Back when the law was created, we didn't have all the fancy ultrasound machines that we do now. I suppose that the ignorance of the day could have been excused to some degree, but it's hard to look at today's ultrasound pictures and not think that a fetus is just as alive as a baby. I had the opportunity to go see Bodyworlds 3 last year, and they have a fetal display... it is amazing how defined a baby's features are even at 8 weeks gestation.
In the last 35 years, millions of people have been killed for various reasons. Some were raped, some were forced to by their parents, some had health problems, some didn't want to tell their parents. Whatever the reason, the way that we react to the preborn has changed over the years.
- A girl can choose to have an abortion, or she can choose to have an abortion and make the father pay child support. Over the years, the argument of father's rights has developed... why can't the father choose to renounce the rights to the baby and choose to not pay child support? We seem to think that it's "my body, my choice" but it doesn't extend to "my wallet, my choice" for the fathers. I'm against abortion, but it does seem a little unfair to the guys. If abortion wasn't available, as it used to be, there wouldn't be this argument.
- Adopting a baby is not an easy thing to do. If you want to adopt a healthy infant of the same race as you (and you happen to be white), you can get on a waiting list and hope and pray that you'll get your chance someday... after shelling out thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. I wasn't alive before the Roe v. Wade decision, but somehow I doubt that there was a dearth of healthy babies waiting to be adopted. When teen girls used to get pregnant, often they would go away to "visit an aunt" or something for several months, and come back after having the child and adopting it out.
A lot of people that are in favor of abortion use the argument that "there are so many unwanted children in the world... abortion just keeps another unwanted baby from being born." While it's true that there are many unwanted children out there, most of them are not healthy newborns, which is what a lot of the parents facing infertility are trying to adopt. Many of them can't any more, because they can't afford it.
Adoption nowadays just seems to be something that most people don't even really consider. You either want the baby and you have it, or you don't want the baby and you abort it. Not many people have the courage any more to go through with a pregnancy just to give it to some strangers that really want to have a child but can't.
- Premarital sex is something that is easier to hide from your parents. The availability of birth control aside, if you get pregnant nowadays, you can just "get rid of it" by going to Planned Parenthood, and your parents never have to know in many cases.
- Babies with birth defects (or suspected birth defects) are less likely to be born. You can have tests to screen them out. Sometimes the tests are wrong, but even if the test wasn't wrong, is it right to say that you don't want a baby to live even if it is not perfect?
There are truly cases where the mother's life is in danger and there is absolutely no way that the mother can survive without an abortion. Tubal pregnancies, for example. There is no way to save the baby's life, because the pregnancy in the fallopian tubes would cause both the mom and the baby to die. But there's not much controversy surrounding that.
Neither is there much controversy on doctors using abortion procedures, the D&C, D&E, or D&X, in cases where the baby has died and there is an inevitable miscarriage. Doctors that don't perform those procedures on living babies will perform them when the mother is waiting to miscarry. It can be a lifesaving procedure in these cases (without this procedure people sometimes could bleed to death)... I happen to be one person whose life was saved twice by this procedure, even though I was hoping that I could miscarry naturally.
There is also the abortion drug out there, RU-486, which was not available 35 years ago. It's not exactly the quick fix that some doctors would let you think... but then again, it is not necessarily an evil drug, for the same reason that the D&C procedure is not always used to kill babies. Sometimes people lose their babies and are going to miscarry anyway... this drug can be used to help people in those circumstances in the same way a D&C could.
It would be nice to live in a world where abortion was outlawed once again. I'm not suggesting that we have a "too bad, so sad" attitude towards those who find themselves pregnant with an unwanted baby, I think that we should help them in any way that we could. It would be nice if more resources were diverted to pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that would help teen moms (or older moms, if needed) with resources, medical care, or even a home to stay at if their parents kick them out of the house.
I really love my babies... the one that is 5 1/2 and had her first two baby teeth removed today, and the one that likes to climb on our computer cases (and anything else he can find). It's hard to believe that they started out smaller than a poppy seed. It's hard to believe that someone would want to end the life of a baby that would eventually grow into a sweet little newborn or toddler if just fed and cared for.
I used to think that abortion was okay for some people, but not for me. But then I saw the Silent Scream video. Don't click on the link if you are a kid or are squeamish, however (there's nothing on the main page that is offensive).
Hope that we don't have another 35 years (and 35 million babies) of abortion in this country. :-(