July 22, 2008

The Health Of The Mother Exception

Over the years since Roe v. Wade, many have stated that they are against abortion unless it's for the health of the mother. This exception is common when legislation concerning abortion is debated. What does "health of the mother" really mean? In the case of Doe v. Bolton in 1973, the Supreme Court issued their opinion about it. In this companion case to Roe v. Wade, the Court stated that a woman may obtain an abortion after viability, if necessary to protect her "health." The Court defined "health" as:

July 10, 2008

What's Really Behind The Abortion Decision

For many years, we have heard pro-choicers give numerous reasons for their position, such as: It's in the woman's body, so it's her decision; it's not a human; it's a human, but it will interfere with my work or school; I'm just not ready to have a child, etc. When you examine all the justifications closely, it seems that there is one underlying reason for abortion. It clearly is a self-centered view of the world by the people involved in the abortion decision. Even the title "pro-choice" could easily be changed to "pro-me" or "pro-self," and it would mean exactly the same.

Over the past 30-40 years, our culture has changed, in general, from one of self-sacrifice and sense of community to one of being self-centered. In the 1950s and 1960s, many families had five or six children. You were taught that you were one of a group, and the world did not revolve around you. In general, children didn't go on long vacations every year. If you did, the parents really sacrificed economically so the whole family could drive to Disneyland or wherever. You learned by watching your parents about the sacrifices you had to make to raise a family.

From the late 1970s until today, most families have had only one to three children. A high percentage of those parents indulge their children in whatever activity they want to do, no matter how much it costs. Many parents give the impression, either intended or unintended, that the child is so important that the world often revolves around them. "If it feels like you should do something, do it." If something does happen to go wrong, the child doesn't have to face the consequences because many parents are there to bail them out. They don't need to have self-sacrifice because parents don't want their children to suffer in any way, even though this suffering often will make them stronger. Of course, these are generalizations, but it is all too prevalent in our society.

When the young woman gets pregnant, the logical conclusion is "How does this affect me personally?" How does it affect my school, career, or social life?" What's the quickest way to alleviate my problem?" These kinds of reasons sometimes do not seem that they are adequate, so those who support abortion have to come up with the other responses as to why abortion should be acceptable. Then they have to justify it by using "it's my body, it's not human, it's a parasite, etc." To many, this reasoning is easy since they are implementing their belief system that has permeated their entire life.

Another by-product of this self-absorption view is the change over the years of being an young, unwed pregnant girl. Thirty to forty years ago there was a strong stigma attached to being pregnant in high school. Thus, it was very rare to see. Of course, today there is very little negative reaction to a pregnant teenager. If something is universally acceptable, it's much easier to engage in that activity. Also, since there are so many more pregnant teens, the possibility of abortion becomes even greater.

The pro-lifer has to find a way to deflect the self-absorption of the pro-choice person and get them to focus on the unborn child. This is a hard nut to crack because you're trying to change someone's belief system they have always had. It can be very frustrating, because it seems so obvious that there is a baby that is being killed in the abortion procedure. Often it may look like you're not making any progress, but you are planting a seed in the pro-choicer's mind. If they actually are confronted with the abortion decision, it is very possible that what they have heard from a pro-lifer will surface.