Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Life, Abortion, and Conscience

How does one face the issues objectively?

• 2014: Half of pregnancies among American
women are unintended, and four in 10 of 
these are terminated by abortion.[1]

• The U.S. unintended pregnancy rate is
 significantly higher than the
 rate in many developed

• The reasons women give for choosing abortion 
underscore their understanding of the responsibilities
of parenting and family life. Three-fourths cite concern for
or responsibility to other individuals; three-fourths say they
cannot afford a child; three-fourths say that having a baby
would interfere with work, school or the ability to care
for dependents; half say they do not want to be a
single parent or are having problems with their
 husband or partner.[3]

An unplanned pregnancy is not a minor event.  It's a life changer. Choices available can challenge both our conscience and our ability to walk them through.

In the news, we see the industry that removes a developed fetus and disassembles it for the sale of individual organs and tissue samples.

Planned Parenthood explains on their website, "...you may also need a shot through your abdomen to make sure that the fetus's heart stops before the procedure begins."  See more here.

Ultrasound technology now gives us a better view of the unborn child, and the visual impact is significant.

So where can we find an objective position that's consistent with conscience?

In a perfect world perhaps, every unintended pregnancy would be prevented. The world isn't perfect, though, and hundreds of thousands every year have to face the reality.  Is abortion a choice I can make in good conscience?
  • What about when birth control failed?
  • What about a forced or coerced impregnation?
  • What about a problem that threatens the mother's health or life?
  • What about an underaged victim?
  • What about a life that is totally unprepared for a child?
  • What about a single mom who just can't afford another child?
  • Is it different if the baby has a significant health problem?
  • Is it different if pregnancy is just a few days or weeks along?
  • Is there a difference between the first weeks and the last weeks of a pregnancy?

The difficult choice is often faced by women and girls who've perhaps had little opportunity to see life beyond their microcosm, who've been coached by equally uninformed friends, or who only have access to a way out rather than a way forward.
• Medication abortion accounted 36% of abortions
 before nine weeks’ gestation, in 2011.[5]

Far be it from me to judge the conscience or decision of another. Often, I suspect, they're hard-pressed by difficult circumstances with no good options in sight.  That's their reality.  Some have alternatives for real help like CareNet in southern Maryland.

Planned Parenthood, however, is a separate issue.  As a corporate entity, they've taken the position that abortion is the solution.  It accounts for about half of their clinic income, not the 3% they claim. Their business model preferentially provides termination for their pregnant client with virtually no attention to healthy alternatives that exist.  The organization is openly hostile to those who would offer help that didn't include abortion as the preferred end.

Recent news shows PP staff and management as they deal with the business of abortion and disposal of the remains. Publically, they discuss 'fetal tissue', but the reality is troubling if you look further. There is in fact a market for hearts, lungs, brains, various glands and tissue from well developed fetuses,  We call them fetuses because it would be troublesome if we called them children.

A six-week embryo
At what point is that transition identifiable? From fetus to child; ovum and sperm, fertilized ovum, embryo, implantation in the womb, first movement, and later, viability.  At some point, we have a child in the equation.

Amelia was born at 23 weeks
and a few days.  Her twin brother
was born 10 days later.  PPHood 
would routinely abort such a child
and sell her remains.
The result of the political and ideological battle is that our culture now allows the termination of pregnancy as a convenience for any reason.  The argument for choice is largely based on misrepresentation of both the act and the meaning.   It's rather large and divisive.

The questions continue.