by Sarah Nahrgang
Today is the 45th anniversary of Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which removed the legal right of the states to strictly regulate policy on abortion. Since January 22nd, 1973, 60 million American children have been killed as a result of this ruling. In the past 45 years, Pro-lifers have fought to make abortion not only illegal, but also culturally unacceptable, and there is a long way to go.
To all those of you who do support abortion or a “woman’s right to choose,” knowing full well that this choice results in a dead child and often an emotionally scarred mother, I have some questions for you. Do you know how a child forms in the womb? Have you ever seen a video of an abortion? Do you know anyone who has had an abortion? Have you ever listened to or met an abortionist, abortion provider, or abortion clinic worker? What about an abortion survivor? If you answered “no” to these questions, then how can you have an informed decision about abortion?
Look in any biology textbook and you will find that the life of any new, sexually reproduced organism begins at the moment of fertilization, also known as conception. Humans are no different, and you can see for yourself how a child forms in the womb from such resources as the Endowment for Human Development, in their constantly updated prenatal development timeline. Do you know that the brain is the first organ to begin forming during the 2nd week of pregnancy? Do you know that blood vessels begin forming in week 2, and the heart begins beating on the 21st day, at the start of week 3?
All of this happens before most women know they are even pregnant, which is usually between weeks 4 and 7, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Do you know that nerve cells form in the 4th week and brainwaves are detected in the 6th? Do you know that during week 7 the child can turn its head and hiccup and the ovaries or testes of that little girl or boy are forming? According to the Guttmacher Institute, 2/3 of all abortions in the US occur by week 8, when the baby has formed all of its organ systems, can respond to touch, and feel pain.
Do you know that every one of us students was a “clump of cells,” about 20 years ago? So, let’s imagine that it is 20 years ago and you are still in your mother’s womb. Do you know that your father had no say in whether you lived or died? Do you know that if your mother was killed, the murderer would be charged with a double homicide, because you would die as well? Do you know that if your mother was beaten and you died, her abuser would be charged with homicide?
If an abortionist ended your life instead, by ripping you out of what should be the safest place on Earth, your mother’s womb, your death would be nothing more than your mother’s choice, fully protected by law. Do you know that after your abortion, your mother would have an increased chance of depression, suicide, psychiatric disorders, scarring, decreased fertility, breast cancer, and more? Do you know that the remains of your tiny body would be discarded as trash or your organs sold without your mother’s knowledge?
See, the value of your life was decided by one person only, your mother. You were not objectively valuable. This is exactly the same as slavery 200 years ago. You would be charged with a crime for killing another man’s slave, but you are completely free to beat and whip and kill your own slave. Slavery ended a long time ago in this county on the plantation, but it still exists for the unborn in their mother’s womb.
Our generation might be the most deeply hypocritical and deluded one yet. Every other millennial seems to want to be a bandwagon activist of some kind, an advocate for ill-defined “justice” which always takes the shape of advocating for some “marginalized” group or against some traditional value. And yet, the lazy, repetitive outrage cycle seems to zero in consistently on issues that are far from where by right their efforts ought to be directed. When the unborn, the most vulnerable group of all, are murdered in clinics across the country, when 1/4 of our generation is not even allowed to come into the world, when their mothers are lied to and scarred, there is precious little outrage from our generation’s herd-mentality “activists”. They cry “racist” when black men are shot by police, “sexist” because men control high-level corporate positions. Yet, there is no feminist outrage over sex-selective abortions, abortion clinics being strategically placed in minority areas, or against the lie that the only way to “make it in a man’s world” when you become a mother is to end the life of your child with an abortion? They wouldn’t even dare to use such language. It is always “reproductive rights,” and, of course, who would dare to say that they are against the “reproductive rights” of women? The euphemisms and lies go as far as the abortion videos (if you can call them that) on Planned Parenthood’s website, which depict an abortion as removing a small, white dot from a cartoon woman.
Our parents’ and our grandparents’ generations fought to take away the rights of the unborn, and we can be the ones to restore the right to life. Imagine, if you will, a world where children are seen as a gift and not a commodity. Imagine a world where mothers and fathers rejoice at an unplanned pregnancy, instead of hiding it in shame. Imagine a world where every pregnant woman can find help for both her and her child, instead of giving her the false choice of herself over her child. We can make this happen.
What I ask you to do is this: research abortion from every angle (talk to people on both sides, watch a video of an abortion, read into studies about post-abortive mothers, etc.), so that you may come to know the truth about this practice and come to be a voice for the voiceless. The best resources I find are those who performed abortions themselves, such as Dr. Anthony Levatino, or those who worked for abortion clinics, such as Abby Johnson, who are now part of the pro-life movement. Dr. Anthony Levatino performed over 1,200 abortions until his own 6-year-old daughter was killed in an accident and he slowly realized that his job was killing others’ children as well. He now fights to make sure no mother feels the pain that he did upon losing his child. Abby Johnson was the Executive Director of one Planned Parenthood clinic, until she was asked to assist in an abortion and saw on the ultrasound the child trying to escape the abortion instruments in the womb. She watched in horror as the child fought for his life, as she thought of her own 3-year-old child. She said on Huckabee in 2010 that “if clinic workers saw what was happening on that screen, they would be running out of the clinics.”
Like Dr. Levatino, like Abby, and like countless others in the pro-life movement, you can learn about the truth and then use your voice to be a voice for the voiceless. Consider even volunteering at or donating to a pregnancy resource center, or at least speaking out against abortion through whatever forum you can. You can also check out Penn State Students for Life to see how you can be involved. Together, our generation will end abortion.