A short item in the current issue of WORLD magazine concerns Anglicans for Life director Georgette Forney. Here’s part of how Forney responded to Jeanie Ludlow of the Abortion Conversation Project, who contended that women choosing abortion are making the best decision for themselves and their baby at the time:
“For a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, the right to abortion sends the message to her that she can’t handle the challenges of pregnancy and life. I believe abortion does the opposite of ‘empower women,’ which was its original goal. … I look around and I see women who do extraordinary things, run businesses, and manage households. I know many single moms who have raised kids, gotten educated, and made an impact in their community. We are strong, but the right to abortion says you can’t handle motherhood. You can’t be a mother and have a life. I believe we can, especially as we see the extensive network of pregnancy resource centers partnering with other community groups to help single moms.
“For those of us who have had abortions, the right to abortion permanently changed our lives without any warning. We were not given information about the possible side effects or consequences after the procedure. … Many of us dropped out of college, became addicted to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain, deal with eating disorders; some of us begin cutting ourselves. Others attempted suicide; some succeeded. Some of us had physical consequences and were never able to have another child, or we have dealt with pelvic inflammatory infections or incompetent cervixes that caused problems in subsequent pregnancies. Some women lost their own lives. The Centers for Disease Control [and Prevention] reported that 12 women died due to complications from their abortion in 2008. Abortion is not a simple procedure; it is painful and traumatic and women deserve better.
“For the baby, the impact the right to abortion has had is obvious—they are dead. But in addition to missing them, what contributions to society would they have made if they had been allowed to live? How may the world have benefitted from my aborted child’s life? Not only her life but the children she could have gone on to have? Many children conceived in less than ideal circumstances have gone on to make contributions that have benefited society. Steve Jobs comes to mind.
“For the children who have had siblings aborted, the right to abortion has impacted their lives with a weird sense of survivors’ guilt. My daughter has asked many times, “Why did I get to live when my half-sister didn’t?” In addition, I have had this same type of conversation with many young folks who have learned about their parents’ abortions. All of you in this room if you are younger than 40 have survived, as well, and I believe in years to come, sociologists will document a survivors’ syndrome impacting those born after 1973.
“For our culture, the right to abortion has put every life in jeopardy, especially those who are considered inconvenient, the handicapped, the elderly, the terminally ill. The right to life is being replaced for these folks with a duty to die. Efforts to legalize assisted suicide throughout the United States are growing, and in the last two years over 100 different pieces of legislation have been introduced in state legislatures.
“The right to abortion has also undermined our culture’s efforts to help pregnant women, as people’s default response to an unplanned pregnancy is just have an abortion and your problem will go away and I don’t have to get involved. Instead of people showing compassion and offering help, the message is ‘get rid of the problem’ instead of ‘how can I help you with your problem?’
“For the man, the right to abortion undermines his right to life, fulfilling his role as provider and protector—which is what men like to do. We are seeing large numbers of men coming forward and expressing deep pain over their lost fatherhood. … Many of the men talk about how they struggle with future relationships because of trust issues with women who didn’t give them a choice in the decision to abort their child. How many relationships also died from the right to abortion?
“Finally, for the abortionist and the clinic workers, the right to abortion has forced them to do something that conflicts with their right to life. Doctors are paid to kill babies and clinicians are paid to organize body parts to confirm the abortion was complete. And both must also lie and mislead women—saying that what is growing in the women’s womb is just a clump of cells when they know it’s a baby. How does killing the most vulnerable, a baby, impact their right to life? Many clinic workers are leaving their work because it is so traumatizing and a new ministry to them has begun called, And Then There Were None.
“The right to abortion equates to the right to death. Death is always the enemy of life.”