Since the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, there have been an estimated 50 million abortions. This number is greater than the current population of any state, including California. This number is greater than the populations of major countries such as Spain, Canada, and England. While it is true that legalizing abortion caused this number to expand, had abortion remained illegal 50 million additional children would have been born to parents that did not want them, could not care for them, or lacked the emotional or financial means to provide for them. Even assuming that a small percentage could have been adopted by good families, and women with financial means were able to have abortions (as there will always be doctors willing to perform the practice at a certain price), there would still be millions of unwanted children that would need our support. When discussing the issue of abortion, the ramifications of illegality are rarely discussed, and thus the debates remain short-sighted.
I am pro-life. I believe that abortion should be avoided, with the exception of rape or when the mother’s life is in jeopardy. I understand the emotion behind this issue, and many of you may be listing five different reasons why I am out of touch or why this position might be inferred to disrespect women. Let me further explain my point of view.
I am pro-life in a larger context. For many on the right side of the political spectrum, a pro-life stance drives discussion around the sanctity of the embryo. Typically there is little discussion around what happens to that unborn child once it arrives in the world. What I find most alarming about the issue is the intensity of the right to fight for the child’s existence but somehow that same intensity disappears after that miraculous organism draws their first breath. I believe that the rights of the embryo do not stop after birth, but should instead be supported by society in the best manner possible. To disagree might indicate the use of the embryo merely as a prop to support an ideological position.
Over the past several decades there have been many laws passed by the government that support children. From after-school programs to educational grants, children’s health insurance, and food stamps, the government has stepped in to support underprivileged children. Most of these programs have passed with near partisan support, primarily driven by Democrats. Presidents Obama and Clinton have driven more legislation that assists underprivileged children than any other presidents since FDR. For those who understand the childhood history of these two presidents, their passion and understanding of what is necessary to help bridge the resource gap is not surprising. As we debate laws and legislation that affect children, we need to recognize that government can be a solution.
Many will say that pro-life refers only to the unborn child, but to me this concept stretches further. Christ said “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” If we truly are pro-life and fight to halt the onerous practice of abortion, we need to remember that the birth of a child is not the end, but the beginning.