THE PARADOX OF CHOICE 

          (This article was originally written in 1991, but never published until now.)

 

     America has always been a nation of high ideals, a land of freedom and independence.  But any ideal, when carried to excess, can become dangerous instead of liberating.  Our founding fathers knew this and knew also that freedom must be counterbalanced with restraint and responsibility for actions taken.  In short, freedom must be dispensed with justice.               

     However, in contemporary American society,  the scales have clearly been tipped on the side of freedom and individual rights.  This has put many in the ironic position of fighting for rights that are not truly beneficial, either to them or to society as a whole.  They may want what they want when they want it, but then suffer needlessly because of their own choices.

     Although the banner of "choice"  has been lifted up as the vanguard for individual human rights, the pro-choice philosophy raises some significant questions.  First, is justice truly being served by granting women the right to choose abortion for the sake of their comfort and convenience, while completely dismissing the pre-born baby's right to life?  And, if making abortion illegal discriminates against women's rights, as some argue that it would, what about the rights of "pre-born" women?  Thousands are being killed by abortion every day.

     While choice is being promoted as a right that all women should cherish, regardless of whether or not they  ever exercise it, many women no longer cherish this right.  These are those who bare both the physical and emotional scars of a procedure they were told was "safe."  Another thing that many of these women will tell you is abortion was not "their" choice, but rather a decision foisted upon them by misguided family or friends, or by pro-choice counselors and physicians, as well as an uncaring society whose laws provide only for the disposal of the products of untimely pregnancies.

     Even many of the books written by pro-choice advocates seem to almost betray themselves by revealing the destructive nature of abortion.  The titles alone are revealing.  "In Necessity and Sorrow," by Dr. Magda Denes, expounds in detail the horrors of an abortion hospital in New York City.  "The Ambivalence of Abortion," by Linda Bird Francke, seems to offer much better arguments against abortion than for it.  And  "Soul Crisis," by Sue Nathanson, tells of the intense emotional pain the author went through following her abortion.  She also goes to great lengths to validate her decision, but one cannot help but think there would have been much greater justification in childbirth, and much less suffering.  However, the push for individual freedom is so overwhelming today and the voices of those proclaiming it so loud, that reason and rationality can hardly be heard above the deafening roar.

     We should also address the age-old institution of motherhood.  Considering the fact that the strong nurturing and protective instincts of mothers have always been valued as a unique part of the feminine psyche, how is it that so many now think it good and right for women to discard their young ones, thereby obliterating their natural and compassionate inclinations?  Is it reasonable to believe that such decisions will not seriously impair their relationships with their other children, or future ones?

     And what of our future generations?  Because of Roe v. Wade, our nation is now somewhere in the neighborhood of being 56 million lives poorer.  One out of every three pre-born children is a victim of his mother's choice. Those killed in 1973 would now be 41 to 42 years old.  Who knows how many doctors, or lawyers, musicians, artists, soldiers, fathers, mothers, and even grandparents we have lost in the name of choice?  Why are we continuing to destroy our future?  Who can argue that this is not a valid question?

     Pre-born children, women, and society - NO ONE seems to be benefitting from abortion, and yet the killing goes on.  A paradox indeed; a travesty and a tragedy to be sure.  Yet, this is not an insoluble problem.  With the help of a little common sense, we should be able to find our way out of this dilemma.

     The pro-choice movement shudders at the thought of "turning back the clock."  To some, there seems to be no value whatsoever in the past.  Progress is always new and innovating.  However, there are such things as "wrong choices."    The death of the innocent is always wrong.   Injustice is reprehensible to any truly freedom-loving people.   And excessive freedom can be as harmful as no freedom at all.

     When a wrong turn has been taken, the only logical choice to make is to return to the point where things began to go awry.  The choice that our nation needs to make is the choice for LIFE.   Justice demands that we do so.  This is a decision that will require great sacrifice, and responsibility and restraint must be accepted by all.  But in the end, it is a choice that we will be glad we have made, and one we will all be better off in the making.

 

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