Monday, October 26, 2009

MCCL letter: Abortion is never the answer

In response to a letter to the editor advocating legalized abortion, MCCL wrote the following, published in the Fillmore County Journal on Oct. 23, 2009:

Yvonne Nyenhuis' Oct. 19 letter consists of nothing but muddled thinking and mistaken claims. I have space only to briefly address each one.

Nyenhuis implies that abortion is justified by poverty. But it is clearly wrong to kill innocent human beings because they are economically burdensome. The question at issue is not poverty, but whether the fetus or embryo is a valuable human person, like toddlers, teenagers and adults. If so, we may not kill him or her in the name of poverty any more than a father may kill his budget-busting 13-year-old daughter.

Nyenhuis says that women died from dangerous, unsanitary abortions prior to legalization in 1973. But abortion became safer for women because of modern medicine and better techniques, not because it was legalized. Dr. Mary Calderone, former medical director for Planned Parenthood, concluded in 1960 that "abortion, whether therapeutic or illegal, is in the main no longer dangerous." Legalization only made abortion much more prevalent.

Nyenhuis suggests that abortion should be available because some women become pregnant as a result of rape or incest. But less than one percent of abortions in Minnesota are for that reason, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Should we permit all the others?

Nyenhuis asks, "Who will care for [the babies who would have been aborted]?" There are over one million American families waiting to adopt. In any case, we may not brutally kill (as abortion does) innocent human beings, such as homeless orphans, if they lack parents to care for them.

Nyenhuis contends that "no men should have a vote concerning this unique and feminine dilemma." If that's so, the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion was unjust, since it was decided by nine men. In truth, one's gender has no bearing on the validity of his or her position; Nyenhuis should address the pro-life argument, not attack the sex of some with whom she disagrees.

Nyenhuis says prohibiting abortion would violate women's rights and their equality under the law. But if abortion is the unjust killing of an innocent human being, then there is no "right" to such killing, just as there is no right for a mother to kill her toddler. And legal abortion violates the equality of women who are in the prenatal stages of life.

I agree with Nyenhuis that "every baby who is born should be wanted and come into a nurturing environment." But there are two ways to achieve this goal: we can learn to love every child, or we can simply kill off all those who are not "wanted" before they are born.

Our society can and must choose the former. Thousands of pregnancy care centers across the country are showing that we can meet the needs of women and their children. Abortion is never the answer.