Life Or Death , Who Chooses?
In Roman times, abortion and the destruction of unwanted
children was permissible. As our civilization has
progressed, it seems that such acts were no longer
acceptable, and in 1948, Canada along with most other
nations in the world signed a declaration of the United
Nations promising every human being the right to life. The
World Medical Association meeting in Geneva at the same
time, stated that the utmost respect for human life was to
be from the moment of conception. This declaration was
re-affirmed when the World Medical Association met in Oslo
in 1970. Should we go backwards in our concern for the life
of an individual human being?
 The unborn human is still a human life and not all the
wishful thinking of those advocating repeal of abortion
laws, can alter this. Those of us who would seek to protect
the human who is still too small to cry aloud for it's own
protection, have been accused of having a 19th Century
approach to life in the last third of the 20th Century. But
who in reality is using arguments of a bygone Century? It
is a biological fact that from the moment of conception, a
new human life has been created. It is determined at that
very moment of conception, whether the baby will be a boy
or a girl; which of its parents it will resemble; and, what
blood type it will have. 

 The fetus is distinct and different and has it's own heart
beat. The fetus' heart starts beating just 18 days after a
new life was created, beating before the mother even knew
she was pregnant. By 3 months of pregnancy the developing
baby is just small enough to be held in the palm of a man's
hand , but all of his/her organs are formed and all of
his/her systems are working. By 16 weeks it is obvious that
this is a young human being.
 Who chooses life or death for this little one because
abortion is the taking of a human life? Those in favour of
abortion, assume that they have that right to say that a 10
week fetus has less value that a baby. If such reasoning is
correct than one must consider a baby of less value than a
child, a young adult of less value than an old man. Surely
one cannot believe this and still be civilized and human. A
society that does not protect its individual members is on
the lowest scale of civilized society. One of the measures
of a more highly civilized society, is its attitude towards
its weaker members. If the poor, the sick, the handicapped,
the mentally ill, the helpless are not protected, the
society is not as advanced as in a society where they are
protected. The more mature the society is, the more there
is respect for the dignity and rights of all human beings.
The function of the laws of the society, is to protect and
provide for all members so that no individual or group of
individuals can be victimized by another individual group.
Every member of Canadian society has a vital stake in what
value system is adopted towards its weak, aged, cripple,
it's helpless intra-uterine members; a vital stake in who
chooses life or death.
 In 1969, the abortion laws were changed in Canada, so that
it became legal for a doctor to perform an abortion if a
committee of 3 other doctors in an accredited hospital
deemed that continuation of the pregnancy constituted a
severe threat to the life and health, mental or physical,
of the women. Threat to health was not defined and so it
can be interpreted to mean a severe medical disease to
anything that interferes with even social or economic well
being. This broad interpretation includes any unwanted or
unplanned pregnancy. 

What really is the truth about the lasting effect of an
unwanted pregnancy on the psyche of a womem? Of course
there is a difference of opinion among psychiatrists, but
if unbiased, prospective studies are examined certain facts
become obvious. (1) The health of women who are mentally
ill before they become pregnant, is not improved by an
abortion. In fact in 1970 an official statement of the
World Health Organization said, "Serious mental disorders
arise more often in women with previous mental problems.
Thus the very women for whom legal abortion is considered
justified on psychiatric grounds, are the ones who have the
highest risk of post-abortion psychiatric disorders. (2)
Most women who are mentally healthy before unwanted
pregnancy, despite a temporary emotional upset during the
early weeks of the pregnancy, are mentally healthy after
the pregnancy whether they were aborted or carried through
to term.
 Do we accept killing a human being because of a temporary,
emotional upset? All obstetricians and gynaecologists know
of many cases where the mother, be she single or married,
has spoken of abortion early in the pregnancy and later on,
has confessed her gratitude to those who have not performed
the abortion. On the other hand, we have all seen women
what have been troubled, consumed with guilt and developed
significant psychiatric problems as a result of an
abortion. I quote Ft. John L. Grady, Medical Examiner for
the Florida State Attorney's Office, "I believe it can be
stated with certainty that abortion causes more deep-seated
guilt, depression and mental illness than it ever cures".
 We used to hear a lot about the risk of suicide among
those who threatened such action if their request for
abortion was refused. A10 year study was done in England on
unwed mothers who requested abortions and were refused. It
was found that the suicide rate of this group was less than
of the average population. In Minnesota in a 15 year
period, there were only 14 maternal suicides. 11 occurred
after delivery. None were illegitimately pregnant. All were
psychotic. In contrast, among the first 8 deaths of women
aborted under the liberal law in the United Kingdon, 2 were
from suicide directly following the abortion.
 Are there any medical indications for abortion? Is it
valid for a doctor to co-operate in the choice for
abortion? The late Dr. Guttmacher, one of the world leaders
of the pro-abortion movement, has stated: "Almost any woman
can be brought through pregnancy alive unless she suffers
from cancer or leukemia, in which case abortion is unlikely
to prolong her life much less save it."
 As an opponent to abortion, I will readily agree, as will
all those who are against abortion, that pregnancy
resulting from rape or incest is a tragedy. Rape is a
detestable crime, but no sane reasoning can place the
slightest blame on the unborn child it might produce.
Incest is, if that is possible, even worse, but for
centuries, traditional Jewish law has clearly stated, that
if a father sins against his daughter (incest) that does
not justify a second crime - the abortion of the product of
that sin. The act of rape or incest is the major emotional
physical trauma to the young girl or women. Should we
compound the psychic scar already inflicted on the mother
by her having the guilt of destroying a living being which
was at least half her own? Throughout history, pregnant
women who for one crime or another were sentenced to death,
were given a stay of execution until after the delivery of
the child: it being the contention of courts that one could
not punish the innocent child for the crime of the mother.
Can we punish it for a crime against the mother?
 By some peculiar trick of adult logic, proponents of
abortion talk about fetal indications for act. Whatever
abortion may do for the mother, it cannot be therapeutic
for the fetus. Death is hardly a constructive therapy. As
Dr. Hellegers of John Hopkins Hospital says, "While it is
easy to feel that abortion is being performed for the sake
of the fetus, honesty requires us to recognize that we
perform it for adults". There is no evidence to indicate
that an infant with congenital or birth defect would rather
not be born since he cannot be consulted. This evidence
might exist if suicides were common among people with
congenital handicaps. Methods are being developed to
diagnose certain defects in the infants of mothers at risk
before the infant is born. The fluid around the fetus can
be sampled and tested in a very complicated fashion. 

If we kill infants with defects before they are born, why
not after birth, why not any human being we declare
defective? It is no surprise of course for many of us to
learn that in hospitals across North American Continent
such decisions affecting the newborn and the very elderly
or those with incurable disease, are being made. What is a
defect, what is a congenital defect? Hitler considered
being 1/4 Jewish was a congenital defect incompatible with
the right to life. Perhaps you have all heard this story :
 One doctor saying to another doctor, "About the
termination of a pregnancy, I want your opinion. The father
was syphilitic (venereal disease). The mother tuberculous
(small lumps on skin). Of the four children born, the first
was blind, the second died, the third was deaf and dumb,
the fourth also tuberculous. What would you have done?"
"I would have ended the pregnancy". "Then you would have
murdered Beethoven".
 Not content with the Abortion Act of 1969 which allows
40,000 unborn children to be killed legally in our country
in 1973, many noisy and emotional people are campaigning
for abortion on request. They are aided by a crusading,
misguided press and media which continues to utter as fact,
the fiction of fertile imaginative minds. We have been told
by the media that the majority of Canadians wish to have
abortion legalized but the latest census taken by the
Toronto Star in March of 1989 reports that 35% of those
polled thought that abortion was already easy to obtain,
26% thought it too hard, 19% about right and 21% had no
opinion. Men more then women thought it too hard. Even if
the majority did want it, this does not make it right.
Centuries ago, most Americans thought slavery was right.
The elected leaders of this country must have the wisdom
and integrity for what is right, not for what might be
politically opportune.
 One of the uttered justifications for abortion on demand
is that every woman should have the mastership of her own
body, but should she? To quote Dr. Edwin Connow, "Should
she have the right for what is really judicial execution of
new life - not a cat, not a chicken but a human being - not
only potential but actual". In a society one is not totally
free to do what one will with one's own body (we don't have
the right to get drunk or high on drugs and drive down
Young Street.) The great concern has been shown for the
innocent victims of highjacking but what is abortion but
this? The highjacking without reprieve, of an innocent
passenger out of his mother's womb. Should we really leave
the right to hijack as a personal decision only?
 Those campaigning for further liberalization of the
abortion law, hope to make abortion available and safe for
all who wish it during a pregnancy. Qualifications have
been placed on the abortion on demand routine by other
groups, for example, a time limit for the duration of
pregnancy or a clause that the operation be performed in an
accredited hospital. Before 13 weeks of pregnancy, the
products of conception in many hospitals are removed by a
suction apparatus - considered safe and better than the
curettal scraping method. After 13 weeks pregnancy, the
fetus is too big to be removed in this way and a method of
injection of a solution into the womb is carried out. This
procedure results in the mother going into what is really a
miniature labour and after a period of time, expelling the
fetus. In some hospitals because of the danger of this
procedure to the mother, an operation like a miniature
Caesarean section called a hysterotomy has to be performed.
There are also many other methods.
 Abortion by suction curettage is not just as simple as a
pelvic examination performed in a doctor's office as Dr.
Morgentaler and the television programe W5 who were doing a
great disservice to young women in Canada would have us
believe. In Canada as reported in the Canadian Medical
Association Journal (the Statistics from Statistics
Canada), the complication rate and this being for immediate
complications of early abortion is 4.5%. According to the
Wyn report with statistics from 12 counties, women who have
a previous induced abortion have their ability to bear
children in the future permanently impaired. There is a
5-10% increase in infertility. The chances of these women
having a pregnancy in the tube increases up to 4 times.
Premature delivery increases up to 50% and when one
realizes that prematurity is the commonest cause for
infants being mentally or physically defective, having
cerebral palsy or other difficulties, then one realizes
that those doctors doing abortions in great numbers south
of the border or across the water, even in Canada may not
be doing the woman and her family a service. They will tell
you that abortion has almost no complications. What most of
them will not tell you, is that once the abortion is done
they may refuse to see the woman again and that she must
take her post-abortal problems elsewhere.
 Another argument used by proponents of abortion is that
abortion on demand, a women's right to choose not to
continue an unplanned pregnancy, would prevent unwanted
children in this country. This is the final and desperate
emotional plea of people anxious, at whatever price, to
escape the responsibility for their actions. Nobody here or
in Canada, wants unwanted children in this city, and in
this country, and also in this world. There is nothing more
pitiable or heart rending than an unwanted fetus becoming
an unwanted babe or an unwanted babe becoming an unwanted
child, or an unwanted child becoming an embittered adult.
But few would think it right to kill or have killed an
unwanted baby to prevent it from becoming an unwanted
child. Then how can they think it right to kill an unwanted
fetus, even more defenseless than a newborn babe just
because it may grow into an unwanted child.
 Once a woman has conceived, she already is a parent, be it
willing or otherwise. The only way she ceases being a
parents is by a natural death or an act of killing. Killing
in any form is not the solution to so-called unwanted human
beings at any age. Hitler thought this was right. Canadians
surely do not. It is a permissive and frightened society
that does not develop the expertise to control population,
civil disorder, crime, poverty, even its own sexuality but
yet would mount an uncontrolled, repeat uncontrolled,
destructive attack on the defenseless, very beginnings of


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