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Is it really compassionate to abort ‘for the sake of the baby’?

by | Oct 21, 2016

By Sarah Terzo

3D-printed-unborn-childPatricia Launneborg’s book Abortion: a Positive Decision may be one of the most blatantly pro-abortion books ever written. She champions abortion, describing it in glowing terms, and presents the stories of women who feel their abortions were wonderful.

One thing I noticed as I read through the women’s stories was how many of them justified their abortions, in whole or in part, by saying that they were done for the sake of the preborn baby. These women claim that it is better for a baby to be aborted (i.e., killed) than to be born into a situation where he or she may be unhappy. Whether this argument is a way to justify the abortion to themselves or whether they really believe that their babies are better off dead is hard to say.

Abortion violently kills a baby. Whether the child is torn apart by a suction machine (the most common abortion method), dismembered limb by limb with forceps, or poisoned by drugs, the baby is brutally killed.

I am going to post some quotes from women who had abortions and told their stories in Abortion: a Positive Decision. My goal is not to shame these women, but to the show the faulty reasoning they apply to their abortion decisions.

First, here is a photo of babies aborted at nine weeks, still within the first trimester when most abortions take place. When you read the quotes below, remember this picture. It shows exactly what the women are talking about.

Emphasis is added in the following quotes.

From one woman who had two abortions (page 63 of book):

We must go on with our heads held high. During the April 89 March for Women’s Lives, I felt real strong, real sure in my beliefs, I felt wonderful. I looked at those anti people and they were missing the point, they were ignorant, they were not as compassionate as we were, as human, they were so blinded… Women have choices in life and women cannot keep bringing children into the world that are going to starve and be a drain on the system …It’s just not fair to the child…. Children are too special.

Children are special – special enough to be killed by abortion if they aren’t wanted.

Another woman said the following (on page 18):

Saying that you must have that child if you happen to get impregnated, saying that you must carry that child to term, and then raise that child for 25 years, is anti-family. In that it doesn’t value the woman as a unique individual, and does not value the child. It’s extremely cruel. It feels like a very cold life, it feels terrible to me.

Is allowing the child to live crueler than tearing her apart in an abortion? Is letting a baby live “cold” and “terrible?” Only in a twisted, sad, pro-choice world.

Another woman who said the following (page 127):

I take it very seriously if I am going to have a child. I want my circumstances to be what was right for the child. I don’t really support people’s decisions to go into it being single parents, because I think it’s a poor choice for the child. I think you have to look at what’s there for the child, know what’s there for me.

Perhaps the “what’s there for me” takes precedence over “a poor choice for the child.”

From a woman who had two illegal abortions (page 129):

I was not ready to be a mother. I was not ready to bring those children into the world. I just didn’t think I could give those children what they needed at the time.… I don’t have the money to support a child properly. In those days, welfare wasn’t even heard of. You couldn’t go to the state and say, I’m pregnant, take care of me. And I was raised to support myself and I wasn’t prepared to have a family without a husband. I didn’t consider myself selfish. I knew I was doing it for this unborn child. I didn’t feel capable of raising a child alone.

Of course pro-lifers need to support women in bad financial situations. In fact, many pregnancy resource centers do just that, giving pregnant women baby and maternity clothes, diapers, bassinets, and other things they need for the baby, as well as helping them to apply for social programs such as Medicaid and welfare. No woman should feel pressured to abort because she does not have enough money. But is the claim that a baby is better off dead than poor really accurate?

The next woman says (on page 138):

… If you actually don’t want children and you became pregnant – okay, abortion does destroy life, nobody can argue that – but an unwanted pregnancy and unwanted children destroy more than one life. Unwanted children do fail to thrive. So I don’t think it is selfish decision at all, to have an abortion.

It is very sad that this woman knows that abortion is killing, yet believes that this killing is the best thing for both her and the child (who is murdered.)

Finally, another woman says (141 – 142):

And the reason I always knew I would not have an out of wedlock child is because I have these really high standards of how one should raise a child and it includes having 2 people, not necessarily married, I use wedlock in a very general way. But you need 2 people to take care of each other and also the child. So when I got pregnant, and it was this man I am married to now and with whom I have had a child since, I had known him for a year. I was not about to have a child at that point in my life. It wasn’t right for the child, it wasn’t right for me.

We could apply this belief across the board. Should we round up all the children of single mothers, line them against a wall, and shoot them? Is being the child of a single mother so horrible that a baby is better off dead? When you think about it, this quote is demeaning to all single mothers. It implies that single mothers cannot be good parents, and that their children are better off not being born. That gives a terrible view of women and their capabilities. Of course, the woman who said this was talking only about herself, but her reasoning, if applied to the whole of society, would be misogynistic, cruel, and stigmatizing.

Perhaps the saddest thing about these quotes is that in the pro-choice mindset, all of them make perfect sense. If a baby is not a human being whose rights are to be respected, a woman can use any reason to justify her abortion, including the claim that the baby is better off dead. If she believes preborn babies are just tissue, or collections of cells, the mother can consider herself justified in destroying her child if she thinks he might suffer someday. After all, we euthanize dogs and cats all the time. If a preborn baby is worth less than an animal, why not kill her to prevent the woman or child from experiencing unhappiness? This cheapening of human life, where human comfort and convenience takes precedence over life itself, is what the pro-choice position is all about.

Pro-lifers need to educate the public about what abortion really does to preborn children. We must teach women that their babies are not better off dead than alive. We must tell people that preborn babies have inherent value; that they are not like cats or dogs which can be euthanized if they are unwanted and unloved. Killing human beings to prevent human suffering is wrong. While we must always work to alleviate human suffering, killing the victims of it (or the potential victims of it) is not the answer.

Source: Patricia Launneborg, Abortion: a Positive Decision (New York: Bergin & Garvey, 1992)

Editor’s note. This appeared at and is reprinted with permission. Sarah Terzo is a pro-life author and creator of the website. She is a member of Secular Pro-Life and PLAGAL.

Categories: Abortion