Although the abortion debate has largely been cast in terms of a woman’s right to choose whether or not to give birth to a fetus, based on a set of lifestyle and health-related factors, the alarming number of abortions performed each year suggests a different story altogether. With well over a million abortions performed annually in the United States alone, more than 50 million abortions performed in America since the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision 35 years ago, it might appear that abortion has become little more than a routine medical procedure, undertaking little or no real consideration of its true consequences.
Surely, some of the causal factors behind such a choice are understandable within the context of the world we find ourselves facing. With fatherhood and male role models increasingly absent, and rapidly disintegrating family and community networks, it is no wonder that many women feel they cannot raise a child on their own. While, in many countries, pregnancy is considered an honorable contribution to society, in our modern Western civilization, childbirth, especially among women of prime child-bearing age, is seen through the lens of constricted lifestyle and career choices. Women with children are seen as less valuable in the workplace and less likely to succeed in life. Children are viewed, not as our greatest resource leading to a better future for our civilization and the world at large, but as a burden on our individuality and l ifestyle.
This choice stems from a prism of values that distort the true nature of God-given equality. This view is not restricted to the Western world, but is surprising given the strides we have made over the past century in upholding and advancing the rights of women. The earliest American feminists, Elizabeth Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, equated abortion with slavery as barbaric practices. Stanton was quoted as saying, "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." Anthony went as far as to refer to abortion as "child-murder." These early pioneers of civil rights and women’s suffrage found it abominable that either unborn or fully formed human beings could be considered property, to be used and discarded like animals. In fact, when animals are used in a similar manner, PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) goes berserk trying to defend the rights of animals. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) often boasts about advocating those without a voice, yet they sided with the women, who once upon a time had no voice, but who has less of a voice than a baby i nside her mother’s womb? Somewhere along the way, feminism became distorted and turned on the very values that gave rise to it. Somehow “convenience” and “comfort” became values more important than the right to life, where a woman can exterminate any chance at life on a whim. Is that where we want to be as a society, where lives can be used as leverage or in some tragic cases, as revenge?