23 August 2008

Solving Abortion is More than Education

William Donohue wrote an excellent article at Inside Catholic called "Abortion, Human Trafficking and the Left's Double Standard." He demonstrates that if the Left took the same approach to abortion as it does to human trafficking it would have to be illegal. It is a good and balanced article worth reading.

As someone who has spent several years in public safety education the successful approach to changing negative behaviors is through a combination of efforts, i.e., education, legislation, incentives etc. But no amount of education or incentives will convince some people to do the right thing whether it be giving up smoking, wearing seatbelts or requiring car seats for youngsters. For some, making it illegal will be the only message they hear. Pro-abortionists criticize pro-lifers as only caring about making abortion illegal and seeking to punish the poor woman who is often left to make this decision on her own or worse yet forced by a boyfriend or husband.

But making it illegal does not mean you lock everyone up. For example we have laws requiring children be placed in car seats. Now there are many poor families unable to buy a car seat or they come from a different cultural background which does not see the need for them. Regardless, for the safety of their children we have laws requiring their use. If someone doesn't have one and gets pulled over, they aren't arrested but this can be used is an opportunity to properly educate as well. People who unable to afford a car seat are directed toward community resources that can provide one and they can be given information on why they are needed. But to simply seek to educate in this instance without having legislation would be foolish.

Furthermore as stated earlier making something illegal will keep some people from doing it simply for that reason. There was a young artist in the U.K. pregnant with twins who because the system failed her had an abortion. Then a year later in her grief she killed herself after realizing what she had done. This woman would probably be alive today if abortion were illegal. The doctors who the pro-abortion lobby are always telling us should be the only ones involved in this decision making process neglected or ignored the obvious warning signs, that she was reluctant to have an abortion. She was actually excited when she found out she was pregnant but it was her boyfriend who was upset and wanted the abortion. (The role of men in abortion is another tragedy which needs to be dealt with in a different topic.)

Education is necessary but the legislation buys you time to reach those who aren't listening, won't listen or haven't heard. I sit on the board of an inner-city crisis pregnancy center and from personal experience, and that of others, know that some women even after being presented with ultrasounds, and alternatives will still have an abortion simply because it is easier and they have the voices of Planned Parenthood or others encouraging them to do so. And human nature being what it is we will often choose the easier path as long as it is open.

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