I remember the days when Bill Clinton talked about abortion. President Clinton’s mantra was nobody wanted to get an abortion. He said that it should be “safe, legal and rare.” Likewise, when the pro-choice crowd challenges legal restrictions on abortion, much of the time it is because the laws allegedly don’t contain strong enough provisions for hardship cases such pregnancies that result from rape, incest or that threaten the life of the mother.
There is some logic to these arguments. Americans can argue in good faith about if it is ever moral to kill an unborn baby. While I believe that abortion is murder and morally repugnant, I can concede that there are gray areas where there are no good choices. With deep moral and logical arguments to be made on both sides, it is all the more shocking to hear Planned Parenthood’s president Cecile Richards justify her own abortion.
In an interview with Katie Couric in 2015, Richards described her decision to take the life of an unborn baby. “It was a decision my husband and I made. It was a personal decision. And we have three children that we adore and that are the center of my life. And we decided that was as big as our family needed to be,” said Richards. “It wasn’t anything more dramatic than that. But I can’t imagine a woman being in that circumstance — with an unintended pregnancy and not being able to make her own decision about that pregnancy.”
“It wasn’t anything more dramatic than that.”
Cecile Richards is the daughter of former Texas governor, Anne Richards (who notably coined the nickname “Shrub” for George W. Bush). She comes from an affluent family. Lifenews estimates the salary of the younger Ms. Richards at “around $600,000.” She is a one-percenter in her own right. Yet she chose to end the life of her baby, the sibling of her other three children, because “we decided that was as big as our family needed to be.”
This is no hardship case. This is not a gray area. This is a case of a wealthy woman who apparently was not on birth control or using contraceptives deciding that she didn’t want another child.
The Cecile Richards abortion is an example of the dishonesty of the abortion movement. The vast majority of abortions are for convenience or quality of life reasons, not for medical emergencies or due to sexual assaults. According to the Guttmacher Institute, rape and incest cases make up less than one percent of abortions. Abortions due to the health of the mother account for only 12 percent of abortions. Concerns about the health of the baby lead to 13 percent.
The most common reason cited for having an abortion? “Having a baby would dramatically change my life.” Cecile Richards’ excuse, “have completed my childbearing,” was given by 38 percent of women who had abortions.
The pro-choice movement is fundamentally a selfish one. At its core, it is all about “me.” The slogan “my body, my choice” puts all other considerations below the mother’s preference. The fact that a human being is killed, the desires of the father, even the possibility of problems with the mental and physical health of the mother are pushed aside.
Abortion is not a necessary medical procedure to protect the life of the mother in most cases. Abortion is a tool with which people can escape the consequences of their actions.
Ironically, the extremist position of abortion for any reason may be hurting the pro-choice cause. Since the 1990s, the percentage of pro-choice Americans has plummeted while the pro-life position has increased. The country is equally split between the two viewpoints according to Gallup. On closer examination, the majority is neither pro- nor anti-abortion. A majority, 50 percent, of Americans believes in the middle ground that there should be legal abortion with restrictions. Most of these (37 percent) believe that abortion should be legal in only a few circumstances, presumably the traditional exceptions of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is in danger.
The change in attitudes about abortion helps to explain another shocking statistic. American abortions are their lowest level since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. The pro-life viewpoint is winning. Perhaps this is why abortion activists are sounding increasingly shrill and extreme.