By Jay Rogers
Published May 1, 1989
In the wake of the controversy over legalized abortion, most Americans are unaware of the nature of the Roe vs. Wade ruling.
Roe vs. Wade was a 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the case of rape, incest, or when the physical health of the mother is endangered. The court also determined that human life could only be legally protected after the first trimester (or first three months) of a pregnancy. The court granted individual states the right to regulate abortion laws in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, but gave the individual woman the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
Since 1973, however, over 23 million abortions have been performed … and most abortions are performed on demand without regard to the conditions of the original ruling. Ten percent of these, or over two million abortions, have been performed after the first three months of pregnancy.
A 1987 survey by the Alan Guttmacher Institute showed that three quarters of American women obtaining an abortion did so because having a baby would interfere with work, school, or other responsibilities.
About two-thirds in that sample said they could not afford to have a child, and half said that they did not want to be a single parent or were having problems in their relationship with their father.
Another poll conducted March 27-29, 1989, by The Boston Globe showed that most Americans would ban the vast majority of abortions performed in this country. Seventy-two percent said they would allow abortion in no circumstances or limit abortion to the circumstances provided for in the original Supreme Court ruling. According to the Guttmacher survey, those circumstances account for only seven percent of the 1.5 million abortions performed annually.
When rape or incest results in a pregnancy, or there is danger to the health and life of the mother, those surveyed overwhelmingly favored abortion. However, when pregnancy poses financial or emotional strain, or when the woman is unmarried or a teenager, the poll showed that a majority of Americans believe abortion should be illegal.
In the Boston Globe survey, 1002 registered voters were reached nationwide. Only 25 percent said that abortion should be legal in all circumstances, 19 percent said in no circumstances and 53 percent who believed that abortion should be legal only in certain circumstances were then asked a series of questions. Because of the reduced sample the question had an error margin of three percent.
The following circumstances were preceded by the question: “In this case, do you think it should be legal or illegal for a woman to obtain an abortion?”
- “A woman who feels that it’s the wrong time in her life to have a baby” – 82 percent said abortion should be illegal.
- “A woman who cannot afford to have a child” – 75 percent said abortion should be illegal.
- “The father is unwilling to help raise the child” – 83 percent said that abortion should be illegal.
- “The mother wants an abortion but the father wants the baby” – 72 percent said abortion should be illegal.
Most Americans disapprove the use of public funds to pay for abortions and the vast majority is opposed to the use of abortion for gender selection or birth control.
Although most Americans approve of abortion in certain circumstances (rape, incest, or physical danger to the mother) the poll reveals that 72 percent of all those surveyed are against abortion in most instances.
Recent polls show that Americans are not in favor of abortion on demand, but there is a disparity in popular opinion. Gallup and Harris showed that nearly 60 percent of the country does not favor the overturn of Roe vs. Wade, while 57 percent want abortion to be legal only in certain circumstances. Such apparently contradictory results show just how unaware most people in America are of the availability of abortion under the Roe vs. Wade decision.
The decision has now been extended to such a degree that second and third trimester babies are being slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands annually. Many of these babies could survive outside of the womb at these stages of development.
A major contributing factor to the ignorance of the American public are distortions and highly publicized misinformation propagated by pro-abortion groups.
Douglas Gould, vice president for communications at Planned Parenthood Federation of America – a group campaigning in favor of abortion – recently stated that when the question centers around the “legal right of a woman” to have an abortion without government restriction, most Americans will give the decision to the woman to make. “That’s the beauty of the Roe decision,” Gould said. “It leaves the question where most Americans think it should be – with the woman and her doctor.”
Guy Condon, executive director of Americans United for Life, a pro-life organization, put it differently: “Our focus is on restoring legal protection of unborn children against elective abortions.” He said that when the question is posed in terms of “legal rights of the unborn,” most Americans disapprove of abortion, but when the question centers around personal choice, the focus shifts around to the pregnant woman rather than the child having that choice.
It is a great hypocrisy to believe that a woman should have the right to an abortion, and yet deny the right to life to an unborn child. The inconsistencies of such thinking can be seen in groups which seek to ratify the equal rights amendment or promote animal rights while denying unborn children the right to life.
Says author Winkie Pratney, “Many of the same apparently intelligent people who fight for the lives of baby whales, seal pups, and fledgling bald eagles also demand the right to abort a human child. Who has blinded them to the shocking inconsistency in their thinking?“1
Seeing Through the Media Smokescreens
In the news media this injustice has been fed to the American public, and sadly, many have been deceived. Recently, the National Abortion Rights Action League ran a full page advertisement in the New York Times, featuring a picture of a coat-hanger and a message – “Just 16 years ago, for countless desperate women, a coat-hanger looked like the only way out of a crisis pregnancy.” This ad and many more like it are last attempt scare tactics being used by the pro-abortion movement to intimidate the opponents of Roe vs. Wade.
The pro-abortion movement is now using extreme distortions to defend their cause. The most notable of these is – KEEP ABORTION SAFE AND LEGAL.
Although abortions are now legal, they are by no means safe. During the years following the Roe vs. Wade decision many malpractice suits have been filed against abortion clinics. The number of women who have experienced sterility, infection, perforation of the uterus, or psychological trauma since 1973 have far exceeded those in the years previous to the Supreme Court decision.
These statistics are the result of legal abortion on demand coupled with a skyrocketing curve depicting the number of pregnancies among unmarried young women. The result of these two positively correlated factors has been an even greater occurrence of traumatic horror and degradation than when abortion was legal.
Women in America are not “safer” under the Roe vs. Wade decision, but more prone than ever to abuse, exploitation, and barbaric treatment.
Other horrors related to abortion exposed in recent years include:
- Post-abortion syndrome – a state of depression and psychological trauma observed in women following an abortion.
- Live post-abortion births – forced births during second and third trimester abortions have often yielded live babies who are then left to die by starvation or neglect.
- Fetal experimentation – aborted babies have been kept alive in incubators and used in medical experiments; others have had their organs harvested for experimentation while still alive.
There are alternatives to abortion that are safer and more humane than this barbaric practice. Men and women possessed of a deeper and gentler humanity are forming Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which are the pro-life movement’s answer to the abortion clinic. Women are given the right to choose adoption, and are also given counseling and financial assistance if they choose to take on the awesome responsibility of raising and caring for their child.
Crisis Centers are being established by people who display a more responsible attitude toward a crisis pregnancy. Thousands of compassionate people have volunteered freely to work at these centers and to take some of these women into their homes. Contrary to the distortion propagated by the National Abortion Rights Action League – Crisis Centers, not abortion, is the answer to a crisis pregnancy.
Another tactic being employed by the pro-abortion movement is the distortion of “unwanted children.” Thousands of married couples have been waiting for years to adopt children, yet “unwanted children” are short in supply. Perhaps abortion is in part responsible for the recent occurrence of “black market babies,” a practice in which children are kidnapped by underworld organizations and sold to couples who are unable to adopt. The concept of “unwanted children” needs to be eradicated from our national consciousness.
Our lawmakers and statesmen have also been blinded by the same deception that has overtaken the pro-abortion forces. Supreme Court Justice Blackmun recently stated in an interview with The Village Voice that the unborn are not included in the definition of the word person.
Referring to the 14th Amendment, which states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States … No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of the law,” Blackmun concluded, “So, the word person does not include the unborn.”
Blackmun’s reasoning here is extremely flawed. The phrase “All persons” does not mean “only those persons”; the term is inclusive, not exclusive. The words “born” and “naturalized” are descriptive terms referring to “persons” – the intent of this amendment was to grant equal rights to all people, and (together with the 13th and 15th Amendments) to abolish slavery. This statement does not define what a person is, but states inclusively (not exclusively) which persons ought to be considered citizens and have the rights of life, liberty and freedom.
Furthermore, if Blackmun’s reasoning was followed, only those born or naturalized in the United States should be considered “persons.” What about those born outside the United States? Are they not considered persons, either? Should illegal aliens be killed the same way that abortionists butcher babies? It is amazing that a man who has ascended to such a high seat of power can apply such flawed thinking to a decision making process.
If Roe vs. Wade is overturned, individual states will then be given the right to regulate abortion. Liberal states, such as California, New York or Massachusetts could then become a haven for all those seeking an abortion. What is needed is a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to life for the unborn and making abortion an illegal practice. Then millions of children will be given their chance to live their lives and express their humanity freely.
1 Winkie Pratney, “Contract on Children,” Last Days Magazine, Vol. 12, No. 1.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Pro-life Articles
Your comments are welcome!
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)