NRL News

It all comes down to love

by | Oct 26, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

A college student forwarded me a column that appeared yesterday in the student newspaper of West Virginia University. Bearing in mind the headline is likely not the author’s it read, “Abortion is a better option for many would-be parents.”

This will not be a long post. Either the writer at some level is spoofing his audience about a very serious topic or his word processor has a will of its own and just tacked on one nonsensical statement after another.

Having said that, there are a few points he makes that are worth pondering, especially now with the impending birth of the seven billionth person the excuse for the same alarmist rhetoric we’ve heard since the 1960s.

The writer believes—or at least commits to paper the assertion—that pro-lifers have no better purpose in mind when they are standing outside an abortion clinic than to “berate young women” so as to “add another life to the world.” No, when people peacefully witness, they are saying something else: there IS a better way, and they would like to show her what it is. If successful the result is not just “another life” added “to the world,” but the triumph of hope over despair.

Most of the writer’s rhetorical flourishes are riffs on one ancient pro-abortion theme: there are “real” people—the mother—and “potential life”—the baby. If the latter is practically a figment of the pro-lifer’s imagination, why are we having this conversation?

But, of course, it is the child’s undeniable existence that explains why abortion is a perennial issue, not just in elections and in legislative halls, but over kitchen tables, at churches, and in homes all across America. (Imagine what the results of those millions of conversations might be if we knew that the child could “hear’ what we were saying.)

Everything else in the column is a variation of how much a baby costs, starting with a contrast between what it would cost to end her life—hardly anything–and what parents expend over the course of a lifetime—a lot.

That made me think of a cartoon from years ago, drawn by a cartoonist for a major paper whom I had known when we both worked on the same college newspaper.  A good guy, but no pro-lifer.

The cartoon showed a harried dad talking to his young daughter in a crib. The dad is wading through a pile of bills lamenting all that it costs to “raise a child nowadays.”

So, he asks, “What do you have to say for yourself?”

She gives him a smooch on the nose.

Reduced to a loving puddle, he answers himself: “I guess sometimes you just have to put these things into perspective.”

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