Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Choice About Abortion

Remember this post?  Well, here is the actual essay that came out of that story.  I hope it challenges you to really think about abortion.  Happy reading!

   Abortion. It’s such a big issue in our country, but how much do we really know about it?
Do we just go with what our family thinks, or what our heart tells us? Pro-life, or pro-choice?
That is the question. Do we even think about what our answer should be? I’m here to give you
the facts. I know that I am pro-life, but you must decide for yourself what you believe.
   The first question you must answer is whether a fetus is a human being, and does
abortion kill a baby. Evidence shows that life begins at fertilization. At the moment of
conception, a new human being with a unique set of DNA is created. Our science and biology
teachers have taught us that from the beginning, and the experts agree. Professor Matthews-
Roth, Harvard Medical School, said, “It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be
decisive…It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.”
The official Senate Report states this: “physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that
conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a
member of the human species.” Even Bernard Nathanson, a strong abortion advocate, said
that “there is simply no doubt that even the early embryo is a human being.” There really is no
question that abortion kills a living, human baby.
   Even though we know that life begins at conception, one of the main pro-choice
arguments is that the fetus is part of the mother’s body; therefore she has the right to do what she
wants with it. While this sounds very noble and good, there are many proofs that the fetus is its
own person, not simply a part of its mother. First, the embryo has to disable the woman’s
immune system before it can attach to the wall of the uterus. Why would the body want to reject
it if it was just another part? Also, it is illegal to execute a woman who is pregnant, and if
someone kills a pregnant woman they will be convicted on two counts of murder. Why?
Because the baby living inside is a unique human being. The fetus can die while the mother
lives, and vice versa, which wouldn’t be possible if they were the same person. The fetus has
completely different DNA from its mother’s, and in many cases the baby is a boy, meaning even
the gender of the unborn child is different from that of the mother’s. Finally, women don’t have
extra arms and legs and two hearts when they’re pregnant. As Sir Albert Lilley put it, “At no
stage can we subscribe to the view that the fetus is a mere appendage of the mother.”
   To further prove that an unborn baby is its own person, let’s look at fetal development. It
begins at day one, when the baby already has a unique genetic code, and by week three the heart
begins to beat. After four weeks the backbone and muscle begin to form and hair sprouts. At
five weeks the fetus is only the size of a raspberry, but brains waves can be detected, and five
separate fingers are discernable. When the fetus is only six weeks old, it can move on its own,
and the major organs start working. A week later it can smell. At eight weeks the unborn baby
is only about an inch and a half, but all its body systems are in place, and it has nearly everything
that a full-grown adult has. Finally, at week 22, the fetus is viable, meaning it can live outside
   Now that you know about the fetus, you need to understand what actually happens during
an abortion. The most common type of abortion is vacuum aspiration. After counseling,
paperwork, etc. the woman is offered pain killers or sedation. A tube is inserted into the cervix,
and a suction machine “gently empties your uterus.” (Planned Parenthood) Basically, the baby is
   To make your decision about abortion you must also consider the effects of abortion on
the women, including post-abortion syndrome (PAS). PAS is a post-traumatic stress disorder
related to abortion. Symptoms include guilt, remorse, and regret. Many women also have
shame, lowered self-esteem, depression, or even attempt suicide. Insomnia, dreams and
nightmares, flashbacks, hatred toward men, and anniversary reactions are also symptoms of PAS.
   Planned Parenthood and other abortion supporters say that most women feel relief after
an abortion, and PAS is a myth created by “anti-choice extremists.” To support their views they
point out that neither the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric
Association acknowledges PAS.
   On the other hand, those on the pro-life side say that PAS is a real problem for women.
Abby Johnson worked her way up at Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the
nation, and became a director. After watching an abortion on the sonogram screen, she quit her
job and joined the Coalition for Life. She says in her book, unPlanned, “I’ve seen many women
suffer emotional pain and guilt, often for years, over their decision to abort. In cases of rape, I
found it particularly sad because often abortion seemed to add a new wound on top of the first.”
(unPlanned, Abby Johnson) While it’s true that many women initially feel relief after an
abortion, it doesn’t tend to last. Those against abortion are also quick to reveal the fact that both
APAs are boldly pro-choice, and their views may be tainted.
   The pro-life side also says that many surveys of women about PAS are invalid, for two
reasons. One, they ask women soon after the abortion procedure, but symptoms often take five,
or even ten years to kick in. Also, most women will deny symptoms of PAS in a survey. They push down their feelings and deny that they are having problems. In light of all this, I think it is
definitely safe to say that post-abortion syndrome is an authentic effect of abortion and a real
   Maybe the most compelling assertion pro-lifers can make is that “fetuses” have actually
lived through abortion. There are many stories of people who have survived abortion. Stories of
babies who were “missed” because the mother didn’t know she was carrying twins, of mothers
going into labor during the procedure, and stories of incomplete abortions resulting in a child
born without limbs. One of these stories is that of Gianna Jessen.
   Gianna’s mother was given a saline injection, which was supposed to get rid of the
unwanted “tissue.” She gave birth to a live baby instead. Gianna developed cerebral palsy
because of lack of oxygen when she was being aborted and born. The doctors said she would
never even sit up, but today she can walk, dance, and sing. Gianna’s mother gave her up for
adoption, and she finally discovered the truth about her birth –and abortion- when she was
twelve. It was very hard to swallow. Amazingly, she has forgiven her mother. Gianna is a
strong pro-life advocate and is against abortion even in the case of rape.
   At first, abortion supporters seem to have a strong defense and righteous causes. But if
you take a closer look you will discover that all their slogans and arguments fall apart when
weighed up against the truth. In the end, you must decide for yourself where you stand on
abortion. I find the facts and evidence overwhelmingly in favor of the pro-life side. I know that
abortion kills babies. I have made my choice. I am, and will remain, firmly and passionately
against abortion. Like Mother Teresa said, “How can there be too many children? That is like
saying there are too many flowers.”

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