Sunday, January 29, 2012

Troubling ideas about abortion

Last week, I read an article that quoted some recent statements made by President Barack Obama. This article at CNS News notes the following:
President Barack Obama says the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade is the chance to recognize the “fundamental constitutional right” to abortion and to “continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.”
I find it absolutely appalling that this government leader (among others) believes that abortion allows American women an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. This statement demonstrates a lack of esteem for motherhood, for the sanctity of life, and for the value of accountability, values that seem to me to be essential to the American culture, even espoused by the Bill of Rights ("...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..." (which due process would be on a case-by-case basis...)).

First of all, motherhood is a dream for many women. Smart, dedicated, righteous mothers can bless and influence the lives of their children and posterity (and thereby this nation) for generations.  Motherhood is a most a meaningful contribution to our society, and I believe it is wrong to discount or dismiss or excuse it as any less worthy of a woman's time, energy, and resources than a career. Women should become educated, and may choose to devote themselves to a career, but this should not take precedence over their children if they have them.

Secondly, Mr. Obama's statement, and such a view of abortion, place the value of a woman's life far above that of an unborn child - something I believe is unfair and unethical. I echo the statement found in The Family: A Proclamation to the World, upon which this blog is based:
We declare the means by which mortal life is created to be divinely appointed. We affirm the sanctity of life and of its importance in God’s eternal plan.
Interestingly, the demand for abortions has the potential for decrease as individual accountability is lauded and embraced. In fact, the Proclamation also declares:
God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.
When individuals choose to live lives of chastity, and recognize their accountability to God, abortion is no longer "needed." Marriage supplies the economic, emotional, and social stability needed to raise a child, even if doing so is still not "easy." I appreciate this statement regarding choice in the light of abortion by Elder Russell M. Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in his article Abortion: An Assault on the Defenseless:
When the controversies about abortion are debated, “individual right of choice” is invoked as though it were the one supreme virtue. That could only be true if but one person were involved. The rights of any one individual do not allow the rights of another individual to be abused. In or out of marriage, abortion is not solely an individual matter. Terminating the life of a developing baby involves two individuals with separate bodies, brains, and hearts. A woman’s choice for her own body does not include the right to deprive her baby of life—and a lifetime of choices that her child would make. As Latter-day Saints, we should stand up for choice—the right choice—not simply for choice as a method.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World is a divinely inspired document. As such, its bold statements are declared with authority given to Priesthood leaders by God. Thus, it is prudent to give heed to the following warning found therein:
We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets. We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
For further information and insight on this topic, please refer to the following links:
And finally, a really cool video about how a human baby develops that I learned about here: