by Benjamin T. Moore, Jr.
Ebers Papyrus. Ancient Egyptian Medical Text on how to induce abortions.
A brief history of abortion
Believe it or not, abortion is not new. It has been around for thousands of years. It was practiced in ancient Rome and the earliest reference comes from ancient Egypt. For those who’s views are informed by their religious faith, particularly the Christian faith, this is something to think about. Jesus would have of been familiar with the practice of abortions, yet he is not recorded as saying anything about it. As a matter of fact, Abortions do not even merit an honorable mention in the Bible.
We often believe that abortion is the result of modern medical advancement. Nothing could be further from the truth. Surprisingly enough, unwanted pregnancies have been occurring since people first began to make babies. Not long afterwards, they began discovering how to terminate those pregnancies. The irony is, some of the methods practiced in “Ancient Egypt” and other places, employed the exact same approach used today. They used certain plant based suppositories to cause a hormonal reaction which would end the pregnancy.
When does life begin?
When life begins is largely dependent on the person answering the question.
The answer to this question depends on one’s subjective point of view. Does life begin at conception? Does it begin when the brain becomes active in the fetus? Does it begin when the baby takes it’s first breath? Does life begin before conception? Some people believe we live many lives. It might even be prudent to ask, “what exactly is human life?” The answer to this question truly depends upon the person being asked and the person asking the question. It could be argued in a variety of ways, with each position able to defend their points of view.
The problem is, it really comes down to the belief of the person asking the question and doing the answering. From the perspective of the Christian Bible, it is interesting to note, Adam did not become a “living soul” until he took his first breath from God. He was fully formed – presumably an adult – with all his limbs, organs, vital system etc., but he was not alive until the moment of that first breath. Thus, based on that passage in the Bible, I could sustain the argument that life does not begin until the moment a baby takes its first breath. I’m sure many will find this unsatisfactory because it goes against what they’ve been led to believe.
Of course, one could also use the Bible to argue that life begins before conception.
[KJV] Jeremiah 1:5
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations
Note the the part about being known before being formed in the womb. This could support those who believe that we live many lives. To be known, one must exist. Actually there are numerous Biblical passages which suggest reincarnation and multiple lifetimes. However, dealing with that topic is for another day. It does raise an interesting question. To wit: If one is known prior to coming here and God is intimately involved in whom comes here and why, does it seem logical that God would send someone into a body that was going to be aborted? It is a question of faith, and it is worthy of thoughtful contemplation.
Abortions in the Bible
The Holy Bible
While the Bible does not mention abortion by name or seem to take issue with people practicing abortions, oddly enough there are passages in which either God causes an unnatural termination of pregnancy or authorizes a ritual to accomplish much the same thing. In the book of Hosea a curse is placed upon Ephraim. A part of that curse involves God causing miscarriages. This is without a doubt the ending of a pregnancy unnaturally. An abortion by any other name… except that the abortion provider in this case is God.
There are numerous passages where God demands the murder of pregnant women. If you murder the pregnant mother, you’re effectively aborting the fetus as well. Thus this notion of God being against abortions is actually unsustainable when one actually examines the Bible. Those who identify as Christian and oppose abortion for religious reasons, clearly have not read their Bibles.
Hypocrisy that knows no bounds
“Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.” __Joe Biden
Enjoy it while it lasts
It is high time someone called the “Pro-Life” movement on their blatant hypocrisy. Some of the same people who are out picketing Abortion Clinics will leave that protest, head cross town and join up with a TEA Party rally. Some of the same people protesting abortions, on the basis of being “Pro-Life,” believe in and support the “Death Penalty.” Where were they when we invaded Iraq? This sovereign nation had nothing to do with the attacks on September 11, 2001. They did not have any “Weapons of Mass Destruction.” Hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, men, women and children lost their lives, where were these “Pro-Life” protesters?
Notice the difference between the Red and Blue States?
Life is more than just conception. It is more than just giving birth. It is providing shelter for your child, food, clothing, medical care, education, all those things Republicans are hell bent on cutting. They know the words, but they don’t know the music. They speak the “Pro-Life” language, but when you look at their actual policies, their words ring hollow.
Pro-Life? I do not think it means what you think it means.
The same people who are marching under the “Pro-Life” banner are some of the same people who are in the TEA Party. They complain about taxes they aren’t even paying. These are the same TEA Party Republicans who want to cut funding for education, want to do away with the “Affordable Care Act” which gives health care to millions of children who did not have it before. These are the same people who are against school teachers being given a raise. These are the same people who will vote for a candidate who has as much as promised a war with Iran if he’s elected. Yet they claim to be “Pro-Life.”
This shows what they value and it’s not Pro-Life
Make no mistake. Although resources are always limited and choices have to be made, when you vote to give $4 billion dollars in subsidies to the most profitable corporations on this planet – the Oil Industry – while at the same time cutting spending for “Head Start,” “School Lunch Programs,” “Pell Grants,” “Education,” “Health Care” and a host of other programs that provide quality of life and opportunity, don’t pretend to be “Pro-Life.” As Joe Biden says, “don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you value.”
The harsh realities of an Abortion decision
Surgical Suite – Most people tend to avoid these if at all possible
I am puzzled by those who have convinced themselves that getting an abortion is the equivalent – if not easier – of going to their dentist for a teeth cleaning. An abortion is an invasive medical procedure. It’s an operation. I know of few people if any who look forward to being operated on. You can die from an abortion and people have died. An abortion is not a woman’s first choice. There is a recovery period following an abortion. Complications, both physical and psychological are common.
It can and does happen
Consider your average 14 year old. Remember when you were 14? You had all the answers didn’t you? You were as good as grown, just waiting for the rest of the world to catch up with your epiphany. Yet, at 14 years of age, if your parents had put you out of their home, they would have been charged with child neglect. The State won’t give you a driver’s license because at 14? They know you don’t have good judgement. At 14, you may have thought you knew everything you needed to know. Yet, going to school was still mandatory. Even if you were industrious and got a job, your parents have to sign off on it. During the school year your employer, by law had to limit your hours.
At 14 you cannot vote, you cannot buy liquor, you cannot smoke and you cannot enter into a legally binding contract. The State understands this and protects the 14 year old from his or herself. Unfortunately, at 14 you can get pregnant. Rarely does a 14 year old get pregnant by following her parent’s instructions or advice. It was because of her lack of judgement that she got pregnant. A 14 year old doesn’t have the requisite judgement to drive, vote, end their educational career or work a full time job, but suddenly we’re going to pretend that she’s got the judgement to become a mother? This is insanity on a whole new level.
If she carries the baby to term now what? She cannot get a job because she cannot drop out of school. If she lives in poverty, her parent(s) may both be working. Which of them should quit their job to stay at home and care for their grandchild? They cannot afford child care costs and the cost for infant care is even higher. Currently? There are programs in place to offer some assistance. However, Republicans are going after those programs hammer and tong to dismantle and de-fund them. Many of these Republicans fly under the “Pro-Life” moniker. But are they?
What about giving the child up for adoption? That is a shotgun solution usually put forth by people whom have no idea what they’re talking about. First of all, it’s not that easy. It’s not that cut and dried. Even if it were, by the time that 14 year old carries her child to term, holds her baby just one time, there’s no letting go. It’s that whole judgement thing again. Guess what! The same courts who in their infinite wisdom have determined that a 14 year old cannot drive, vote, smoke, drop out of school, or drink beer… those same courts will suddenly determine that this same 14 year old who is too young to enter into a legally binding contract, has the right to keep her baby. Not only is she now condemned to poverty, but her child is as well. The thing about poverty? It becomes an endlessly repeating cycle. Children raising children. Like the sign over the gate to Hell, “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.”
Often the pressures of parenting at such an early age cause young parents to become abusive. Thus we now add abuse to the poverty stew. Abuse begets abuse and often a child born under such conditions winds up in jail, a ward of the State or worse.
Understanding the statistics
At some point in the Abortion debate, the subject of acceptable exemptions comes up. Usually those who are moderate agree that Abortions should be available in cases of rape, incest or to protect the health of the mother. A disturbing trend has developed of late. Now, certain people are even discounting these as legitimate reasons to perform abortions.
Most rapes are never reported
According to The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, 1% of abortions are due to rape or incest and 6% involve the health of the mother. There is a problem with that first statistic. Rape is one of the most under reported crimes there is. This comes from the Department of Justice and FBI studies. Out of 100 rapes only 46 are ever reported. 54% go unreported. There are many reasons for this. Oft times the rapist is someone the victim knows. It may be the boyfriend of her mother, it may be a brother-in-law and uncle or cousin. The fear of what would happen to family relationships should the victim go public is often enough to keep the victim silent.
This is the dirty little secret that resides in the dark, dank fetid corners of our culture. We do not want to talk about it. We pretend that if we do not acknowledge it, it will cease to exist. Question: If most women don’t report their rapes to the police, what are the odds they’re going to report it to the doctor performing the abortion? Would the doctor be required to report it? If a 16 or 17 year old gets raped by say her mother’s boyfriend, most will never tell their mother what really happened. They’re not going to tell the police and should they get pregnant, they’re not going to tell the doctor. Thus that 1% figure is an error. What should it actually be? I have no idea and I’m not sure anyone can accurately determine the true figure. All we know is that it is higher. Rape by it’s very nature is not a planned sexual encounter. I don’t think a rapist acting on the spur of the moment, stops to put on a condom. Thus because the sex is unprotected, there is a much higher chance of an unwanted pregnancy occurring.
Ramifications of reversing Rowe v. Wade
Reversing Rowe is not going to end abortions. Abortions have been going on since the time of the Ancient Egyptians. They will continue. What will happen is, they will go underground. No laws or regulations. No one to prevent late term abortions from occurring. No licensing agency. Think about it like the war on drugs. We all know how well that’s turned out.
“The morning after pill”
In fact, there would be an immediate black market created for the RU-486 pills. If you cannot keep cocaine, meth or an assortment of other narcotics off our streets and – dirty little secret – out of our prisons, do you think you’ll have better success with RU-486? Once that market is created, all sorts of people will rush in to fill that void. Some will produce fakes, others, lacking the technology or quality control will be pushing pills that are dangerous and in some cases deadly. Not a problem for you? Actually it may be. As parents, try as we might, we often do not know when our children become sexually active. Should a pregnancy occur, what might a daughter do to keep from disappointing her parents?
Something else to consider, what if a woman has a legitimate miscarriage? A woman discovers herself to be pregnant. The pregnancy is unplanned and she’s dealing with the ramifications of bringing a new life into this world. She begins seeing her doctor for pre-natal care. She shares her reservations with her doctor. So he knows she’s having some anxiety. One day while she’s at work, she begins having cramps. She runs to the bathroom and miscarries into the toilet. Does that toilet now become a crime scene?
Could this become a crime scene?
With Abortions becoming illegal it would also be illegal for her to have taken RU-486 or some other abortion inducing compound. If she’d taken something to cause a miscarriage, under the law she would have committed feticide. Would she be required to try and recover the fetal mass for analysis? Should she call the police so their crime team can come and recover the evidence? When she returns to her doctor, he’s going to know she’s no longer pregnant, will he be required to report her? Would this have a chilling effect on women seeking pre-natal care? These are things that must be considered.
Picking a place to be
Paying lip service to being “Pro-Life” does not make one “Pro-Life.” To be “Pro-Life” you must be supportive of all the systems that make life possible. Pre-natal care, post-natal care, health care for the child and the mother, nutritional support such as WIC programs, early learning, “Head Start” and other programs which aid parents and children, must be supported.
When you cut public assistance programs, you’re not just cutting adults, you’re also cutting the children that depend on those adults. When you do not support “A Living Wage” for people at the low end of the income scale, you’re not supporting the children they are responsible for.
Various contraceptive methods
When you refuse to support access to contraception for women or sex education in the schools, you’re increasing the number of unwanted pregnancies. Abstinence? Works great… right up until it doesn’t. When it comes to sex, we’re like a person with a carbohydrate addiction in a bakery. Eventually we’re going to eat something sweet. We are hard wired for sex from millions of years of evolution. The survival of our species depends on it.
“Agent Smith: I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species, and I realised that humans are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment; but you humans do not. Instead you multiply, and multiply, until every resource is consumed. The only way for you to survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern… a virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer on this planet, you are a plague, and we… are the cure.”
We’re so good at it, we now have over 300 million living here in the United States and over 7 billion populating the entire planet. We are in the middle of a population explosion. The global population is growing exponentially. The resources on our planet are not. We have seen what happens in nature when a population of creatures becomes unbalanced. Their population explodes until they consume all available resources and then they die slowly, painfully from disease and starvation.
Farmers inspecting their withered crops
The reality is, we’re already beginning to see the signs of this happening to us already. When you see those commercials at night showing you starving and impoverished children, they live in places where the populations grew beyond the resources required to sustain them. Could anything like that happen here? What makes you think it couldn’t? This past year we had one of the worst and widest droughts since the “dust bowl” of the 30’s. It hit in our main agricultural belts. We will not fully understand the impact of this drought until this spring. It will take that long for whatever crops we were able to harvest to be turned into the staples we rely on for sustenance.
“Let them eat cake.” __Marie Antoinette
We no longer understand our relationship with the land. We go to grocery stores and super markets without ever stopping to ask “where does that produce come from?” We are living out the “let them eat cake” mentality that caused Marie Antoinette to lose her head. Her inability to realize that her people were starving was no doubt exacerbated by the largess she enjoyed. Her pantry was full. The supermarkets and grocery stores have become our pantries. It won’t hit home for us until we go to the store and find those shelves bare. What will we do?
Every choice, every decision carries consequences. If you want to decrease the number of abortions, but you object to providing access to contraceptions and sex education, you’re not “Pro-Life.” If you want to decrease the number of abortions but you’re against having your tax dollars go to support the programs and agencies that provide support and make it possible for struggling people to care for their children, you’re not “Pro-Life.” If you’re not concerned about planetary resources, preserving our environment and repairing our fragile ecosystems, you’re not “Pro-Life.”
If your concern for human life begins at conception and ends at birth, you’re not “Pro-Life,” you’re Pro-Fetus and that is something entirely different. Don’t get it twisted.