Recently I wrote an article in which I described five misconceptions commonly held about the pro-life movement. In the past few days, I’ve had readers bring up a few more I recognized, and I’ve had abortion advocates remind me of a few as well. Here they are:
3. We don’t care about children once they’re born.
Anybody who’s ever argued the pro-life point of view has encountered this rejoinder: “What about all those babies whose parents don’t want them? And then they end up being neglected and abused? Huh? What about that?”
I always have to pause at this point and take a deep breath, because what the abortion apologist does here is advocate child abuse as a way to avoid child abuse. They’re saying, “In order to keep this baby from being harmed, let’s harm it until it’s dead.”
Abortion kills a child. Child killing is the ultimate form of child abuse.
Here’s how I like to handle the argument above. I get really quiet. I nod thoughtfully. I say, “You know, I never thought about it that way… You’ve really made me see something here. I mean that child might be neglected, abused, even killed…. So… You’re right… Why not just go ahead and kill it before it’s born? Saves time and money… And it’s legal!”
Child abuse is a tragedy, wherever and whenever it occurs. We do not live in a world where every child is wanted, but we can live in a world where every child has a chance at life.
There is nothing we can do to end all child abuse, just as there is nothing we can do to end all murder, stealing, or any other crime. People will always hurt each other. But many people, from Beethoven to Oprah Winfrey, have had terrible childhoods full of abuse and neglect and gone on to not only lead successful lives, but even change the world.
I was visiting a pro-life friend once, back when I was pro-abortion, when I saw a cartoon stuck to her refrigerator door. It showed a man standing in a field, yelling up to the clouds. He was saying, “God, why don’t you send us a doctor who can cure cancer and AIDS, a scientist who can show us how to feed all the hungry, and leaders who can help us bring peace to the world?”
And from the clouds a voice answered him, saying, “I already did. You aborted them.”
2. We don’t care about women.
As I’ve mentioned before, I was an agnostic when I became pro-life. I hated becoming pro-life. I fancied myself a liberal feminist, so it caused an identity crisis. But I was committed to the truth I had discovered. I became an activist almost immediately, and I discovered a pro-life community in my city. I was gung-ho to save the lives of fetuses, but what I found was a network of people devoted to pregnant women.
I found out what a crisis pregnancy center was. I joined the Gabriel Angels, a ministry of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee that trains women to mentor mothers experiencing crisis pregnancies and help make sure their physical and spiritual needs are met. Every few days — sometimes more often — an email would be sent: Stacy needs diapers, Amber needs a ride to her doctor’s appointment, Vanessa needs to move out of her boyfriend’s apartment so who can donate furniture? And so on.
I saw firsthand the work of the pro-life community. It was more than protesting, sidewalk counseling, and praying. It was laundromat, taxi service, babysitter, counselor, friend. These women were not abandoned when their babies were born. Far from it.
By the way, all these things done for pregnant women all over the country by pro-lifers are done for free. Go into a pregnancy center and you will get a free pregnancy test, a free ultrasound, free adoption counseling, free help filling out insurance paperwork, and pretty much anything you need to see that the needs of you and your baby are met, up to and including a place to live.
Go into a “women’s health” clinic and ask for a free abortion. See how that works out.
And before you start screaming in the comments that abortion should be free, please note that by “free” I mean “provided by volunteers out of the goodness of their hearts,” not “forcibly provided by the taxpayer.”
The best way to refute this argument is to to tell them about the volunteer work you’ve done or witnessed. Tell them the lengths to which pro-lifers will go to take care of women and their children, born and pre-born.
Here in Dallas, there is an abortion clinic on the service road of a major highway, right next door to a crisis pregnancy center. They share a wall. My friend Destiny’s idea for a protest was to stand outside the pregnancy center with signs bearing hearts, and stand next door outside the abortion clinic with signs bearing dollar signs. That says it all.
1. We’re fighting for a lost cause.
Many legal experts, even famously liberal ones like Alan Dershowitz, have criticized the Roe v. Wade decision. Pro-abortion Yale law professor John Hart Ely said:
What is frightening about Roe is that this super-protected right is not inferable from the language of the Constitution, the framers’ thinking respecting the specific problem in issue, any general value derivable from the provisions they included, or the nation’s governmental structure.
A Washington Examiner article by Tim Carney gives several examples of pro-abortion attorneys, judges, and legal scholars who think the Roe decision was simply bad law.
Some pro-life advocates believe the only way abortion will end is a court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, while some believe there has to be another way, and others point out even an end to Roe would not mean an end to legal abortion in some states.
No one can tell you right this second exactly how it will happen. We can’t see the future. But what you must know, and should communicate to pro-aborts if they tell you debate is closed, is that there are literally millions of people in this country who will not rest until the lives of the unborn are protected by law. As of 2009, more Americans identified themselves as pro-life than pro-choice, and by continuing to be vocal, unapologetic, and proactive, we can grow that number.
We win an essential and priceless battle every time a woman chooses life, and no matter how long it takes to win the legal war, we will not stop fighting.