Abortion Again

Abortion is never far from the headlines. And in a sense, that is a good thing. The taking of innocent human life should never become mundane, commonplace or acceptable. Given the enormous consequences of the practice, it should always be newsworthy. Indeed, just as Wilberforce and the abolitionists had to keep slavery in the public spotlight until enough revulsion of the practice led to its downfall, so too abortion needs to stay in the limelight until it also becomes the object of public disgust.

But abortion can also be in the news for wrong reasons as well. For example, the issue is once again on the front pages because of a move to see it decriminalised altogether in Victoria. Labor MP Candy Broad has introduced a bill to see abortion decriminalised, and the resultant debate is again upon us.

There were two articles in today’s onlineopinion on the topic of abortion. One was a good examination of the bill and why it must be rejected. The other was a rather silly piece seeking to convince us that abortion is no big deal.

Let me deal with the latter piece first. Written by Adelaide geneticist, Michael Lardelli, the article seeks to answer the question, When does human life begin? He answers this by suggesting that individual humans are simply part of a larger humanity, and indeed, part of a bigger biology, making us not all that unique.

He says sperm and eggs are alive, so the question of when human life begins may be redundant. Indeed, he suggests we are all part of an evolutionary movement anyway, so talk of the beginning of individual human life may be pointless. We are part of a bigger chain of being, including non-humans, so talk of an individual soul may have to give way to the notion of either no soul, or some universal soul.

And if we are to try to decide the question, he takes the usual secular utilitarian approach: “Presumably, any definition of humanity will involve the development of our uniquely capable brain”.

But there are plenty of problems with this whole line of reasoning. First of all, he is wrong to imply that the debate about abortion hinges on the question of when human life begins. Actually there are three questions that can be raised, and two of them are quickly disposed of.

The first question often asked about the newly formed human embryo is this: Is it alive? Well, unless tampered with, it will simply grow and develop: it has a metabolism, the original cell continues dividing, and so on. So of course it is alive.

The second question is also a bit of a no-brainer: Is it human? The profound answer is this: a human embryo is human. It will not develop into a carrot, a dingo or a bit of Lego. Only a dingo embryo will develop into a fully formed dingo. And only a human embryo will continue to mature as a human.

But it is the third question that becomes the sticking point: Is it a person? No, according to the pro-death camp. They take a very utilitarian and functional approach to this question. Someone is a person only if he or she meets certain criteria, and/or is able to perform certain functions.

Thus many speak of sentience or consciousness or other tests for personhood. But the problem with all these tests is that we all fail them all the time. When we are in a coma, or in deep sleep, many of the proposed criteria no longer apply. Do we really waver between personhood and nonpersonhood on a regular basis, depending on our capacities and functions?

The more helpful approach is to argue for personhood as an essential characteristic of all human beings, not some secondary attribute. And even the most die hard utilitarians, when pressed, will acknowledge this.

For example, utilitarian philosopher and atheist Peter Singer quickly abandoned his long held view of personhood – at least temporarily – when his own mother was struck down with Alzheimers. He did all he could to look after her and keep her alive, even though under his own utilitarian worldview, she was not a person, and therefore should have been bumped off to make room for more deserving “persons”.

So the newly formed embryo is not a potential person, but a person with great potential. In the same way, an acorn does not at some future point become an oak tree. It already is one, but at an early stage of development. Or it can be said that an oak tree is a more fully formed acorn.

Trying to find some arbitrary point at which personhood begins (the formation of the brain stem, the development of the nervous system, at viability, at birth, etc.) is simply a philosophical cop-out. Gradualism need not even come into the discussion. A basic embryology textbook will do. We know that from the moment of conception a genetically distinct and unique individual is formed. And that is a human person, a person who has a fundamental right to life.

So all the pointless sophistry of Mr Lardelli need not distract us. But things like the complete decriminalisation of abortion should get our attention. The second article, by Melbourne writer David Palmer, nicely lays out the case for resisting such a move.

Says Palmer, “there are sound reasons why Parliament should reject any attempt to decriminalise abortion. The major problem with making abortion legal without qualification as Ms Broad’s Bill does, is that the general public, including the young, will begin to think of abortion – once considered morally wrong, or at the very least morally dubious – as morally right. Abortion is not morally right. Even the ancient Greeks recognised the value of the unborn so that Hippocrates bound all doctors in his oath against procuring an abortion.”

He continues, “The proposed changes to the law basically treat an abortion like any other medical procedure, when in fact it is a developing unborn child with its own unique DNA material which is being aborted. The Bill institutionalises abortion on demand – any pregnant woman at any stage in her pregnancy up to term can go to a medical practitioner and demand an abortion. The Bill fails to acknowledge and describe the alternatives to abortion that preserve the life of the developing unborn child.”

With many other medical procedures, there are compulsory warnings about possible risk; mandatory counselling is often involved; and films are often shown of the procedure. Not so with abortion. “There is no requirement in the Bill to warn women of the risks associated with abortion. It does nothing to address the trauma that many women undergo for decades after an abortion: flashbacks, anniversary reactions, temptations to suicide, difficulties in maintaining and developing relationships, turning to drugs, increased susceptibility to breast or other cancers, and so on.”

Indeed, there “is no requirement for independent pre-termination counselling from someone who is not an advocate of abortion and therefore no cooling off period between counselling and possible abortion of the developing unborn child. Nor is there any provision for post termination follow up.”

It is claimed that this legislation is necessary to safeguard both doctors and women against the threat of prosecution. Says Palmer, “This also is a nonsense claim. Who in the recent past has faced prosecution in Victoria other than the doctor who aborted a 32-week-old dwarf who wasn’t a dwarf?”

Ms Broad also claims that this bill will keep abortion safe and legal. But “who says abortion is a safe procedure? Certainly not for the unborn child. There is nothing in her Bill that renders abortion safe.”

The truth is, this is just another attempt to further normalise a barbaric and life-taking procedure that has no place in a civilised society. As Palmer says, the real message that needs to be heard is this: “Abortion is bad: there are far too many of them, and so the question to our politicians is, ‘what are you doing to reduce the number of them?’”

www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=6231
www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=6220

[1342 words]

55 Replies to “Abortion Again”

  1. The total decriminalisation of abortion has to be viewed in a much wider context than simply the surgical removal of millions of lumps of flesh that are surplus to requirements. It has to be seen in the context of state controlled sex education, state welfare, the definition of a family, economics and many other interrelated issues. Looking at the dates of these articles, one can see that Britain, humanly speaking, has passed a point of no return and shows no sign of being able to pull out of a suicidal dive.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/3709681.stm
    http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=274
    http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=247
    http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=301
    http://www.melaniephillips.com/articles-new/?p=373

    David Skinner, UK

  2. Thanks again Bill.

    Many I speak to who have seen the film Amazing Grace are challenged by the new abolition fight – Abortion.

    Like Wilberforce, like David Palmer and like Bill, we need to keep highlighting and detailing abortion and keep working towards it’s end.

    I also read (I think it’s only intimated in the film) that Wilberforce once spoke in Parliament for 3.5 hours straight! We need to be speaking the detailed horrors of abortion – yes the graphic, horrific details – in the public sphere.

    Like Wilberforce making those ‘upper class’ actually breathe the smell of death from a slave ship, showing and describing the chains and building an imitation box, we need to continually describe the details of abortion.

    Would you even like me to describe some details of the ‘procedure’ here? We may end up being tormented like Wilberforce, but it is something that should torment us.

    Jeremy Peet

  3. Thanks Jeremy

    Of course there are a number of different abortion procedures, all pretty ghastly. Some of them have been described on this site already, especially late-term abortion. In this case a picture is certainly worth a thousand words, and my text-only website may need to include some pictures at some point.

    We effectively use pictures of baby seals being clubbed to death, for example, to help change public opinion. Yet the mainstream media almost never allows a description of what takes place during an abortion, let alone offer any pictures of the bloody aftermath.

    So yes, my any and every means, we need to get the truth of abortion out into the public arena.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  4. Has Peter Singer won? He has won the heart of Candy Broad, it seems!

    Allowing to be killed one hour before birth, or even during birth, as long as the head has not passed the cervix!

    She must be publicly held to account for the implications of what she desires. I would venture to say that 99% of the public would agree this is the murder of a baby. She may argue that this is not the intention of her legislation and perhaps say ‘nobody would ever do that’ – yeah, sure, there goes another flying pig!

    It makes me so angry that people argue about the utility of this issue and not whether it is right or wrong. (Or dare I say it, good or evil)

    Dale Flannery

  5. Hi Bill,

    I sent a letter to The Age a few weeks back that got a particularly vitriolic reply on someone’s blog. I sent the link to some friends and they were astonished at what kind of attitude some people can have. I’m personally not bothered by it (I actually find it kind of funny), but it does give an insight into the state of mind of some of the abortion advocates.

    http://audreyapple.blogspot.com/2007/07/rightwing-checklist-for-letters-you-may.html

    Mark Rabich

  6. Note that the pro-lifers generally stick to real science, such as the beginning of human life at fertilization; it’s the pro-aborts who resort to the quasi-religious airy-fairy stuff about “personhood”.

    Even the pro-abortion magazine New Scientist to admit (189(2543):8–9, 18 March 2006):

    The task force finds that the new recombinant DNA technologies indisputably prove that the unborn child is a whole human being from the moment of fertilization, that all abortions terminate the life of a human being, and that the unborn child is a separate human patient under the care of modern medicine.

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  7. Thanks Mark

    Yes your experience is most typical. The other side seldom relies on intelligent, informed debate. Most often, they hurl abuse, attack the person, and resort to emotive name-calling. This simply demonstrates the paucity of their case. Their arguments have no legs to stand on, so they depend on vitriol and mud-slinging.

    I am glad you are able to stand the heat, and remain in the kitchen. Too many others on our side never enter into the debate, because they can’t handle the abuse and nastiness. While I can understand their reticence, these battles are too important for us to succumb to cowardice. We must become involved, even if there is a high price to pay.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  8. Dear Bill, Along with the homosexual, euthanasia and anti-smacking campaigns , the abortion issue also has to be seen in the context of how far Christians are prepared to suffer and identify with Christ crucified.

    http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=edponline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED05%20May%202006%2009%3A38%3A55%3A650
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/mick_hume/article716301.ece
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/6364401.stm

    This prompted an MP in the House of Commons to make this statement with a view to having a proper debate and making a plea for Mr Atkinson to have his hip operation

    “That this House notes that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn, withdrew all non-life-threatening treatment from 74-year-old pensioner, Edward Atkinson, when he was discharged from prison having served 21 days of a 28-day sentence; notes that his offence was sending pictures of aborted infants to hospital staff; further notes that the pictures were described as indecent or grossly offensive but stresses that, although the pictures are extremely disturbing, nobody has denied their accuracy; further notes that this explains in great part the growing NHS problem of young doctors refusing to carry out abortions so that hospitals are compelled to refer cases to clinics where the NHS finances the operations; notes, furthermore, that Mr Atkinson regarded the exercise as educational and at no time came into contact with or spoke to any member of the hospital staff nor did he address them abusively in letters sent with the photographs; notes, moreover, that he has never been accused of threatening behaviour and therefore cannot be accused of physical or verbal abuse of staff; further notes that, unless the behaviour of criminals is deemed to be a threat to hospital staff, they are always provided with appropriate medical and hospital care and they are not banned from such when discharged from prison having served their sentences; and calls on the Government to require the Queen Elizabeth Hospital to provide Mr Atkinson with hospital care as necessary, including the hip replacement operation he needs and continued care for diabetes at the hospital clinic from which he is now banned.”

    What might be shocking and completely unacceptable behaviour has almost overnight become respectable and what was previously considered to be decent and responsible behaviour has become criminal. Morality has become completely turned on its head. Without any fixed, absolute point of reference, human nature has a way of accommodating and becoming comfortable over a period of time with a state of hell. It can gradually sleep walk into becoming hardened and desensitised to barbarism, until what was considered abnormal or deviant becomes the norm, as happened in Nazi Germany, Russia, China, Cambodia and now- even Britain. Just as the townspeople of Auschwitz, and Belsen, who were forced to march out and see the death camps on the outskirts of their towns refused to believe that Germany could commit such atrocities, so we too attempt to ignore the growing evil in our nation. Almost without exception when such upright citizens were questioned about there complicity in such horrors ,they would point to their neighbour and say that they were no better or worse than them. This is not science fiction; we have already travelled far down this road, unaware of the growing dark or unfamiliarity of the landmarks.

    The question is how many of us will have the same courage to make a stand and be prepared to go to prison?
    David Skinner, UK

  9. How very interesting that all of the commentors on this page are men…As someone who’s had two abortions, I find it highly insulting that any of you could possibly presume to understand the reasons that women have abortions. As for David Palmer’s “There is no requirement in the Bill to warn women of the risks associated with abortion. It does nothing to address the trauma that many women undergo for decades after an abortion: flashbacks, anniversary reactions, temptations to suicide, difficulties in maintaining and developing relationships, turning to drugs, increased susceptibility to breast or other cancers, and so on.” – all I can say is that I’ve spoken and worked with a number of women who’ve had abortions and all of them have described relief at not having to bring a baby into the world that they didn’t want, couldn’t look after, or couldn’t face bringing into a domestic environment that was unstable and sometimes violent.

    I think you’ll find that the real reason statistics like Palmer’s get bandied about are because women still feel pressure to express guilt over their choice – ‘it was the hardest decision I ever made’ etc. Here’s news for you – it’s not a difficult decision at all for many women. As for remember anniversaries, I have no idea of the exact dates I had the procedures.

    But I guess it makes it easier for men like you to write off the opinions of women like me by saying that we resort to name calling and ugly attacks rather than facts. Given that you ignore the facts that we offer to you – namely, our EXPERIENCES – it’s little wonder.

    Thanks for the laugh though Mark – I found it amusing to see you’d googled yourself the other week to find my site. Perhaps you should consider installing a statcounter so you can track all of the ill-informed, nasty, rabid feminist leftoids that read your letters and deride them as being self-righteous and manipulative claptrap.

    Audrey Apple

  10. Thanks Audrey

    I have let you on, even though we can assume you have not used your full, real name here, as per my blog rules.

    There would be many women who share the views of the pro-lifers featured here. And to imply that males have no right to discuss this issue is not really helpful, especially given that half of all victims of abortion are males.

    While we do understand that these are difficult choices faced by women in difficult situations, taking the life of a very young baby is not the solution. But thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  11. Real name – Clementine Ford.

    I’m not implying that men have no right to discuss the issue of abortion. I’m saying that they have no right to project their own sense of morality on a woman’s body, when it’s the woman who definitely has to bear the emotional and physical strain, and sometimes the financial strain, of having a baby. Until men can experience the often unpleasant feeling of being pregnant, asserting their moral judgement in these matters seems to be what is truly unhelpful.

    And for the record, having experienced the first trimester of pregnancy, I can say that the so called ‘baby’ inside me felt nothing more than a particularly invasive bodily distress.

    Clementine Ford

  12. Hello Audrey Apple, As a woman who also has had 2 abortions, I disagree with you completely, totally and utterly. Abortion means the death of my son and daughter.,and your two children: sons or daughters. Two children or human beings who had a right to their own life.
    What does concern me about your post is how cold and callous you are. You took two of your children to be killed and feel no guilt about it? Good for you, how courageous.
    You must be the new type of female breed who mates and hates.
    As for me, I have regretted my decision for nearly 30 and 28 years respectively. I have experienced, flashbacks, unresolved grief, depression, PND, and years of nightmares of crying babies. And no I wasn’t religious, so you cannot say it was my religiosity that was responsible.
    You see dear madam, abortion is always situation specific, you dont always stay in the situation you find yourself in at the time of the abortion decision. Time is a cruel traveller.
    Today I should have had a son and daughter sitting at my table, with the other children. They are not there and neither are their children.
    As far as your friends you have had abortions because they didnt want to bring children into the world. Imagine just the words “kill them, we dont want to bring them into the world” These are children we are talking about, not ants.
    Hannah Smith

  13. Thanks Clementine

    But think about what you are saying here. Abortion of necessity is a moral issue, because the life of a human being is ended. Are you suggesting that something as important as that cannot be moralised about? I have never been raped, but I can and must moralise about it, and say it is wrong, even though I have not experienced it.

    Your reasoning would imply that non-slave owners have no right to moralise about slavery, because they have never had the experience of owning slaves. Or non-slaves have no right to moralise about slavery, because they have never had the experience of being a slave.

    Issues of right and wrong have to be debated on their own merits, not on the basis of whether they have been experienced or not.

    And the fact that your abortions have meant little or nothing to you, or to some of your friends, does not mean they have no or little impact on other women. Many women experience years of grief and remorse over their abortions.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  14. Dear Audrey/Clementine,

    My heart goes out to you. How many years have you had to force down those feelings of sadness caused by the loss of your two children through abortion?

    I have spoken to many many women who have had abortions – 1 told me she had had 3 abortions and she “was fine” then burst into tears. Another too insisted how ‘fine’ she was with it all – as we talked further and I mentioned that abortion affects women in different ways, some become promiscious, others keep totally away from men, she gasped, yes, gasped and said, “Until you said that I had never related my not going out with any guy for 10 years to my abortion. I had my abortion at 23 and I am now 33 and I have not been out with another guy”.

    So post abortion trauma affects everyone differently. Do you find you feel intensely angry but it is an inner anger and when you look at it honestly, you realise it is not really directed to those around you but actually at yourself? Do you dispise children? Or look at little tiny babies and wish…..

    As I said at the beginning, and I am sincere, my heart goes out to you. The pain, recognised or held down, is deep and sadly, will be lasting.

    Peace to you,

    Teresa Martin

  15. Dear Clementine, Having read the Audrey Appleyard blog, flagged up by Mark, it strikes me that your emotions run deep. It is not only anger, frustration, self pity and hate that seethe across your blog, but cynicism and despair. I have no idea, what fills your life or brings you lasting satisfaction. What’s your poison? What do you recommend?

    Clementine, you seem to be convinced that this life is meaningless and futile. You seem to have proved to yourself that there is no limit to human depravity. Isn’t it the case that the madness and evil we see around us is everything to do with our own self-absorption, callousness, bitterness, pride and deceitfulness – traits, no matter how hard we try to subdue, we find almost impossible to control – and that this has nothing to do with inequality, male chauvinism or social deprivation?

    But you know what Clementine? You will never ever outrun one person’s love for you. “Well, fine.” you might say, “This is a nice guy but naïve and deluded – what good does that do?” The answer is that this is no ordinary guy. Millions of Christians, many in far deeper pits than you or I have ever been, can testify that the death of one man, Jesus Christ, was no ordinary death. It brought peace between them and the God we all know is there but whom we naturally refuse to acknowledge. And Jesus Christ returned from the dead. There is nothing you can do to reverse, diminish or add to this event – except one thing; and that is thank him for loving you so much, that he was prepared go to lengths of suffering that you and I are incapable of conceiving; say sorry for your past life and ask him to come and rule in your life. The alternative is to gamble on the belief that death will simply bring obliteration and oblivion. I pray Clementine, from the bottom of heart that you will choose to live.

    David SKinner, UK

  16. Bill, well done on the article.

    I note your use of the Wilberforce method of raising concern, but believe that the anti-slavery movement provides an even stronger analogy and hopefully motivation, for those against abortion.

    At heart Wilberforce was moved by the dehumanising effect of slavery, the fact that its very existence held one class of people to be less human than others.

    Abortion does exactly the same thing, and for that reason is an equal cause for this Century. More than that, like slavery, it is a casue that in the end cannot be denied,

    Jim Wallace, MD ACL

  17. I have never had an abortion, but I have friends who have. With the statistics now showing that one in three women in Australia will submit to this violence (most reluctantly), the majority of us will have friends and family who have. My friends (the ones who can talk about it) share stories of deep grief and feelings of anger that they were not informed or warned of the aftermath which followed their “procedure”. I am opposed to the decrimalisation of abortion for many reasons. I am also opposed to Government funding of abortion. I think it is only a matter of time before Governments will have to face the fact that they are breaching a duty of care in condoning and financing this violence against women and their babies. I sure wouldn’t want to be the Premier of Victoria now, and can’t help wondering if Bracksie felt the same way.
    Julie Robinson

  18. Sometimes I wonder about the point of posting to these discussions on abortion. There is no concensus between those who oppose it and those who endorse it and there cannot be.
    Abotion is about life and death – absolutes. One one side there is truth: abortion kills a defenceless human being. The mother is always wounded spiritually and psychologically and sometimes physically. Abortion is always objectively evil and never neccessary.
    The opposing view employs lies, obfuscation and lateral irrationalities. Women who abort are no judge of whether abortion has harmed them or not . People commit all sorts of crimes. Some repent, some don’t. Crime is still crime.
    Recently in Melbourne 900 people peacefully rallied to the steps of Parliament House to protest against Candy Broad’s decriminalisation of abortion Bill. Twelve bellowing, shrieking, screaming people employed megaphones and whistles to proclaim their support for abortion. Their conduct exposes the wickedness of abortion.
    Babies come from God. Abortion comes from the devil. Judging the motives and the souls of those who perform and have abortions is none of our business – God alone can do that.
    Maryse Usher

  19. As the good citizens of many German towns were forced to march out and see for themselves what their nation had done to the Jews, at the end of World War 11 and – I believe – to assist in burying the dead, so too the whole grisly procedure of abortion – clinically and not so clinically done – should be shown nationally on TV. Why should this be kept from the nation, when our children are watching, late into the night, pornography and violence of another kind, on TV and computer screens in their own bedrooms? The extraordinary claims of those hospital managers – very often women themselves- who say that they and their staff, as a consequence of such exposure are suffering some kind of emotional abuse and violence deserves public screening itself, just as the the trials of Nuremberg were universly shown. The evil that is done in the dark should be broadcast from the roof tops. Having said that, it is all very well for us to condemn Clementine’s defiance but let us also examine the dark and unsurrendered parts of our own lives, knowing that one day they too will be exposed to God’s blinding light.

    http://new.edp24.co.uk/content/news/story.aspx?brand=EDPOnline&category=News&tBrand=edponline&tCategory=news&itemid=NOED05%20May%202006%2009%3A38%3A55%3A650
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/mick_hume/article716301.ece
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/6364401.stm

    David Skinner, UK

  20. I’ve been watching this and her blog (with a new post!) since last night.

    http://audreyapple.blogspot.com/2007/08/return-of-rabich.html

    I just want to make it absolutely clear that I feel no animosity towards her, only a degree of sadness. I just found many of the things she (and others) wrote highly ironic, especially when they attempted to appeal to intellect, all the while insulting! But as David has pointed out, we are far from perfect ourselves and we have no real righteousness to be proud about. Opposing abortion is not about “projecting” my own morality as she claims – it’s just one part of an appeal to a higher standard for everybody, and that includes me. And it’s not as if she doesn’t want to push her own creed – relativism – onto me or us anyway. “You don’t have to have an abortion if you don’t want one.” Spare me. Try this – “You don’t have to kill Jews if you don’t want to.”

    As I mentioned in my original letter to The Age, my German background makes for an interesting take on the issue. My mother recognizes the similarities – she was 16 when the war ended and her part of Germany was overrun with Russians. My dad was drafted in 1943 as a 17 year old and after watching one of his mates get shot next to him, was captured by Americans and became a POW in England for 2 years. Both of them came to recognize the inherent danger in creating a class of sub-humans (or untermenschen – a word that got cut from my Age letter) for any reason whatsoever. I’ve no doubt that back then many Germans initially thought slightly dubious things were OK for the greater good of rebuilding the nation, but I don’t know how many times it needs to be said that the end never justifies the means. The Germans – to their credit – generally recognize today that they were a technologically advanced nation that managed to make some massive moral mistakes (eg. public display of Nazi symbols will get you prosecuted). Unfortunately, people don’t want to acknowledge the strong parallels between this and abortion. They should speak to my mum.

    Audrey/Clementine/? obviously finds this kind of thing incredibly confronting and feels compelled to respond a certain way. I don’t feel inclined to respond similarly. After 2 abortions and her apparent ongoing commitment to selfishness (read her blogs!), her reaction is hardly surprising. I would be happy to listen to her story uninterrupted, even if it simply meant that she could know she didn’t have to be so caustic about life to everybody. I hope and pray that somewhere within her there is still a slight receptiveness to light that God can speak to one day. And, btw, thank you to Hannah, Teresa, Maryse & Julie for effectively putting a bit of a spanner into the “it’s only men” idea. It’s ridiculous that people want to believe that when its so demonstrably untrue. The membership of pro-life groups is virtually always majority women. Maybe us blokes sit in front of the computer too much…

    Mark Rabich

  21. Abolitionists thought that slavery was a moral evil upon which there could be no compromise. Like them, pro-lifers only have one real choice: To rise up against the slaughter of the innocent, the most innocent and defenseless of all human beings. And just as slavery one day was stopped, so we too hope that one day the barbaric practice of abortion will also come to an end.
    Augusto Zimmermann

  22. Women can say men don’t have the right to an opinion on abortion unless they go through the same thing, but until any of us, especially women, can experience the horrendous procedure of being aborted, asserting our judgment on this matter is also suspect.
    Bringing a baby into this world is our charge, but ending its life is not our right!
    Ania Majdali

  23. It is interesting, to say the least, how many women use the argument that they are the ones involved and that abortions in no way effect the male.
    What a load of rot!
    Many years ago a young girl that I was engaged to had an abortion.
    I still wonderr what sex the baby was, what would the baby have grown to be, would the baby have had children that would have been my grand children.
    Ther are these and more questions.
    Just after the abortion the guilt that we both had destroyed our relationship.
    The fruit of all relationships are children and we had effectively said to each other that the future we contemplated was secondary to our own personal needs and that there was no committment.
    I feel sorry for young people who make unwise decisions based on acadamia and not experience.
    What happened to myself occurred over 30 years ago but the guilt still hurts and has grown more intense with every passing year.
    I urge every person who look at abortion as a quick fix, as a solution to an immediate problem, this is not the case.
    There is a guilt factor that will never leave you, it will always be there, you have effectively murdered your own child.
    A baby in the womb is NOT a potential person; IT IS a living person WITH potential.
    There is no such thing as an unwanted child, there are literally thousands of childless couples who would do anything and give anything to become parents.
    Please do not argue that men do not care; we do. The effects have as much a bearing on our life as on the female.
    Jim Sturla

  24. Hi Audrey,

    I think many men *can* understand the reasons women have abortions simply because many have been in relationships with women and have been involved in the decision making. I know one man who decided with his partner that they would terminate the pregnancy. He has told me that he and her (since broken up) have since cried and regretted the decision. Now that he has a new relationship and three children he cannot be in the same room as a conversation about abortion – he gets too upset. He looks at his children and thinks that there should be one more and he wonders about that child. Now I acknowledge that not all people have the same experience of abortion, yet the proabortion people deny that grieving people exist, because it undermines their assertion that abortion is as routine as a haircut.
    Having said that Audrey I do agree that some people who have an opinion against abortion are also not fully aware of all the issues surrounding unplanned pregnancy. It is inherently wrong to rail against women who have abortions or who are considering abortion without offering viable alternatives and supporting policies that would benefit women and children. Domestic violence is one issue that springs to mind – a woman in these circumstances should not be forced to be in contact with an abusive man because they both have a child, yet this is the position that many women are forced into. If women have the “choice” between having an abortion and fortnightly visits with an abusive man, is there really a choice? I think not.
    I will add that the prolife movement is not full of men – from my own personal experience I would guess 90% women. Women do care about other women and we care about their children too. I heard a woman politician the other day (can’t remember her name) talking about her own abortion. She more or less said that her own abortion was the result of not being able to continue along her education and career path and not having enough money if she had a child. She said something along the lines of “if a woman doesn’t have the resources to have a child, she probably shouldn’t.” I think this is very sad and in fact – abandonment. If it were me speaking, I would say “if a woman doesn’t have the resources to have a child – she should ask for help and we should be prepared to give it.”

    Elka Ritson

  25. Elka, you said “It is inherently wrong to rail against women who have abortions or who are considering abortion without offering viable alternatives and supporting policies that would benefit women and children.”

    I challenge that type of thinking. If we really believe abortion to be murder, then why is it “inherently wrong” to condemn the practice without offering “viable alternatives”? In effect, what you are saying is that it is OK for a mother to have an abortion in the absence of “viable alternatives”.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  26. Thanks Elka and Ewan

    I think you are both right. Abortion is wrong, full stop. But yes, to lessen abortion, we really should be offering constructive alternatives to it.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  27. Hi Ewan,

    How can I put this……It is not wrong to condemn the practice, we should not back away from stating the truth of the matter. It is wrong to condemn the women who have done this or who are considering it if we are not going to offer them a way out. Women aren’t doing this because it’s fun, they are doing this through lack of choice, parental coercion, partner coercion, the eugenics nature of the medical profession and more recently a study revealed that domestic violence was a huge factor – and lastly, i believe, lack of education about their own bodies and the development of their child.

    If we as prolife people offer condemnation instead of support – well, the abortion clinics are offering a “safe, legal procedure that will take around 5 minutes.” “Caring, compassionate staff” and the ability to “get your life back on track” (the advertisement for a clinic in last year’s yellow pages). We have to be better than that – we have to take up the challenge to be there for women.

    Elka Ritson

  28. Elka, obviously we are on the same side on this issue, but I am still critical of the often repeated mantra that suggests we can’t condemn abortion unless we are prepared to offer all kinds of incentives to stop mothers (and fathers) from killing their own children. The two issues should not be linked in this way. The fact is that we in the West in general and in Australia in particular, have the best medical care, the most generous welfare system, the most comfortable lives, et cetera, of any society that has ever lived in the history of the world, and yet some would say that all this is an inadequate alternative to abortion.

    What if it were legal to kill a child up to the age of 12 months? Let me rephrase your earlier statement to make my point: “It is inherently wrong to rail against women who [terminate their 12 month old children] or who are considering [the termination of their 12 month old child] without offering viable alternatives and supporting policies that would benefit women and children.”

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  29. Hi Ewan,
    Thanks for your response and I do see your point. However I didn’t say that we can’t condemn abortion, I said we shouldn’t condemn women who have been in the tragic situation of having undergone one. I think it is wrong to recognise a problem as serious as this and then to not act to change it. *That* is what i believe to be wrong.
    I think you may be misunderstanding me and think I’m employing the often used PC argument of “are you going to look after all the unwanted babies?” And that if I don’t put up my hand to personally look after all the “unwanted” babies then I cannot oppose abortion.
    That’s not what I’m trying to communicate.
    Regarding your paraphrase – again I see your point. I think it is a valid comparison of course, however women undergoing abortion I believe are largely ignorant or in denial regarding the development and humanity of their child. Women with a 12 month old baby can really not make this mistake. I look forward to your response.
    Elka Ritson

  30. I’ve been trying to imagine what it would be like if the pro-life cause had an unlimited budget for advertising – what would we say? I know this is hypothetical, but it got me thinking about how the resultant change of public opinion would inevitably occur. I considered it highly likely that there would by nature be a transitional period where some would be extremely highly offended and rage against the message even more, despite the fact they would be fighting a losing battle.

    Perhaps this hypothetical example can help us with dealing with reactions to the pro-life message now. We’ve already witnessed how someone as defiant and strident as Clementine will react – and she believes, at least in part, in defence of women who are under extremely difficult circumstances – to being given the full truth. She just doesn’t want to hear it, because for her, the life of women appears to be assisted by it. (At least, for now – as has been pointed out, it might be interesting – and sad – to talk with her in twenty years time)

    I agree with Ewan, Elka – unfortunately there will be women who will inadvertently get the sharper end of the stark truth of abortion and understandably be emotionally affected by it. But if that mostly temporary and (might I strongly add) unintentional dismay for a small number of people results in the greater good for the total sum of society, then we must not shrink from the message. Unfortunately, I do not believe that politicians and other decision makers will be swayed by anything other than a strong message which may sometimes get heard by people who will take exception to it. That doesn’t mean that I am advocating militancy or extreme methodologies – much of successful politicking and marketing is much more calculated and mundane than that, it’s just that the message of giving humanity and dignity to the unborn – and endeavouring to change society for the better because of it – can be very hard for some to hear. Even if we don’t judge them, for some of them, the information will be too confronting for their previous rationalizations and many will blame us for spreading ‘guilt’.

    One further thing in response to the ongoing issue that men can’t have equal say in abortion – I don’t understand how the pro-choice lobby still attempts this tactic. Is it really likely that all men have never once informed themselves about what women think, feel and say about the issue? Speaking for myself, I have endeavoured for almost 10 years to inform myself from both sides of the issue, by buying books I knew I was likely to disagree with, and watching programs that were also likely to be presented from the prochoice view only. I also love talking to women friends if they are pregnant, as one very close friend is right now (32 weeks) – and three friends recently gave birth (one sadly stillborn). My sister is a registered nurse, with 3 kids (one a Down’s Syndrome child she was offered an abortion for) and a miscarriage just 3 days before he would have been issued a death certificate. (Btw, her husband was an adopted child.) My other sister has 6 kids. A friend’s daughter is training to be a midwife, and often when I’m over there she talks, and talks, and TALKS!!! Her obvious enthusiasm for her studies is infectious.

    I am so appreciative of the view that all of this affords me, not that it’s more than anybody else – but I certainly don’t know nothing. So, it’s pretty irritating to hear someone like Clementine claim that I (or men in general) make assumptions or have no idea whatsoever. (And, for the record, I absolutely detest any form of violence against women – even self-inflicted.) I believe a fundamental difference with my viewpoint and hers is that I can probably find it a little easier to be objective, precisely because I can never be pregnant. She would hate that of course, but what else can you say to someone who simply wants to shut you up on the basis of her own partial experience of 2 pregnancies? Her own viewpoint of the full experience isn’t even complete (that, btw, is my sister’s opinion – she read Clementine’s posts (and blog) and said the first trimester is usually the worst part of it) and it is highly subjective. Furthermore, her stories of other women carry no more weight than the stories of women I can relate. Otherwise, it is just sexism, pure and simple – or worse, still, misandry.

    A quote to finish this point:
    “Christina Hoff Sommers notes what she considers a ‘corrosive paradox’ of feminism: “that no group of women can wage war on men without at the same time denigrating the women who respect those men”. She says “it is just not possible to incriminate men without implying that large numbers of women are fools or worse”. To Hoff Sommers, women who respect men are seen (by what she has coined “gender feminists”) as being in the camp of the enemy. Therefore, misandry becomes misogyny, perpetrated by feminists whom Hoff Sommers sees as a radical minority representative neither of women nor of feminists.”

    Mark Rabich

  31. Elka,

    I would respectfully disagree that “women undergoing abortion… are largely ignorant or in denial regarding the development and humanity of their child”.

    In reality, a person is only “ignorant” about abortion if he or she conveniently wishes to be so. 4D images are now available to every mother who wishes to see hir or her unborn baby bouncing around, sucking thumbs, and even smiling.

    I understand (and agree with) Ewan’s position on this issue. If science has proved that human life starts at conception, if a mother is allowed to destroy the pre-natal life of her child, then, by logical deduction, she might also be allowed to destroy the post-natal life of her children, because both cases make of her the ultimate judge over the life of another human being.

    A propos, I believe we all need to consider another inconvenient truth: that some women undergo abortion because of sexual immorality. Indeed, ‘sexual liberation’ as advocated by radical feminists has come to mean the ‘freedom’ of sexually irresponsible women to be easily used (and abused) as sex objects by male predators.

    As Irving Krystol puts it quite well: “Easy, available sex is pleasing to men and deeply debasing to women, who are used and abused in the process. Nevertheless, the agenda of a candid, casual attitude towards sex, was vigorously sponsored by feminists who mistakenly perceived it as a step toward ‘equality’. But true equality between men and women can only be achieved by a moral code that offers women some protection against male predators”.

    Augusto Zimmermann

  32. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for your response.
    I still think I may have been misunderstood! 🙂 But maybe it is me who is confused now. I’m not advocating silence on the issue at all – what I think is wrong is talking without acting. Its not really an issue anyway as all of the prolife people I know are involved in support and advocacy for pregnant women.
    My original post was made while thinking about some things that I’ve heard some people say about pregnant women – some of the comments they make seem to be from some belief that pregnant women are having abortions because the birth date would conflict with a party they have planned to go to. I think it’s a complex cultural problem. It is bewildering to me to hear these sort of comments when I think about some of the women I know who have experienced abortion. They’ve talked about how they didn’t have any money or a place to live. One woman talked about how much it hurt and how it took a long time to get over. I’m not saying that their action is justified – not at all. I’m saying that the facts surrounding this cultural atrocity should call us to action and compassion – and I think it is wrong when people don’t act. Does that make sense?

    I often think of how great it would be to have advertisements on television, radio etc. Oh to have the money needed! I have also thought that if this were to happen, pregnancy support services should be prepared for the onslaught of post-abortion callers since such a campaign would bring it all to the surface. I think gradually, we would see things change.

    Regarding men and their opinions. I think it is absurd to say that “men wouldn’t know.” As you’ve pointed out – of course many would! And unfortunately, there are many men who have coerced women to abort through direct threat or lack of support. There are many others who wish to parent their children and protect them but have been denied this through the act of abortion – they suffer the consequences of “choice” too.

    I agree with that last quote Mark, very true indeed.

    Augusto:
    “In reality, a person is only “ignorant” about abortion if he or she conveniently wishes to be so. 4D images are now available to every mother who wishes to see hir or her unborn baby bouncing around, sucking thumbs, and even smiling.”

    Yes, but 4d images are not routinely offered and I believe are expensive to obtain. The routine ultrasound is offered at 18 weeks – by then she is likely to have had the abortion (unless she is aborting as a response to the ultrasound showing a defect of course). There is a new ultrasound offered at 12 weeks – but its to get rid of the down syndrome babies and again, she is unlikely to undergo this until she has her first prenatal visit. Women who are experiencing distress as a result of pregnancy are likely to find a sympathetic doctor with a referral slip – not for an antenatal appointment, but to an abortion clinic. They are not going to offer an ultrasound first. I have heard that 85% of doctors are “pro-choice” so making ultrasound available would not make sense to their worldview.

    One great idea is to donate material showing life in the womb to public and school libraries. There was a great video put out by national geographic called “In the womb” which would be good for this.

    “if a mother is allowed to destroy the pre-natal life of her child, then, by logical deduction, she might also be allowed to destroy the post-natal life of her children, because both cases make of her the ultimate judge over the life of another human being.”

    Agree. Peter Singer advocates this for disabled children and his views don’t seem to bring as much outrage as it should – disturbing isn’t it.

    I agree that “sexual liberation” is a joke. It sure liberated the men from any committment didn’t it! Where once women would have considered themselves bound to the kitchen sink, now they are bound to the role of sex toy. I guess we all need to be smarter don’t we.

    Elka Ritson

  33. Hi Elka,

    “I agree that ‘sexual liberation’ is a joke. It sure liberated the men from any commitment didn’t it! Where once women would have considered themselves bound to the kitchen sink, now they are bound to the role of sex toy. I guess we all need to be smarter don’t we.”

    Great comment. I want to quote that!

    Mark Rabich

  34. Elka, I guess one question I have of you is what you actually mean by the term “condemn women”? In opposing abortion and labeling it morally wrong, I don’t consider my self as condemning anyone – it is just making a statement of fact. Condemning the practice is not the same as condemning the person.

    I wonder if any of Wilberforce’s opponents told him that it was wrong to condemn slavery unless he was prepared to provide homes and jobs for all the slaves?

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  35. I think that everyone here is forgetting the major point that WOMEN SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE. What they do with that choice is up to them. But the choice should be there…..!
    Emily Bagel

  36. Thanks Emily

    But you seem oblivious to the horrible consequences of the god of choice that you worship. We could say the same thing that you have just said about the slave owner: “Slave owners should have a choice”. Sorry, when something is wrong, or when another member of the human race is killed or mistreated, then other considerations besides mere choice come into play here. I am afraid you have heard and repeated this mantra for so long, that you have become blinded to the ugly outcomes. Hitler could have said the same about the Jews: “Hey, its all about choice. I should have the choice as to whether I kill Jews or not”. I am sorry you are so blinded by this modern superstition of choice.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  37. Oh Emily, no-one could possibly forget the tired old rhetoric of choice. You forgot to mention that unborn babies are blobs of tissue and my favourite “no fetus can beat us.”
    Seriously, if we are going to talk about choice we have to talk about what certain choices represent. Abortion represents a woman making a choice, yes, but it also represents a woman killing her unborn child via an abortionist. There are good and bad choices, abortion is clearly a bad choice.
    Melinda Liszewski

  38. Hi Emily,

    Thank you for using your real name and commenting here. It is appreciated, even though you probably disagree with many here.

    I would think it would be fairly safe to say that everyone here who supports the prolife position is fully aware of the word ‘choice’ and how it is used on this issue.

    But consider this – ‘choice’ itself is a meaningless term unless it is associated with an action – ie. choosing a colour to paint a wall, choosing a pair of shoes, choosing to drive on the wrong side of the road, and choosing to abort an unborn human being. Hopefully, you can understand, on the basis of the last two examples compared with the first two, that not all choices are equal when it comes to how they affect other people.

    Please try to understand that the prolife position actually understands ‘choice’ much better than you seem to realize. In my third example, pretty much all society would agree that a person driving on the wrong side of the road would be endangering life and be considered highly irresponsible. Laws exist to discourage this kind of behaviour. So why, given what medical knowledge tells us about the development of the unborn child, is it wrong to call a spade a spade, and make it known what is really going on? It cannot be healthy to obfuscate the issue by abbreviating the nature of the choice concerned to the word itself and claiming it accurately describes the issue. It really doesn’t. Claiming ‘choice’ is good enough has no currency, because it merely raises the question, “choice to do what?”

    I challenge you to re-examine the prochoice abortion philosophy. It sounds like it empowers women and values freedom, but it actual fact, it is just a modern version of ‘might is right’ and it disregards the dignity and humanity of any victims. That surely cannot be good for society to effectively endorse.

    Also consider, many prolife supporters used to believe the prochoice ideas too, but (in different ways) came to see that the whole story speaks of something gone very, very wrong. I hope you can find something within you to look at the issue with fresh eyes. Thanks for visiting.

    Mark Rabich

  39. Sorry Bill,
    To suggest that my views are simply mine because I have been “blinded by this modern superstition of choice” is absolute rubbish.

    I am educated and possess definite opinions on various things, this included. I realise that even trying to voice my opinion on a site like this is like trying to draw blood from a stone because no-matter how much I may try (and similarly, how much you may try: my opinions are so deeply set that they will never be changed by comments on some kind of right-wing evangelist web board) nothing will change.

    Mark Rabich: (who asked me “choice to do what?”) – choice to make my own decisions. It’s no deeper than that no matter how you pose the question. No matter how you try to phrase it, no matter how many questions you conjure. No matter how insecure you may be about your own existence. Perhaps abortions are not for everyone, but again, it is THEIR choice and not yours. Theirs! To suggest that your reasoning is correct just, again, makes me extremely weary of people like you pulling the same card over and over again. It’s boring! You can’t tell someone what you want them to do, no matter how much you want to. be it right or wrong in your eyes, you can only control yourself… and that’s what you should be concentrating on.

    Melinda: *yawn* I feel sorry for your narrow point of view. And…. a woman too? Wow. Such repression!

    Look, I’m willing to admit that no-one is going to win here. We could butt heads all night on this issue. I am a very different person to all of you and I will never agree that the CHOICE to have an abortion is a bad thing (hello! I am not saying that ABORTION is good, I am saying that CHOICE is good). I will not be visiting this website again because it’s just too ridiculously narrow minded.

    Good luck to you all.

    Emily Bagel

  40. Thanks Emily

    Let me slightly rephrase you:
    “Perhaps rape is not for everyone, but again, it is THEIR choice and not yours. Theirs!”
    “Perhaps pollution is not for everyone, but again, it is THEIR choice and not yours. Theirs!”
    “Perhaps murder is not for everyone, but again, it is THEIR choice and not yours. Theirs!”
    “Perhaps sexism is not for everyone, but again, it is THEIR choice and not yours. Theirs!”
    “Perhaps suicide bombings are not for everyone, but again, it is THEIR choice and not yours. Theirs!”

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  41. There are many interesting views here and I find it very easy to be empathetic to both sides of the argument.

    I feel that, the best way to deal with a lot of abortion “issues” is for women and their partners to be informed about contraception, informed about their sexual practice, informed of their social and economic status, and in charge of their feelings about consensual sex, romantic or otherwise.

    Women in Australia, and indeed in other countries, need more support -before- the fact of abortion, which could certainly help reduce the number of abortions having to be performed.

    Support such as:
    – Access to sexual health education
    – Access to contraceptive methods
    – Wider contraceptive choice, including male contraception
    – Better wages for women, and continued government support for stay at home mothers.
    – Access for all working women and families to PAID maternity (and paternity) leave
    – Better access to quality childcare
    – Removal of the stigma associated with “single-mum” or “working mum” or “stay-at-home” mum titles
    – Better pre pregnancy counselling for women and men
    – More informed and factual sex education in schools.

    That being said, whether the decision to have an abortion for a woman is easy or hard, emotional, economic, physical or whatever, her decision to make choices about her body and her life should be respected. Also I feel that women should not carry the -burden- of choice and the associated moral implications. Often the choice is made by couples together, or as a family.

    I think that if a woman makes a choice to have an abortion, then access to counselling should be made available that is non-denomination and non-judgemental. A moral hand should not be placed on the woman or her family to -feel- a certain way, i.e. guilt, or sadness, but support should be available for those that do.

    Abortion is the end of the line decision for many women, and a decision that -perhaps- could have been avoided, but not one that I think people can make judgements about. It is important to think about why women have to have abortions. And why is it that so many people object? A religious argument is really the only main reason againt abortion, while there are a handful of non-religious opposers to abortion, their impact does not have the wide-cast moral judgement that religious opposition does.

    A religious opposition to abortion should, i think, be kept private, or within the bounds of said religion. If a god does indeed exist, and what has been written about god is true, then at that time that each person passes their soul shall be judged by god and god alone.

    In the meantime, a more rational and humananist view should be adopted that consists, as above, of education, resources, and support.

    Marlaina Read

  42. Thanks Marlaina

    But you don’t have to be religious to know that abortion kills an unborn baby. Even atheist Peter Singer can admit, “abortion ends a human life”. And that is what this debate is really all about.

    Thus your list of support activities, while of some value, do not really address the fundamental issue: killing a live baby. One could equally offer a list of supporting activities in relation to slavery. But at the end of the day, blacks were treated as non-persons, and others thought they could do with them as they pleased.

    In the same way, we are treating the unborn as non-persons, and arguing that we can do whatever we like with them. But it is wrong to kill an innocent human being.

    And by the way, you say religious opposition to abortion should be private. That is exactly what critics said of Wilberforce concerning slavery. They effectively said, ‘leave your religious concerns at home. They have no place here in Parliament’. Millions of blacks around the world today are very glad that Wilberforce did not heed this silly advice.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  43. Once ultrasound and other pictures showed the undeniable humanity of the unborn child, even at five weeks, some pro-choice feminists started admitting it was indeed a living baby. Naomi Wolfe, in a classic article in the New Republic in 1995 called “OUR BODIES, OUR SOULS: Rethinking pro-choice rhetoric”, admitted that it was a live baby, but went on to say that women had the right to kill it.
    She began the article: “By refusing to look at abortion within a moral framework, we lose the millions of Americans who want to support abortion as a legal right but still need to condemn it as a moral iniquity. Their ethical allegiances are then addressed by the pro-life movement, which is willing to speak about good and evil.” Later in the article she says “Sometimes the mother must be able to decide that the fetus, in its full humanity, must die.” Read her startling article online at: http://fidei-defensor.blogspot.com/2004/01/naomi-wolf-on-abortion.html

    The fact is that women are not generally shown pictures of a developing baby or an ultrasound when they turn up for an abortion. Neither are they warned of the risks involved.

    Bill, sorry you can’t post pictures. However, these incredible colour illustrations of the partial birth abortion method show all the horror involved. Just click this link: http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/pba/PBA_Images/PBA_Images_Heathers_Place.htm

    We can also listen to the women who are hurting from abortion. Operation Outcry has thousands of affidavits from women who share their stories to help expose the damage done by abortion. Their website is at http://www.operationoutcry.org/

    Jenny Stokes

  44. My 76 year old mother phoned me upset last night. She said she had gone with an elderly priest to sit quietly outside the abortion clinic in the town where she lives. She said a young couple came, the woman was obviously distressed. The couple argued for sometime outside the clinic, until the young woman ran away crying. He followed her, brought her back and eventually they went in together… so much for choice.

    When a government funds abortion, or fails to uphold the law which forbids abortion (except in genuine cases of a woman’s life is endangered), or when a government decriminalises abortion, it is in effect condoning the act. Women who are alone in their fear, reluctant or confused are left with no ally. Whether we like it or not, people look to Governments to provide moral guidance…

    I have spoken to several women who said to me, “if only one person had said I could have the baby, I would have, but there was no-one.” I have also unashamedly encouraged fearful pregnant women that they had the strength and the courage within to continue their pregnancies… Sometimes we all need to hear, “you can do this and I can help you.” I think this is the message Governments need to send.

    Julie Robinson

  45. A woman does have a choice. That comes way back when she decided to have the relationship with that man. After that act, she (and he) have ‘signed the dotted line’ to accept the consequences of their actions, no turning back. This is the case whether the sexual union was moral or not. Abortion can never be justified in any circumstance.

    Come on women (and men), if you don’t want to accept the responsibility of having a child, just say ‘no’ in the first place!

    David Clay, Melbourne

  46. All those people (not just women) who make reference to the “woman’s body” are missing the point entirely. We prolifers are talking about the baby’s body. Different blood group (perhaps), different heart beat (definitely), different brain and nervous system (also definitely).
    Frank Bellet, Petrie, Queensland

  47. What a moving piece; it was informative and most relevant. I have a congenital heart condition that has seen me through 5 major open heart operations and I am so very proud of my parents for being there for me. I would always, always choose to live, regardless of my limitations.
    I do symathise with many women who have chosen abortion because they felt they couldn’t cope. But we are all capable of doing extraordinary things, and we will cope as many have done so and shall continue to do so.
    I have a beautiful daughter through an unplanned pregnancy. Whilst my circumstances were not ideal – I was single, the father and I broke up, and I was just establishing my career in real estate – I am so thankful that I refused my doctor’s advice to have an abortion. My daughter gives me the most beautiful kisses and squishy squashy hugs. I have been rewarded far more than I could have ever hoped.
    Faith Lynch

  48. Its seems sad to me that the only voices I here from religious people are when they are trying to control people’s lives for various reasons when really these people are doing no harm.

    It would be betetr that the church have a “support; don’t moralise” mandate.

    Or do more of the wonderful things the bible preaches, more of the inate human goodness, and less of the old laws that existed when women were indeed slaves to men, and where people were ruled for the gain of the few, where the bible promotes death for women who have cheated (even thought to have) (oh how times have changed!)

    The messages of Jesus are clear, love one another, do not judge, be good and help those in need. I see the church doing good, but the controlling moralising, its not what I think Jesus was going on about.

    These arguments against abortion that people have shown here are about a book, shame, control, more shame.

    No-one has discussed the wonders of support and education. But I guess Its so easier to judge than help….

    And I suppose, using your slavery argument, if Christians had stood up and preached that homosexuality is not wrong, then perhaps many people killed by hate crimes might still be here.

    Where was the Christian moral voice then?

    If one “Christian Voice”, Bill, as you argue, stopped slavery, then how come many cannot stop hate crimes?

    God cares how you live and live with others, not how you bleat lines from a book and shame others.

    Marlaina Read

  49. Thanks Marlaina

    But your understanding of Jesus is sketchy and selective at best. Your attempt to turn him into a wishy-washy, liberal, pro-abortion secular humanist just won’t wash.

    And if someone is doing wrong (like killing innocent babies) they should not only be shamed, but every legitimate method should be used to get them to stop such immoral activities. I am glad Wilberforce shamed the slave owners, and I am more than happy to shame the abortionists.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  50. Hi Marlaina,

    You wrote “…they are trying to control people’s lives for various reasons when really these people are doing no harm.” I would love it if you really thought about this statement for a moment. The only way you can logically conclude that they “do no harm” is to dehumanize the unborn, isn’t it?

    I want you to try to carefully reconsider the pro-life case – it has extremely strong support from the best medical science available to argue that a unique human life starts from conception. There is no requirement whatsoever to be religious to conclude that every human life has a continuum from this point until death. Once this is established, it becomes clear what abortion actually is – the death of a young human life. That must surely be a concern to anybody! Why are you arguing against what is so easily established from completely secular sources?

    Yes, I’m a Christian, and unashamedly so – but I reckon if you ever required a prolifer to engage a discussion or debate on abortion without single recourse to a Bible quote, I suspect the vast majority would welcome the opportunity (provided it really was a formal debate, not some anonymous web slanging match.) Some of them would not ever use the Bible anyway, because they are not religious. Are you aware there are atheists who are prolife?

    Try this challenge before (if!) you reply next, go from the top of this page to the bottom, and count how many references a prolifer makes to the Bible. You’re the one who has claimed we “bleat lines from a book”.

    And if you’re wrong about this (something you could reasonably easily establish if you’re correct), what else have you argued that isn’t reliable? – eg. your interpretation of the mission of Jesus, your understanding of the slavery parallel, ‘human goodness’, etc. – things a little more difficult to support…

    BTW, I do welcome your presence here, especially your tendency to argue the point, not the attack the person. Thank you.

    Mark Rabich

  51. I would like to say i’m sorry to anyone who thinks that I judge them. I know that women DO regret abortion and all too often they are the second victim of abortion. Abortion deeply saddens me, particularly where there is no offer of support considered by those around you. I experienced the pressure to abort my daughter by a doctor and my daughters father – who told me it’s YOU’RE CHOICE. In my experience choice is being shuved in our faces to often serve someone else.
    I want to send a big hug to those who are still suffering after an abortion – I want you to know you are loved.
    Faith Lynch

  52. Thanks for the offer of ‘support and love’ Faith, but personally I’m not suffering. I think you hit on the right point here though – you exercised your CHOICE which is ironically what pro-choicers are all about (although many in the anti-choice camp label us pro-abortion which is insulting and incorrect – as if we stand outside pregnancy clinics and urge women to undergo uterine evacuations!)

    I notice, Bill and Mark, that you conveniently fail to acknowledge Marlaina’s challenge regarding homosexual hate crimes. Care to respond? Where are the Christians standing up condemning these? Certainly, a goodly portion of Jerry Falwell’s ‘moral Christian’ crew approved of them. Of course, I’m not arguing that this was a majority representation of followers of the Christian faith – just that there seems to be a suspicious silence coming from both of you on this point. I’m assuming you believe homosexuality is a sin. Perhaps that explains your reluctance to debate this point.

    Clementine Ford

  53. Thanks Clementine

    Let me call your bluff here. Given that Marlaina’s point was a complete red herring, absolutely unrelated to the issue of abortion, of course it was not answered. Why should it be? What does it have to do with the issue at hand? Thus there is no “reluctance to debate this point” as you disingenuously suggest.

    But no, neither Falwell nor any other major Christian leader or organisation that I am aware of has ever said that homosexuals should be ill-treated or violently attacked. But if your understanding of “hate crimes” is simply to oppose the homosexual lifestyle, and warn against the dangers involved in the lifestyle, then you have are of course just pushing an agenda and out of touch with reality.

    In the country where I live it is called freedom of speech to be able to disagree with another person and his lifestyle. If you do not approve of such freedoms, that is your problem, but please spare us the foolishness of labelling this as “hate crimes”.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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