Abortion discussion

Margaret Sitte, Bismarck

Forty years ago the Supreme Court ruled that unborn human beings aren’t persons under the law and don’t have the right to life. In the Roe v Wade decision, the judges said that if the personhood of the unborn were ever established, their case would collapse.

Their case is collapsing all over the country. In the past forty years, science has advanced in ways previously unimagined. Sonograms have opened a window to the womb where parents can see their children suck their thumbs and kick their feet. Doctors perform surgery on the unborn, and premature babies are being saved at younger ages than ever before imagined.

Thanks to DNA research, scientists have proved that life begins at conception when a unique DNA is formed. We now know that gender is determined at conception. Once the heart starts to beat a few weeks later, that heart will continue to beat until death, 60, 80 or 100 years later.

When a drunk driver kills a pregnant woman, states prosecute for two lives lost. If someone punches a woman, causing her to miscarry, he or she may face charges for murder. The courts have repeatedly found that the states have a compelling interest to protect both life and potential life.

We pass laws to protect bald eagle eggs because someday they will be bald eagles. We would be appalled at anyone who would smash dozens of bald eagle eggs. When animals are mistreated and left to die in the cold, the state prosecutes for animal cruelty. When a classroom of children is killed on the East Coast, we all recoil in horror.

But each week in Fargo, North Dakota, 25 unborn children are torn limb from limb. That’s a classroom of children eliminated every week, 100 per month, 1200 per year, or 50,000 people in these 40 years.

Does a person have a right to choose to smash eagle’s eggs? Does a person have a right to choose to mistreat animals? Does a person have a right to choose to open fire in a school? Does anyone have the right to choose to end another human being’s life?

What about the rights of the unborn? When do they acquire rights? Only at birth? What about babies born months early? Who has the right to say, “This day you have the right to live and the day before you don’t?”

After all, the Supreme Court has been wrong before. The Dred Scott decision said black people couldn’t be considered persons under the law. The current argument of the court says unborn people can’t be considered persons under the law.

Let’s face it. When women find out they are pregnant, they don’t say, “I’m having a blob of tissue.” They say, “I’m pregnant; we’re having a baby.” Everyone knows an unborn child is a human life.

When it comes to medical conditions threatening the life and health of the mother, doctors have always treated the mother, realizing the baby can’t make it without her.

For many favoring abortion, however, the choice is that the baby should be sacrificed so they can do what they want. Isn’t that a slippery slope? No wonder child abuse and infanticide have increased in the past forty years. How society treats life in one regard has ripple effects throughout the culture.

The word “abortion” has come to be accepted in society, but the recent case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia has pointed out the horrific conditions in which these lives are ended.

In 2006, a South Dakota legislative committee interviewed more than 2,000 post-abortive women. The ensuing South Dakota Abortion Task Force Report showed that 99 percent of the women suffered psychological, physical, emotional and/or spiritual effects. Abortion not only kills children; it wounds women very deeply, even though they may not realize it for years.

If society really cares about what’s best for women and children, we will love them both and support them when they need help.