Women deserve better than abortion

When Speaker Nancy Pelosi proclaimed last month that this would be a Congress that remembers the children, I couldn’t help but think that this smart, savvy grandmother of 6, who now wields the most powerful gavel in the world, was forgetting someone – millions of unborn children.

Sadly, Speaker Pelosi has promoted the pro-abortion platform on virtually every occasion during her 20 years in Congress. During this time, she has consistently voted to compel taxpayer funding for abortions both here and abroad and even voted against bills to ban hideous late term abortion procedures at least eight times. Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America are so pleased with her voting record that they have given her a 100 percent score.

So at her swearing-in – when Speaker Pelosi invited the accompanying Congressional kids to join her at the rostrum to “touch the gavel” as history was made – I smiled and thought what a gracious gesture and photo-op. And then I thought again of the forgotten girls and boys – at last count more than 49 million of them – killed by what is euphemistically called “choice.”

To be sure, born children need strong and stable families, better access to health care, educational opportunities, a clean environment to grow up in, and freedom from violence and abuse.

The Speaker is right, Congress should remember the children and strive to enhance the welfare and well being of our young. No one is more precious than our children.

But it is equally valid and true that unborn children have inherent worth, value, and dignity. They are children too. They are not disposable commodities nor are they junk. American jurisprudence – and public officials in all three branches of government – too often treat them that way.

In recent years, modern medicine and scientific breakthroughs have shattered the myth that unborn children are not human persons or alive. Birth is merely an event – albeit an important one, but only an event – in the life of a child.

Today, ultrasound technologies and other diagnostic tools have helped doctors to diagnose illness and disability before birth. New and exciting breakthrough health care interventions for the unborn – including microsurgeries – are leading to an ever expanding array of successful treatments and cures of sick or disabled unborn babies in need of help. Unborn children are society’s littlest patients. This Congress should remember them as well.

In stark contrast, abortion methods rip, tear and dismember, or chemically poison the fragile bodies of unborn children. There is nothing whatsoever benign, compassionate or just about an act that utterly destroys the life of a baby and often physically, psychologically or emotionally harms the woman.

Abortion is a violation of fundamental human rights and should be treated as such. The right to life is for everyone, regardless of age, race, condition of dependency, disability, or stage of development. Congress has a duty to remember, and a duty to protect, everyone at risk – not just the planned, the privileged and the perfect.

There is a powerful new group of women called Silent No More who courageously speak of their personal abortion tragedies. They protest that abortion is neither a compassionate option nor a reasonable choice, rather it is an act of violence.

Women wounded by abortion – like actress Jennifer O’Neill, singer Melba Moore, civil rights activist Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, and co-founder of the National Silent No More Awareness Campaign, Georgette Forney – have called on us to listen to their heart-wrenching stories and take seriously our moral duty to protect women and children from the predators who ply their lethal trade in abortion mills throughout the land. Dr. King has asked “How can the ‘Dream’ survive if we murder the children?”

These brave wounded women are the new champions of life.

They have refused to be silent any longer. They care too deeply about other women and their children and they want others to be spared the anguish they have endured. And to the millions of women who have aborted, they are uniquely equipped to convey the breathtaking love, healing, and reconciliation that God provides to those who ask.

More and more women are speaking up and proclaiming that “women deserve better than abortion,” and I agree.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.