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Point of View

23 POINT OF VIEW (Haven Bradford Gow) Every 20 seconds a baby is aborted; 180 abortions are done every hour; 4320 are done every day; 30,240 every week; 129,600 every month and 1,576,800 are aborted every year. At least 24 million babies have been killed through legal abortion since ‘1973. Thirty-nine percent of women procuring abortions already had at least one previous abortion. Thirteen percent had two or more. One-hundred-twenty thousand late abortions (from the beginning of the fourth term to the end of the ninth month) are performed every year in the United States. Seven—thousand—five—hundred serious complications occur annually from abortion. In 19 82, eight cities in the United States had more abortions than live births. According to Dr. Marvin Olasky, a University of Texas (Austin) scholar and the author of The Press & Abortion: 1938-1988. “George Orwell noted that political language often seeks to defend the indefensible by softening the force of some images; that is certainly what happened in the abortion war when, just as abortion was gaining wide acceptance, the press began using the dehumanizing word ‘fetus’ rather than the traditional ‘unborn child’. “Whether a person is for or against abortion the honest position is that taken by an American Medical Association panel in 1871: We had to deal with human life An honest judge on the bench would call things by their proper names. We could no .less.” As Dr. Olasky points out, medically and philosophically speaking, it is most appropriate to describe the fetus as the unborn child. Orwell also had something significant to say about abortion and the abuse and manipulation of language. Gordon Comstock, the hero, of Orwell’s novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying, impregnates his lover Rosemary, and after she informs him that she is carrying his baby, they engage in a conversation regarding what they should do. Rosemary proposes the termination of pregnancy as the solution, but after they begin talking about money lor the abortion, Comstock suddenly begins to understand that what they have been discussing is the killing of 24 REVIEW OF RELIGIONS their unborn child: For the first time he grasped, with the only kind of knowledge that matters, what, they were really talking about. The words ‘a baby’ took on a new significance. They did not mean any longer a mere abstract disaster, they meant a bud of flesh…. It was the squalid detail of the (money) that brought, it home. People who are for and against abortion have abused and manipulated language to gain support for their views; but certainly, pro-abortionists have been especially guilty of brutalizing the language to cover up the fact that abortion is the killing -of unborn babies. One glaring example of how pro-abortionists abuse and manipulate language is when they argue, We simply cannot answer the question of when human h’fe begins. Legal scholars, theologians and philosophers, they point out, disagree on an answer. But the question of when human life begins is not a theological or philosophical or legal question; rather, it is a medical/ scientific question. And medical and scientific people generally agree that human life begins at conception. Dr. Eugene Diamond, chairman of the paediatrics depart- ment of Loyola University Medical School in Maywood, ffi; observes: It certainly is appropriate to describe abortion as the killing of a human Rfe. We no longer need to belabor the question of when life begins, it begins incontrovertibly at the union of sperm and ovum. Surely the recent in vitro fertilization experiments prove this beyond a doubt. Bradley M. Patten, in Foundations of Embryology, declares: Every one of the higher animals starts life as a single cell-—-thefertuized ovum…. The union of two such sex cells to form a zygote constitutes the process of fertilization and initiates the life of a new individual. Says H.M.L. Liley, in Modern Motherhood, Another medical fallacy that modern obstetrics discards is the idea that the pregnant woman can be treated as a patient alone…. At the very least there are two people involved, the mother and her child. J.A.F. Roberts, in Introduction to Medical Genetics, points out that a human being originates in the union of two gametes, the ovum and the spermatozoon. These cells contain all the characteristics the new individual inherits organically from his or her parents. Prof. Jerome Lejeune, the eminent European biologist, observes: If the (continued on page 35)

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