The self centred slogans of abortion promoters not only promote selective rights for some, while denying rights to others, they also deny the reality of abortion. What is behind the slogans being used? Has abortion helped the cause of women in society? The following slogans should be carefully examined.

No one has a right to impose his values (religion, belief) on another.

The Criminal code imposes values and responsibilities on all of us for the common good. Every right we have carries with it responsibilities. For example, the right to drive carries with it the responsibility to abide by the laws of the highways.

The call for “freedom of choice” and “reproductive rights” is a call for selective rights for one group, — some mothers who want to abort their infants. The same slogans deny rights to the innocent unborn, the father, maternal and paternal grandparents, as well as aunts and uncles. The decision we are told is to be between the woman and a doctor (not her doctor) who receives his fee from the public, many of whom are against the practice. Who is imposing values?

Women have a right to control their own bodies?

First, the fetus is not the mother’s body. Secondly, there are many situations in which we do not have absolute control over our bodies and this is for the protection of society. Drug abuse, prostitution, abortion and rape are all criminal offences. Would you give “freedom of choice?” to the rapist to violate the body of another person? He victimizes the female just as the female victimizes the child by abortion.

The fetus is not a person?

Some claim the fetus is a potential human being. Dr. Albert Liley, the father of fetology states, ‘potential’ is not a medical or physiological or biological term at all but a metaphysical [philosophical] one and if we stick to the language of biology and medicine and talk about a growing or developing human being we are back again with medical reality and a very different sense.” He further notes that the reality of the infant in the womb is a persistent embarrassment to those who promote abortion.

The fetus is a human potential – not a potential human being. Status is denied the unborn by attempting to relegate them to a non-human category through the use of semantic gymnastics.

Legal abortions are safe abortions?

The immediate complication rates for abortions are cited as proof for this statement. The delayed and long-term consequences of abortions are ignored. For example, the complication rates for suction D & C abortions cited by Statistics Canada are 0.9% and for saline abortions 18.7%. But Dr. Carol Cowell of Toronto in 1971 found that by monitoring the patients for full year, the complication rates for adolescents were 26% for suction D & C and 47% for saline abortions.

The Badgley Report  (1977) stated “These three groups [spontaneous abortions, induced abortions and sterilizations] on an average subsequently consulted physicians twice as often for reasons related to mental health than women who had term deliveries.”

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, author of Aborting America has stated “abortion cures no known disease and relieves no medically classifiable illness.” Although most abortions are done for reasons of mental health, there are no psychiatric indications for abortion. “Witt and Cheavens state, surgery is never a form of psychotherapy.” (Psychiatric Contraindications to Surgery, Texas State Journal of Medicine, 1940). Why are abortions being done for reasons of mental health?

Childbirth is more dangerous than abortion?

Morbidity from abortions is calculated for the duration of the pregnancy up to the time of termination. Morbidity in this limited time period (say, 3 months) is compared – not with a similar period of (3 months) of another pregnancy which will result in childbirth-but with the whole 9 months of pregnancy. This weighs the comparison in favour of the abortion. It also ignores later abortions which are the most hazardous.

Maternal deaths include all deaths while the woman is pregnant and for 42 days thereafter, whether from abortions, accidents or any cause whatever. You can’t compare abortion deaths with maternal deaths because they are included in the maternal deaths.

Statistical manipulation and the bypassing of delayed and long term consequences of abortion have presented a false picture of the medical and psychological consequences of abortion.

Organizations such as WEBA (Women Exploited by Abortion) and WE (Women Exploited) have sprung up to tell other women that they have been manipulated and deceived by abortion rhetoric.

Legal abortions will do away with illegal abortions.

Dr. R. F. R. Gardner (Abortion The Personal Dilemma) cites several studies which found that legalizing abortion did not do away with illegal abortions. In a study by P. Aren and C. Amark, the authors report “This confirms the view that legal abortion is largely addressed to an entirely new clientele of women, who would never have had a criminal abortion, and would give birth to the child if the possibility of legal abortion had not existed.” Glanville Williams, Professor of Law is also quoted as recognizing that legal abortions are added to the illegal abortions, rather than reducing illegal abortions.

The Badgley Report stated that most illegal abortions today are done in doctors’ offices by means of menstrual extractions. Canadian women still by pass the law by seeking abortions in other countries and illegal abortionists such as Dr. Morgentaler still ply their trade in Canada.

Every Child a Wanted Child?

Unwantedness is a sympton of parental and societal problems. Today’s solution for the so called unwanted fetus is abortion which we are told will result in less battering. But abortion is battering in the womb. Statistics for child battering before and after birth are escalating in our society.

The handicapped child in the womb is considered by abortion promoters as a candidate for abortion. Are the handicapped to be eliminated on the basis of health? Dr. C. Everett Koop, Surgeon General of United States said the following.

It has been my constant experience that disability and unhappiness do not necessarily go together. Some of the most unhappy children whom I have known have all their physical and mental faculties and on the other hand some of the happiest youngsters have borne burdens which I myself would find very difficult to bear.

And now, my own question. Is there a place in politics for “single issue candidates?”

The effects of abortion continue to spread out into almost every facet of life in society. Since the law was changed, abortion statistics have escalated yearly. We have more repeat abortions, more child abuse, more out-of- wedlock pregnancies and we still have illegal abortions. Problems related to prematurity in subsequent pregnancies have been documented following abortions. Suicides on the anniversary date of the expected delivery have surfaced, as have maternal, physical and mental health problems at menopause in women who have had abortions. Abortion counselors have had to receive support counseling themselves. In summary, abortion has had a negative effect on women’s physical and mental health and consequently on the disease load of the nation. The family has suffered, and the sanctity of life has taken a beating at hand of abortion promoters. Abortion has also added to the unfavourable age balance in society, with a larger older population. Obviously abortion is not a single issue. But if you still think it is, my answer is “yes” we need “single issue” candidates who respect all life.

There must be a better way to solve the abortion problem in today’s society. A suggestion: Instead of women talking everything into their hands, why not insist that men take their rights and responsibilities in the matter of reproduction, more seriously. The present way hasn’t worked and the sharing of responsibilities and the healing of the wounds between the sexes just may be the answer.

In the meantime, watch out for those slogans.

Catherine Bolger is head of The Center for Life Understanding