as CNN reported. Gone are the days of “abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doctor,” because now, SYA says, explicitly, “abortion itself is extremely common… The reality is that abortion is a normal part of many people’s lives.” SYA is certainly correct about one thing: abortion is not rare. While abortion rates have been reported as declining, this decline is in question given recent reporting. According to a story in Axios, “In 2019, nearly 630,000 abortions were reported to the CDC, reflecting a rate of about 11.4 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years,” the outlet reported. This amounts to about 18 percent of all U.S. pregnancies ending with abortion. As is the case typically, abortion is more prevalent among Black and Hispanic women than among white women.
The idea that a woman cannot be successful without killing her child is a disturbing idea. The foremost human right is the right to life, and abortion destroys human life, stops a beating heart, and strips a human being of their most intrinsic right. And no matter the circumstances, it’s important to remember, as Alcorn stated, “Creating a second victim never undoes the damage to the first.”
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