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Abortion

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Fetus 30 weeks.jpg

Abortion is the induced or spontaneous termination of a pregnancy. The legalization of elective abortions has become a contentious issue around the world with many countries adopting abortion-on-demand legislature. Although most of the world's nations limit abortion after 20 weeks, the United States, North Korea, China, and Canada allow abortions for any reason (such as sex selection) throughout the nine months of pregnancy.[1] After the U.S. Supreme Court legalized the activity in 1973, it is estimated that close to 1 out of every 3 babies conceived in the United States has been killed. About 1,500,000 abortions have been performed per year in the US, totaling over 50 millions children.[2]

There are primarily two opposing views commonly known as pro-life (or anti-abortion), and pro-choice. Those holding to a pro-life position are opposed to elective abortions, and condemn the practice as an immoral act. Pro-choice is the belief that it is a women's right to perform or undergo an abortion for any reason, a view that is frequently expressed with the motto "my body, my choice". There are numerous activist groups that offer educational services and are involved in ongoing political lobbying efforts. Many have active petitions attempting to overturn, uphold, or pass new legislation, such as the Life at Conception Act, which seeks to effectively overturn Roe v. Wade, or the Right to Know laws aimed at strengthening the definition of acceptable informed consent.

Perhaps one of the most devastating consequences of philosophical naturalism is the resulting devaluation of human life. From the evolutionary stance, these unborn babies are simply another animal of no significant value. But the Bible clearly teaches that humans are different from all other forms of life, and made in the image of God.[3] Creationists believe that God created the universe and everything in it, including each person. Every human life is of great importance to God. He has a plan for everyone, and each individual deserves the chance to fulfill that plan. By aborting unborn babies, we are denying these wonderfully made creations of our Father in heaven their right to live. Such acts can be fairly described as murder or the shedding of innocent blood - an act that is detestable to God.[4]

Contents

Jesus on Children:

See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in heaven continually behold the face of My Father who is in heaven. Matthew 18:10
He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:36-37
People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Luke 18:15-16

The battle over abortion is largely political and it is important that the Church awaken and become involved in lobbying efforts to effect legislature governing the practice of abortion. We must hold our elected officials accountable and require that they take a stance on this issue and protect the rights of every citizen, especially innocent children. The views and voting records of elected officials and candidates on abortion are public record and can be viewed online (see US Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney).[5] Of particular concern is the voting record of US President Barack Obama against the 'Born Alive' bills. Professor Robert George (Princeton University) describes Barack Obama as "the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to serve in the United States Senate or seek the Office of President of the United States".[6]

Types

Abortions are performed for a variety of reasons, which fall into two main categories (therapeutic and elective). If a physician recommends an abortion because the pregnancy is harmful to the woman's health, this is known as a therapeutic abortion. Pregnancies are also commonly terminated if it is determined that the developing baby has a birth defect or genetic abnormality (such as Down Syndrome). Women may decide to end the pregnancy because it resulted after a traumatic event such as rape or incest, but these account for only about ~1% of all abortions.[7] And at other times, the woman simply does not wish to be pregnant. Sadly those that occur because the child is unwanted or inconvenient comprise 93% of all incidents.[7] Occasions in which the woman elects to end the pregnancy are known as elective abortions.[8][9] Before the mid 1900s it was a crime in the U.S. to perform an abortion for any reason other than to save the mother's life (therapeutic), but in the 1950s the definition of therapeutic abortions was extended in the US to include cases of "grave physical and mental defects", and incidence of rape or incest.[10]

There are different types of abortion procedures that fall into two main categories known as surgical or medical. Surgical methods are those that use physical means (surgery) to kill and remove the fetus, whereas a medical abortion is one where drugs are administered for this purpose. Medical abortions are only possible during the first trimester, and different forms of surgical abortions are required depending on the gestational age of the child.[11]

Surgical

A vacuum aspiration abortion at eight weeks gestational age (six weeks after fertilization).
1: Amniotic sac
2: Embryo
3: Uterine lining
4: Speculum
5: Vacurette
6: Attached to a suction pump

A surgical abortion is a procedure that ends a pregnancy by physically removing the fetus and placenta from the mother's womb (uterus).[8]

The Dilation and Sharp Curettage procedure involves the opening of the cervix (dilation), which is done by placing small sticks called laminaria into the cervix to help it open. Sometimes, this is done a day or two before the actual abortion procedure.[8] Once the cervix is dilated, the fetus, placenta, and membranes are scraped from inside the uterus with a sharp instrument.[11]

Vacuum Aspiration is the most common abortion procedure in the first trimester, with 97% of all abortions during that time period being performed in this manner.[11] The method involves the use of a vacuum tube to remove the fetus and related material from a woman's uterus (womb). The procedure is usually done 6 weeks after the woman's last menstrual period. If the surgical abortion is done after 12 weeks of pregnancy, the doctor must first open (dilate) the cervical canal. Next, the doctor inserts a hollow tube into the womb before using the vacuum to remove the pregnancy-related tissues from the womb. Medicines may be given to help the uterine muscles contract, which reduces bleeding.[8]

Possible complications or risks with either method include: incomplete abortion which may necessitate a surgical abortion, infection of the uterus, excessive bleeding, torn cervix, infection of fallopian tubes, punctured uterus, blood clots in the uterus, reaction to anesthesia, and infertility (curettage only).[11]

Medical

A medical abortion is the use of certain medications to end a pregnancy and help remove the fetus and placenta from the mother's womb (uterus). A medical, or nonsurgical, abortion can be done within 7 weeks from the first day of the woman's last menstrual period. A combination of prescription hormone medicines are used to help the body remove the fetus and placenta tissue.[9]

Medications used:

  • Mifepristone: approximately half of all abortions are now performed with this method. It was approved for use in the United States in 2000, and is used in 31 other countries.[10]
  • Methotrexate
  • Misoprostol
  • Prostaglandins[9]

Implications of Fetal Development

Main Article: Fetal Development

When counseling potential clients abortion service providers will often inform the mother that the fetus is "not alive yet," or "not a baby yet,", and instead refer to it as "pregnancy tissue," "just a bunch of cells," or "only a glob".[2] These statements could not be further from the truth. At any stage in which abortion is provided, functioning organs are present, and in the vast majority of these incidents functioning biological systems have already developed.[12]

Incidence of Abortion

Incidence of abortion.png

At four weeks the embryo is approximately one quarter on an inch long. But at this time, the brain and spinal cord have already begun to form, its heart begins to form, and arm and leg buds have appeared. At eight weeks of age the baby is about one inch long and weighs less than one eighth of an ounce, but its major organs and external body structures have begun to form including its heart which beats with a regular rhythm. Its arms and legs grow longer, and the fingers and toes have begun to form. Its eyelids have also formed and eyes have moved forward on the face.[13]

The Guttmacher Institute reports that in the year 2008 alone 1.21 million babies were aborted in the United States[14] (three times the number of US soldiers killed during World War II[15]). Of these reported incidents 62.8% were performed at or before 8 weeks of age, with a staggering 28.6% performed between 8 and 13 weeks. That means that greater than 346,060 babies were killed at this latter stage of development when the their heart was clearly beating, and arms and legs had formed with finger and toes.[16]

At twelve weeks the baby is about three inches long, and weighs almost an ounce. At this state the baby’s nerves and muscles work together, and the baby can make a fist. Its external sex organs are visible and the gender of the baby can be determined.[13] Sadly the Guttmacher Institute reports that greater than 142,800 children were killed by abortion after 12 weeks of age when biological systems are already functional.[16]

At sixteen week, the baby reaches a length of about four to five inches and weighs almost three ounces. In addition their muscle tissue and bone continue to form, creating a more complete skeleton, their skin begins to form though it is nearly transparent, and the mouth can make sucking actions. At twenty weeks (halfway through the pregnancy) the baby is about six inches long and weighs approximately nine ounces. At this stage it is more active, and the mother might begin feeling movement. It has eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, and toenails. The babies can swallow, hear and sense other forms of stimulus.[13] Again even with these tremendous developmental milestones reached, the Guttmacher Institute reports that in 2008 more than 18,000 babies were legally killed in the US at greater than 21 weeks of age.[16]

Even though children can be born as early as 21 weeks after pregnancy[17] the Guttmacher Institute, Planned Parenthood's research arm, reports that 1.5% of the 1.21 million abortions in the United States occur after the 21st week of pregnancy.[18] Therefore, 18,150 abortions occur each year after the earliest point that children can be born prematurely and live. An additional 3.8% occur 16-20 weeks after pregnancy, an additional 45,980 abortions each year that are most certainly murder given proximity to time of premature birth.[18] Why is a baby considered human outside the womb, yet nothing more than a fetus to be aborted at or near the same point in pregnancy if still inside the womb? And what will abortionists argue? That this is "only" 50-60 thousand innocent lives being taken each year?

Developmental Milestones

Human development.PNG
"Modern biology instructs that the genetic code that will dictate the entire future of the fetus is formed as early as the ___ day after conception; the fetus is thus something more than inert matter. The rules of property and of tort have come increasingly to recognize its rights." -Judge Henry Friendly, Hall v. Lefkowitz.[19]

According to Brian Clowes, Ph.D[20], as cited by the Pro-Life Action League[21], fetal development occurs as follows after conception:

  • 2 weeks: First completed brain cells appear.
  • 3 weeks: Heart begins beating, eyes form; brain, spinal column, and nervous system virtually complete.
  • 4 weeks: Muscle development, arm and leg buds visible, neocortical cells appear, blood flows in baby's veins separate from mother's blood.
  • 5 weeks: Pituitary gland forms, mouth, ears, and nose take shape.
  • 6 weeks: Brain waves can be detected.
  • 7 weeks: Cartilage skeleton completely formed, umbilical cord complete, brain coordinates voluntary muscle movement and involuntary organ movement, lips sensitive to touch.
  • 8 weeks: Based on nervous system development, a fetus can likely feel pain, teeth present, all organs present save lungs, taste buds and fingerprints forming, responds to tapping on amniotic sac.
  • 9 weeks: Fingernails form, can bend its fingers around an object and suck its thumb.
  • 10 weeks: All parts of body sensitive to touch; can swallow, squint, frown, and pucker brow.
  • 11 weeks: Breathing amniotic fluid and does so until birth, urination, all facial expressions (including smiling) possible, taste buds complete.
  • 12 weeks: Can kick, turn over, make a fist, hiccup, cry, open its mouth, press its lips together, and practice breathing.
  • 13 weeks: All senses are present, including vocal chords.
  • 20 weeks: Can be surprised by loud external noises.
  • 23 weeks: A fetus demonstrates REM (Rapid Eye Movement).
  • 4 months: Can grasp, swim, and turn somersaults.
  • 6 months: Hair growth on head and eyebrows, eyelashes form.
  • 7 months: A fetus' hands can support its entire weight.
  • 8 months: Fetus weighs more than 4 lbs., all body systems present.
  • 9 months: After this point, the fetus gains a half lb. each week and 41 of the 45 total generations of cell replication have already taken place.

Given this, it is small wonder that 76% of Americans in 2011 disapprove of abortion after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
(See Public Polling)

Arguments On Abortion

The following are some common Pro-Choice arguments on abortion, and problems with the reasoning.

Right to Choose

Pro-choice protesters in Washington D.C.

The obvious question not being confronted is what choice is at stake? The choice to kill another human being to bypass the consequences and responsibilities that should accompany the choice to create another life; in essence the choice to murder one's own children so sex can be engaged in freely without responsibility or consequence.[22] Sometimes women die from abortion.[23] Since abortion is deliberate and thought about in advance, it is comparable to a premeditated killing.[24]

Rare Circumstances: Life of Mother and Rape

BBC News has an article called "Abortion in self-defence" arguing that abortion should be allowed in cases where the mother's life and health are at risk, and that this is justifiable self-defense. However, BBC News acknowledges that abortion is NOT justified for the following reasons:

"But supposing the mother is not in physical danger, what then? There are a number of cases where some people argue that a woman should have the right to an abortion, such as: damage to mental health, damage to family, damage to career prospects, damage to financial prospects, damage to plans for her life. The self-defence argument for abortion seems to fail here, because although a threat to life can be a defence to a charge of killing someone, none of the above would be an adequate defence in a case of homicide, nor would they be regarded as reasons that justified euthanasia. But if we don't regard the foetus as a person with a right to live, or if we regard it as a being that doesn't have a full right to life, then these cases of self-defence may be arguable."

-BBC News.[25]

However, (A) danger to life of the mother, like rape, is a very rare circumstance that accounts for less than 1% of all abortions[26], (B) all major legislation put out by the Right to Life movement over the past decade has included exceptions allowing abortions for rape and life of the mother (e.g. Mexico City Policy, Born Alive Infant Protection Act, Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, etc.) and (C) at least 13 states had legislation allowing abortion for rape or life of the mother BEFORE Roe v. Wade[27] - abortion was legalized for other reasons.

The bottom line is that apart from such extremely rare circumstances, BBC News acknowledges that "The self-defence argument for abortion seems to fail here, because although a threat to life can be a defence to a charge of killing someone, none of the above would be an adequate defence in a case of homicide, nor would they be regarded as reasons that justified euthanasia."[25] Choosing to kill another person, in other words, is unjustifiable unless the mother's life is in danger or, debatably, if rape occurred. In fact, those who bring up cases like rape and life of the mother are doing so because, deep inside, they themselves know that choosing to murder another human being is justifiable only under such extreme circumstances, and NOT for abortion on demand.

The only way to justify abortion apart from such circumstances is, as BBC News says, "if we don't regard the foetus as a person with a right to live, or if we regard it as a being that doesn't have a full right to life".[25] You see, this is not about the right to choose at all, and such a slogan distracts from the real issue - the real issue is whether the fetus is a human being deserving of a full right to life. Because if it is a human being worthy of the right to life, then there is no excuse for "choosing to kill" via abortion on demand.

Right to One's Body

The Pro-Choice movement likes to say that women should have a right to their bodies. However, such a right should logically not allow one to harm others with that body, including physical assault, murder, rape, or theft, and therefore, this is not an absolute right, but a privilege that is not intended to exceed another's unalienable rights, including the right to life. As Hugh V. McLachlan of Glasgow Caledonian University pointed out in 1997, there is no entitlement to one's body and "we have rights duties, liabilities, restrictions and disadvantages as well as rights concerning our own bodies."

"Consider the assumption at issue in the abstract: 'That particular X is your X and, therefore, you are entitled to do what you want with it'. As a matter of pure logic, the claim is an absurdity. What if 'X' stands for a Thompson Machine Gun? Should we say: 'That is your machine gun and, therefore, you can do whatever you like with it?' On the contrary, although there might be some things which you and only you can of right do to and with the gun, if that particular machine gun is your machine gun then it is incumbent upon you in particular to ensure that certain things are not done with it. Is the situation any different when 'X' pertains to one's body or to parts of it? I do not think so." -Hugh V. McLachlan, Glasgow Caledonian University.[28]

As McLachlan continues to point out, this emphasis on rights neglects the other side of the coin, responsibilities or duties. He gives on pg. 177 the example of an insurance policy, and how using one's body to commit suicide can invalidate such a contract.[28] Logically, creating another human life should likewise bring responsibly for actions toward that life - how is the decision to create another human life of lesser importance than the decision to sign an insurance contract? Why should one be able to kill a separate person to void the sexual decision to bring about another life, yet not be able to kill oneself without voiding an insurance contract?

"Certainly a woman has a right to control her own body, but the unborn entity, though for a time living inside her body, is not part of her body. Hence, abortion is not justified, since no one's right to personal autonomy is so strong that it permits the arbitrary execution of others." -Francis J. Beckwith, Christian Research Journal.[29]

Ultimately, the real question is whether the fetus in question is another human being to be accorded unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness under the Declaration of Independence, for if so, no right to one's body should give power to infringe on its unalienable right to life. Your right to your body does not include the right, in other words, to kill others using that body to avoid the responsibilities and consequences of a sexual decision to create another life. That is what in the real world is called "murder" and it is reprehensible. Therefore, the real question is at what point a fetus becomes a human being.

Right to Privacy

To get abortion legalized, the Pro-Choice movement had to argue that women should have a "right to privacy".[30] However, logically, if the fetus is a human being and thus murder would be committed, privacy is no excuse for such murder. Logically, killing someone in the privacy of one's own home should no more be an excuse for murder than killing them in the privacy of one's body. Furthermore, as Judge Henry J. Friendly pointed out in the nation's first major abortion case, Hall v. Lefkowitz, abortion is actually a complete violation of privacy when you look at it, requiring intervention in a woman's most private areas by a physician and variety of medical personnel.

A holding that the privacy of sexual intercourse is protected against governmental intrusion scarcely carries as a corollary that when this has resulted in conception, government may not forbid destruction of the fetus. The type of abortion the plaintiffs particularly wish to protect against governmental sanction is the antithesis of privacy. The woman consents to intervention in the uterus by a physician, with the usual retinue of assistants, nurses, and other paramedical personnel, indeed the condition calling for such intervention may very likely have been established by clinical tests... Yet, even if we were to take plaintiffs’ legal position that the legislature cannot constitutionally interfere with a woman’s right to do as she will with her own body so long as no harm is done to others, the argument does not support the conclusion plaintiffs would have us draw from it. For we cannot say the New York legislature lacked a rational basis for considering that abortion causes such harm. Even if we should put aside the interests of the father, negligible indeed in the many cases when he has abandoned the prospective mother but not in all, the legislature could permissibly consider the fetus itself to deserve protection.[19]

Women Choose, Not Men

The Pro-Choice movement likes to say men and fathers should have no say in the abortion debate, only women. However, as Thomas J. Lucente Jr. points out, this is similar to saying one can't criticize the President unless one is the President.

"The pro-abortion crowd will argue that because I am a man, I should not be allowed to have an opinion on abortion, unless, of course, I support the mass murder of 50 million babies in the last 39 years. That's akin to saying I can't criticize the president unless I have been the president." -Thomas J. Lucente Jr.[31]

As Alan Keyes has pointed out, the Pro-Choice movement essentially is arguing for the baby's rights to be dependent on the mother's desire for it, making women slave-owners, essentially - this is very different from the Declaration of Independence which says the Creator gives us our unalienable rights, rather than them being dependent upon other people.[32]

"Either you can subscribe to the American creed which says that God endowed us with our rights, or you can subscribe to the abortion creed which says that those rights are the consequences of our mother's will."

-Alan Keyes, speech at Southern Methodist University, Feb. 24, 1997.[33]

"... abortion is to our time what slavery was to the 19th Century, and if anyone of conscience went anywhere in the 19th Century and did not confront the American people with the evil of slavery, then they were not doing what statesmanship required... Well, it's a part of her body utterly dependent on her body, not viable apart from her body. She has, therefore, absolute power over this being, and given that absolute power she has the absolute right to dispose of it according to her will. We don't recognize what that's saying? What that's saying is that power makes for right. Might makes for right. If I have you in my power, I may dispose of you and your life according to my will. And if that argument is now accepted, and we have embraced it as a fundamental principle of law, then we have rejected the right principle. For if our right, our most basic and conditional right, the right to life itself comes to us not from God but from our mother's choice, then there is no human right that transcends in its claim, human choice and human power. Abortion is the paradigm, the ultimate paradigm of despotism, tyranny, oppression, slavery, holocaust."

-Alan Keyes, speech in San Francisco, March 3, 2003.[34]

Ultimately, every American has a responsibility to stand up for the rights of other Americans when they are being murdered - regardless of gender. And to say a mother should be able to murder her children whenever she feels like it, apart from the father's opinions, is simply wrong.

Risks

[35]

Physical

[36]

  • Pelvic Infection: Bacteria (germs) from the vagina or cervix may enter the uterus and cause an infection. Antibiotics may clear up such an infection. In rare cases, a repeat suction, hospitalization or surgery may be needed. Infection rates are less than 1 percent for suction curettage, 1.5 percent for D&E, and 5 percent for labor induction.[37]
  • Incomplete abortion: Fetal parts or other products of pregnancy may not be completely emptied from the uterus, requiring further medical procedures. Incomplete abortion may result in infection and bleeding. The reported rate of such complications is less than 1 percent after a D&E; whereas, following a labor induction procedure, the rate may be as high as 36 percent.[37]
  • Blood clots in the uterus: Blood clots that cause severe cramping occur in about 1 percent of all abortions. The clots usually are removed by a repeat suction curettage.[37]
  • Heavy bleeding: Some amount of bleeding is common following an abortion. Heavy bleeding (hemorrhaging) is not common and may be treated by repeat suction, medication or, rarely, surgery. Ask the doctor to explain heavy bleeding and what to do if it occurs.[37]
  • Cut or torn cervix: The opening of the uterus may be torn while it is being stretched open to allow medical instruments to pass through and into the uterus. This happens in less than 1percent of first trimester abortions.[37]
  • Perforation of the uterus wall: A medical instrument may go through the wall of the uterus. The reported rate is 1 out of every 500 abortions. Depending on the severity, perforation can lead to infection, heavy bleeding or both. Surgery may be required to repair the uterine tissue, and in the most severe cases hysterectomy may be required.[37]
  • Anesthesia-related complications: As with other surgical procedures, anesthesia increases the risk of complications associated with abortion. The reported risks of anesthesia-related complications is around 1 per 5,000 abortions.[37]
  • Rh Immune Globulin Therapy: Genetic material found on the surface of red blood cells is known as the Rh Factor. If a woman and her fetus have different Rh factors, she must receive medication to prevent the development of antibodies that would endanger future pregnancies.[37]
  • Future childbearing: Early abortions that are not complicated by infection do not cause infertility or make it more difficult to carry a later pregnancy to term. Complications associated with an abortion or having many abortions may make it difficult to have children.[37]

Psychological

[38]

Statistics

International status of abortion law:
  Legal on request
  Legal for rape, maternal life, health, mental health, socioeconomic factors, and/or fetal defects
  Illegal with exception for rape, maternal life, health, fetal defects, and/or mental health
  Illegal with exception for rape, maternal life, health, and/or mental health
  Illegal with exception for maternal life, health, and/or mental health
  Illegal with no exceptions
  Varies
  No information
[39]

An estimated 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.[7]

  • Each day there are approximately 3,700 abortions in the United States - 115,000 worldwide.
  • Each year there are approximately 1.37 million abortions in the United States (2006) - 42 million worldwide.

To understand the magnitude of the devastation, compare the abortion counts to deaths in the U.S. due to wars.

  • Total death count of all US wars - 1,114,031.[15]
  • Total death count due to abortion since legalization in 1973 - ~50,000,000.[14]

Notable Percentages

  • 93% of abortions are performed because the child is simply unwanted or inconvenient. 6% are due to the mother's or child's health problems. Only 1% are performed because of rape or incest.
  • 52% of women obtaining abortions in the U.S. are younger than 25: Women aged 20-24 obtain 32% of all abortions; Teenagers obtain 20% and girls under 15 account for 1.2%.
  • 64.4% of all abortions are performed on never-married women; Married women account for 18.4% of all abortions and divorced women obtain 9.4%.
  • 43% of all women will have at least 1 abortion by the time they are 45 years old. 47% of all abortions are performed on women who have had at least one previous abortion.
  • 17% of abortions occur in developed countries, 83% are obtained in developing countries.[7]

2008 CDC Data
In November 2011, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) published the 2008 data for abortions voluntarily reported by the central health agencies of US states (excluding California, Maryland, and New Hampshire which submitted no data). However, it should be noted that due to a number of limitations, the CDC admits it is unable to obtain the total number of abortions performed in the United States. The numbers provided are 65%-69% of those determined by the Guttmacher Institute, which uses numerous active follow-up techniques to increase the completeness of the data obtained through its periodic national survey of abortion providers.[16]

A total of 825,564 abortions were reported to the CDC for 2008. Of these, 808,528 abortions (97.9% of the total) were from the 45 reporting areas that provided data every year during 1999--2008. Among these same 45 reporting areas, the abortion rate for 2008 was 16.0 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15--44 years, and the abortion ratio was 234 abortions per 1,000 live births. Compared with 2007, the total number and rate of reported abortions for these 45 reporting areas essentially were unchanged, although the abortion ratio was 1% higher. Reported abortion numbers, rates, and ratios remained 3%, 4%, and 10% lower, respectively, in 2008 than they had been in 1999.[16]

Women aged 20--29 years accounted for 57.1% of all abortions reported in 2008 and for the majority of abortions during the entire period of analysis (1999--2008). In 2008, women aged 20--29 years also had the highest abortion rates (29.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 20--24 years and 21.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 25--29 years). Adolescents aged 15--19 years accounted for 16.2% of all abortions in 2008 and had an abortion rate of 14.3 abortions per 1,000 adolescents aged 15--19 years; women aged ≥35 years accounted for a smaller percentage (11.9%) of abortions and had lower abortion rates (7.8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 35--39 years and 2.7 abortions per 1,000 women aged ≥40 years). Throughout the period of analysis, abortion rates decreased among adolescents aged ≤19 years, whereas they increased among women aged ≥35 years. Among women aged 20--24 years abortion rates decreased during 1999--2003 and then leveled off during 2004--2008.[16]

In contrast to the percentage distribution of abortions and abortion rates by age, abortion ratios in 2008 and throughout the entire period of analysis were highest among adolescents aged ≤19 years and lowest among women aged 30--39 years. Abortion ratios decreased during 1999--2008 for women in all age groups except for those aged <15 years; however, the steady decrease was interrupted from 2007 to 2008 when abortion ratios increased among women in all age groups except for those aged ≥40 years.[16]

In 2008, most (62.8%) abortions were performed at ≤8 weeks' gestation, and 91.4% were performed at ≤13 weeks' gestation. Few abortions (7.3%) were performed at 14--20 weeks' gestation, and even fewer (1.3%) were performed at ≥21 weeks' gestation. During 1999--2008, the percentage of abortions performed at ≤13 weeks' gestation remained stable, whereas abortions performed at ≥16 weeks' gestation decreased 13%--17%. Moreover, among the abortions performed at ≤13 weeks' gestation, the distribution shifted toward earlier gestational ages, with the percentage of abortions performed at ≤6 weeks' gestation increasing 53%.[16]

In 2008, 75.9% of abortions were performed by curettage at ≤13 weeks' gestation, and 14.6% were performed by early medical abortion (a nonsurgical abortion at ≤8 weeks' gestation); 8.5% of abortions were performed by curettage at >13 weeks' gestation. Among the 62.8% of abortions that were performed at ≤8 weeks' gestation and thus were eligible for early medical abortion, 22.5% were completed by this method. The use of medical abortion increased 17% from 2007 to 2008.[16]

Deaths of women associated with complications from abortions for 2008 are being investigated under CDC's Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System. In 2007, the most recent year for which data were available, six women were reported to have died as a result of complications from known legal induced abortions. No reported deaths were associated with known illegal induced abortions.[16]

Public Opinion

March for Life, Washington DC 2009

Public polling, as seen below (sourced from Gallup[40]), reveals that Americans are increasingly calling themselves Pro-Life (50%) and continue to say abortion should be legal only in a few circumstances (59%) such as rape (75%) and life of the mother (83%).

Legal or Illegal

According to Gallup's most recent poll (May 3-6, 2012), 20% of Americans believe abortion should always be illegal, and 39% believe it should be legal only in a few circumstances, a combined 59% that believe it should always or usually be illegal. 25% believe abortion should always be legal, and 13% believe that it should be legal in most circumstances, a combined 38% that believe it should always or usually be legal. 4% hold no opinion. The percentage of Americans which believe abortion should always or usually be illegal has varied from a low of 51% (Sept. 6-7, 1994, and Sept. 22-24, 1995) to a high of 62% (May 2-5, 2005). Gallup has polled the question 33 times since it began asking in 1994.[41]

Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice

Currently, 50% of Americans describe themselves as Pro-Life, 41% describe themselves as Pro-Choice, and 4% as Mixed/Neither, as of the most recent poll (May 3-6, 2012). The percentage of Americans describing themselves as Pro-Life has varied from a low of 33% (Sept. 3-6, 1995) to a high of 51% (May 7-10, 2009). Gallup has polled the question 41 times since it began asking in 1995.[40]

By Trimester

Gallup has asked the following question four times from 2003-2011: "Thinking more generally, do you think abortion should generally be legal or generally illegal during each of the following stages of pregnancy. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]?"[40]

1st Trimester

The following results were given for "In the first three months of pregnancy" (1st Trimester):

Polling Date Should be legal Should be illegal Depends (vol.) No opinion
2011, June 9-12 62% 35% 2% 1%
2003, January 10-12 66% 29% 3% 2%
2000, March 30-April 2 65% 31% 2% 2%
1996, July 25-26 64% 30% 4% 2%

2nd Trimester

The following results were given for "In the second three months of pregnancy" (2nd Trimester):

Polling Date Should be legal Should be illegal Depends (vol.) No opinion
2011, June 9-12 24% 71% 3% 2%
2003, January 10-12 25% 68% 4% 3%
2000, March 30-April 2 24% 69% 4% 3%
1996, July 25-26 26% 65% 7% 2%

3rd Trimester

The following results were given for "In the last three months of pregnancy" (3rd Trimester):

Polling Date Should be legal Should be illegal Depends (vol.) No opinion
2011, June 9-12 10% 86% 2% 1%
2003, January 10-12 10% 84% 4% 2%
2000, March 30-April 2 8% 86% 3% 3%
1996, July 25-26 13% 82% 3% 2%

By Circumstances

According to the most recent Gallup poll (June 9-12, 2011), the following percentages of Americans say abortion should be legal under each circumstance:[40]

Circumstance Should be legal Should be illegal Depends (vol.) No opinion
When the woman's life is endangered 83% 13% 1% 3%
When the woman's physical health is endangered 82% 15% 1% 2%
When the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest 75% 22% 1% 2%
When the woman's mental health is endangered 61% 35% 2% 2%
When there is evidence the baby may be mentally impaired 51% 46% 2% 2%
When there is evidence the baby may be physically impaired 50% 45% 2% 3%
When the woman or family cannot afford to raise the child 36% 61% 1% 2%

Pro-Life Initiatives

According to Gallup's most recent poll (July 15-17, 2011) these proposals by the Pro-Life movement have received the following public support levels. Those marked "(2005)" were polled most recently on November 11-13, 2005. Those marked "(2003)" were last polled on January 10-12, 2003.[40]

Proposal Favor Oppose No opinion
(2003) A law requiring doctors to inform patients about alternatives to abortion before performing the procedure 88% 11% 1%
A law requiring doctors inform patients about possible risks of abortion before performing the procedure 87% 11% 2%
A law requiring women under 18 to get parental consent for any abortion 71% 27% 2%
A law requiring women seeking abortions to wait 24 hours before having the procedure done 69% 28% 3%
A law making partial birth abortions illegal except for life of the mother 64% 31% 5%
(2005) A law requiring that the husband of a married woman be notified if she decides to have an abortion 64% 34% 2%
A law requiring women seeking an abortion be shown an ultrasound image of her fetus at least 24 hours before 50% 46% 3%
A law letting pharmacists and health providers opt out of medicine/surgical procedures resulting in abortion 46% 51% 4%
(2005) A constitutional amendment to ban abortion in all circumstances, except to save the life of the mother 37% 61% 2%

History

Hippocratic Oath

The famous oath by Hippocrates (460-370 B.C.) taken commonly by medical students today includes the following line: "I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion."[42]

Hall v. Lefkowitz

Hall v. Lefkowitz was a court case on November 4, 1969[43] during which Roy Lucas, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama Law School, and his self-founded James Madison Constitutional Law Institute, sued to challenge New York's abortion laws. A three-judge court presided which included famous judge Henry Friendly. Friendly wrote a draft opinion in the spring of 1970 declaring government had right to regulate abortion and protect a fetus, contrary to the later Roe v. Wade ruling. However, shortly thereafter the New York legislature amended state abortion law to allow abortion within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, and Friendly's case was dismissed as unnecessary.[19] Read some of Friendly's arguments made years before Roe v. Wade.

NARAL

Bernard Nathanson, one of NARAL's co-founders, described how he and the organization fabricated abortion statistics and used slogans to sway the public during the early days of Roe v. Wade. {{cquote|I remember laughing when we made those slogans up. We were looking for some sexy, catchy slogans to capture public opinion. They were very cynical slogans then, just as all of these slogans today are very, very cynical. We persuaded the media that the cause of permissive abortion was a liberal, enlightened, sophisticated one. Knowing that if a true poll were taken, we would be soundly defeated, we simply fabricated the results of fictional polls. We announced to the media that we had taken polls and that 60 percent of Americans were in favor of permissive abortion. We aroused enough sympathy to sell our program of permissive abortion by fabricating the number of illegal abortions done annually in the U.S. The actual figure was approaching 100,000, but the figure we gave to the media repeatedly was 1,000,000. Repeating the big lie often enough convinces the public. The number of women dying from illegal abortions was around 200-250 annually. The figure we constantly fed to the media was 10,000. These false figures took root in the consciousness of Americans, convincing many that we needed to crack the abortion law. Another myth we fed to the public through the media was that legalizing abortion would only mean that the abortions taking place illegally would then be done legally. In fact, of course, abortion is now being used as a primary method of birth control in the U.S. and the annual number of abortions has increased by 1,500 percent since legalization.[44]

Roe v. Wade

Main Article: Roe v. Wade
Today Jane Roe (Norma McCorvey) is a Christian and pro-life advocate

Roe v. Wade was a U.S. Supreme Court case which declared that a right of privacy under the Constitution guaranteed a woman's choice to have an abortion under certain circumstances.[45] The case began in 1970 when Jane Roe (a pseudonym for Norma McCorvey) filed a federal class action suit against Henry Wade, the district attorney of Dallas county, Texas. The court ruled in a 7–2 vote that Texas state regulations restricting abortions were unconstitutional, and overturned several Texas statutes that criminalized abortion in most instances. Their decision was based on an interpretation of the liberty guarantee of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution (right of privacy). [46] Their ruling in 1973 effectively legalized elective abortions in the United States during the first two trimesters,[10], and since that time there have been approximately 50,000,000 total abortions in the US.[14]

Today Norma McCorvey is a Christian and pro-life advocate. She founded a pro-life ministry known as Crossing Over Ministry and is an active public speaker and participates in pro-life rallies. Since becoming a Christian, she has admitted that she lied about being raped when issuing her lawsuit and says she was "used" by pro-choice activists. In an interview she exclaimed: “Plain and simple, I was used. I was a nobody to them. They only needed a pregnant woman to use for their case, and that is it. They cared, not about me, but only about legalizing abortion.”.[47]

2009-2010 Healthcare Bill

See also: DFLA

While most Democrats support abortion, a growing number have been affiliating with Democrats For Life of America, also known as Pro-Life Democrats. ObamaCare in 2009-2010 would have passed rapidly if not for their influence, since Democrats had a Supermajority allowing them to pass anything without a single Republican vote. However, 40 Pro-Life Democrats, led by Congressman Bart Stupak signed a letter refusing to let ObamaCare pass without reforms on the abortion issue, and fought the bill from June 2009 to March 2010, in an attempt to add the Stupak Amendment to the bill (which was added to the House bill but removed in the Senate despite attempts by Sen. Ben Nelson to add it there as well).

Current Legal Issues

Born Alive Infants Protection Act

In 2002, George W. Bush signed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act into federal law. The bill guaranteed that any infant born alive as a result of an induced abortion be provided medical care. The bill was necessary because before this, children were being regularly born alive after late-term induced abortions and left to die. Nurses Jill Stanek and Allison Baker testified before Congress that babies born alive after such abortions were being tossed into wastebaskets or back rooms and simply left to die. Stanek's moving testimony about how she held a little baby with Downs Syndrome for hours while hospital staff refused to help care for it, until he finally expired in her arms, proved key to the case.

The U.S. Senate passed the bill unanimously, 98-0.[48] The House of Representatives passed the bill 380-15 with 3 others voting 'Present', the same as a No vote.[49]

Informed Consent

Main Article: Informed consent
3D ultrasound at 10 weeks old (12 week gestational age).

One of the most questionable practices associated with the abortion industry is its failure to obtained adequate "informed consent". With any other form of surgery the doctor is required to explain to the patient the details of the procedure and the risks involved. Only after being given such information can the patient give "informed consent". Given that this procedure involves a mother terminating the life of her child both psychological and physical risks are very substantial. But very little factual information is given, and the the risks are often ignored or rarely given verbally as is customary with other forms of medical care.[2]

All US states require that health care providers obtain consent from patients prior to performing medical procedures, but as of 2007 only 33 states have laws specifically related to informed consent for abortion – often called "Right to Know" laws. These states require that verbal information be given on the procedure and the gestational age of the fetus, but only 23 states mandate that patients are provided with descriptions of the developmental state of the fetus.[50] Some states, such as Michigan have elected to provide these documents at least 24 hours prior to the abortion procedure.[51] This is done to provide a cooling-off period, and give the mother time to think sufficiently about the decision.[2] With ultrasound technology now in common use, many argue that mandate should be in place for abortion clinics to provide these services to clients as part of their informed consent criteria. It has been found that the majority of women considering abortion decide against the procedure after counseling and viewing an ultrasound.[52]

Life at Conception Act

In 2011, the Life at Conception Act was introduced to both the House of Representatives and the Senate in January of 2011. Its purpose is to implement equal protection for the right to life of each born and preborn human person under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution.[53]Section 1 of the 14th Amendment reads: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

  • H.R. 374: Life at Conception Act was introduced into Congress on January 20, 2011 by California representative Duncan Hunter and referred to committee for review.(Read H.R. 374) It declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being beginning at the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual comes into being. It prohibits construing this Act to require the prosecution of any woman for the death of her unborn child.[53]
  • H.R. 212: Sanctity of Human Life Act was also introduced into Congress on January 07, 2011 by Georgia Representative Paul Broun and referred to committee for review (Read H.R. 212). It declares that: (1) the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human and is the person's paramount and most fundamental right; (2) each human life begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, at which time every human has all legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and (3) Congress, each state, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories have the authority to protect all human lives.[54]
  • S. 91: Life at Conception Act was introduced into the Senate on January 25, 2012 by Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker.(Read S. 91) It declares that the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being beginning at the moment of fertilization, cloning, and other moment at which an individual comes into being.[55] Senator Rand Paul and Senator Roger Wicker both joined as original sponsors of the Act.[56]

Many pro-life advocates, such as the National Pro-Life Alliance, assert that the Life at Conception Act is our best hope to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in the US. By defining when life begins, the Act will effectively nullify the Supreme Courts ruling and provide unborn children protection under the existing constitution. In their ruling the Supreme Court admitted as much: "If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case [i.e. "Roe" who sought the abortion], of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment."[57]

The National Pro-Life Alliance and Senator Rand Paul have obtained over 1.5 million petitions to Congress urging lawmakers to cosponsor and fight for passage of a Life at Conception Act in both the Senate and House of Representatives. US citizens are asked to sign a petition for the Life at Conception Act.

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Main Article: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590), occasionally dubbed 'ObamaCare', was signed into law by Barack Obama on March 23, 2010. It was the result of a roughly 11-month campaign by the Democratic Party to pass sweeping healthcare changes. Despite a Supermajority held during much of this time, which prevented Republicans from having the votes necessary to stop bills, forty Pro-Life Democrats in the House united under their leader, Bart Stupak, to stall the House bill until it finally included the Pro-Life Stupak amendment (November 8, 2009). However, the Senate then refused to pass the House bill, tabling it indefinitely, and passed its own bill in December 2009 so the abortion agenda could be reinserted into healthcare. The two bills were then combined in a complicated process called 'Reconciliation', but the bill had to go back to the House for approval. Bart Stupak ultimately settled for an Executive Order from Barack Obama, essentially a presidential promise that abortion would not be funded in the bill, after which he and roughly half the Pro-Life Democrats voted in favor of the Reconciliation process, narrowly passing the bill. The other half of Pro-Life Democrats voted against the bill, several with strong misgivings.

Federal Funding

The U.S. Federal government is providing hundreds of millions of dollars each year to fund abortion under the guise of Title X funding — a program that provides an enormous influx of money for "reproductive health activities." In 2007, the Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations Subcommittee approved a 10 percent increase for Title X funding, up from $283 million to almost $311 million.

Planned Parenthood's Budget

These funds are distributed mostly to Planned Parenthood, which requested an additional $100 million in Title X funding.[58] In 2010, Planned Parenthood received a total of $363 million dollars from taxpayers through federal and state grants and contracts. This amounts to a 33% of its total income, which was reported to be $1.1 billion.[59]

Planned Parenthood likes to claim that abortion accounts for just 3% of its services.[60] However, an examination of its finances reveals that much if not most of its income relates to abortion.[61] According to Planned Parenthood's 2007-08 budget, it received $1.038 billion of revenue from the following sources:[62]

Revenue
(millions)
 %
Health Center Income $374.7 36.1%
Govt. Grants & Services $349.6 33.7%
Contributions & Requests $244.9 23.6%
Other Operating Revenue $68.9 6.6%
Total Revenue $1,038.1 100.0%

Planned Parenthood's reported $374.7 million of revenue from "Health Center Income". Given that it reported performing 305,130 abortions[63], at an average cost of $450 (which lines up with statistics from the National Abortion Federation[64]), approximately $137.4 million of that $374.7 million Health Center Income came directly from performing abortions per analysis by Live Action.[65]

Since much of its money comes from Government Grants and Services or Contributions and Requests ($595.5 million) likely related to abortion, in addition to this $137.4 million of direct abortion revenue, it appears probable that as much as half to two-thirds of Planned Parenthood's revenue relates to abortion.

Active Petitions

Chinese Gendercide

Forced abortion caused by China's One-Child Policy leads to deaths of mothers[66], as well as "gendercide".[67] Because men tend to be higher wage earners, many families choose to abort their female children, opting instead for males.[68] Photos in 2012 of these forced abortions led to national outrage and calls to end China's One-Child Policy.[69] The sex-selective abortion policy has led to a huge gender disparity in China, 122.66 boys for every girl born, the highest ratio in the entire Asia Specific region[70], and resulted in 32 million single males.[71] Logically this is a driving force behind human trafficking, prostitution, and the female slave trade which occurs near China.[72]

Biblical View

Made by God

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Psalm 22:9-10
Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers Job 31
This is what the Lord says—he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. Isaiah 44:2
“This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the Lord, the Maker of all things, who stretches out the heavens, who spreads out the earth by myself, Isaiah 44:24

Life Begins in the Womb

From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God. Psalm 22:10
The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the Lord. The Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger. ” Genesis 25:22-23
for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. Luke 1:15
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! Luke 1:41
Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the Lord called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name. Isaiah 49:1
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased Galatians 1:15

Murder

Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13
“Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind. Genesis 9:6
If men strive, and hurt a women with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life. Exodus 21:22-23
There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. Proverbs 6:16-19

Conclusion

Before making a decision to undergo an abortion, one has to contemplate their choice. What is the reason for ending this child's life? Is it a selfish choice? Is it in accordance with the teachings of Christ?

This article is not meant to condemn those who have undergone or participated in any abortion activities, but to bring to light the truth of the matter. No matter your actions, they can be forgotten and forgiven in Christ. We all deserve judgement for our actions, but the Lord is gracious and forgiving beyond measure.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

Activists

Pro-life

  • Center for Bio-Ethical Reform The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) is working to establish prenatal justice and the right to life for the unborn, the disabled, the infirm, the aged and all vulnerable peoples through education and the development of cutting edge educational resources.[73]
  • National Pro-Life Alliance The National Pro-Life Alliance's members, staff and volunteers are dedicated to halting the slaughter of the unborn once and for all. By holding politicians accountable on the ultimate question of when life begins, NPLA's goal is to end, not simply regulate abortion.[74]
  • American Center for Law and Justice Jay Sekulow and the ACLJ have been on the front lines of the pro-life movement for more than twenty years, defending the rights of the unborn and the free speech rights of those who have taken a stand in defense of life.[75]
  • Elliot Institute A national nonprofit organization dedicated to research, education and outreach regarding the effects of abortion on women, men, families and society.[76]
  • National Committee for a Human Life Amendment objectives include educating citizens, developing pro-life legislative networks, and offering programs in support of pro-life legislation [77]
  • Susan B. Anthony List dedicated to electing candidates and pursuing policies that will reduce and ultimately end abortion.[78]
  • Americans United for Life to defend human life through vigorous legislative, judicial, and educational efforts, on both the state and national level. [79]
  • Americans Life League The largest grassroots Catholic pro-life education organization in the United States. ALL is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death. [80]

Pro-choice

  • NARAL Pro-Choice America (formerly National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) We are made up of pro-choice women and men across the United States. Together, we protect a woman's right to choose.[81]

News

Sonogram of a baby at 20 weeks

Videos

References

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featured articles.
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