Holy and sacred abortion

Worth ReadingPatrice Lewis

May 31 marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Dr. George Tiller.

Of course you remember George Tiller. He was the blatant and unrepentant abortionist who was killed on the doorstep of the church he attended. (I'll let you pause and consider the irony of that last sentence.)

I didn't think anyone could venerate someone like Dr. Tiller, but I was wrong. Nancy Keenan of NARAL recently wrote a piece in which she celebrates the life and accomplishments of Dr. Tiller and ridicules those of us who found his vocation abhorrent. Ms. Keenan, apparently without a trace of irony, concludes that anyone who opposes abortion is "disrespecting" women.

To quote a letter to Dr. Tiller in Ms. Keenan's column: "Dr. Tiller … you helped our family through one of the darkest, most desperate and unthinkable moments we ever experienced. …"

Really. Dark, desperate and unthinkable, eh? Did it ever occur to the family that there are alternatives to abortion? I guess not. Apparently, it's far better to kill the baby and get on with things, suffering from guilt and depression and increased risk of breast cancer (not to mention a lot of explaining at the Pearly Gates) than simply give the baby to someone else.

The George Tillers of the world make abortion so quick and easy – who cares if it's just one day before the due date? – that women (a) no longer have any motivation to keep their bloomers buttoned, and/or (b) no longer have any motivation to seek a humane solution to their "problem," such as adoption. I have never heard a suitable explanation why adoption is not a viable alternative for most of the women in trouble, just like it's been for hundreds of years.

But to suggest that abortion is anything but kind and beneficial is "disrespecting" women. I find it astounding how the definition of "respect" has changed in the last four decades. Women were once respected for their morals, purity, values, strengths, intelligence and vigilance in guarding their reputation. Now they are "respected" for having an abortion. Go figure.

Abortion rights have been elevated to such religious heights among the liberals that Planned Parenthood has built its own seven-story 78,000 square foot temple in Houston, which an unnamed official referred to as "sacred and holy ground."

The core issue around the entire abortion industry is the belief that women simply cannot control themselves sexually. Or, more specifically, it revolves around the belief that women should not have to control themselves. As I stated last month, if unmarried women would quit having so much damned free sex, most of this would not be an issue.

Ms. Keenan suggests that George Tiller provided a valuable service by helping women in "heartbreaking" circumstances. "Many of these women have wanted and cherished pregnancies but something goes wrong," laments Ms. Keenan, "such as a fetal anomaly or a condition that threatens their life or health."

Really. Putting aside the ethics involved in eugenics, I got curious about the number of women who had abortions because of dire circumstances (rape, incest, fetal abnormality, or danger to mother's life) versus the number of women who simply didn't want to bother with a baby.

According to the Guttmacher Institute (which, I'll take pains to point out, is extremely pro-choice), in 2004 less than half a percent of women had an abortion due to incest, and 1 percent had an abortion due to rape. Twelve percent were concerned with their physical health, and 14 percent reported "possible problems affecting the health of the fetus." Please note these were self-determined reasons, not necessarily concerns based on valid medical examinations.

So anywhere from 86 to 88 percent of women have an abortion because it's the handiest option. For every baby aborted due to genuinely dreadful circumstances, between 8 and 9 are killed just because it's more convenient. You can call these pregnancies dark, desperate, unthinkable or heartbreaking, but the fact remains the women in question voluntarily engaged in the sexual act that got them pregnant in the first place. Having done that, decades of feminist brainwashing completes the equation and convinces them they shouldn't have to "interrupt" their (pick one) schooling / career / unmarried relationship / slim figure / single way of life to give life to their baby.

And here's a new twist. Ms. Keenan is aghast at a bill working through the Oklahoma Legislature that would subject women to the "psychological torment" of having an ultrasound and "hearing a description of the fetus" before undergoing a publicly funded abortion.

I nearly laughed out loud on reading this. Feminists would have us believe that a fetus is merely a blob of tissue or a cluster of cells, something like what you might scrape off an old bowl of spaghetti that's been left in the fridge too long. If that's the case, why are they afraid of an ultrasound? If a fetus is merely a blob of tissue, who cares if a doctor takes a snapshot of it?

Yet 80 percent of women who see the ultrasound decide against abortion. An ultrasound shows unequivocally the fetus is human and it's alive. It is so powerful a testimony that a director of Planned Parenthood quit after seeing an abortion on an ultrasound.

Ms. Keenan expresses great concern about the impact of fewer abortions on "poor women." Why is it liberals perpetuate the myth that lower-income women are incapable of morals or self-control or ethics? Poverty is not an indicator of immorality. Or at least it shouldn't be. But liberals seem to think the "poor" are a demographic set apart and excused from any personal responsibility. They are helpless and incapable of the most basic of human decisions. Therefore, we must lament their "victimhood" and applaud their poor choices.

And what about the "thousands" of women who died from illegal abortions before Roe vs. Wade? Well, contrary to popular belief, that number was somewhere between 39 and 250 annually.

Contrast that with the number of legal abortions performed last year (1.3 million), which Nancy Keenan suggests are all done for necessary, medically sound reasons. According to the CDC, seven women died of legal abortions in 2005. The CDC rarely classifies abortion as the cause of death but instead will report the specific medical complication (such side effects as hemorrhaging, infection, breast cancer or even suicide) leading to death. In 1987, it was estimated that 146 women died from legal abortion complications in the U.S.

In other words, there are as many or more abortion-related deaths now than before 1972. I'm glad to know women have become so "respected" in the past 40 years.

Unlike Nancy Keenan, I do not honor Dr. Tiller's life or accomplishments. He never "helped" women – he hurt them by perpetuating the downward spiral of 60,000 women into reproductive hell by encouraging them to live a life free of sexual responsibility.

Patrice Lewis is a freelance writer and the author of "The Home Craft Business: How to Make it Survive and Thrive." She is co-founder (with her husband) of a home woodcraft business. The Lewises live on 40 acres in north Idaho with their two homeschooled children, assorted livestock, and a shop that overflows into the house with depressing regularity. Visit her blog at http://www.patricelewis.blogspot.com/.