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Abortion Life or Death ÄÄÄ Who Chooses?

In Roman times, abortion and the destruction of unwanted children was permissible, but as out civilization has aged, it
seems that such acts were no longer acceptable by rational human beings, so that 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 Geneve 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 to 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 an incontrovertible fact of biological science - Make no Mistake - that from the moment of conception, a
new human life has been created. Only those who allow their emotional passion to overide their knowledge, can deny it:
only those who are irrational or ignorant of science, doubt that when a human sperm fertilizes a human ovum a new
human being is created. A new human being who carries genes in its cells that make that human being uniquely different
from any and other human being and yet, undeniably a member, as we all are, of the great human family. All the fetus
needs to grow into a babe, a child, an old man, is time, nutrition and a suitable environment. It is determined at that very
moment of conception whether the baby will be a boy or a girl; which of his parents he will look like; what blood type
he will have. His whole heritage is forever fixed. Look at a human being 8 weeks after conception and you, yes every
person here who can tell the difference between a man and a women, will be able to look at the fetus and tell me
whether it is a baby boy or a girl. No, a fetus is not just another part of a women's body like an appendix or
appendage. These appendages, these perfectly formed tiny feel belong to a 10 week developed baby, not to his or her
mother. The fetus is distinct and different and has it's own heart beat. Do you know that the fetus' heart started 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 help in the palm of a man's hand but look closely at this 3
month old fetus. All his organs are formed and all his systems working. He swims, he grasps a pointer, he moves freely,
he excretes urine. If you inject a sweet solution into the water around him, he will swallaw because he likes the taste.
Inject a bitter solution and he will quit swallowing because he does not like the taste. By 16 weeks it is obvious to all,
except those who have eyes but deliberately do not see, 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? This fact is undeniable; however much of the members of
the Women's Liberation Movement, the new Feminists, Dr. Henry Morgentaler or the Canadian Medical Association
President feel about it, does not alter the fact of the matter. An incontrovertible fact that cannot change as feelings
change. If abortion is undeniably the taking of human life and yet sincere misguided people feel that it should be just a
personal matter between a women and the doctor, there seems to be 2 choices open to them. (1) That they would
believe that other acts of destruction of human beings such as infanticide and homicide should be of no concern of
society and therefore, eliminate them from the criminal code. This I cannot believe is the thinking of the majority,
although the tendency for doctors to respect the selfish desire of parents and not treat the newborn defective with a
necessary lifesaving measure, is becoming increasingly more common. (2) But for the most part the only conclusion
available to us is that those pressing for repeal of the abortion laws believe that there are different sorts of human beings
and that by some arbitrary standard, they can place different values on the lives of there human beings. Of course,
different human beings have different values to each of us as individuals: my mother means more to me than she does to
you. But the right to life of all human beings is undeniable. I do not think this is negotiable. It is easy to be concerned
with the welfare of those we know and love, while regarding everybody else as less important and somehow, less real.
Most people would rather have heard of the death of thousands in the Honduras flooding disaster than of a serious
accident involving a close friends or favourite relatives. That is why some are less disturbed by the slaughter of
thousands of unborn children than by the personal problems of a pregnant women across the street. To rationalize this
double standard, they pretend to themselves that the unborn child is a less valuable human life because it has no active
social relationships and can therefore, be disposed of by others who have an arbitrary standard of their own for the
value of a human life. I agree that the fetus has not developed it's full potential as a human being: but neither have any of
us. Nor will any of us have reached that point: that point of perfect humaness, when we die. Because some of us may
be less far along the path than others, does not give them the right to kill us. But those in favour of abortion, assume that
they have that right, the standard being arbitrary. To say that a 10 week fetus has less value that a baby, means also that
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. As some of you may know, 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 eccredited 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 is variously interpreted to mean very real medical disease to anything that
interferes with even social or economic well being, so that any unwanted or unplanned pregnancy thus qualifies. 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 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 for 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 her 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 development significant psychiatric problems following and because
of abortion. I quote Ft. John L. Grady, Medical Examiner for 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.
How real is that risk - it is not - in fact, the suicide rate among pregnant women be they happy of unhappy about the
pregnancy, is 1/4 of the rate among non-pregnant women in child-bearing years. An accurate 10 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 that 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 women 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? If rape occurred the victim should immediately report the incident. If this is done, early
reporting of the crime will provide greater opportunity for apprehension and conviction of the rapist, for treatment of
venereal disease and prevention of pregnancy. Let is give our children good sex education; and let us get tough on
pornography, clean up the newstands, literature and "Adult Movies" and television programmes which encourage crime,
abusive drugs and make mockery of morality and good behaviour and therefore, contribute to rape. By some peculiar
trick of adult logic, proponents of abortion talk about fetal indications for act. Whatever abortion may do for the
mother, it so very obviously 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. However, to the contrary, these seem to value life,

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