Another view on abortion
To the Editor:
I want to respond to a few points that Dr. Norman Hoffman made in his Opinion piece, “A modest proposal to eliminate abortions,” in the July 6 issue. I will brush aside his “modest proposal” of giving reversible vasectomies to post-pubertal boys, because it is anything but modest.
I am pro-life or anti-abortion, in Dr. Hoffman’s terms. That places me in the movement that, according to Dr. Hoffman, “… never was and is not all about the ‘sanctity’ of human life,” and has “never shown interest in life post-birth.”
He is right about me: I haven’t treated life as sacred as I should, nor have I cared enough about life post-birth (save my own life). I am a hypocrite. But there are better examples.
There are famous anti-abortionists, like Pope Francis, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Eunice Kennedy Shriver (sister of JFK; founder of Special Olympics) who certainly care or cared about human life after birth. And then there are hospitals and orphanages and day care centers run by Catholics and other anti-abortion religionists, all of which exist for people who have been born.
Moreover, there are non-religious who are against abortion, like the late atheist Christopher Hitchens, and there are real organizations out there like Feminists for Life, and Democrats for Life, all of whom care about the rights of people, whose motivations are not only “… based on politics and power related to women.”
What have we anti-abortionists caused? Dr. Hoffman implies that we are responsible for the U.S. having the highest maternal death rate and the third-highest infant mortality rate among developed countries. Let us recall that these horrible statistics accrued while Roe v. Wade was in place. I am not arguing correlation is causation, but correlation is something. Germany officially outlaws abortion, yet it has one of the lowest maternal death rates and infant mortality rates in the world.
It is true that some states, like Georgia, have passed fetal heartbeat laws, making abortion illegal after about six weeks, the time when a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Many women do not even know they are pregnant at six weeks. But compare Georgia’s law to the law in Germany. Abortion is illegal in Germany — that is modern Germany. There was a certain German government in the 1940s that made it very legal for certain non-Aryans.
Lastly, we talk of rights, yet do the unborn have none? I think they do, and so do most other people.
In sum, I wish that Dr. Hoffman had used restraint in his characterization of anti-abortionists. Those who oppose abortion are not all about power or about taking away rights, but they are against what seems to them a practice so horrific that is should not be permitted, or at least greatly restricted. And they are not responsible for high maternal death rates and high infant mortality, nor are they indifferent to life post-birth.
Steven S. Crider