Tuesday, March 28, 2006

"Changing the law won't work"

Elizabeth Hovde's column last week in the Columbian regarding South Dakota's ban on abortion included sentiments I hear often from both pro-life people and agnostic-on-abortion people:

Changing the law won't work.

Still, I have always thought that recriminalizing abortion would be a disaster. At current rates, it is estimated that one in three American women will have had an abortion by age 45. Three-plus decades of Roe means women would obtain abortions legally or illegally in droves. And the "quality" and safety of the operations would likely go down.

Miss Hovde, says that "even as a pro-life person, I find that this news from South Dakota isn't the kind to get giddy about. I recoil at the thought of an outright abortion ban after 33 years of legalized abortion."

Sadly the argument for why we can't recriminalize abortion is the same one that was used to decriminalize abortion. The misguided and misnamed South Dakota Campaign for Healthy Families, which is attempting to overrule that state's new abortion ban, linked to her article as an example of reasoning for keeping the current abortion regime in place, i.e. recriminalizing abortion will lead to back-alley abortions, death, and the maiming of women.

This reasoning rests on several false assumptions:
--Women "choose" abortion.
--All or most of the women who "choose" legal abortion would be choosing illegal abortion.
--Churches, individuals and private organizations wouldn't step-up to address the needs of women facing unintended pregnancy in a post-Roe world.
--Legal abortion is quality abortion.
--Women have come to "rely on abortion" as birth-control. (a.k.a.The Sandra Day O'Connor reasoning for continuing legal abortion.)

The reality of what a woman is going through during a crisis pregnancy, how those around her can and do influence her decision, why a women ends up on the receiveing end of an abortion, and the truth about the aftermath is not as clear-cut as those in the pro-choice camp make it out to be.

Pro-lifers need to start challenging these assumptions with the facts and questioning the status-quo that says legal abortion is better than illegal abortion. If you are a pro-lifer who is fearful of illegal abortion because you believe women will die you simply haven't been doing your homework.

1 comment:

Lee Anne said...

"legal abortion is quality abortion"


Sounds good to me! Say a lie long enough and loud enough and you may be believed.

Ah but you can't dupe all the people all the time...

blessings -