By Scott Tibbs, January 17, 2008
Indira Dammu responds to my letter to the editor in the Herald-Times in her January 16 IDS column. Yes, I did mention the "abortion industry" in my letter, a machine that is responsible for the deaths of 1.2 million human beings every year. The average of over 3,200 abortions every day is a human rights tragedy that dwarfs even the carnage of September 11, 2001. Planned Parenthood and all of its affiliates combine for a huge difference between income and expenses, which most people refer to as "profit". This has been well documented by Planned Parenthood's own annual financial reports.
Pointing out the number of abortions annually, the average number of abortions per day, or Planned Parenthood's profit margins is not in and of itself "radical", because facts are not ideological. Pointing to 82 lives lost since 2006 in Nicaragua compared to the millions aborted in our own country during that time does show a lack of perspective, though.
Do we need to "assume" that abortion is murder? It is a biological fact that human life begins at fertilization, where a new entity is created that then grows and develops throughout the stages of life. "Cute" comparisons to an acorn and a tree fail to refute basic biology. In the fall of 2001, the Center for BioEthical Reform came to campus with the Genocide Awareness Project. Huge photographs of aborted babies are difficult to ignore or deny. The photographs simply show the results of abortion: a shredded and lifeless body butchered by the abortionist's instruments. Dammu was probably not in Bloomington six years ago, but she can see the pictures for herself at www.CBRinfo.org.
What should the penalty be for a woman who terminates her pregnancy? What is the penalty for a woman who smothers her one year old? Few people are suggesting, however, that women who abort be thrown into prison, and the harshest legal sanction should go to the "doctor" performing the abortion. Obviously, there needs to be some sort of legal sanction, and it is not an easy question to answer. At this point, I am much more concerned with saving lives than punishing mothers.
The issue is not forcing women to give up her body, the issue is making it illegal to kill a human being in the early stages of development. The use of rape and incest as an argument for "reproductive choice" fails when one realizes that these "hard cases" account for a small percentage of all abortions. On a more basic issue, should an unborn baby be executed for the crimes of his or her father? If abortion is to be opposed based on human rights of the unborn, does it matter how that child came to exist?
Banning abortion will be a very hard thing. But when you have over 3,200 lives snuffed out every day, is there any other option than criminalizing that killing? Is doing the right thing ever easy, especially in the face of such an enormous tragedy?