A Painful Lesson

Nathan Tabor

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Next week, members of Congress will cast their votes on a measure that focuses new attention on the issue of abortion.

At issue is whether pregnant women should be informed that an abortion performed 20 weeks or more after conception can cause pain to an unborn child.

For far too long, pro-abortion activists have succeeded in depicting abortion as a matter of a woman’s choice—as if it’s as simple a decision as whether to join a gym or change hair color.

What happens to the fetus during an abortion is still, by and large, not talked about. Women walk into an abortion center thinking they can magically become “unpregnant. ” Clinic personnel then instruct them to go to the mall or to get a pedicure to take the sting out of losing their child in the most heinous way possible.

The debate over partial-birth abortion, if nothing else, has shed a little light on the actual, grisly practice of abortion. When the issue came to the fore in the 1990s, many people, for the first time, started thinking about abortion in concrete, rather than abstract, terms. Partial-birth abortion remains a tough practice to defend, even in our permissive society. National public opinion polls show that as many as 70 percent of the American public supports the federal ban on partial-birth abortion which is now before the U. S. Supreme Court.

Leading medical experts say that, during a partial-birth abortion—and any late-term abortion, for that matter—an unborn child does, in fact, feel pain. Imagine the pain of having a pair of scissors jammed into your skull or being ripped limb by limb from your mother’s womb.

Yet, as unbelievable as it seems, while the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act may pass the U. S. House, observers say it’s doomed in the Senate. Apparently, there are just not enough Senators brave enough to defend a woman’s right to know when pain is going to be inflicted on her child.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, indicates the prospects for such legislation next year are grim.

In an Associated Press report, Johnson was quoted as saying that the “hard-core, pro-abortion loyalists” in the House will block even the most modest pro-life measures during the next term.

An abortion in the later stages of pregnancy has to be the most barbaric form of violence that exists in America today. How can an inner-city teenager have respect for his life—or anyone else’s—as long as he knows that his baby brother can be savagely murdered in his mother’s womb?

As we as a nation have lost respect for the unborn child, we’ve also lost respect for the child’s mother. Violence against pregnant women has skyrocketed in recent decades. No longer are pregnant women universally treated with respect. Instead, they are far too often viewed with contempt—as if they’ve done something wrong by trying to nurture and protect an unborn baby.

An abortion-controlled Congress in 2007 can ignore the cries of the unborn children—but, in the end, our country will be haunted by those silent screams for decades to come.


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