When I was in my twenties, I had a friend ask me to take her to an abortion clinic. After driving her there and waiting in my car for her to return, I watched her amble from the clinic with sadness in her eyes. I wondered whether she would ever regret what she did. She has no children today – and is no longer able to conceive. She would have made a good mom.
When I was pregnant with my second son, I had an ultrasound at 15 weeks. I could see his tiny hands and feet and his little nose. I couldn’t wait to bring him into the world. That was when the nurse told me he had an echogenic heart and echogenic bowels, which she said were two soft markers for Down Syndrome. “No worries,” she said. “You can terminate the pregnancy if the results of your amniocentesis come back positive for Down Syndrome.” I froze. My world was about to abruptly change. I spent the next days combing the internet to find out what it would be like to be a mother of a child with Down Syndrome. Iceland has all but eliminated Down Syndrome from those in its population. Ultrasounds and amniocentesis procedures have led to this gruesome outcome.
At no point did my husband or I ever consider “terminating my pregnancy.” The dehumanization of my son was sickening. Days later, the negative results came in and eventually my son was born. I cannot put into words the joy a mom can feel by being the portal to the world for her children. Unspeakable joy.
In my late 20s, I had decided that I would never abort a child, but I was still pro-choice for others. That position started to change after my experience with my son. Today, I am pro-life.
Between 1973 when abortion was legalized in the U.S. and 2019, 59,902,500 children were aborted, according to the Grand Rapids Right to Life Association. The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute notes that most abortions are among the impoverished and in minority groups: 34 percent of abortions are white; 37 percent are black; 22 percent are Hispanic, and 8 percent are “other.” In 2014, 49 percent were below the poverty level while 26 percent were between 1 and 2 times the federal poverty level. Note that whites make up 60 percent of the U.S. population, while Hispanics make up 18 percent and blacks make up 13 percent and male/female distributions are almost equal. In other words, around 7 percent of the population (black women) are having 37 percent of the abortions. This is tragic. Many abortions are due to a lack of contraception, so providing easy and free access to contraception is one way to curb these numbers. There are other ways too, such as requiring ultrasounds, answering pro-choice arguments, and considering private adoptions.
According to the Pew Research Center in 2017, one in four U.S. parents are unmarried. These numbers vary as a function of one’s race. Statistica reports of U.S. Census data indicate that in 2019, 78.2 percent of the white child population were in two-parent homes, followed by 68 percent of Hispanics and 42.2 percent of blacks. Of these, 75.1 percent of whites, 60.9 percent of Hispanics, and 37.7 percent of blacks were in married two-parent homes.
Culture and Morality
Culture matters – and whether one’s culture encourages marriage or discourages it is important. Racial disparities in marital status first gained momentum in the 1960s. The breakdown of family units and resultant poverty (in some cases) have had devastating consequences to the unborn.
Most societies have legalized abortions. Just before Christmas in 2018, Ireland gave its pro-choice advocates the present they desired: legalized abortion, which resulted in mammoth celebrations that may have rivaled some of their best St. Patrick’s Day events. They took to the streets and cheered in ecstasy, waving signs about women’s freedom and their newfound “right to control their bodies.” Who knew abortions could be so intoxicating? It seems that morality in our world has taken a nosedive despite so many advances in other legal areas.
We live under laws in Western societies that are designed to elevate the individual over the collective and to respect and appreciate human rights for all. The U.S. Declaration of Independence states that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Denying any human the right to life comes from (1) arbitrarily creating assessments of what it means to be humans; and (2) dehumanizing them, calling them tissue or clumps of cells. Yet if the arbitrary assessment (such as the need to be “conscious”) doesn’t apply to all humans, it’s not consistent or valid.
A human life begins at conception – not at arbitrary dates during or after a pregnancy. Denying that is denying science.
We are not new to attempts to dehumanize to legitimate immoral actions. Recall the consequences of prior attempts to dehumanize Jews in Nazi Germany or slaves in the antebellum period.
In efforts to exalt the pro-life position, the following arguments are typically brought forth:
1. They’re safer than illegal abortions.
Over the 46-year period between 1973 and 2019, an average of around 1.3 million abortions occurred a year. Recently the numbers have been trending downward, thankfully, but the numbers are still high. The CDC reported 130,000 illegal abortions in 1972. Of these, 39 mothers died. In 1974, 17,000 illegal abortions were performed and 5 mothers died. It appears that abortions have increased by around 1000 percent, but another factor had an impact. Hawaii, New York, California, and the District of Colombia had legalized abortions in 1970, 1970, 1967, and 1971, respectively, so some were traveling to those states to perform abortions. Other states had legalized abortions in cases of rape or incest as well. In studies that have examined changes in birth rates between 1969 and 1975, a predicted yearly decline of 374,000 emerges. This suggests that the passage of pro-abortion laws at the state and federal (Roe v. Wade) levels reduced our population significantly! Furthermore, the legalization of abortion has led to significant increases in gonorrhea and syphilis.
2. The violinist argument
Imagine waking up in a hospital connected to a famous violinist. You discover that the violinist needs to be connected to you in order to survive. You didn’t consent to this, just as you didn’t consent to becoming pregnant. Therefore, you have the right to choose whether to remain connected to the violinist, just as you have the right to choose whether to allow your unborn baby to live.
One could refute this argument by stating that the violinist is not your offspring, so you don’t have any maternal obligations toward this person. But what if the violinist is your son – the one you gave up for adoption 30 years prior? And what if the violinist only needs to be connected to you for 9 months at which point the connection can be severed and he will walk away healthy?
I would argue that you have a maternal obligation to care for your son at that point, but you don’t have a legal obligation because this is such an extreme hypothetical situation that no legal decisions one way or the other are available.
3. The kidney argument
We wouldn’t legally force a mother to donate her kidney to a child, so why should we legally force a mother to allow a baby to grow in her uterus?
I heard a brilliant answer to this question on Matt Fradd’s channel. The kidney is made for the mom, while the mother’s uterus is made for the child. The purpose of the kidney is to rid one’s body of waste and toxic substances, while the purpose of the uterus (or womb) is to nourish and house a fertilized egg until the baby is ready to be delivered. Accordingly, the two are not equivalent and the argument is refuted.
4. Fetuses don’t feel pain until around 24 weeks.
In 2019, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists stated the following: “In reviewing the neuroanatomical and physiological evidence in the fetus, it was apparent that connections from the periphery to the cortex are not intact before 24 weeks of gestation and, as most neuroscientists believe that the cortex is necessary for pain perception, it can be concluded that the fetus cannot experience pain in any sense prior to this gestation.”
To be consistent, we need to apply the “lack of pain” criterion to all humans. Does the inability to perceive pain legitimize killing? What of those born with congenital insensitivity to pain and temperature? Should we kill them, just to be consistent? Of course not.
5. Fetuses aren’t conscious.
Again, consistency is key. People who are sleeping also aren’t conscious. Neither are people in a coma. Should we kill them too?
6. Rape and incest victims don’t consent.
Guttmacher Institute has indicated that 1 percent of abortions are due to rape and/or incest. We should not legislate rules based on the exception. 99 percent of abortions are by women who consented to sex. A natural consequence of sex is pregnancy, so by consenting to sex, a woman has consented to a potential pregnancy for which she should be held accountable.
Consider Ben Shapiro’s illustration. Imagine a woman is playing baseball outside of her home. She hits the ball and it flies into a neighbor’s closed window, shattering it. She didn’t intend this result to occur, yet we would still hold her accountable, because it was a possibility of her choosing to play baseball.
7. Few regret having abortions
“Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) followed 667 women across 30 clinics after they received an elective abortion, finding that the majority had either positive feelings or no emotion at all toward their decision both a week later (71%) and five years later (84%), according to a study released last week in the journal Social Science & Medicine.”
According to Professor Michael J. New, less than 40 percent of women agreed to participate in this study and 30 percent stopped responding by the end of the five-year study. Those who responded were more likely to have positive feelings.
Furthermore, the Silent No More campaign and various church ministries have worked with thousands of women and men who carry regret over the years. Sometimes they develop regret after much time has passed, wishing they would have made a different choice. Two quotes from women collected in the Silent No More campaign underscore these points.
Angela of South Carolina: “This is not a blob of tissue and the repercussions never end. This is a big business that only sees you as a commodity and has lied to you through so many channels that you now believe the lie. Had I had an ultrasound the week before my procedure there would have been another life on this planet, and one less small torn body in a plastic container somewhere in a back room.”
Keasha of New York: “I used to be Pro Choice because I didn’t know any better. Christ has opened my eyes to the truth. I want to make it my life’s mission to save those who are unable to speak for themselves and to be a voice of reason to other young ladies.”
8. The foster homes are overcrowded.
Foster homes ARE overcrowded and sadly, many children linger in the foster system, bouncing from home to home. Unfortunately, such treatment negatively impacts them, which has a detrimental impact on their potential for adoption into “forever homes.” Couples are also hesitant because the birth parents and extended families are given priority over the adoptive parents and foster systems are set up to reunite children with their birth parents. When people adopt children from foster homes and bond with them, it can be heartbreaking when a birth parent takes them back.
Private adoptions are a good option. According to various sources associated with American Adoptions and Life News, there are about 2 million infertile couples waiting to adopt children. For every child put up for adoption, 36 couples are available. Many of these couples are willing to adopt babies of all ethnicities, as evidenced at the American Adoptions website. Many couples are also willing to adopt “regardless of the child’s medical problems such as Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, HIV infection or [being] terminally ill. Dr. Brad Imler, President of America’s Pregnancy Helpline, confirms the challenge of waiting couples by stating: ‘Only 1 percent of the Helpline’s annual 40,000 clients inquires about adoption but private adoption opportunities are abundant.’”
Adoption is the best option for those who can’t care for their offspring through life. This option is available to all, even the most impoverished, which is the group hardest hit by abortions. Private adoption agencies can assist them with their hospital and living expenses.
The day the world realizes that our unborn children are not mere clumps of cells or tissue but intrinsically valuable human lives is the day we will find ourselves in heaven. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
 Raley, R.K., Sweeney, M.M., & Wondra, D. (2016). The growing racial and ethnic divide in U.S. marriage patterns. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4850739/
 Joyce, T., Ruoding, T., and Zang, Y. (2013). Abortion before & after Roe. Journal of Health Economics, 32(5), 804-815.
 Klick, J. and Stratmann, T. (2003). The effect of abortion legalization on sexual behavior: Evidence from sexually transmitted diseases. The Journal of Legal Studies, 32(2), 407-433.
 Baer, M. (2020). Abortion regret isn’t a myth, despite new study. Christianity Today, January 22.
 Brown, K.B. (2012). Why do more people choose abortion over adoption? Life News, May 17.