How to be pro-life: Changing the dialogue on abortion

On April 12, The Atlantic printed a story about the trial of Kermit Gosnell, a West Philadelphia doctor who ran the Women’s Medical Society for more than 30 years.

This clinic was billed as a place for taking care of a myriad of issues, from the nebulous “family planning” to dental care. Yet, Gosnell will forever be infamous as an abortionist. 

Before the pro-lifers start saying, “I told you so,” and the pro-choice folks begin defending their stance, remember this, Gosnell has been arrested for breaking the law.

According to The Atlantic’s story, Gosnell is on trial for seven counts of murder, one of which is that of an immigrant woman given lethal doses of Demerol. The other counts are for babies aborted via “snipping” – Gosnell’s practice of snipping the spinal cord of a baby after having been born through the mother’s being induced. So basically murdering a child. The legal clincher: the babies were born after the 24-week’s gestation allowed by Pennsylvania law.

Granted, The Atlantic gives a horrifying portrait of the abortion clinic. When FBI agents raided the clinics in 2010, they saw blood on the floor, a flea-infested cat roaming the halls and the smell of urine filled the air.

Public Health officials later testified that the instruments used were not sterile, and oxygen machines and the suction tubing used for abortions was all that was available for the supplementation of oxygen.

So it was horrifying. Something out of a disgusting gore horror film.

I’m glad Gosnell is on trial. I’m glad he will face a prison sentence. I’m glad the staffers might also stand trial.

I also despise abortion. I find it a grotesque practice, responsible for taking the lives of viable human beings.

However, I’m not so keen on outlawing abortion. In fact the Gosnell case should point out the need to keep abortion legal (as sickening as that statement is).

I recall the 1967 classic film, “In The Heat of Night.” If you haven’t seen it, watch it.

In this film, a young woman has an abortion at the hands of back-room abortionists. What I recall from the film are a horrified young woman and some screaming; in other words, the same kind of stuff happening at Gosnell’s clinic.

Now realize, this was a mainstream Hollywood film depicting real-life issues like racial prejudice, murder and abortion. Art being a reflection of society, it’s safe to say the abortion practice depicted in the film was likely commentary on a bigger issue. That is, the many backroom abortions performed for centuries, many in dank, dark rooms with clothes hangers, soiled linens and no anesthesia.

As long as abortion is legal, women will have the opportunity to have the ages-old and never-ending practice of abortion done in a sterile environment with trained physicians.

I believe this act is wrong. I believe abortion takes many a viable and beautiful human life, yet botched abortions can take two lives.

The practice will never end. It occurred before it was legalized. Thus, keep it legal with even more regulation.

Folks like Jay Sekulow and Jordan Sekulow believe, like me, that abortion is killing an innocent life. However, the father-son team of the American Center for Law Justice (ACLJ) believes abortion should be outlawed.

In an op-ed piece for The Washington Post, Jordan Sekulow asks how a child could be determined a human at 24-weeks gestation yet, not a week prior?

I ask the same thing? With all its implication, the questioning is sickening.

Unlike the Sekulows, I do not request donations for the legal fund by which I earn a living and lobby on behalf of the pro-choice community.

What are these men and the angry pro-lifers doing with presence on Capitol Hill and rants from the pulpit regarding illegalizing abortion?

One thing they are not doing is stopping Kermit Gosnell. In fact, if pro-lifers ever made any headway in Congress they would be promoting the bloody back-room practices a la Kermit Gosnell.

Now, before you start your strongly worded letter about my evil opinion and how I’m not really a Christian, consider this:

Keep abortion legal.

Allow women to decide whether or not they want to kill their child and possibly live with a guilty conscience.

In the mean time, take all that cash donated to the ACLJ and other pro-life lobbying groups and begin donating to pregnancy centers and adoption agencies.

Fund these organizations so they can beat abortion clinics at the marketing game. Fund these organizations, so they can build a center down the street from an abortion clinic.

Provide communities with more testimonies about the possible psychological and health effects of abortion. Reach out to the demographics proven most likely to have abortions. Provide them with more neo-natal care, psychological counseling, and adoption services. Even provide a place where women can live during pregnancy should they be kicked out of their parents’ house.

Begin lobbying on behalf of adoption. Write legislation making adoption more accessible for birth mothers and prospective adopters.

Instead of complaining about abortion, go canvas a neighborhood, putting up flyers about adoption services and pregnancy centers. Talk with women about these adoptions.

Do these things, and change the hearts of people experiencing the effects of abortions. Then, you can work on legislation.

Practice the spirit of a law before you force the letter of the law.

  • William S.

    How about keeping government out of the practice of secretly removing children from schools, driving them to abortion clinics, without informing parents. On a deeper level, abortion, as practiced today, is the wholesale genocide of the next generation, modern-eugenics that has duped an entire nation into believing the morality of slaughtering life in the womb.

  • Drypor A.

    The point you make about simultaneously being pro-life while wanting to keep abortion legal is as sensational as it is pragmatic. Basically, if abortions WERE outlawed it wouldn’t help anything because they’d still be taking place one way or another.
    Technically, if someone is truly against abortions they need to be heavily involved in promoting abortion alternatives. We should not waste energy fighting the actual practices of abortion, that is futile as they’ve been happening for thousands of years.
    Instead, let’s use our resources to support adoption agencies & counseling/education programs for curbing unwanted and/or unplanned pregnancies!

  • Abby

    Yes, it is an opinion piece… However, the judgement you cast on your own gender (women) for making such a decision on their body, health and life is despicable. I think it is people who think like you that create the anxiety and guilt that women have when having an abortion. Your opinion deems children to live lives of poverty, abuse, and neglect because most people that consider abortions are probably not fit to be parents. You encourage adoption, but adoption is an expensive and lengthy process, making it very difficult for children to become part of a family. Most will grow to be 18 without being adopted and left to fend for themselves. Your critical ways hurt others, and seem to be based on emotion and ignorance.

  • Drypor A.

    Abby, are you suggesting that having some wisdom teeth removed from your jaw should carry about the same weight of guilt & anxiety as having a developing little human being removed from your uterus?

  • Lee

    What is ignorant are the comments made by people who lack concern for human life, whether it is 9 days or 9 months old.

    That is what is despicable.

  • Mike

    Both sides of this false dichotomy are not conceding enough.

    Pro-lifers need to acknowledge that, given the principle that ending a fetus at any stage is wrong and should be banned, a fetus deserves legal rights and thus deal with all that follows from that. At what point after conception should a fetus be given human rights? And how? Questions of this sort.

    Pro-choice needs to discard the false premise that it is merely an issue of a woman having control over their own body. Cut-and-dry. An analogy is if a 13 year old human was living inside somebody, should it be up to the individual to terminate or not terminate that life? Of course not. The question is do pro-choicers believe a fetus, and later full formed human in the womb, that life should only have legal rights to life after it is removed from the mother’s body? That would seem outrageous to believe as such.

    Pro-lifers also need to acknowledge that tax payers will be obligated to pay for the care and health of many of these kids, the logical consequence of forcing women to bear all their children.

    I’d prefer women/men who do not want or are not planning to have a child to STOP getting pregnant. But that requires personal responsibility.