Destroying abortion myths

Posted: Jan 19, 2005 12:00 AM

As Americans have learned more about the devastating impact of abortion, we?ve seen our country become more pro-life. But we?re still a long way from building a culture of life that welcomes every child. To do that, we need to demolish the most pervasive myths about abortion. A new book titled The Cost of ?Choice?: Women Evaluate the Impact of Abortion is a valuable tool in that effort. In a series of thought-provoking essays, women from all walks of life tackle those myths head-on.

Myth number one: Abortion is first and foremost a woman?s issue. Again and again, the writers in this book make the case that abortion is an issue that hurts all of us, not least by pitting men, women, and children against each other. We?ve reached a point, the writers explain, where instead of providing support and solutions to women in crisis pregnancies, society often turns against them. The book is full of quotes and stories from women who aborted against their will because other people expected them to do so.

Also noteworthy here is an essay titled ?The Feminist Case against Abortion,? in which Serrin M. Foster points out, ?It is a man?abortion rights activist Larry Lader . . . who credits himself with guiding a reluctant [Betty] Friedan, the first president of NOW to make abortion a serious issue for the organization.? Foster explains how Lader and Dr. Bernard Nathanson worked together to promote the abortion agenda to the feminist movement.

That leads to myth number two. Foster adds, ?Dr. Nathanson, who later became a pro-life activist, said that he and Lader were able to persuade Friedan that abortion was a civil rights issue, basing much of their argument on the claim that tens of thousands of women died from illegal abortions each year. Nathanson later admitted that they had simply made up the numbers.? In other words, those who claim that repealing Roe would take us back to a Dark Age of women dying in back alleys are basing their argument on a lie.

Which takes us to myth number three: the myth that legalized abortion automatically means safe abortion. Again, the writers in The Cost of ?Choice? beg to differ. Attorney Denise Burke writes, ?With the abortion industry?s own statistics as a basis, it is clear that thousands of women are being injured by abortion each year and that some of them die.? And then there?s the physical aftermath of abortion, examined most thoroughly here by Dr. Angela Lanfranchi in an essay on the much-maligned link between abortion and breast cancer.

To enumerate all the abortion-related myths dealt with here could take all day. But really, they?re all part of one greater myth: the myth that abortion is good for women. As this book demonstrates, nothing could be further from the truth. Wilberforce Forum Fellow Paige Comstock Cunningham of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity sums it up well: ?Women are simply offered abortion, the quick fix, while genuinely meaningful solutions to their social or personal problems are left unexplored. . . . As long as abortion on demand remains legal and a constitutional right, women will continue to be isolated and exploited.? Please, don?t tell us abortion is good for women.

For further reading and information:

Erika Bachiochi, ed., The Cost of ?Choice?: Women Evaluate the Impact of Abortion  (Encounter Books, 2004). In this book, the writers argue that over the last three decades, legal abortion has had harmful effects on women?socially, medically, psychologically and culturally.

This year?s March for Life in Washington, D.C., will take place on Monday, January 24, 2005 . To learn more, visit the website , or call 202-543-3377.

Erika Bachiochi, ? The abortion debate ,? Washington Times, 29 October 2004 .

Jan Wolfe, ? Feminist argues cost of abortion ,? The Heights ( Boston College), 9 December 2004 .

Steven Ertelt, ? Women Who Regret Their Abortions to Speak at Supreme Court ,?, 11 January 2005 .

BreakPoint Commentary No. 041026, ? Human Life: It?s What Matters Most .?

BreakPoint Commentary No. 041015, ? Politics First, Women Second: The Illness They Won?t Talk About .?

Brian McGuire, ? Abortion: A Tool of Male Oppression? ? interview with Serrin Foster, National Catholic Register, 16-22 April 2000.

Jill Stanek , ? How does ?moderating pro-choice position? translate? ?, 5 January 2005 .

Debra Rosenburg, ? Anxiety Over Abortion ,? Newsweek, 20 December 2005 .

BreakPoint?s ? Culture of Life Packet ? includes the Family Research Council booklet, ?Building a Culture of Life: A Call to Respect Human Dignity in American Life,? and a ?BreakPoint This Week? CD interview with William Saunders of Family Research Council in which he discusses what citizens can do to make a difference for life. The CD also includes a speech by Dr. Robert George, ?Bioethics and the Clash of Orthodoxies.?

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