Abortion + Choice

It seems like the argument I always hear FOR abortion is that no woman should be forced to carry a baby as a result of rape or incest and no woman should be forced to carry a child at peril to her own life. I agree with both those statements.  But perhaps you will be as shocked as I was to learn that MORE THAN 95% of abortions performed in the US (in 2004)  were NOT medically necessary for the health of the mother and NOT administered to victims of incest or rape.

Do most Americans really think that abortion is an acceptable form of birth control?  Or did most Americans believe that, when they were voting for abortion, they were protecting the victims of rape, incest and medical emergencies?  I think the latter.  And yet, clearly, that is not how the right to an abortion is being used.

I recently heard a great analogy on the topic of abortion, specifically on the viability of early term babies.  Let’s say there is a building downtown that I want to demolish.  I don’t know for sure if anyone is in there.  I think probably not, but it’s possible that there is someone alive inside.  Would it be OK for me to begin demolition?  No?  But there’s probably no one in there.  I own the building. It is a nuisance.  I’m not sure if I can take care of it and I really want it gone.  Would it be OK for me to do that?  No.  Of course not.  To me, it seems like it is the same with abortion.  I think that most people who spout the “tolerant” mantra that “it is a woman’s choice” have not really taken the time to think about what they are saying. As a society, we are granting ourselves very lofty liberties.  More so than I think we realize.

Of course I think it should be a woman’s choice when she wants to have a baby.  However, we are not in the dark ages anymore.   It is no longer illegal to educate women on the physiological workings of their reproductive organs—we jumped that hurtle a hundred years ago!  Women are not oppressed and treated as objects in our society.   Contraceptives—in various forms—are widely available, even for the poor.

It is my firm belief that we have no grounds for the mentality that a woman has a right to an abortion as a form of birth control.  A woman can choose how and when to be sexually active. That is her right.  A woman can choose how and when to use contraceptives. That is her right. Terminating the life of another human being however, is not a question of women’s rights.



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  1. I find your article very interesting Johanna. I think most of what you say is good. However, your point regarding education and sex are not entirely accurate. Some of us are privileged enough to enjoy the knowledge of the sex education we received and made decisions in our life based on a lot of that information. Your point about not being in the “dark ages” is also a bit misleading in that it suggests that everyone enjoys a comprehensive education as it relates to sex and reproduction. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I would like to cite the following website regarding State Policies on Sex Education (http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-policies-on-sex-education-in-schools.aspx#2). I think we can both agree that there is more to be done to educate ourselves and our children about their reproductive responsibilities and joys.

    I also like the point you made about people feeling like they need to protect the victims of rape or incest. I think this is true. Most people do feel that these injustices should not be compounded by an unwanted or forced pregnancy. These cases, however great or few, should not be dismissed as a marginal reason. It is a valid reason to consider abortion. I think we can agree that one case is far too many and here is a link to a case that came across the web today further highlighting the need for the ability and right to choose (http://news.yahoo.com/pregnant-10-old-rape-victim-denied-abortion-paraguay-103437161.html). Maybe we are not in the dark ages, but we are certainly not enlightened as a race of men and women. And so, the discussion regarding abortion should remain in our consciousness and not treated as an absolute right or wrong.

    Thank you for sharing your opinions so candidly.


    Your family is beautiful.


    Erick Salgado

    1. Erick, it is a pleasure to hear from you after so many years! How time flies. I appreciate your opinions shared, and especially the way you have respectfully articulated where your viewpoints differ from my own. I am glad to find a friend—another willing mind to thoughtfully consider the moral issues of our generation.

      I did not intend to suggest that everyone currently enjoys a comprehensive education as it relates to sex and reproduction. My point is that this information is readily available to anyone with internet access or a library card. More specifically, I believe that in the case of consenting adults—given the position of guardianship in which we stand as the potential parents of the rising generation—there is no morally acceptable excuse for abortion used merely as a form of birth control.

      I agree with your opinion that our state policies on sex education are not inspiring (although I was unable to access the link you provided). However, I do not feel that the state’s lack is justification for societal ignorance or irresponsibility. Responsibility for the intellectual and especially the moral education of our children is with the parents. These complex and sensitive issues should be taught at home. Of course, as with most topics I discuss on the site, I am arguing for the ideal. It is my belief that children are entitled to such an education, and parents are duty-bound before God to provide it. My prayer is that our generation can improve on this.

      It is heart-wrenching to consider the predicament of the young girl in Paraguay which you referenced. I find it particularly disturbing that her story has made international news—not because of the original atrocities she faced—but mainly because of the country’s abortion laws. It is profoundly saddening to consider our collective desensitization with regards to sexual crimes. I certainly and whole-heartedly agree that rape and incest victims need the right to choose.

      I hope it is clear that my position is that our current legislature has (purposefully or incidentally) allowed the defense of innocent victims (like the girl from Paraguay) to become a means of justification for further crimes against humanity by legalizing the use of abortion for a very different purpose—for that of consenting adults seeking alternative means of birth control. And so, in my opinion, the discussion regarding abortion can never be separated from it’s moral implications and must always be carefully considered within the context of our duty to God and man.

      Thank you, Erick, for wanting to have a conversation about these sensitive and important moral issues that face society and our legislature today.

      Wishing you all the best.
      Johanna Lee Wagstaff

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