Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Campaign 2008 - Defining Issues - Abortion

Few social and moral issues in America draw such emotional response from the opposing sides of an issue like abortion and most of the time it is kept far from the public spotlight but this year may be different, it may be drug out of the closet into the consciousness of the public. With Obama and Biden solidly pro-abortion and McCain and Palin solidly pro-life there is a clear distinction between candidates.

There is nothing unusual about the fact the Democratic candidates are pro-abortion and the Republican candidates are pro-life, that happens most elections. What is different is the Palin effect and the fact she refused to have an abortion of a child even though she knew it had down syndrome before birth. Then there is her teenage daughter who got pregnant and also refused to have an abortion. In response the feminist leftists condemned Palin, the pro-abortionists have gone on television condemning her and the pro-abortion media has denounced her choice.

For better or worse they have collectively made abortion a matter of public debate with hysterical claims that Sarah Palin would single handedly reverse the 1973 Supreme Court ruling, Roe versus Wade, that legalized abortion in America. Such a claim is false because a vice president cannot reverse the Supreme Court and Sarah Palin has never said such a thing but telling the truth does not seem to be a concern of the political pundits. Her magnetic attraction to the public and ability to draw thousands to see her give her a platform never before seen on this side of the issue.

As for Roe versus Wade, it was a ruling by the Supreme Court that centrally held that a mother may abort her pregnancy for any reason, up until the "point at which the fetus becomes ‘viable'". The Court defined viable as being potentially able to live outside the mother's womb, albeit with artificial aid. In 1973 viability usually occurred at about seven months (28 weeks) but might occur earlier, even at 24 weeks. Medical breakthroughs since the ruling and prenatal advances have demonstrated that the ability of the fetus to live outside the mother's womb may come at a much earlier time.

So what is the real story with abortion in America? It has been 35 years since the Supreme Court ruling. The pro-abortion movement changed their name to pro-choice to improve their image and the anti-abortion movement changed their name to pro-life for the same reason, both changes within a couple of years of Roe versus Wade.

As for the record in America since passage of Roe versus Wade, as of 2008 there have now been 50 million legal abortions in the US, a total that somehow gets left out of all discussions of abortion. For comparison purposes, the total people killed in all wars fought by the United States from the War of Independence through Iraq is 1,315,237. In other words there have been 38 times as many abortions in 35 years as death from wars in 232 years. The total abortions in the US is nearly equal to the entire population of England or France.

Worldwide there have now been over 1 billion abortions in the years between 1920 and 2008 according to estimates of the United Nations Population Fund. That means total abortions now equal about 16% of the population of the world. Every year there are about 50 million abortions worldwide.

Beyond the basic belief that the government has no right to legislate morality, a favored argument of the pro-choice movement to justify the abortion option, they also offer three conditions of pregnancy that dominate their defense of unrestricted abortions. First they say it is justified in the case of rape or incest. Total abortions performed annually according to multiple studies and reports reflect less than 1% for rape or incest.

A second justification is in the event of the threat of death to the mother for completing the term. The same studies have shown this is the reason for slightly less than 2% of the abortions. Finally they claim the health of the fetus, when shown to be suffering from life threatening or severe physical impediments is another justification but again this only represents less than 2% of abortions. In other words, the three primary justifications total just under 5% of total annual abortions. Of the 50 million abortions about 2.5 million fall in the three most emotional, most often mentioned and most overrated reasons for abortions. That means 47.5 million abortions that have been performed don't fall into those classifications.

What does this mean to the election? Catholics and other Christian congregations are the strongest group opposed to abortion and we have written earlier how the 47 million Catholics of voting age represent a total demographic block equal to over 25% of all eligible voters. The concentration of Catholics and Christian sharing similar views in swing states make the group even more substantial. With Democrats Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden, both Catholics advocating abortions, then going on NBC Meet the Press and attempting to distort the teachings of the Catholic Church, the issue has become very hot.

Finally, there is the very dark side of the history of the pro-abortion movement which is not generally known to many dating back to the work of Margaret Sanger early in the 20th century to legalize first birth control and then abortions. She is generally recognized as the founder of pro-abortion and Planned Parenthood and her work in eugenics is a very hidden and dark side of the movement.

Back at the turn of the century some eugenics advocates such as Margaret Sanger used it as a justification for state-sponsored discrimination, forced sterilization of persons deemed genetically defective, and the killing of institutionalized populations. It evolved into a practice intended to cleanse the human population of inferior classes and cultures. Sanger's newsletters and organizations were advocates of this social philosophy and her associates worked with people including Ernst Rudin who became architects of the Nazi Aryan Purification programs under Adolph Hitler.

Although eugenics has been condemned by pro-abortion groups in recent history abortions have resulted in significant "defective" children being aborted and overall 58% of abortions involve Whites while 34% involve Blacks. Such a controversial justification for abortion is relatively unknown to members of the current pro-choice movement.

Depending on the reaction of the Catholic Church to the Pelosi and Biden fiascos, the efforts of the many Christian coalitions opposed to abortion and the growing awareness of the history and stunning numbers of abortions now being performed, there is a potential for this issue to impact on the presidential race. Sarah Palin could also ignite the debate with her fierce opposition to the movement and leftist media attacks against her. In the end, any or all of these factors could help fire up the issue and make it impossible to factor it into the polls.

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