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May 1, 2004
Column #1,183

                                             Abortion and Secrets
                               
Last Sunday a million people participated in a pro-abortion march in Washington.

What is it that makes the abortion issue so contentious? I think it comes down to secrets. Most of those In the "March for Women's Lives," were women. What was their secret?

Consider the banners and signs they carried: "It's Your Choice....Not Theirs," said one.

"My Body - My Choice," screamed another. "Who Decides?" asked many.

What I read into those signs is a huge secret. A stunning 43 percent of American women have had an abortion. Most were unmarried at the time. If they had given birth to the child, it would have disrupted their lives. So they have grounds, in their minds, justifying their choice.

However, the justification is really a rationalization. Consider another one of the signs many were carrying: "Pro Choice - Pro Child." How can abortion possibly be considered "Pro Child?"

The child in the womb, who is utterly dependent on his or her mother, has its life extinguished by that child's own mother.

Yes, there were a few men in the crowd. Most were with a woman. I wondered how many of them were responsible for fathering a child, and responsible for pushing the woman to have an abortion. More secrets.

One of the more famous marchers was Ashley Judd, the beautiful young actress. What would her mother, beloved country singer, Naomi Judd, have thought about her daughter being a poster child for abortion? For many years, Naomi has been open about her secret of becoming pregnant as a teenager who firmly rejected abortion. She even worked as a labor and delivery nurse, repeatedly witnessing the miracle of birth, and told Sally Jesse Raphael in 1998, "I have seen the ultrasounds...you know that those babies are real."

Surely, Ashley knows her mother's secret in detail. Yet she marched against life.

What prompted a million people to fill the Mall between the Washington Monument and the Capitol? Hatred of President Bush who has backed with actions, his statement that unborn children should be "welcomed in life and protected in law."

In his first weeks in office, he reinstated the Mexico City policy prohibiting federal funds from supporting foreign abortions. He blocked federal funding of research that kills human embryos and signed both the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act.

In signing the latter law, he said, "The Born-Alive Infants Protection Act is a step toward the day when every child is welcomed in life and protected in law. It is a step toward the day when the promises of the Declaration of Independence will apply to everyone, not just those with the voice and power to defend their rights."

Consider the historic words of America's most sacred document: "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness - That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men."

Government's role is to guarantee that the gift of life, which comes from the Creator, is to be honored. This is a conviction deep in the American soul.

Yet Sen. John Kerry said in the speech which launched his bid for the Presidency, "As President, I will only appoint Supreme Court Justices who will uphold a woman's right to choose." Interestingly, however, Kerry did not join the march. Why not?

Undoubtedly, he has seen the latest polls suggesting that support for abortion is falling. According to a Zogby poll last week, only 13 percent of Americans believe abortion should be completely unrestricted - the extreme position taken by those in the march. By contrast, 56 percent believe abortion should never be legal or legal only where the life of the mother is endangered or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest. Even "pro-choice" supporters agree those cases are only 2 percent of abortions.

More Americans are now "pro-life" than "pro-choice," 49 percent to 45 percent. A decade ago a Gallup Poll reported 56 percent were "pro-choice" vs. 33 percent "pro-life."

And what is the secret on the "pro-life" side? Half of America's births were unwanted by their mothers at the time.

My secret is that my mother was pregnant when she married my father. I was born seven months later. I am so glad that abortion was unacceptable in 1941.

Or you would not be reading these words.

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