23 Jan They “get it”!
January 23, 2014
From the Desk of Laura Bunker:
Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of pro-life advocates marched up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court Building in Washington DC, as they have done every year since 1974. It was the annual “March for Life” on the anniversary of Roe v Wade.
Last year, approximately 650,000 people attended the 2013 March for Life–and “the great majority of them were young people!” In spite of the brutally cold weather this year, it looks like last year’s number was met and even exceeded.
In addition, on the west coast, tens of thousands more pro-life advocates are preparing for their annual “Walk for Life”in San Francisco. When our friend and colleague Jennifer Roback Morse participated one year, she described what she saw:
“Official estimates place the attendance at over 35,000. But I wasn’t counting. I was looking at the faces. I saw what anyone can see, if they care to look: the pro-life movement is a youth movement. The average age of the walkers at the West Coast Walk for Life was probably around late twenties, and even lower if you count babies in strollers. Busloads of high school students, college students road-tripping in from all over the West Coast, whole church youth groups, families with small children, babies in arms, backpacks and strollers. . . Every person under the age of 38 is in some sense a survivor of the abortion regime. Any of them could have been killed. And some of them realize that.”
At United Families we, too, have noticed that “the pro-life movement is a youth movement.” This younger generation “gets it!” When we receive articles from students and young adults, a high percentage of them choose to write on the harms of abortion.
Today we support the March for Life through voices of several pro-life young adults themselves. We take courage from their insight and passion in defending the precious gift of life!
President, United Families International
We are Pro-Life
“I’m not necessarily for abortion. I’m just for women’s rights.”
I stared at my classmate in bewilderment, trying to wrap my head around the statement she had just made. I could understand her desire for women’s equality—that I could respect. But didn’t she ever think about the rights of the unborn child?
“I’m not necessarily for abortion. I’m just for women’s rights.”
As I further contemplated this view, I was left a little shaken. “Okay,” I thought, “I’m for women’s rights too, but I am not in favor of killing an innocent, unborn child. So what does that make me? Am I a sexist, ignorant person simply because I care about the well-being of an innocent life?”
How many times have we heard the argument that supporting abortion is advocating for the health and well-being of the mother? Probably too many to count. Such ideology focuses on the mother, but disregards the unborn child because, apparently, the fetus does not constitute a human life.
Let’s address this important point for a moment. Dr. Humie Gordon is the co-founder of the Program in Human Rights and Medicine at the University of Minnesota. He is also the founder and director of the highly esteemed program in medical genetics at the Mayo Clinic. He states, “By all criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” It is easy to permit abortion when we don’t believe it ends a life. (Perhaps it may be akin to killing an insect—an organism of little consequence and source of annoyance.) In such a case, abortion does not conflict with our sense of morals. It’s not so easy when science determines that the little being inside of us is a human life, and therefore to perform or undergo an abortion might qualify as a form of murder.
With that said, for the sake of understanding, let’s examine the point that pro-choice advocates make for the rights, health, and well-being of the mother. Many proponents of abortion argue that if the mother does not want or is unable to support her unborn child, it is best for her to undergo an abortion. But science is telling a different story. In a 2003 scientific review of abortion research, researchers concluded that abortion “increased the risk for mood disorders substantial enough to provoke attempts of self-harm.” Such detrimental psychological implications certainly do not coincide with abortion advocates’ concern for the health of the mother.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research can further impress upon us the seriousness of these consequences. In this extensive research study, the authors measured 15 mental health outcomes of women who had and did not have a history of abortion. Of these outcomes, abortion had a significant impact upon 12 of them. Women with a history of abortion were associated with an increased risk of 111% for panic disorder, 44% for panic attacks, 59% for post-traumatic stress disorder, 95% for agoraphobia with or without panic disorder, and 93% for agoraphobia without panic disorder.
Additionally, induced abortion was associated with a 120% increased risk of alcohol abuse with or without dependence, 145% increased risk of alcohol dependence, 79% increased risk of drug abuse with or without dependence, and 126% risk for drug dependence. Finally, with respect to mood disorders, a history of abortion increased the risk of developing bipolar disorder by 167%, and major depression by 45 to 48%. These percentages of increased risk are not minimal; many of them are over100 percent—that’s a huge risk!
What’s equally shocking is that abortion made a substantial contribution to more of the mental health outcomes than did “a history of rape, sexual abuse in childhood, physical assault in adulthood, physical abuse in childhood, and neglect.” Such research should cause my classmate—not to mention civic leaders, law-makers, and citizens alike—to reconsider the “benefits” of abortion. They may find that these frightening consequences are far from worth the risk.
If the psychological complications are not cause for hesitation, perhaps we should look at the physical the risks of abortion. Abortion can have many adverse physical effects, including death. According to author A. Kaunitz, hemorrhage, infection, embolism, anesthesia, and undiagnosed ectopic pregnancies are the primary causes of abortion-related deaths within the week of surgery.
Increased risk of breast cancer is yet another hazard associated with abortion. In 1994, a study conducted by Dr. Janet Daling indicated a “minimum increased breast cancer risk of 50% for post-abortive women and 250% for girls aborting before age 18.” Breast cancer is already one of the deadliest kinds of cancer among American women ages 20 to 59. The last thing we need is one more thing to increase that risk. Because of such research, several medical groups including the National Physicians Center for Family Resources, the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, MaterCare International, and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons have publically recognized the link between abortion and breast cancer.MaterCare International stated that “the medical explanation and epidemiological evidence [of Dr. Joel Brind] convinced our group that there is a significant increase in breast cancer risk after induced abortion” (emphasis added).
My classmate’s statement no longer shakes me because I know why I am pro-life. I am advocating not just for the life of the child—which is a worthy cause in and of itself—but also for the life of the mother. With this new and enlightened understanding, I could proclaim to my classmate—we could proclaim to my classmate:
No, we are not sexists.
No, we are not anti-choice or against women’s rights.
We are for women’s health and well-being.
We are for helping women understand all of the effects that abortion will have upon them—physical, mental, and emotional.
We are for protecting the lives of the innocent.
We are for being a voice for the voiceless.
WE ARE PRO-LIFE.
Miranda Ferguson is a senior at BYU-Idaho pursuing a degree in English and Professional Writing, with a minor in Marriage and Family Studies. She grew up in Meridian, Idaho, in a family of six including two sets of twins – 2 boys and 2 girls – each set 2 minutes apart. Miranda is passionate about writing and about family and family issues.
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