You Were Asking?
In your pro-life work, don't you ever get discouraged? Student - Waterloo
This is a question we get quite often, and my own answer is "yes." But I have been discouraged in other things - learning to swim for example. I think my best answer, though, is from a newsletter which I received a few weeks ago from The Association of Lawyers for the Defence of the Unborn (ALDU) in London. The Association was founded in 1978 (about the time Campaign Life was founded) and is very active. Its members and patrons include some of the world's most famous legal experts. I quote from a passage that I found consoling and heartening.
"It would be very easy to become disheartened by the apparent failure of ALDU, and indeed of so many other people and organizations active in the pro-life cause, to convince governments and politicians as a whole of the rightness of our cause. We are arguing today about the same matters as were raised by ALDU at the time of its foundation twenty years ago, with very little signs of progress. The most that seems to have been achieved is some slight embarrassment on the part of successive governments as is evident in their failure (or inability) to reply properly to questions clearly asked.
"It would be a serious mistake, however, to give up. Only a very short time ago, all governments and most people accepted as truth in general terms the principles that are now espoused by those involved in the pro-life movement. The experience of history shows that anarchy and disruption follow whenever the essential truths of human existence are defied. This may seem a strange basis for hope, but historical experience also shows that this anarchy and disruption does not, and cannot last. History also shows, and shows clearly, that people with strong principles always succeed in the end, provided they ‘keep on keeping on.' It is the task of the pro-life people to keep the truth alive. In the meantime we must battle on, continuing to assert forcefully and clearly what so badly needs to be asserted."
Why do pro-life people refuse to compromise and allow some abortions; for example, for rape, and thus save other babies? L.M. - Unionville, ON.
There are some issues on which compromise is not possible, and deciding which babies are to be killed and which saved is one such issue. Slavery was (and still is in some areas) another. For centuries societies were split on the issue of slavery: one faction respected the dignity and intrinsic value of every human life; the other faction placed no value on the lives of slaves except as property. The issue of abortion is also about equality in the values attached to lives.
The pro-life position is firmly based on the fundamental principle of natural justice which recognizes that each and every human life has an intrinsic value and dignity equal in worth to any other human life. Every human life deserves to be cared for, and protected; there are no exceptions.
By contrast, people who permit some abortions deny equality in the intrinsic value of human life, and they devalue some lives, and discriminate against them. The victims of discrimination include babies who are handicapped, of the "wrong sex" (usually girls), conceived in rape or incest, or just an "inconvenience." The pre-born child is completely innocent of any crime, but has no protection under the law, is denied legal aid, and is killed. The law does not enquire into the motive for the killing.
Discrimination is a dirty word with the various "human rights" groups: It is applied to race, religion, sex etc., (often, rightly so), but there is a total silence when the victim is a pre-born baby. Victims who have voices get attention; the voiceless are not noticed.
It needs to be stressed that experience world-wide has shown that allowing abortion in a few special cases leads very quickly to abortion on demand. In the early sixties, that is before 1969 when the abortion law was changed, the annual number of abortions at Toronto General Hospital ranged from eleven to almost sixty. The new law, which the government claimed would only allow a few abortions, allowed abortion if the life or health of the mother were endangered, if three doctors on a hospital committee signed to allow it, and the abortion took place in hospital. Within a few years Toronto General was doing thousands of abortions - indeed in many hospitals abortions outnumbered live births. (I quote Toronto General statistics because I have a medical article for the 1960s which deals with the reasons - often ectopic pregnancies or cancer of the cervix. These two kinds of abortions which are done to save the mother's life and not to kill the baby were never against the law).
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