Giving a Voice to the Voiceless

  • Sarah Worthington
  • 10/07/2022


Photo by Tessa Rampersad on Unsplash

“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,

As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;

Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,

We first endure, then pity, then embrace” [1].

These words from Sir Francis Pope bestir the reader to resist the tendency to accept societal ills simply because they are commonplace.

The Parallels between Slavery and Abortion

For more than two centuries, Americans legally practiced slavery from 1641 to 1865 [2]. This deeply contested issue divided the Northern and Southern States, contributing to the strife of the Civil War. African Americans were considered the property of white men who could treat them however they pleased. They whipped them, raped them, and sold their family members. Scientists claimed that African Americans were less than human, “a subspecies of the human race” [2]. Masters prohibited their slaves from learning how to read or write so they would remain dependent on them [3].

        For almost 50 years, Americans have legally practiced abortion, and this deeply contested issue divides the nation. The fetus, our smallest and most vulnerable citizen of the United States, is claimed as property by the women whose bodies’ they inhabit. Abortion advocates claim that an unborn baby is less than human—it is just a “clump of cells.” The woman has the right to dispose of her offspring: some fetuses are scrambled and sucked out of the womb; for others too large to be aspirated, limbs are torn off, and the head crushed to pull it through the birth canal [4]. 

Why Worry about the Baby?

    The moment fertilization occurs, gender is already determined. Every abortion ever performed has killed a biological boy or girl. This clump of cells readily develops arms, fingers, toes, legs, eyes, and a heart. Why is it that we shout about women’s rights while remaining silent about the rights of the unborn?

        In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 629,898 abortions in the United States; this excludes California, Maryland, and New Hampshire who did not share their abortion data [5]. The CDC also reported that 42.3% of abortions were “early medical abortions” [5]. James Studnicki, writing for the National Library of Medicine, points out that these medical “necessities” range from issues that put the mother’s life at risk to physical or emotional discomforts [6].


What About Unsafe Abortions?

        On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, exciting some and outraging others. Those who support Roe vs. Wade claim that making abortion illegal will not stop the practice of abortion; it will merely increase the practice of unsafe abortions and maternal morbidity. While it may be true that American women will continue practicing unsafe abortions, it is unlikely that it will last if we have effective resources in place to support women with unwanted pregnancies.

What Can Replace Abortion?

        By criminalizing abortion, we can protect the life and rights of mothers and children. First, we need to stop funding organizations that promote unsafe sex to acquire more customers for abortions. Let’s address the root of the problem by allocating these resources instead to educating women about safe sex, contraception, adoption, and other resources in the community. Let’s educate our communities about the dangers and drawbacks of the hook-up culture. Let’s use science instead of politics to determine when an abortion is medically necessary. Let’s be specific in our state laws so that no one questions what a medical abortion is, and who can receive it.

Let Us Be the Generation that Ends Abortion

It will take time for these efforts to have an impact, but they will. For over two centuries, slavery was also wrongly considered normal and necessary for societies to thrive. But the law required it to come to an end. It didn’t end immediately, but Americans found ways to adapt. Abortion has been legal for 49 years and is wrongly considered necessary in our current society.

        Let us be the generation that is remembered for protecting the rights of the smallest, most vulnerable citizens of our country—the unborn children.

         Let us be the generation that assumes responsibility for our actions.

         Let us translate the human capital and resources that fuel abortion industries to supporting mothers giving birth to the children they didn’t plan for.

         May we, the American people, disabuse ourselves of the practice of abortion and find the voice of the voiceless.




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Sources:

  1. Pope, A. (n.d.). Essay on man, epistle II. Poets.org. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://poets.org/poem/essay-man-epistle-ii

  2. Jim Crow Museum. (n.d.). Slavery in America. Ferris State University. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/timeline/slavery.htm

  3. Onion, A., Mullen, M., &; Sullivan, M. (2009, November 12). Slavery in America. History.com. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery#historyofslavery

  4. Foundations of Life. (2016, August 31). Abortion procedure facts: Foundations of life pregnancy center &; adoption services. Foundations of Life Pregnancy Center & Adoption Services. Retrieved June 22, 2022, from https://foundationsoflife.org/facts-about-abortion/abortion-procedure-facts/

  5. Kortsmit, K., Whiteman, M. K., Petersen, E. E., Nguyen, A., Pagano, H. P., Clark, E., Reeves, J. A., &; Mandel, M. G. (2021, November 24). Abortion surveillance - united states, 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved June 21, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/ss/ss7009a1.htm#

  6. Studnicki J. (2019). Late-Term Abortion and Medical Necessity: A Failure of Science. Health services research and managerial epidemiology, 6, 2333392819841781. https://doi.org/10.1177/2333392819841781



 

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