The Plain Truth About ABORTION! Why So Little Understood?
Ronald S Toth
Who has the right to choose whether the unborn live or die?
THINK of it! In just 50 years this world has changed from abortion being unacceptable (with minor exceptions) to abortion being an accepted form of birth control. Most today fail to realize how radical a change this is. Forty years ago Nazi Germany was condemned for sterilizing the "unfit." Twenty years ago abortion was still illegal as an alternative to unwanted pregnancy. The term "abortionist" conjured up the dregs of society-a monster who destroyed unborn babies. Earlier in this century both national laws and the medical Hippocratic oath protected the unborn. No one then questioned abortion being murder. But worldwide attitudes within the last 20 years have changed so drastically that the turn of events can be likened to throwing a light switch. Flipping the switch to "off" throws a brightly lit room into blackness. Society has flipped the switch from light to darkness-to "off" for the unborn.
Of course there are the relatively rare tragic cases of girls becoming pregnant through incest. These sad cases naturally draw compassion and sympathy. And women need to protect themselves against rape. Local police or reference librarians can provide much needed information about rape. Any woman who becomes victimized by a rapist should seek professional help immediately. Don't delay. Don't wait three months or three weeks or even three days. Seek medical advice immediately. But the abortion issue today does not center on such tragic cases as incest or rape. The genuine reason for today's high abortion rate-an overwhelming 97 percent of the cases in the United States, for example-is simply one of convenience. Preserving the life of the mother, the expectation of a defective child, rape and incest account for only 3 percent of all abortions in the United States. In this latter part of the 20th century, abortion is thus not a lifesaving operation. It is a major form of birth control.
Gaining International Acceptance
Beyond the borders of the United States-in the Soviet Union , Poland, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Japan, just to name a few-abortion now has become an accepted, integral part of birth control efforts. In 1985, about 55 million babies worldwide will be aborted-nine induced abortions for every 20 live births. Today, within a growing number of historically predominantly Catholic nations legalized abortion bas become a major form of birth control. In Communist-led Poland, for example, experts find the abortion rate higher than the nation's birthrate. Abortion estimates range from 800,000 to one million annually, compared to 702,000 children being born. Married women account for 80 percent of abortions performed, and most already have children. Even with a variety of available birth control methods, the Japanese still regard abortion as a necessity. An official of a Japanese feminist group states, "One out of every three women walking down the street between the ages of 25 and 40 has had an abortion." Despite opposition by the Greek Orthodox Church, abortion remains Greece's most popular form of birth control. According to figures released by Athens Social Science Center, 56 percent of Greek women who have abortions begin after the birth of their first child, and for every birth thereafter there are two abortions. Some women reported having up to 30 abortions. In 1981 French women had more than 1 80,000 legal and an estimated 80,000 illegal abortions. "One in four pregnancies [in France] end in abortion," reports the Times of London, "and only 30 percent of women of child-bearing age use any form of contraception." In Romania 60 percent of the pregnancies end in abortion. Abortion has become so much a part of Romanian experience that the country has one of the lowest birthrates in Europe. In order to reverse this trend Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu wants Romanian women to have four children. It's their "patriotic duty," he says. The list goes on, but one country "wins" with the highest abortion rate: the Soviet Union. Demographers within the United States estimate that 10 million abortions are performed annually in the Soviet Union, between two and three for every live birth. A typical Russian woman has about four abortions in her lifetime.
Parents the Greatest Threat?
Our society has degenerated to the point where the prime reason for aborting the unborn is that the children are unwanted. These women have not been raped, their lives are not in danger; they simply choose not to have a baby after its conception. Dr. C. Everett Koop, U.S. Surgeon General, writes in his book The Right to Live, the Right to Die, "The fact of the matter is that abortion as a necessity to 'save the life of the mother is so rare as to be nonexistent. " As the U.S. government said at the conference on population in Mexico City in 1984, "The United States does not consider abortion an acceptable element of family planning programs." Yet within the United States any woman can have an abortion for that very reason. The abortion laws in hypocritical America are among the most liberal in the world. The U.S. abortion rate is a little different from the world's. Many U.S. abortions are performed to cover up premarital or extramarital sex. Teenagers and young unmarried women avail themselves of an abortion rather than keep a child. Worldwide, abortion is more likely to be used by a married woman to limit the size of her family. Even the late Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and one of the most ardent proabortionists, admitted, "If every act of intercourse in which pregnancy is not the desired result were protected by effective contraception, few abortions would be performed" (emphasis added). When looking at the worldwide abortion picture, the greatest threat to the unborn child is not measles, not smallpox, not exposure to PCBs within fish, not acid rain. The greatest threat to the life of an unborn is from the parent or parents-often married-choosing to abort. The decision of whether or not to have children should be made before conception, not after.
Just "Fetal Tissue"?
We are told that the unborn is "fetal tissue" within the mother and that the mother has the right to control her body. We are told she can do with her body as she pleases. Removing this "fetal tissue" is essentially the same as having a tooth pulled or a haircut, proabortionists claim. A simple operation that takes only a few minutes. Is the unborn baby just part of her body, like teeth, hair or a kidney? It's time we examined the latest published evidence. By transferring a fertilized ovum from one woman to another we can establish that the "fetal tissue" is not simply like a kidney. Embryo transfer is much more easily done than a transplant. The body will reject a transplanted organ unless prevented from doing so by the continual use of drugs. However, the body will not reject an embryo. The embryo can be transferred from one woman to another, demonstrating the unique separateness of the unborn from its mother. This is not to say that a baby is not its mother's. After embryo implantation into the uterus, the woman provides the environment for growth. A new piece of evidence proving the humanness of the unborn has been found by study of brain waves. By seven weeks, the unborn child has its own measurable brain waves. Brain waves are among the legal criteria to determine whether a person is alive or not. How can we declare a 20-yearold accident victim with a severe head injury dead because no measurable brain waves exist, but maintain an unborn baby is not alive when it has brain waves? As one doctor stated a decade ago, since brain death has become the chief standard for deciding when a person is dead, brain life, or the point at which brain waves are first detected, should determine the viability of a fetus. When the doctor stated this, scientific equipment could only detect brain activity around the seventh and eighth month. Therefore it was prematurely concluded that a human fetus was not living until that age! Since brain waves can now be detected at seven weeks, doctors are in fact aborting living humans. And of course the fetus is already alive before the seven weeks! If one has any doubt when a human life begins, one should give the baby the benefit of the doubt. As U.S. President Ronald Reagan has written, "If you don't know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it." The same criteria should be used for the unborn. Most abortionists try to draw the line at viability or self-sufficiency. The fetus depends on the mother's womb for life support. As long as the unborn cannot survive apart from its mother, they reason, then abortion can be performed. (In some cases, a viable fetus is aborted and left to die on a hospital table!) Yet, adults sometimes depend upon life support systems to remain alive. Many people depend upon kidney dialysis machines to cleanse their blood. Others depend upon respirators to remain alive. Some who turn these machines off are being charged with murder. Just because people depend on something else for life does not exclude them from the human race. Today many babies born prematurely live, even some born as young as four and one half months. Consider this: A woman rushes to a hospital in labor. Within minutes she gives birth to a 22-weekold premature baby. Since the mother wants the child, the hospital will do everything within its power to save the life. Great sums of money in health care may be spent on the effort. Now go down a corridor and into another room. There a woman has her 22-week-old fetus aborted. The mother didn't want the baby. We are told that her 22-week aborted baby 1sn't a viable human being! How can it be human in one room and a nonviable human in another? The difference is the woman's and the doctor's-attitude. Proabortionists want to believe that the growing baby within the woman is nothing but "fetal tissue." They either avoid or conceal the fact that the baby is actually a human and dies a painful death when aborted. Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson was once one of the most militant supporters of abortion. He has now changed his mind. Why? New facts came to his attention. Dr. Nathanson says, "It is atrocious for anyone now to maintain that a fetus is simply a lump of meat, or something insignificant, or an unprotected life." Yet even when faced with the new scientific evidence, proabortionists believe the right of the mother to kill her unborn is more important than the right of the unborn to live. Further, since 91 percent of abortions within the United States, for example, occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, let's look at a 10-week-old unborn and see what science has discovered. Within 18 days after conception the beating heart already pumps blood through its own bloodstream. By six weeks the nervous system begins to function. The kidneys and stomach begin working. At around seven weeks, the unborn embryo has its own brain waves. (Brain waves are among the legal criteria that determine whether a person is alive or not.) At nine and 10 weeks the thyroid and adrenal glands function. The embryo can squint, swallow and respond to noise. By 10 weeks the unborn basically has everything a newborn baby has. What happens when an attempt is made to end this life? To kill the unborn 10-week embryo may require the D&E (dilation and evacuation) technique. The abortionist basically draws and quarters the embryo. When the abortionist's instrument first touches the uterine wall, the embryo immediately recoils and the heart rate increases. The unborn responds by attempting to escape the instrument. The abortionist grabs an arm or leg and rips it from the body. Blood begins oozing from the baby. Then the abortionist finds another arm or leg and tears it off. He continues until everything is severed. Finally the dead, dismembered embryo has its skull crushed. The parts are then sucked out. It's all over in about 15 minutes. To say this embryo perceives no pain is, at the least, not telling the entire story. Today's society doesn't tolerate convicted murderers to die this kind of death! Latest prenatal research reveals the unborn responds to pain, touch, cold, sound and light. The unborn gets hiccups, sucks a thumb, passes through waking and sleeping stages. Studies divulge fetuses respond to hearing their mother's voice. It seems that the womb is not the quiet place some thought it was.
A Selfish Society
Couples should plan a family in an intelligent manner, as to the timing of the first baby and the spacing of other children. Each couple will have to evaluate and choose which method of contraception suits them best. (If you want to know more, read our free book The Missing Dimension In Sex.) To kill the defenseless unborn as a method of birth control shows the selfishness of our society. Society, of course, teaches us to live for ourselves. Some people believe motherhood inhibits one's career potential. Children are seen as dependents, not assets. They weigh us down, prevent us from owning homes, buying the material goods we think we need, prevent us from traveling to exotic places. We can never achieve the "good life" with children around. People don't want to give up their time, money or standard of living to have children. Today people want to avoid the responsibilities of parenthood by simply killing their own unborn. Abortion is the easy way out. Italian lawyer Raffaello Balestrini saw this nearly 100 years ago. He wrote: "Whenever abortion becomes a social custom, it is the external manifestation of a people's decadence." Yes, what a sad, decadent age we live in! In these closing years of the 20th century we exchange children for material goods.
Many today assert people have personal choice in the matter of abortion. No one, they claim, should impose his or her moral views upon another. But there is a higher law, above civil law, which forbids abortions because t hey' contravene a basic way of life that governs invisibly all humanity. Humans have chosen to defy this higher law. They have been allowed to do so for nearly 6,000 years. Without fully realizing it, human beings have taken it upon themselves to decide right and wrong. That is the sole preserve of a much higher authority who has established a great law to govern mankind. What a tragedy most reject, know little of, or ignore the source of this great law. That ancient source is known as the Holy Bible. This authoritative Word twice states: "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Prov. 14:12; 16:25, Revised Authorized Version). Few realize God gives us two choices-two basic ways of life. "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing... " (Deut. 30:19). Then God commands us to choose (verse 19). To our hurt we humans have chosen wrongly. So it shouldn't be surprising that as an example of the fruits of such wrong choosing, many women go through much trauma, depression, anxiety, and some become sterile after having an abortion. Highly educated but misinformed professional people are unaware of God's higher law when they say women have the right to abort the unborn. Their advice is in violation of basic biblical law.
The End of Abortion
Soon abortion will be a thing of the past. Jesus Christ will return in power and glory to establish God's righteous government upon the earth (Dan. 2:44-45). At that time all man-made laws contrary to God's perfect laws will be superseded (Zech. 8:3; Zeph. 3:15). Jesus Christ will teach people to have a different attitude toward the unborn. Indeed the society of tomorrow's world will foster positive attitudes toward succeeding generations. Children will again be a blessing. "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward" (Ps. 127:3).
The First Twelve Weeks
As 91 percent of abortions within the United States, for example, occur within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, let's look at fetal development of the unborn: • 18 days The beating heart already pumps blood through its own bloodstream. • Five weeks The nose and cheeks appear, and fingers are faintly visible. • Six weeks The nervous system begins to function. Beginnings of the skeleton; the kidneys, stomach and liver begin working. • Seven weeks The unborn child has its own brain waves. (Brain waves are among the legal criteria that determine whether a person is alive or not.) The tiny baby has all its outer and inner organs. It has a face with eyes, nose, lips and tongue. • Nine and 10 weeks The thyroid and adrenal glands function. The baby can squint, swallow, and respond to noise. • 10 weeks The unborn basically has everything found in newborns. • 12 weeks The completely formed fingerprints will not change except for size. The little boy or girl now is more than 3 inches long and weighs about an ounce. For this tiny baby all that remains is growth.