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Thoughts on abortion

Posted by John Reed on

Abortion is one of the thorniest ethical questions ever to face human beings. Neither the right yelling “Never” nor the left yelling “Always” through their bullhorns has an intelligent position on the issue. The American people in general recognize the complexity and lack of clarity of the moral issues involved.

I do not have the solution to the abortion issue anymore than the left or right does, but I have a suggestion reflecting one aspect of abortions that I think is dead wrong. I do not like the “Out of sight, out of mind” way abortions are handled.

When my wife was pregnant with our first son, we had a doctor visit where he let us hear the fetal heart beat. At the time, I was a typical guy who really had no position on abortion. I never fathered a child that was aborted or any other childeren other than my three sons with my wife.

Then, in the doctor’s office, the fetal hear beat suddenly replaced my wife’s thump—thump heartbeat in the speaker. I thought it would be the same because the fetus was connected to my wife’s circulatory system. I was wrong. The fetal heart beat of our son Dan was quite different—frantically beating in a seeming desperate effort to be born. Although I had never thought about abortion before and was certainly not thinking about it that day, the thought that instantly came to me when I heard that heartbeat was,

Holy shit! An abortion means stopping that heart!

I don’t know why that was my first thought, but it was.

I note that leftists are very big on wanting executions of prisoners televised and that they hate videos of fetuses being aborted. Rightists are big on videos of fetuses being aborted, but opposed to televising executions of prisoners. Both are trying to use the “Out of sight out, of mind” flaw in the human brain to preserve their political position on killing a particular category of human life. Both are trying to keep one of the two matters abstract. Neither is abstract. There is a real human being executed in prisons and a real human fetus being killed in abortions. Those who advocate either should not object to everyone involved seeing exactly what is going on.

Abortion workers cannot stand to do it

The 1/25/10 Weekly Standard had an article by Jon Shields and David Daleiden about many abortion workers who have switched to the other side. Why? Better technology which eliminated the ability of abortionists to keep what they were actually doing “out of mind.”

The article’s title was “Mugged by ultrasound.” It said that improved ultrasound gave the abortionists a more high resolution view of the fetus they were killing and the reaction of the fetus to being killed. Also, the method of doing abortions changed from saline solution injection to “dilation and evacuation” (D&E) because D&E was safer. “Dilation” refers to widening the cervix to give the abortionists access to the fetus. “Evacuation” refers to amputating the appendages of the fetus—that is the arms, legs, and head—while the fetus is alive. Indeed, it is the amputations of the appendages that kills the fetus.

The abortion workers were very good at being pro-abortion when abortion was an abstract political issue. But they are less able to be pro-abortion when dealing with the concrete details of looking at a human fetus writhing in reaction to being killed and to the disposal of the fetus body parts. One woman who quit Planned Parenthood said that no one who worked there wanted the job of disposing of fetal body parts, notwithstanding their affection for yelling through bullhorns that abortion was 100% right!

Here are the words of Paul Jarrett who quit the abortion business after 23 abortions.

As I brought out the rib cage, I looked and saw a tiny beating heart. And when I found the head of the baby, I looked squarely in the face of another human being—a human being that I just killed.

Anti-abortion forces made a film in 1984 called Silent Scream. It included an ultrasound video of a fetus frantically trying to avoid dismemberment including a wide-open, apparently screaming mouth that could not be heard because of the fluid in which the fetus was suspended. The pro-abortion movement absolutely hates Silent Scream. But basically, because of the technology improvements, performing abortions has come to mean screening one new version after another of Silent Scream. Many former pro-abortion ideologues cannot stand to look at it. But the article adds,

Most, however, find a way to cope with the dissonance.

“Mugged by ultrasound” was inspired by a study done by Warren Hern and Billie Corrigan. who concluded their study by saying,

[D&E] leaves no possibility of denying an act of destruction. It is before one’s eyes. The sensations of dismemberment run through the forceps like an electric current.

Conservative talk show hosts, like leftists, have long held their cast-in-concrete positions on abortion. But when supplemented recently by their position on stem-cell research—that it’s as bad as they say abortion is—causes the American people to dismiss them as captives of the religious right. Stem cell research is probably nowhere near as promising as its advocates say. But there is no reason not to do it other than to suck up to religious nuts.

Conservative talk show hosts are thoughtful on issues like economic freedom, global warming, campaign finance, and to an extent on issues like defense. But they are nutty on the war in Iraq and religious-related matters. They have lost influence because the war and stem-cell research have ascended in importance and revealed a larger split between ideological conservatives and the pragmatic, common-sense Americans. I am OK with conservative principles, but not the application of conservative ideology to extremely complex issues like the war in Iraq or religious influence over government policy and law. The American people as a group seem to feel the same.

Note that I have not said anything about whether the woman should abort or not. I am not sure. The mother certainly has more at stake than I do as a third-party observer. What I am saying is let’s stop having it be some sort of abstraction. Ideology plays a role in our civilization, but not in abortion. Abortion is an act that our brains are not wired to accept. I did not wire the brains so don’t blame me. I recommend avoiding unwanted pregnancies. If you have an unwanted pregnancy, I urge you to research thoroughly what it means to abort it if you are considering that. See Silent Scream. Talk to women who have had abortions. Watch one and the disposal of the fetus. The reason to do all this is that having an abortion is irreversible. If after thoroughly researching it and knowing exactly what you are getting yourself and your fetus into, you still decide to go ahead, I, as a male who never went through it in the shoes of either parent, am not in a position to judge. I am simply trying to save you from a life of regret that might surprise you—regret that cannot be expunged.

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