“This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual... A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.e., an embryo).
Day 1: From the moment of conception all the way through its development up unto death this individual is UNIQUE, HUMAN and ALIVE.
Unique – The child has its own unique code of DNA, a road map for the future of that small person that will influence the way they appear, their personality, their talents and individual way of perceiving the world.
Human – Their DNA, their essence is human, not chicken, or horse, or monkey. They are distinctly human organisms.
Alive – They are a living organism according to the four criteria of life: Metabolism, Growth, Response to stimuli and Reproduction
21 days: The heart begins to beat.
4 weeks: Tiny arms and legs develop.
8 weeks: Body systems all developed and grow from there.
23 weeks: Baby can experience pain and survive outside the womb.
32 weeks: Baby is already forming memories and will recognise the voices of its family once born.
- Dr Neville Sender, Abortionist
- Norma McCorvey, plaintiff in Roe v. Wade
- Mahatma Gandhi
If you imagine how different your life would be without your brother, sister, best friend or partner you will come to the tragic realisation that our world is so very different now that we are missing 1 in 4 of these valuable people. We will never know who they would have been - a green grocer who serves their community, a musician who lives to make people happy or a scientist who finds a cure for cancer. Australia is missing millions of people because of abortion.
- Dr. Seuss
Abortion is always a difficult situation but particularly in cases of rape, incest and risk of harm to the mother, it is especially challenging. These situations, despite making up a small minority of cases, are repeatedly used to argue for legalised abortion without any limits.
Endangerment of the life of the mother
Complications such as ectopic pregnancy, cancer and eclampsia are genuine life threatening risks to the health of the mother in pregnancy. Abortion is the “the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy” and is not necessary for any of these cases. In cases of ectopic pregnancy and cancer, if the mother’s life is in danger early in the pregnancy the procedures undertaken will save the life of the mother and as an unintended side effect may cause the death of the foetus - but it is not the “deliberate” or “intended” effect of the treatment. For most life threatening situations past 25 weeks, the pregnancy can be terminated by inducing labour or performing a caesarean and everything can be done to save the life of both the mother and child.
Rape is an abhorrent tragedy and an incredibly traumatic situation for any person. In a minority of cases women become pregnant through rape. For these women abortion does not undo the rape, in fact in some cases it adds to the trauma. Furthermore, as children of rape victims point out, simply because they were born of a terrible situation does not mean that they had any less of a right to live. The solution is not abortion but rather that the mother gets love, support, counselling and any needed help she needs, the criminal is given a just punishment and our culture is driven away from the demeaning sexualisation and objectification of women.
Recognise the beauty and value of all life
The first and most important step in changing our nation’s culture will be to create a society that truly values life in all of its forms. The conviction that all life is precious, valuable and worth protecting and cherishing paves the way to supporting women and children and the recognising what abortion really is.
Support women and children
Pregnancy, birth and raising a child is an emotionally, financially and socially challenging situation, particularly if the woman does not have adequate supports. There are a number of wonderful organisations around Australia who support women in these situations. To be pro-life means to support life at all stages and thus we need a pro-life culture that supports women in crisis pregnancies and gives them the structures to provide for their child.
Rebuild the adoption option
More than 40,000 children were living in foster homes or out-of-home care in 2015, but the number of adoptions in Australia fell to an all-time low of 209. In the year 1971-72 there were 10 000 adoptions in a significantly smaller Australian population. Some of the reticence of women to continue an unexpected pregnancy is that they could not bear to be separated from a child they had borne for 9 months. They cannot imagine their child having a good life in the foster care system. A culturally positive attitude towards adoption as a loving option for both the mother and child needs to be in place as part of addressing the systemic issues we have with abortion.
The stigma and negativity associated with intellectual disability in Australia means that 90% of our children with Down syndrome are aborted. Despite the ostentatious public support for disability there is a strong sub-culture, particularly amongst the medical profession, of seeing individuals with Down syndrome as a burden, people who will live short, unhappy lives and would be better off dead. We need a community that genuinely loves, supports and values those with disabilities.
Coleman, P.K., 2011. Abortion and mental health: quantitative synthesis and analysis of research published 1995-2009. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science, 199(3), pp.180–6. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21881096 [Accessed January 11, 2013].
Faiz, A.S. & Ananth, C. V., 2003. Etiology and risk factors for placenta previa: an overview and meta-analysis of observational studies. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 13(3), pp.175–190. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/jmf.126.96.36.199.
Huang, Y. et al., 2014. A meta-analysis of the association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk among Chinese females. Cancer causes & control : CCC, 25(2), pp.227–36. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24272196.
Maconochie, N. et al., 2007. Risk factors for first trimester miscarriage--results from a UK-population-based case-control study. BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology, 114(2), pp.170–186.
Shah, P. S., & Zao, J. (2009). Induced termination of pregnancy and low birthweight and preterm birth: A systematic review and meta-analyses. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 116(11), 1425–1442. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2009.02278.x