Well, this is going to be a touchy subject. We challenged our staff to answer the important question: Is abortion a sin? Eight writers (including myself) tackled the subject head on. I highly recommend reading everyone’s pieces as a lot of time and effort was put into each of them. Feel free to voice your own opinion in the comments as we always love to read what our readers have to say.
The time I spent in high school gave me a front row seat to see a few cases where someone would be desperate enough consider abortion as an option. I saw four different girls have to choose between a harder future for themselves and an entire future for their child. The right to “choose”: that’s what pro-choice supporters are after. They frequently warn about calling them “pro-abortion” because they are not supporting abortion in general, just that it should be an option; but whose option is it?
According to a 2013 study 51% of women obtaining abortions in the U. S. are younger than 25, and a very unsettling fact is that teenagers comprise 18% of all abortions (abort73.com). At such a young age, how could someone even have enough experience and foresight to make such a heavy decision? I believe that girls put in a position to do so will only do what is the more socially acceptable option. Sadly for many of them, what’s more socially acceptable is to have an abortion and then keep it quiet.
There are several arguments around the issue of abortion and many ways to discuss them; but usually it comes down to individual’s morality and the scientific debate on when life actually begins. I was once under the impression that Pro-Life was primarily supported by moral arguments and that Pro-Choice was supported by scientific evidence to a greater degree. I was wrong in my assumption, as there are many credible scientists and physicians who come down on the side of Pro-Life, stating that human life begins at conception. Some of the world’s most prominent scientists and physicians have testified to a U.S. Senate committee that human life begins at conception. Some of those respected professionals were:
Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni a professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania,
Dr. Jerome LeJeune a professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris,
Professor Hymie Gordon from the Mayo Clinic,
Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth at Harvard University Medical School,
and Dr. Watson A. Bowes at the University of Colorado Medical School.
All of those who I have mentioned brought many compelling arguments and facts supporting Pro-Life views to a committee of the U.S. Senate. (http://www.epm.org/artman2/publish/prolife_human_rights/Scientists_Attest_To_Life_Beginning_At_Conception.shtml).
One example of this evidence is development studies showing a fetus being nothing more than a human that has yet to finish developing into a child, much the same as the way a child will continue to develop when puberty is reached. Science shows that the gestational period is just another time of development for humans. No one would say that a child is not a human because it hasn’t gone through the development periods that make it into an adult. So why would we not extend that same logic to the prenatal humans and say that a fetus is a human in an early stage of development?
Yes, I fully understand that children born to parents who are ill-prepared or unable to adequately provide for them will cause much hardship for both the parents and the child. However, if we are arguing that a birth into an unfavorable circumstance will result in difficulty, then we are already considering the fetus to be truly a life.
Ending a life in order to avoid personal hardship would be considered murder in any other situation; and ending a life in order to save that person from hardship would be considered a mercy killing. However, there have been scores of people who have overcome being born under unfavorable circumstances; there have even been more than a few who have achieved great things. Liz Murray came into this world in the Bronx of New York. She was born to drug-addicted parents who later contracted HIV/Aids. By 15, her mother had died, her father was forced to live in a homeless shelter, and she, too, became homeless. Today, Liz is a Harvard graduate, psychologist, and an inspirational speaker. She speaks about determination and that how no matter how hard life is you have to move on and continue to work your way through the battles. A movie was made inspired by the events of her life (Homeless to Harvard).
Oprah Winfrey was born to unwed teenage parents in Mississippi. After her birth, the two teenagers ended their relationship and she was left to be raised by her grandmother. For a large portion of her early childhood she was raised on a farm in poverty. In her adult life, she went from a radio host to a news anchor and then to a television host. Today, she has a magazine, has established a television network, built a massive corporation, and has become internationally recognized as one of the most successful people in television.
My name is Bryan Conard. I am 23 years old, and I was born to a 16 year old mother with a father that made it clear that he wasn’t going to be in my life. I’m not saying that my story is as sad or will end as greatly as Oprah’s or Liz’s, but that I almost did not get to choose how it would be written at all. Being born to someone who was still a child at the time, I came to realize that there was an obvious choice made, without my knowledge or consent, that affected the rest of my life quite literally. I believe my mother was right by not choosing abortion, but how she handled the stress of that decision at such a young age I’ll never know. She chose to put her future of schooling, career, and her dreams of going into the air force in jeopardy when she chose not to take the easy way out.
In 1991, the year I was born, 1,388,937 abortions were reported according to the C.D.C. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). That is more than the entire population of of San Diego (1,355,896 in 2013).
I’m sure that many of the parents of those aborted children chose what they did based off significant reasons which pressured them greatly; they knew that they were not suited for parenthood at the time. However, just like the two stories I shared with you, even someone born into extremely adverse conditions can overcome their circumstances and live a productive life if just given the “choice.” The pro-choice movement has emphasized the right for women to choose what happens to their bodies and their futures, but what about their child’s choice?
Without being terminated as a fetus or some other kind of unforeseen tragedy, what would have grown out of those 1,388,937 pregnancies is 1,388,937 adults. Adults who could function and make their own choices.
The abortion issue is a choice issue.
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee …” – God (Jeremiah 1:5)