July 2, 2022

Letters: Some Thoughts on the Abortion Debate

To the Editor:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Chairwoman, uber progressive, abortion advocate, and heroine of Planned Parenthood claims that if one is “pro-life,” one is, therefore, “anti-woman.”  Her statement invites a conversation.

Eighty percent of Americans are against partial-birth abortion. Does that mean that eighty percent of Americans are anti-woman? Does Schultz realize that poll after poll shows that even those that are working within the parameters of Supreme Court jurisprudence overwhelmingly support restrictions on abortion?

There are also legions of Americans, like myself, whose thinking and conscience have evolved to reject abortion and the decision that makes it a woman’s right. My blind allegiance to “choice” was most assuredly rooted in my background. I grew-up in a Connecticut suburb of New York City where back-alley abortions were a reality. I knew two young girls in my community who were subjected to crude methods of ending their pregnancies. The older sister of a classmate of mine threw herself down the cellar stairs to facilitate the end of her pregnancy. She was, as a result, unable to ever again conceive.

It was an untenable situation in the days before birth control became available for women. In spite of the fact that “the pill” reached pharmacy shelves a few years before abortion became legal, it is of little wonder why so many Americans, acutely aware of gruesome back-alley abortions, stood behind “ choice.” Living in a patriarchal society was an added ingredient to the acceptance of “choice.”  Women were sick and tired of gender double standards and being told what was acceptable of women, by men.

Slowly, over many years, I realized that when feminist lawyers and leaders, in concert with the ACLU, pushed for the right of a woman to abort her unborn child, I began to macerate the truth.

After the Supreme Court overturned all state abortion laws and abortion became a constitutional right, my lexicon concerning babies in the womb changed. I began to refer to the unborn child as a “fetus” and the ending of a human life became “choice.” And later on, viability was added to my lexicon.

It is telling to me that I used euphemisms such as “choice” rather  than abortion.  Little lies that I told myself helped to insulate me from the realities of “choice.” I wonder how many other men and women mimic the pro-choice mindset and in so doing completely disregard the rights of the unborn.

When I allowed myself to think about the number of babies sacrificed in the name of protecting a woman’s right to “choose,” it was chilling.  How many of the millions and millions of babies aborted were baby girls-the very same gender that the leaders and fellow supporters of the women’s movement pledged to protect through “choice.” The aborted babies have had no choice.

As I finally began to tear down the wall that separated me from the truth, I began to challenge my blind support of Roe V. Wade. It is no secret that the number of abortions performed to actually prevent the death of the mother is minimal. It seems that in those extreme cases there are two lives at stake and the decision should be between the doctor and the mom.

The number of pregnancies resulting from rape and incest are diminimus. When these heinous crimes do result in pregnancy and there is not a threat to the mother’s life, adoption is always a better answer than abortion. In these rare occasions, the community and churches must provide financial and psychological help for the victim. Since charitable giving in America is outpacing economic growth, it can be done. As a country we are moving towards rapid response to those in need. We are a caring nation.

Within the rhetoric about protecting women’s lives and privacy, we never hear the facts concerning the physical, the spiritual and the psychic post-abortion trauma suffered by so many women. These are the very same women we pledge to support with “choice.”

If it is truly women’s lives and privacy that propels the pro-choice lobby, why, I wonder, has the emphasis always been on the “right” for a woman to abort.  The emphasis has never been the promotion of and availability of safe and effective birth control, help with adoption, education and the encouragement of parents to keep pregnancy conversations open and honest?

Education should include the knowledge that that a unique human being is created when the sperm fertilizes an egg. The fertilized egg has a complete genetic make-up. It is a life. We know that at seven weeks, eyelids have been formed. By nine weeks the baby sucks her thumb, does flips in the whom and swallows. It is a life

It is not my purpose to judge anyone who has had an abortion. The pro-abortion lobby, emboldened by the Supreme Court, has been aggressive, loud and deceptive. Perhaps, with the most recent scientific discoveries, our society will wake-up and give the completely dependent unborn child the same rights as the completely dependent newborn.

The decision by the Supreme Court regarding abortion is not an inexorable command. Consider what happened to the death penalty for juveniles (Brown) in 2005. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority opinion to strike down the death penalty for juveniles, explained that the “standards of decency have evolved since the case in 1989 when the Supreme Court reached the opposite opinion.” That ruling on the legality of the death penalty for juveniles shows us that a precedent can be overturned. Roe is by no means a settled expectation of society-despite its “super duper” status.

To date there have been millions and millions of abortions performed in the United States. For me, it is a heavy burden to know that I blindly supported an egregious ruling by the Supreme Court- a ruling that has inflicted a hideous scar on the face of American history.

Sincerely,

Alison Nichols, M.Div, 
Essex, CT