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The Anti-Life Movement

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By Christian Beenfeldt

The recent ban on abortion in South Dakota is a victory for the "pro-life"

movement--and thus, anti-abortionists claim, a victory for "the sanctity of human

life." But is it?

The South Dakota law bans abortions in all cases except saving the life of the

mother. Consider what this would mean for human life--not the "lives" of embryos or

primitive fetuses, but the lives of real, living, breathing, thinking women.

It would mean that women who wanted to terminate a pregnancy because it resulted

from rape or contraceptive failure--or because the would-be father has abandoned

her--or because the fetus is malformed--would be forbidden from doing so. It would

mean that they would be forced to endure the misery of unwanted pregnancy and the

incredible burdens of child rearing. It would mean that women would be sentenced to

18-year terms of enslavement to unwanted children--thereby suffocating their hopes,

their dreams, their personal ambitions, their chance of happiness. And it would mean

that women who refused to submit to such a fate would be forced to turn to the

"back-alley" at a staggering risk to their health. According to a World Health

Organization estimate, 110,000 women worldwide die each year from such illegal

abortions and up to six times as many suffer injury from them.

Clearly, anti-abortionists believe that such women's lives are an unimportant

consideration in the issue of abortion. Why? Because, they claim, the embryo or fetus

is a human being--and thus to abort it is murder. But an embryo is not a human being,

and abortion is not murder.


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