Two Perspectives on 40 years

Today is the March For Life in Washington DC, a march that has occurred every year since 1973 and the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.  2013 marks the 40th anniversary of that decision, and due to a variety of reasons, most significantly the inauguration of President Obama filling all available airtime, the news of this has largely been overlooked.

However, largely does not mean entirely.  Two very different magazines have put the 40th anniversary as their cover story.  The first is Time magazine, which is largely read and has as its cover story: 40 years ago, Abortion-Rights Activists won an epic victory in Roe v. Wade….They’ve been losing ever since; the main article by Kate Pickert is Dwindling Choice.

The article is sympathetic to those who favor abortion, and focuses on a couple of people who work in an abortion clinic in North Dakota.  The reason for the dwindling numbers of abortions and the increasing number of those who oppose abortion presented is that Republican dominated state legislatures are passing laws that place limits on abortion and increase the requirements prior to performing an abortion, i.e. ultrasounds and psychological analysis are making it more difficult for those who desire abortion to have one.

The second magazine is The Lutheran Witness, which is largely read in Lutheran circles, but not much beyond that; and the cover says: Our Littlest Neighbor, which is also the title of the lead article by Dr. Peter Scaer.  This article presents abortion as a great sin upon our nation, and mourns greatly the 55 million who have been aborted since 1973.

Ironically, the Time magazine article perhaps sums up the divide between those who favor and those who oppose abortion best.  The final three sentences of the article are:

In theory, a lower rate of abortions might be something for both sides of the abortion debate to share credit for and even celebrate.  But it also illustrates the ultimate challenge for pro-choice advocates.  Their most pressing goal, 40 years after Roe, is to widen access to a procedure most Americans believe should be restricted-and no one wants to ever need.

The first sentence is key to the entire argument: a lower rate of abortions might be something for both sides of the abortion debate to share credit for and even celebrate.  Yet as both articles illustrate, neither side is celebrating.

The abortion clinic in North Dakota is presented as struggling and faces the possibility of going out of business if regulations continue to be placed upon it.  On the other side, for those who oppose abortion, even one abortion is far too many abortions.

The harsh truth is that there is no middle ground, despite any arguments to the contrary.

Abortions mean money for the clinics that perform them, so fewer abortions means less money.  The abortion clinics need to justify their existence, and the only way to do that is to continue to perform abortions at high numbers.  If the number of abortions continue to fall, then the number of clinics would drop, which would in turn result in even fewer abortions which would result in even fewer abortions still.  The potential would be that abortion would be legal, but there would be no clinics that performed them; or they would be very few and far between.

On the other side, the thought of rare abortions is still too much to handle, and rightly so.  When you believe abortion is murder, there is no acceptable situation for murder.  Murder is always wrong, whether it is one or ten thousand.  Murder is murder is murder, there is no way around it.  So the idea that numbers are dropping is encouraging, but it is not enough, because the potential is there that they could go back up.  Abortion must be outlawed, because one abortion is too many abortions.

40 years after 1973, 55 million unborn children later, and neither side thinks it is winning the argument; which makes you think that perhaps the sin of abortion goes much deeper than many think.

About revschmidt

An LCMS Pastor in North-Central Kansas
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