I am excited to announce our topic for January and February will be “Articles of Controversy”! We will be addressing many current controversial issues – LGBT, Black Lives Matter (racism), and communism to name a few.
This month, I introduce the Articles with the subject of abortion. I chose to split my Article into two parts. Part One deals with the basics of abortion. Part Two, which will be published on Friday, will deal with what the Bible has to say in regards to abortion. Be advised, some of this content will be graphic, as abortion is a grossly disturbing thing.
ABORTION PART ONE: WHAT, HOW, WHY
Let’s take a look at some of the main identifiers of abortion: what abortion is, how abortions are performed, and why a person would choose to commit abortion.
By What Is Abortion Defined?
An abortion is defined by the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus or the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy.
There are several ways an abortion is performed:
- Partial-birth abortion
This is a procedure in which the abortionist pulls a living baby feet-first out of the womb and into the birth canal, except for the head, which the abortionist purposely keeps lodged just inside the cervix. The abortionist punctures the base of the baby’s skull with a surgical instrument, such as long surgical scissors or a pointed hollow metal tube called a trochar. He then inserts a catheter (tube) into the wound, and removes the baby’s brain with a powerful suction machine. This causes the skull to collapse, after which the abortionist completes the delivery of the now-dead baby.
- Suction Abortion
Also called vacuum aspiration, this is the most common abortion technique in use today. In this procedure a suction tube is inserted through the dilated cervix into the womb. A powerful vacuum tears the placenta from the uterus and dismembers the body of the developing child, sucking the pieces into an attached jar.
- Dilation & Curettage Abortion (D&C)
In a D&C abortion, usually performed between seven and twelve weeks of pregnancy, the doctor inserts a curette, a loop-shaped steel knife, into the womb through the dilated cervix. As the curette scrapes the wall of the uterus, the baby is cut into pieces.
- Dilation & Evacuation Abortion (D&E)
This method is similar to a D&C, except that forceps must be used to grasp the baby’s body because of the child’s advanced development. The baby is dismembered as the abortionist twists and tears the parts of the body and slices the placenta away from the uterus.
- Salt Poisoning Abortion (Saline Injection)
“Salting out” is the second most common method of inducing abortion and is usually used after sixteen weeks. The doctor inserts a long needle through the mother’s abdomen and injects a saline solution into the sac of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby. The baby is poisoned by swallowing the salt and his skin is completely burned away. It takes about an hour to kill the baby. After the child dies, the mother goes into labor and expels the dead baby. In spite of the horrible burning effect, some babies have survived “salting out” and been born alive.
Similar to the Cesarean section, the hysterotomy abortion is a surgical procedure whereby the baby is removed from the mother’s womb and allowed to die by neglect or killed by a direct act. Hysterotomy is used only for late term pregnancies, and is sometimes used if the salt poisoning abortion has failed.
These are just a few ways abortions are performed. With this information, let’s take a look at what the word terminate means, since both of our definitions for abortion used that word. The word terminate means to end, conclude, or cease, or to come to an end. According to this definition, we are ending something. What is it? Life. We are ending a life.
Today we usually declare someone to be “clinically and legally dead” when we can no longer detect brain waves using an electroencephalogram (EEG) or cannot find a heartbeat/pulse. While this thought process could lead to an entirely separate Article of Controversy, let’s just say, for the purpose of this article, that this is an accurate statement. If we say that someone is dead when brainwaves and the heartbeat stop, perhaps we should say that he is alive when brainwaves and the heartbeat start. When do brainwaves and the heartbeat start? We can measure brainwaves at 6 weeks gestation and the baby’s heart starts beating at just 3 weeks gestation. Studies have also shown that babies feel pain at 7.5 weeks. If the baby is alive and feels pain what does that make an abortion? Murder. We will look at what the Bible has to say about murder in Part Two. Right now, let’s look at some of the reasons for abortion.
Abortion in the Case of Rape
We’ve all heard, “I’m against abortion unless the mother was raped or if the abortion is to save the mother’s life.” But did you know that less than 1% of abortions occur because the mother was raped? Even if the mother was raped, that is not the baby’s fault, and the baby should not have to pay the price. It’s a result of the fallen world we live in. There are crisis pregnancy centers all across the nation that exist to provide care and resources. If the mother chooses not to keep the baby, there is always the option to adopt the baby to a loving family. Studies show that 12% of women and 7.5% of men are unable to have children. Many of these couples would be happy to adopt a baby.
Abortion to Save the Mother’s Life
Again this is extremely rare, with less than 1% of abortions occurring to save the mother’s life. With all of the technology we have access to today, the mother’s life can usually be saved until the baby can survive outside the womb on it’s own (babies have survived as early as 21 weeks). This was true even back to 1967, when Dr. Alan Guttmacher of Planned Parenthood acknowledged, “Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life.” It was in regards to this fact that abortionfacts.com stated the following: “Since every abortion kills an innocent human being, it is morally abhorrent to use the rare cases when abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother as justification for the millions of on demand “convenience” abortions.” It should also be noted that the mother’s risk of death associated with abortion actually increases with the length of pregnancy, from 1 death for every 1,000,000 abortions at or before eight weeks to 1 death per 29,000 at 16-20 weeks and 1 death per 11,000 at 21 or weeks or later.
Aborting Unwanted Children
In the United States, about half of all pregnancies are unintended. Of all unintended pregnancies, 4 in 10 are aborted. 12% of abortions in the United States occurred in teenagers. Women who have never been married account for 1/3 of abortions in America. Based on available data, 954,000 abortions took place in 2014. Here are some of the reasons women gave for their abortion: 21% inadequate finances, 21% not ready for responsibility, 16% life would change too much, 12% problems with relationships or unmarried, 11% too young or immature, 8% already have all the children I want, and 3% baby had possible health problems. Add those numbers together. That’s 92% who are aborting, murdering, a baby, simply for inconvenience. NINETY-TWO PERCENT. All of the “what-if” arguments become a “straw man argument” in light of this knowledge.
Abortion has become a back-up birth control. While abortion proponents claim that they are fighting for women’s rights, the health of women, and the ability for women to make their own decisions, legalizing abortion has actually done just the opposite and allows for great exploitation of women. Abortion is always harmful. It kills a child and it is injurious to a woman…her heart, her health, her soul. Many women are left emotionally devastated by the effects of abortion, with little support or recourse for well-being, and even many women who believe they feel “empowered” by abortion are left with a hardness of heart that is damaging to their life and relationships. Aside from physical complications, emotional complications include guilt, nervous disorders, sleep disturbances, regrets about decision, need for psychotropic drugs, loss of pleasure from intimacy, aversion to sex or males, and up to 33% of women who aborted develop an intense longing to become pregnant again in order to “make up” for the lost pregnancy. As sad as this is, it doesn’t even begin to touch on how God views abortion. We’ll look at that on Friday.
Alan F. Guttmacher, “Abortion- Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” in The Case for Legalized Abortion Now (Berkeley, Calif.: Diablo Press, 1967)
Picture credit: pixabay.com