Wednesday, March 08, 2006

To Take a Stand

South Dakota lawmakers amazed everybody recently by passing a bill to outlaw abortion in their state. If Governor Mike Rounds decides to sign it, it will become law July 1.

I remember that five or six years ago—or maybe ten—some fanatical opponents of abortion were firebombing abortion clinics and even killed a few doctors who were known to perform abortions. A newsman interviewed a distraught doctor who asked, “When will the killing end?” He was talking about the killing of doctors and other workers in abortion clinics.

That seemed to me to be a very ironic question. What I wanted to know was different: when will the killing of babies end? Killing is wrong, whether we’re talking about doctors or babies. Killing babies is wrong, whether we’re talking about an abortion-style murder or a Scott-Peterson-type murder.

For several reasons, I believe opponents of abortion should not resort to violence. Killing and bombing are morally and legally wrong; people cannot be allowed to act that way just because they disagree, no matter what the situation is. And besides that, peaceful ways of showing opposition are always more effective. People who protest through violence are automatically cancelling out any good they might have intended. (See my series about Martin Luther King, Jan. 16, 17, and 18.)

According to a report by the Guttmacher Institute, Rick Santorum said this:

Back before 1973, there were all sorts of claims in favor of legal abortion. Legal abortion would lead to less domestic violence, since young women would not be forced into unhealthy and inappropriate marriages. Fewer desperate women would commit suicide. There would be fewer out-of-wedlock births. There would be fewer divorces. There would be fewer children in poverty, less crime, and less child abuse, since all children would be wanted and grow up in stable families. None of this happened. Not a single social ill improved as a result of legal abortion: in fact, they all got worse, much worse.

The Guttmacher Institute said that not all of Santorum’s stated facts were totally backed up by statistics, especially concerning crime and female suicide. But, they said, most of his assessment is true.

I would like to say that I believe the lawmakers of South Dakota displayed a great deal of moral courage in taking this action. It is completely legal, and it is the act of making a stand. Regardless of what happens as a result, it seems to me to be a step in the right direction.

1 comment:

ts said...

judy, i totally agree. i believe abortion is a really difficult issue, but that the unborn are people that deserve the protection of society.

you should read pauly's blog. he's a home church leader in texas who recently held a weekend retreat for people who had aborted children. for him, it was many decades ago. it's good to read his perspective.

here's the link to his post:

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