Common Sense: Whose Choice?

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Harrison Leonard

Contributing columnist

Until 1996 when she left to begin a ministry of her own, Norma McCorvey was an affiliate of Operation Rescue, a pro-life organization “dedicated to ending abortion in America.” McCorvey attracted all manner of media attention when her membership with Operation Rescue was made known to the public.

What was unique about her membership was that in 1973, Norma McCorvey was known by a different name: Jane Roe. Roe was the alias chosen to preserve her identity when she became the plaintiff in what would become recognized as one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions in United States history, Roe v. Wade. The court ruled in favor of McCorvey, deciding that a women’s right to abortion procedures is protected in the Constitution. Since the decision, McCorvey and thousands of people who were previously pro-choice have come to oppose abortion. With over 40 million terminated pregnancies since 1973, it’s not hard to understand why.

A baby’s heart begins to beat around 18 days after fertilization, before most women are even aware they’re pregnant. But the pro-choice movement has been successful at making pregnancy impersonal to make the decision for abortion less intimate. Have you ever heard a pregnant woman call the child she has decided to keep a fetus? “Gee, my fetus has been kicking all afternoon!” In America today, the children we want to keep are “babies.” The mistakes we want to terminate are “fetuses.”

Many pro-choice individuals define life as beginning when an unborn child can live autonomously. To argue that a fetus is not a person because it is not independently viable would allow for the reasoning that autistic, mentally retarded, or severely handicapped humans are not people because they are not capable of maintaining themselves. At what age do you who are pro-choice believe we can morally begin terminating the lives of the elderly who contribute nothing to society and cannot live on their own?

We have seen 16-year old murderers like Fernando Gil Rivera escape capital punishment because left-wing judges decide they are not old enough to discern right from wrong, but when it comes to having an abortion, 13-year olds suddenly become old enough to make their own decisions without any input from their parents. When it comes to having a choice, it seems as though choice only goes so far: no choice for the father, no choice for the parents, no choice for the taxpayer, and no choice for the child. What is more important for society: choice or responsibility?

I understand and respect the severe personal conflict regarding abortion in circumstances of rape. However, the numbers for rape and “mother’s health”-related abortions are incredibly small, less than two percent of all abortions. Over ninety-five percent of all abortions procedures occur within the first trimester and are often excuses for irresponsible sexual conduct.

In a society where people weigh the effects of one crime against another, some would rather see unwanted children aborted than left for dead in dumpsters, but most abortions end up in trashcans anyways.

In a nation where illegal aliens are neither born nor naturalized in the U.S. yet privy to our health care and our schooling, unborn children— whose brain waves are measured six weeks after fertilization—are killed at the rate of 1,328,000 a year. And in a world where over ninety five percent of abortions are a form of birth control, “choice” is not about individual freedom, it is about our failure as people to account for the mistakes we have made, and not take responsibility for them.

The value of life has diminished in America. Everyone that supported slavery was free; everyone that supports abortion was born. That is how oppression begins, and that is how life ends— and if you can end it, it’s begun.