I love this sacred talk given by Russell M. Nelson. I have listened to it many times and rejoice in his witness of truth to the world. My daughter Breana wrote a paper for her philosophy class and after I read it I thought
of this talk and told her to listen to it. She and our dear prophet were so similar in their powerful witness of truth that I smiled. She ended up quoting Russell M. Nelson in her paper and that made me very happy! I love God's apostles and
prophets they are his mouth piece. To listen to them is to hear God speaking!
Thoughts Against Abortion
By Breana Conover
Abortion is a difficult subject to tackle. But I have been working in Labor and Delivery at Utah Valley Hospital and my experience there has made it a topic of vital
interest to me as I have watched doctors and nurses bring children into the world. I believe the practice of abortion, which is the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, to be wrong. Over the course of this paper I will address my personal objections
with abortion, as well as oppose four common arguments for abortion which are: A Woman’s Reproductive Rights, The Adoption Dilemma, Protection of the Mother’s Life, and Person Hood vs Human Life.
My first personal issue with abortion is
its lack of respect for human life. People define when the fetus is “alive” differently. But to me it is alive at the moment of conception. At the moment of fertilization everything about you is decided, the unique string of DNA which determines
your gender, hair and eye color is all there. From there the cells begin the complex process of forming a human being. Within 22 days there is a literal heartbeat. The heartbeat of someone who could write sonnets, fly airplanes, or carve a face into a mountain.
The idea that someone could just throw it away is disturbing to me. As disturbing as hearing a news story of a newborn left in a dumpster or abandoned on the street.
In fact when anyone hears that kind of story on the news their conscience recoils.
It is seems unthinkable and unfeeling, that it shows lack of human sympathy and is incredibly cruel. But when the child is only 2 ½ inches it is considered acceptable. At 12 weeks old the child may be only 2 1/2 inches, but it has arms and legs, distinct
fingers and toes, organs, a brain, and a gender. It already has so much of what we have, but unlike us is unprotected.
My second personal objection to abortion is it promotes a lack of responsibility as well as a sense of entitlement. I hope it won’t
come as a surprise to hear that sexual intercourse is how the human race is perpetuated. Even when you’re using protection, pregnancy is still a possibility, because that’s what sex ultimately is for. So while a person is free to do what they will
in terms of how, when, where, and who with: a couple, or single woman, shouldn’t be surprised if they end up pregnant. As mature and responsible adults they should be willing to accept the consequences when they come or handle the situation in a way
the respects the life they created. I especially appreciate the way Russel M. Nelson, a talented retired heart surgeon and religious leader explained this principle in a talk titled Reverence for Life. “We are free to think. We are free to plan.
We are free to do. But once an action has been taken, we are never free from its consequences…To clarify this concept, we can learn from the astronaut. Any time during the selection process, planning, and preparation, he is free to withdraw. But once
the powerful rocket fuel is ignited, he is no longer free to choose. Now he is bound by the consequences of his choice. Even if difficulties develop and he might with otherwise, the choice made was sealed by action.”
Abortion is a way for people
to scoot around the consequences of their actions. This encourages a sense of entitlement. That life is all about them, what they want, what their plans are. If something comes along that hinders their plans they should be able to remove the obsicle painlessly.
Instead of accepting responsibility, they pursue that which is only convenient. Essentially they want to have their cake and eat it too. However life is much more complicated than that. When we get our utility bills they have to be paid or else the power and
water get shut off. Responsibility may not always be convenient but we have to be responsible anyway. Life is a healthy dose of pleasure and pain, frivolity and responsibility. And having limits doesn’t lead to boring routines but a deeper quality of
life. I’d like to quote John Stuart Mill, “I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.”
Continuous pleasure seeking leads to an imbalanced life. For instance woman whose main
goal at the moment is to finish college and land her dream job could avoid the difficult and emotional decision of an abortion simply by exercising self-control. Confucius said, “When anger arises, think of the consequences”.The same holds true
for passion and desire. When it arises, which it naturally will, we need to think of the consequences. This is where we are a step above animals. Instead of merely satisfying are instincts we can look forward to our goals.
When we promote the termination
of pregnancy we encourage a selfish “satisfy me now” attitude. We should be encouraging more considerate, intelligent, and responsible human beings. I would like to relay the statistics of abortion which reflect its popularity, and further prove
it is a choice of convenience. In 2015 the CDC reported 638,169 legal induced abortions from 49 areas. ("Abortion | Data and Statistics | Reproductive Health | CDC") Now take away the cases of rape and incest, because I don’t think it’s fair to
include those who are victims, which roughly come to 14,000. That still leaves 624,169 abortions, more than half a million, to be accounted for. According to KFF.org across the United States of America about 50% of women who have an abortion are between the
ages of 20-29. ("Reported Legal Abortions by Age Group within the State Of Occurrence") Women who are young, probably going to school, have a lot going on. There are younger and older woman who elect to have an abortion and I acknowledge each woman’s
situation is unique but the reality is most are choosing what they believe is the most convenient option for them when they choose an abortion. Personal convenience should never surpass a human life. You can see the self-centered convenience seeking
attitude in the common arguments for abortion.
Which brings us to a Woman’s Reproductive Rights. This argument is about a woman’s right to control her body. Each woman has a right to reproductive choice, meaning control over when she gets
pregnant or if she even wants to be pregnant. But the flaw with this line of thought is that the perpetuation of the human race isn’t a question of just a woman’s fertility. To coin a common phrase, “It takes two to tango”. To exclude
Men from reproductive choice, excludes a critical part of the forming of a human being. To further debunk the argument of reproductive rights, let’s say both participants, agree that they don’t want the baby. What right to they have over the forming
human being’s reproductive rights? A baby’s gender is determined at conception but the baby’s sex organs develop between weeks 7 and 12, within the first trimester. If a single woman, or a couple, don’t want the baby that doesn’t
change its status as a growing human being. A human being who has a right to life, and all the choices that come with it, including reproduction.
The majority of abortions occur during the first trimester, a nurse I work with said
because it is still considered a ball of tissue. Its skeletal structure isn’t solid yet, it’s still spongy and connected to the tissues around the organs. This conversation was sparked because another coworker of mine was discussing her first miscarriage
with me. She was upset because a friend of hers (who also miscarried) was given her baby while she was not. The reason she wasn’t given the option was because her miscarriage was so early, so the “ball of tissue” was just thrown away. But
to her it was more than that, she saw it as her baby.
So what is the alternative for women who are pregnant but don’t wish to be mothers at the time? I would say adoption. The Business Library reports that there are
up to 36 couples waiting for every one baby placed for adoption. Unfortunately statistics show that very few women who give birth choose to give up their babies. In an article, Keith Riler quotes this reason why abortion is more popular than
“Although a birth mother may not be hit with financial costs surrounding her unplanned pregnancy if she chooses adoption, there is a generally a profound emotional toll. … Most birth mothers are profoundly affected by the loss
of their children [.]Most birth mothers mourn the loss of their children throughout their lives and none forget their children and move on effortlessly as they may have been assured that they would.”
The dilemma with adoption is that the emotional
toll is apparently greater than that of an abortion. Which to me is a misguided notion because adoption comes with more options to suit the birth mother such as: open adoption (Where the birth mother can be involved in the child’s life), partially open
(where you receive photos and updates of the child), and closed adoption (where you don’t have to interact with the child and family at all.) Compare that to abortion where the only outcome is death.
It seems to be a very selfish mentality to
choose killing the baby instead of giving it to a family. C. S. Lewis sums up the selfishness of the choice with the words of Orual a character in The Four Loves “We’d rather they
were ours and dead than yours…I was my own and Psyche was mine and no one else had any right to her.”
Instead of marches to promote abortion we should be marching to raise the popularity of adoption. The government should spend more time
creating programs to help the families seeking adoption. Instead of reducing the unborn child to a ball of tissue we should be promoting it to the potential member of a loving family who is, at this very moment, anxiously waiting for their arrival.
would like to move on to Protecting the life of the mother. Most often abortions happen within the first trimester but movements are making late term abortions available. The state of New York has passed the Reproductive Health Act which allows medical practitioners to perform abortions up to the day of the birth, provided “there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s
life or health.”
I will be gracious enough to acknowledge that life threatening circumstances will occur. I personally know one woman that suffered from a severe and rare heart condition all her life and she very nearly died during her labor.
Hers was a very high risk pregnancy. The doctors had to monitor her very carefully, and she spent the majority of pregnancy in the hospital. She and her baby thankfully did make it. But other woman might not want to face the slim odds she did.
abortion is not the only option or even the safest option in saving a woman’s life. Dr. Levatino has handled hundreds of cases of women with severe pregnancy complications, including cancer, heart disease, toxemia pregnancies, and more. He saved hundreds
of women from life threatening pregnancies by actually delivering the baby. I’d like to quote a statement of his here “You never need late term abortion to save the woman’s life. If necessary, you accomplish the delivery.
Now, did every one of those children make it, because they were pre-term? No, but they all had a chance at life, and most of them did make it.”
I whole heartedly agree with Dr. Levationo. We should give the children a chance at life instead
of squashing any possibility of it. With today’s modern medical practices deliveries and C-sections are considerably low risk. And a baby born as early as 23 to 32 weeks has a chance of surviving outside of the womb with proper care. So the concept of
abortion instead of delivery is unreasonable.
I will share a personal story I witnessed while on one of my shift at Utah Valley Hospital. A woman suffered a hemorrhage while at the hospital which was causing her to bleed out. The doctors had to rush
her to the operating room to perform a C-section. They were able to deliver the baby (which was early but not too early) and stop the bleeding. If you had thrown this woman back in time, say the 1800’s she and the baby would be dead. Modern medicine
is a wonder, we should use it to save lives not destroy them.
Finally let’s jump into the Human being vs Personhood argument. I always thought that being a human being and being a person were the same thing. But to pro-abortionists these are actually
different terms. Some pro-abortion advocates actually do argue that not all humans are “people”. To simplify it, a human means you are genetically a member of the human race. So for example a dog is not genetically a human, so it naturally
doesn’t count. Human is a description of what you are. While a person means you are a member of society and have rights that should be protected. So in the case of unborn children they may genetically be human but they currently offer nothing
of value to society. So aborting it is alright because it’s not a person.
In this argument your worth is based on what you bring to the table. Can you imagine the kind of world this would be if we applied this logic not just in abortion. Netflix
ran a series where the government would kill off the students that did not score highly on their exams. Only the smartest boys and girls could live. It was horrifying and scary. They weren’t really people they were objects. Or what about those with severe
disabilities, they can’t contribute to society, so should we just get rid of them? No because they are living and feeling human beings. They may not be able to care for themselves or express themselves but they feel everything pain, happiness, fear and
I have done some visiting at a place called Tiny Tots. It is a home where disabled children live and are cared for because their families can’t keep up with the level of care they need. Tiny Tots hosted a small Valentine’s Day dance
for the kids there. My sister dressed up and went to the dance and she looked like a princess. There was a little boy who was in a wheelchair who couldn’t speak he was probably 6. He didn’t have the motor skills to move his wheel chair but he could
raise his hand and he kept reaching out to her. So my sister held his hand and my mom moved his wheelchair and they danced together. And his smile melted every heart in the room. It’s a moment no one in my family will ever forget.
This boy will
never be able to hold a job or contribute to society in an obvious way and will most likely spend his life in this type of assited living environment but he deserves to be loved and protected. The way he contributes to our society is more emotional. He brings
out the compassion of those around him and nurtures the gentle feelings of the human spirit. An unborn child is the same. We may not see how they can contribute, but somehow, someway they will. They deserve to be protected and loved, being a human and being
a person are the same thing. To try and divide these terms will create opportunities for cold hearted practices.
To conclude, abortion is in my opinion one such cold hearted practice. It persuades us to view the growing human as a ball of tissue that
has nothing to offer. When in truth it is a person with a whole world of possibilities. A person that will feel love and sadness joy and pain. An embryo my not be able to feel these things yet but it will if protected. Anyone alive today was an unfeeling embryo
at one point. I for one am glad to be alive, and I think everyone who isn’t cliniquely depressed would say that they are also happy to be alive.
Abortion encourages us to act selfishly and irresponsibly instead of compassionately and accountably.
When our parents and teachers educate us they focus on working hard. They try to instill good character within us and to look to the future and our goals. They tell us not to lie, steal, or hurt others. If I told a toddler that if they hit someone there consequence
would be a time out, but then when they did hit someone and I did nothing what would happen? The child would think that they could continue hitting and believe hitting to be acceptable. The government is like the parents of the United States, the laws are
There should be laws that prohibit abortion because the consequence of sex is pregnacy. Woman do have a right to how they live, what they do, and who they spend their time with. They are free to choose to have sex or abstain, use birth
control or none at all. However if they are a willing participant in the making of the baby then they should graciously accept the consequence of pregnancy. I am not saying they should be forced to be mothers if they don’t want to be, or if they are
not ready to be. But there is a life inside of them that they helped make and they should make the choice that gives that life the best possible outcome. There are countless families waiting to adopt. Our goal as a nation should be for us to promote a companionate
and responsible society. And abortion will not help us reach it.