Why I am pro-life

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs restrictive abortion bill.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs restrictive abortion bill.

Kenton Baer, Staff Reporter

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In recent weeks, several states have passed or enacted controversial new laws aimed at saving the lives of innocent unborn children. Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and Ohio have banned the killing of gestating babies if a fetal heartbeat has been detected. An unborn baby’s heart begins beating around three weeks. Missouri legislation bans abortion after 8 weeks gestation. A new Alabama law only allows a baby to be killed if there is severe risk to the mother’s health.

Our world is split on the topic of abortion. I believe that life takes priority over everything, making me “pro-life.” Others believe that it should be a mother’s choice whether to let a baby live or to kill it, making them “pro-choice.” The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the latter 46 years ago. Yet, what’s legal isn’t necessarily what is right and ethical. Many, like me, feel that babies have the same inalienable right to life as any other human being.

This topic turned extremely hot in 1973, the year of the Roe v. Wade decision. Norma McCorvey (pseudonymously known as Jane Roe) argued that it was a woman’s right under the 14th amendment to do as she pleased with her developing fetus, that is, her unborn baby. Henry Wade believed it was morally wrong to abort a baby unless it was necessary to preserve the life of the mother. Jane Roe was successful in her argument. Like a legislature, the Supreme Court voted 7-2 in favor of legalized abortion.  A companion case, Doe v. Bolton, allowed for a baby to be aborted for all nine months of gestation. Jane/Norma would eventually deliver the baby she had hoped to abort, and she was happy to have her. She became a pro-life advocate until her death in 2017.

By count of The Guttmacher Institute, nearly a million young Americans are butchered by abortionists each year, about 2,500 children per day. (Three thousand Americans were killed on 9/11, a visible horror few can forget; abortion’s daily toll goes under the radar). The US has the second highest number of abortions per year year, right behind China.

Why would I or anyone tend to think it’s wrong to kill a baby in or out of the womb?  One reason for opposing the act is the ghastly procedure itself. During the first trimester (weeks 1-12), the abortionist will use local anesthetic to numb the mother’s cervix, then dilators will be used to open it.  A sterile tube known as a cannula, attached via tubing to a pump, is inserted into the uterus. A knife within the tube cuts apart the living baby as the pump creates a vacuum that sucks out the baby’s body parts. The mother usually is numbed, unable to feel her child being ripped from her uterus.

For babies aborted in the second trimester (week 13-26), it’s a similar process. Typically, an abortionist will use dilation and evacuation (D&E). The first step of the procedure starts with the cervix being numbed and widened.  The second step is insertion of a vacuum curette (another kind of knife) through the cervix. Under ultrasound, the tip of the curette gouges the unborn child to death and scrapes away his or her body parts and flesh as the suction sweeps it away. Google ‘’second trimester baby images’’ to see before or after images of these innocent victims.

Abortions in the third trimester are far less common than abortions in the first and second trimester. The process starts with the abortionist using a large needle to inject digoxin or potassium chloride (poison) through the mother’s abdomen or vagina. This injection is meant to target the baby’s heart, torso, or head. When the digoxin takes effect, the dose causes the baby to go into cardiac arrest. The baby will die shortly after this. During the same visit, the abortionist inserts multiple laminaria sticks to widen the cervical opening. The next day, the mother comes in for an ultrasound. If the baby is still alive, the abortionist will inject another dosage of digoxin. On days three and four, the mother will return to the clinic to deliver her dead baby. If the deceased baby does not come out whole, the abortionist will need to take the baby out limb by limb. After removing the baby from the uterus in pieces, the abortionist needs to put the body parts back together to ensure a “clean sweep.” When an abortionist leaves parts of the baby inside the mother, it can lead to toxic infection.   

Horrible as these killing methods are, there is also the distinct matter of fetal pain. By eight weeks of gestation, there are measurable brain waves. By 20 weeks or earlier (no one knows for sure when), a developing baby can feel, and suffer through, the abortionist’s act. In ultrasound images [provide video link], they can be seen desperately trying to escape the abortionist’s scalpel. We arrest people who cause chickens pain in cock fights. We jail people who cause dogs pain through abuse or neglect. Yet, we permit tiny victims to experience fetal pain, and many of us do not bat an eye.

So, the violence of abortion is horrific and the suffering, in many if not all cases, is horrific as well.  Yet, suppose there were a way to swiftly and painlessly eliminate any unwelcome baby, like putting down a stray dog or cat with an injection. Even so, there remains the matter of the baby’s fundamental Human Rights.  Regardless of how the Supreme Court and others have ignored the application of the Constitutional rights of Life, Liberty, Due Process and Equal Protection under the Law for unborn babies, the Founders were aiming to enshrine underlying, God-given, Human Rights in the USA’s ultimate law.    

Many pro-choice advocates argue that it’s all about the mother’s body, and she rightly decides whether this baby lives or not. Yet, although most of us have the ability to harm or murder innocent others, it would be wrong to do so, even if the law gave us cover. Some might say that this or that fetus isn’t a human yet, that it’s just a clump of cells. Yet, this “clump of cells” is developing more and more each day, with her (or his) very own unique DNA coding. The fundamental and distinctive characteristics or qualities of this baby girl (or boy) have been determined already! She is breathing oxygen by way of her umbilical cord! How are we to say that this doesn’t constitute as a living human being?

Some say that because a baby girl (or boy) is still in the womb, her life is meaningless due to lack of experiences. Yet, these babies have been hearing their mothers’ voices since around [X weeks of gestation].  When a baby boy (or girl) first kicks within the mother’s tummy, it is a very exciting moment for most parents. In any case, is the baby’s right not to be butchered determined simply by location? Is the basis of that little person’s worthiness of protection to be judged by the few inches or so between the mother’s cervix and the outer world?

Pro-choicers voice various reasons for supporting abortion. Typically, this is among their first point/counterpoints: If a woman was raped, she should not have to give birth to the rapist’s baby. Of course, the act of rape is intolerable and completely disgusting; victims deserve our generous help and deepest sympathies. Yet, why must an innocent child suffer for the inexcusable crime of the father?

Many mothers have borne a child of rape, yet still love their child.  You can read about one here. Are we to say that the life of a child conceived by rape is worthless? Should they not have the same rights as any other human being?  Rebecca Kiessling was conceived from the malicious act of rape, and she thinks her life is as meaningful as anyone else’s. “I felt like I was now going to have to justify my own existence, that I would have to prove myself to the world that I shouldn’t have been aborted and that I was worthy of living.”  Read her story here.   

The love that many of these mothers have for their children is unconditional, even if the child was brought into the world by a horrific act. For others, there is the path of adoption. Allowed to live, these are not so much bastard offspring of rape as they are the children of incredibly strong survivors.  They are a reminder of the amazing beauty that can come from something terrible which cannot be undone, especially by a second violent act of killing an innocent baby.

Finally, pro-choicers bring up this argument often, yet rape cases account for less than 1% of all abortions. Many abortion advocates who feel that an innocent unborn child may be killed for the crime of a rapist tend to feel that it’s OK to kill innocent unborn children for other reasons, such as disability or inconvenience or gender preference. The argument isn’t so much about rape as it is about the freedom to kill, whatever the rationale. Most pro-lifers agree that the only moral justification for abortion would be if it were necessary to save the life the mother, an extremely rare case.

One Fenwick High student, a female senior, recently said to me, “Thankfully, I was born well off. But if I wasn’t, if my family wasn’t financially stable, if I would’ve had to grow up in a third world country, I would rather be aborted.”

So, does this mean that the lives of poor children have no value? That life below the American middle class doesn’t matter? Shouldn’t all life be cherished? Even if fate has dealt hard cards — a poor family, a difficult upbringing, limited opportunities – who has the rightful authority to decree the death of a child?  

No matter how many problems a young woman might have, a dead baby will never solve any of them. The grief and depression that inevitably follow an abortion would only compound a struggling woman’s troubles. Life should be cherished — not thrown into a dumpster.