Opinion

Think pro-lifers want to control your body? Let’s fix that.

(Photo credit: Leigh Righton)

Pro-lifers get accused of wanting to control others. That seems strange, especially when you look at some of those doing the accusing. Take former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien.

Chretien supports Canada’s no-limits abortion policy, arguing Canadians should “cherish” it. But despite touting “the right to choose,” he was initially hesitant to relax the country’s abortion laws. Was he worried about taking innocent lives? Apparently not. Instead, Chretien admitted that “letting ladies decide what to do with their own bodies — it was not easy for me.”

I’m not sure why people deciding “what to do with their own bodies” would trouble Chretien, but many abortion advocates are bothered by the idea. Ex-New York City mayor and current Planned Parenthood BFF Michael Bloomberg certainly is. For years, Bloomberg has been fixated on controlling people – from keeping soda out of their stomachs to deciding guns should stay off their hips.

In contrast, my pro-life friends typically don’t want the government having much say over what folks do with themselves. If you can’t understand how wanting to ban abortion doesn’t conflict with that, don’t worry; this visual aid should clear things up:

Your body, someone else's bodyOr, as a meme making the rounds says: “If it were your body, you would be the one that dies.” You see, whereas many pro-lifers don’t object to people doing what they want with their own bodies, they do have a problem with what abortion does to someone else’s body, particularly someone who can’t speak for herself. (That abortion also makes life easier for child rapists and sex traffickers is kind of a problem too.)

For example, at 20 weeks, a little girl isn’t going to raise her voice; she physically can’t be heard even if she tries. Dr. Kanwaljeet Anand’s research at the University of Tennessee suggests she’s going to feel pain, though. Keep that in mind as you hear Dr. Anthony Levatino explain what aborting her would involve.

After the amniotic fluid is removed, the abortionist uses a sopher clamp — a grasping instrument with rows of sharp “teeth” — to grasp and pull the baby’s arms and legs, tearing the limbs from the child’s body. The abortionist continues to grasp intestines, spine, heart, lungs, and any other limbs or body parts. The most difficult part of the procedure is usually finding, grasping and crushing the baby’s head. After removing pieces of the child’s skull, the abortionist uses a curette to scrape the uterus and remove the placenta and any remaining parts of the baby.

Of course, a child doesn’t just suddenly become a separate individual at 20 weeks. As Cassy Fiano recently pointed out, it happens at conception.

At that moment, as soon as the preborn baby is created, there now exists a separate, unique human with his or her own DNA – different from the mother’s or father’s. It is at this moment, the very moment of creation, that we know the preborn baby is a separate being. If the baby was part of the mother’s body, then there shouldn’t be a difference in DNA, but there is.

At 21 days from conception, the baby has a heartbeat. Just a few weeks later, there are measurable brain waves. Remarkable developments are made in the first trimester; if the baby is a girl, her ovaries and uterus are already formed by 10 weeks. The baby has fingernails and her own unique fingerprints, which no other human being will ever share. Before the first trimester is over, a preborn baby has grown all of the organs with which he or she will be born.

Science tells us that the humanity of preborn babies is a simple, biological fact. So if we know that preborn babies are human beings, then “my body, my choice” no longer applies. The mother who chooses abortion isn’t removing a cancerous growth from her body, nor a lock of hair or a fingernail. It’s a separate, living human being with a right to life.

You can help defend that right by reminding the presidential candidates how much Supreme Court appointments matter. While you’re at it, tell Congress that Planned Parenthood’s half billion dollars in federal funding should go to federally qualified health centers (FQHC) and community health centers (CHCs) instead – places that provide healthcare to women and families in need without aborting their children.

You can also provide new moms with information, like letting them know about the help that’s available at pregnancy care centers, such as the free ultrasounds offered there and on mobile stork units. Pointing out how long lines of couples are hoping to adopt isn’t a bad idea either.

Finally, you can support legislation to defend women from forced abortions, an issue that really encapsulates what this is all about. Because most of the pro-lifers I know aren’t that interesting in imposing their will on people. What they are interested in is stopping violence and coercion – both in the womb and out.

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