#6: Because abortion is a gruesome medical practice.
I suppose this reason is a branch off of the first reason I listed in Part 1—which was that the unborn child is human—but I wanted to be more specific.
Any surgical abortion—whether at 12 weeks, 22 weeks, or 32 weeks—involves the violent and gruesome dismemberment and decapitation of an unborn human being. For those who don’t believe me, I would highly recommend that you listen to the testimony of Dr. Anthony Levantino, a former abortion provider who performed over 12,000 abortions in the first and second trimester.
Listen to him describe the procedure. And then explain to me how abortion is justifiable.
#7: Because I am a feminist.
Modern-day feminists have made reproductive rights and support of abortion one of the key tenets of third/fourth wave feminism. In fact, while I was completing my degree in Women’s Studies, many of my feminist classes would periodically erupt into debates over whether it was even possible to be a “pro-life feminist”.
I find discussions of these quite fascinating, because really what they demonstrate is an extreme form of historical amnesia. It seems as though the entire modern-day feminist movement has literally forgotten—either intentionally or unintentionally—the fact that the very first feminists were extremely pro-life. In fact, the women who founded feminism were adamant that, in order to effectively argue that all human life, male and female, was equally valuable, you also had to argue that all human life, born or unborn, was also equally valuable. So being pro-life and being pro-woman were belief systems that were inextricably linked and intertwined for early day Western feminists.
The summary of feminism’s historical connection to the issue of abortion is that the women who founded the feminist movement were adamantly opposed to abortion as a medical practice. The reasons for this were three-fold:
- The founders of feminism believed that abortion ended a human life, and therefore that abortion was morally reprehensible. In light of the fact that feminists were advocating for the equal valuing of all human life, regardless of gender, this stance is understandable and intellectually consistent.
- Early feminists noted that women were often pressured to have abortions against their will. This pressure was either direct, and was often exerted by male partners and other patriarchal figures in women’s lives, or it was indirect, which can be seen in the pressure that many women faced to have abortions for economic reasons and because of economically non-ideal circumstances. In both of these cases, the founders of feminism recognized that these external and/or internal pressures actively undermined women’s autonomy, women’s agency, and women’s ability to act as empowered, equal human beings.
- Finally, early feminists believed that women’s empowerment did not have to rely on the oppression of others—in other words, the right to control one’s body could not include the right to destroy someone else’s body.
It was Frances Wright who famously said:
“whenever we establish our own pretentions upon the sacrificed rights of others, we do in fact impeach our own liberties, and lower ourselves in the scale of being!…”
And it was renowned feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton who, in 1873, said:
“When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit.”
So, one of the main reasons why I am still pro-life is because I hold a traditional feminist worldview. And, as the founders of Western feminism aptly pointed out, this necessitates adopting a pro-life feminist ethos.
Does this mean that you cannot be a pro-abortion feminist? Absolutely not. But it does mean that your feminist worldview will be inconsistent, illogical, incomplete, and, as we are seeing more and more today, tyrannical in its attempt to justify the oppression of others to attain the supposed empowerment of women.
So my dear feminist colleagues, pro-life and pro-choice: you would do well to remember that “whenever we establish our own pretentions upon the sacrificed rights of others, we do in fact impeach our own liberties, and lower ourselves in the scale of being!…”
#8: Because I oppose sexism.
Let’s talk about sex-selection abortion. In my most recent video addressing the issue of abortion, I said the following:
“Sex selection abortion is the epitome of misogyny.
It is a practice that says only boys are welcome into society.
The notion that abortion empowers women is something that I must question:
How can abortion empower women when it promotes blatant discrimination?”
Sex selection is the practice of using medical techniques to choose the sex of offspring. While sex-selection by definition and in theory can apply to male or female children, it is almost exclusively used to discriminate against female children and choose male children. Sex-selection abortion is when an abortion is performed solely because of the child’s sex. Again, while sex-selection abortion in theory can be used to target male and female children, research indicates that it is used around the world to systematically target female children.
Typically, when we think about sex-selection abortion, we think about East Asian countries, usually China or India, where there is a strong preference for male children. We often think about research that has revealed that China has seen the sex ratio at birth move from approximately 106 males per 100 females in the 1960s and 1970s, to almost 112 males per 100 females in the 1990s, with recent research showing that the sex ratio at birth “is over 130 [males for every 100 females] in several Chinese provinces from Henan in the north to Hainan in the south.” The research is equally dismal when it comes to countries like South Korea, where, in 1992, the sex ratio at birth in some cities was already 125 males for every 100 females. And so, because of this East Asian focus, when we think about why sex selection is taking place, we often point to deeply rooted sexist beliefs in countries like India, where scholars have stated that sex-selective abortion “is only the latest manifestation of a long history of gender bias in the country, apparent in the historically low, and declining, population ratio of women to men.”
However, the notion that sex-selective abortion is only a phenomenon in countries like China, India, and South Korea is a very ethnocentric idea. Researchers state that, while certain cultures practice sex-selective abortion more frequently, sex-selective abortion is a phenomenon that takes place around the world. Take, for instance, my country, Canada. Studies indicate that 92% of Canadians are against the practice of sex-selective abortion. And yet, there is already research that proves that sex-selective abortion is being practiced quite regularly in Canadian society.
Now, the natural ratio of males-to-females at birth is already slightly male-biased, resting at around 1.05 male children for every 1 female child. However, findings that were published by the National Bureau of Economic Research who that, while “the sex ratio for first births among first generation South and East Asian immigrants to Canada is only slightly higher than the norm at about 1.08, the ratios become increasingly skewed for each subsequent birth where all previous children are female. For example, the sex ratio for third births to Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese immigrants who already have two daughters is 1.39. For Indians, that ratio is 1.90—almost two boys born for every girl.”
This is not simply a Canadian problem. Research from around the world indicates that sex-selective abortion is taking place, particularly within specific immigrant population groups. The trends of sex-selection and sex-selective abortion that have been noticed in Canada and Australia have also been identified internationally, including in England and Wales, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Macedonia, Brazil, and in the United States.
What these findings make clear is that, while the age-old existence of male preference is particularly strong in certain countries, the relatively modern phenomenon of sex-selective abortion is occurring around the world.
Now, a discussion of why sex-selective abortion is occurring cannot take place without considering the role that abortion laws—or a lack of abortion laws—has on the practice. For example, in many ways, Canada’s laws in relation to the issue of abortion have actually created an environment in which these types of phenomenon can occur. While “[s]ex-selective abortion has historically been considered an Asian phenomenon”, Professor Lena Edlund, associate professor of economics at Columbia University, notes that “a variety of factors, including the affordability and ease of access for abortion and sex determination services, as well as Canada’s deep-rooted respect for diversity, have enabled sex-selective abortion to ‘take on a life of its own and persist’ in spite of public condemnation.”
Canada has the most liberal abortion laws of any Western nation; more specifically, Canada has no laws restricting abortion. What this means is that, by law, you can have an abortion at any stage of a pregnancy, all the way until the moment of complete birth. You can also have an abortion for any reason or no reasons at all, meaning that having an abortion because of sexist beliefs and historical male preferences is permitted. While there was a legislative effort to have Canada officially decry the practice of sex-selective abortion, this was viewed as being a “pro-life” or “anti-choice” effort and was shut down (despite the fact that 92% of Canadians do not agree with the practice of sex-selective abortion.)
Now, Canada is one of only three nations that do not have laws on the issue, the other two being China and North Korea (although, technically, China does have restrictions on sex-selective abortion; they are just not effectively enforced).
So what this means is that, while Canada is in theory trying to foster support for reproductive rights and support a women’s right to choose, as it is often called, what is really happening is that Canada’s lack of laws regulating abortion are creating a perfect storm for the introduction, adoption, and perpetuation of the misogynistic practice of sex-selective abortion. As one researcher wryly pointed out, while Canada has made it “illegal for prospective parents to select embryos for in vitro fertilization based on gender […] it is perfectly legal for parents to choose to destroy a 19-week-old fetus [..] for precisely the same reason.”
And so, ladies and gentlemen, I work closely with pro-life activists on a regular basis to ensure that this type of blatant misogyny does not continue being perpetrated through the sexist practice of sex-selection abortion.
#9: Because I oppose ableism.
In the summer and fall of 2017, it was announced by news outlets around the world that Iceland had “cured” Down Syndrome. Perhaps under different circumstances, this would be considered joyous news. However, when we consider the precise way in which Iceland “cured” Down Syndrome, it becomes apparent that this was not some sort of medical breakthrough, but rather a nation-wide manifestation and implementation of eugenics.
This is how Iceland “cured” Down Syndrome. In the early 2000s, they introduced a prenatal genetic test that screens for chromosomal abnormalities, the most common of which is Down Syndrome. The test, which is extremely accurate, is optional, but medical professionals are required to provide information about the importance and availability of this test to every pregnant woman in Iceland. The vast majority of women choose to take the test, and, when test results come back positive for Down Syndrome, 100% of women opt to have an abortion. In fact, doctors in Iceland report that only 1-2 children with Down Syndrome are born every year or two. And even these children are only born because of the imperfect accuracy of the test. In a country were 100% of children diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted, it is terrifying to imagine what the fate of these children would have been had the medical technology been slightly more accurate.
To be clear, Iceland is not the only country that demonstrates this type of blatant discrimination against individuals with Down Syndrome. “According to the most recent data available, the United States has an estimated termination rate for Down Syndrome of 67 percent (1995-2011); in France it’s 77 percent (2015); and [in] Denmark, 98 percent (2015). Some estimates, however, have stated that the termination rate in North America is significantly higher, close to 92 percent.
Now, perhaps your first instinct was to say, “Ah, but these women are making this choice to have an abortion. They are not being coerced. So, if this is the decision they want to make, so be it.
But we must remember, dear readers, that choices do not take place within a vacuum. If 100% of women in Iceland are choosing to abort unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome, the next question must be: Why?
Consider this: Our world has historically demonstrated consistent disregard, discrimination, and hatred against disabled individuals. Whether through the circus freak shows of the past, where “normal” people like us would pay money to gawk at and mock differently-abled individuals, or through the widespread institutionalization of disabled individuals, we see that our society has continuously oppressed and persecuted disabled individuals, labeling them as the “other”, deeming them “abnormal”, and ostracizing them as a result.
So forgive my skepticism, but when I hear that 100% of women are choosing to have abortions when they discover that their children will likely have Down Syndrome, it is within this historical context that I consider this information. I am not suggesting that women are the unique perpetrators of violence towards disabled people. Rather, I am saying that, in a society that has consistently discriminated against disabled individuals, it is unsurprising to see members of society—from the researchers who created this prenatal genetic test, to the healthcare professionals who share the results, to the parents who choose to have an abortion—continue to perpetuate these problematic narratives that ultimately convey the message that it is better to be dead than to be disabled.
Disability rights activists and experts have noted this. Consider this quote from disability rights scholar Chris Kaposy:
Some of the common motivations for selective termination reflect inaccurate assumptions about living with Down syndrome or parenting a child with Down syndrome. In the empirical study I have been discussing, 83& of respondents who had terminated were motivated by a belief that Down syndrome would be excessively burdensome for the prospective child. In contrast, a study that asked people living with Down syndrome about their lives revealed that 99% are happy with their lives. Among prospective parents who had terminated, 73% believed that the burden of having a child with Down syndrome would be too great for their other children. Again, in contrast, research involving parents of children with Down syndrome shows that 95% of parents with other children say that their children with Down syndrome have good relationships with their siblings. Over 90% of the children themselves say they have feelings of affection and pride for their siblings with Down syndrome […] These divergences suggest that perceptions about parenting a child with Down syndrome are distorted by stereotyped ways of thinking.
We must also consider what message this is sending to disabled individuals. Consider the words of disability rights activist Thomas Shakespeare:
As a result of the popularity of genetics, disabled people risk once more being defined as medical abnormalities and invalids, rather than as citizens, or victims of injustice. They see measures being implemented to prevent the birth of others with their conditions. They might think of whether their own parents would have taken advantage of such technologies. They might consider differential treatment of fetuses with and without disability to be discriminatory: in UK, termination is illegal after the 24th week of pregnancy, except in case of severe abnormality. No matter if these late terminations are very rare: the message has been sent that it is better to be dead than disabled.
Now, I want to be clear: I have nothing against medical technological advancements, and I have nothing against seeking to improve the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of any and every member of society. However, I reject the notion that the sudden proliferation of prenatal genetic testing and the subsequent widespread termination of individuals with chromosomal abnormalities is a phenomenon that was born out of a genuine desire to improve the lives of disabled people. Research states that “the majority of disability arises not from genetic causes but from lifestyle, disease and other environmental factors.” Research also reveals that “[e]ighty-five percent of adult disability is caused after the age of 13, and more than ninety percent of infant disability is because of social and not genetic causes.”
Let us not deceive ourselves. It is not good will or philanthropic intent that fuels this sudden desire to “cure” disability. It is simply a new manifestation of old-fashioned hatred, discrimination, and ablesim. As one writer put it, if the word “cure”, which “for centuries meant ‘the care of souls’ has now come to mean ‘making sure that people with Down Syndrome are never born’”, then we are indeed a pitiful society.
So no, Iceland has not “cured” Down Syndrome. It, like the many other Western, developed nations, has simply created a systemic, state-run machinery that has been given the power, by medical, political, and social forces, to determine who is valued and who is not, who gets to live and who does not.
And I, for one, want to be on the right side of history: condemning ableism, combatting sexism, and promoting a pro-life ethos that treats all human beings—male and female, disabled or able-bodied, born or unborn—with equal value.
#10: Because I oppose eugenics.
As I have written about previously, eugenics has played a disturbing role in the rise and proliferation of both birth control and abortion. This was largely due to the influence of Margaret Sanger, who was the founder of Planned Parenthood, which today is the largest abortion provider in North America and a prominent advocate and provider of abortions in developing nations in the Global South. It was Margaret Sanger who really ushered in eugenics and married it with the movement from reproductive rights. It was Margaret Sanger who spoke about the need to export birth control to the “biologically less endowed stocks” of humans in India. It was also Margaret Sanger who made the following statement:
Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period. Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile children, who in turn are just as certain to breed other defectives. The male defectives are no less dangerous… Moreover, when we realize that each feeble-minded person is a potential source of an endless progeny of defect, we prefer the policy of immediate sterilization, of making sure that parenthood is absolutely prohibited to the feeble-minded.
If that isn’t enough, Margaret Sanger made this statement as well:
Every single case of inherited defect, every malformed child, every congenitally tainted human being brought into this world is of infinite importance to that poor individual; but it is of scarcely less importance to the rest of us and to all of our children who must pay in one way or another for these biological and racial mistakes.
These are the words of Margaret Sanger, who is considered the founding mother of birth control, Planned Parenthood, and, by extent, abortion.
So this, ladies and gentlemen, is the eugenics mentality. It is a mentality that believes only certain individuals with certain characteristics and body types belong in our society. It is also a mentality of entitlement, a mentality that believes that, somehow, we as individuals, as parents, as “normal” members of society, have the right to decide which lives are valued and which lives are not, who gets the ability to live and who does not. If this eugenics mentality sounds familiar, that’s because our society has faced this enemy before. Historically, we have seen it manifested as the colonization of Indigenous peoples lands, the violence and racism directed at racial minorities, and the systemic extermination of Jewish, disabled, and homosexual individuals in Nazi Germany. Sex-selective abortions—and other discriminatory forms of “pregnancy termination”—are simply the latest manifestation of this ancient eugenics mentality.
This is a mentality that pervades, infects, and taints the pro-abortion/pro-choice movement. And it is one that I will not support, condone, or participate in. As I said above: I, for one, want to be on the right side of history.
BONUS: #11: Because Justin Bieber is pro-life.
Yes, this is true. And yes, this definitely used to be one of the tactics I used to use to get young people in schools to be pro-life. Whether it was effective or not is completely irrelevant. It’s hilarious and 100%. I’ve never been a fan of Justin Bieber’s music (just a personal preference kind of thing), but I’ve always been a fan of his pro-life stance (because he knows that abortion isn’t a “personal preference kind of thing”).
Also: If you made it all the way to the end of Part 2 of this article, I thought you deserved a good chuckle (especially since I probably would’ve skimmed the article myself)! So if you read all the way through both Part 1 and Part 2, well done! You are a champion!
So there you have it. 10 hours of reading later, you now know my top 10 reasons for still being pro-life. I would love to hear what your reasons are!
Cheers, everyone. Stay logical, stay consistent, and stay pro-life!
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 Canadian Medical Association Journal (2011). The impact of sex selection and abortion in China, Indian and South Korea. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110314132244.htm
 Sen, G., & Snow, R. (1994). Power and decision: The social control of reproduction. Boston, MA: Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, Dept. of Population and International Health, Harvard School of Public Health.
 Vogel, Lauren. “Canadian Medical Association Journal.” Sex selection migrates to Canada. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 16 Jan. 2012. Web. 20 Oct. 2014. <http://www.cmaj.ca/content/184/3/E163.full?sid=7d6004f8-2ab2-43df-b481-4109358bd7bc>.
 Dubuc, S, & Coleman, D (2007). An Increase in the Sex Ratio of Births to India-born Mothers in England and Wales: Evidence for Sex-Selective Abortion. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2007.00173.x
 Lamichhane et al. (2011) Sex-Selective Abortion in Nepal: A Qualitative Study of Health Workers’ Perspectives. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1049386711000132
 Bairagi, R (2001), Effects of Sex Preference on Contraceptive use, Abortion and Fertility in Matlab, Gandladesh. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2673835?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
 Abeykoon, A.T. (1995) Sex preference in South Asia: Sri Lanka an outlier. https://www.popline.org/node/294235
 Lin, M., Liu, J., & Qian, N. (2014) More Missing Women, Fewer Dying Girls: The Impact of Sex-Selective Abortion on Sex at Brith and Relative Female Mortality in Taiwan. https://academic.oup.com/jeea/article-abstract/12/4/899/2318674
 Rohlfs et al. (2010) Causal effects of sex preference on sex-blind and sex-selective child avoidance and substitution across birth years: Evidence from the Japanese year of the fire horse. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304387808001284
 Bélanger, D. et al. (2003) Are Sex Ratios at Birth Increasing in Vietnam? https://www.cairn-int.info/resume.php?ID_ARTICLE=E_POPU_302_0255
 Michael, M. et al. (2013) The Mystery of Missing Female Children in the Caucasus: An Analysis of Sex Ratios by Birth Order. https://www.cairn-int.info/resume.php?ID_ARTICLE=E_POPU_302_0255
 Hohmann, S., Lefèvre, C., & Garenne, M. (2014) A framework for analyzing sex-selective abortion: the example of changing sex ratios in Southern Caucasus. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4208631/
 Guilmoto, C. Z. & Duthé, G. (2013) Masculinization of births in Eastern Europe. http://www.demographie.net/guilmoto/pdf/Pop%20Soc%202013%20English.pdf
 Dias Prto Chiavegatto Filho, A. & Kawachi, I. (2013) Are sex-selective abortions a characteristic of every poor region? Evidence from Brazil. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00038-012-0421-6
 Almond, D. & Edlund, L. (2008) Son-biased sex ratios in the 2000 United States Census. http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/105/15/5681.full.pdf?inf_contact_key=1d19450156b07754154e59989576eebbd91b1411acd41c37e01fd3f6d879323c
 Supra, note 5.
 Soupcoff, M. (2012, April 18). A 10-cell organism is “protected” from sex selection. A fetus isn’t. Retrieved from http://news.nationalpost.com/news/marni-soupcoff-a-10-cell-organism-growing-in-a-petri-dish-is-protected-from-sex-selection-a-9-ounce-fetus-growing-in-a-womb-isnt
 Quinons, J., & Lajka, A. (2017). “What kind of society do you want to live in?”: Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/down-syndrome-iceland/
 Kaposy, Chris. “A Disability Critique of the New Prenatal Test for Down Syndrome.” Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 23.4 (2013): 299-324. Project Muse. Dec. 2013. Web. P. 306-307.
 Shakespeare, Thomas William. “Choices, Reasons and Feelings: Prenatal Diagnosis as Disability Dilemma.” ALTER – European Journal of Disability Research / Revue Européenne De Recherche Sur Le Handicap 5.1 (2011): 37-43. Science Direct. Web. P. 39.
 Peters, Yvonne, and Karen L. Lawson. Ethical and Human Rights Implications of Prenatal Technologies: The Need for Federal Leadership and Regulation. Winnipeg: Prairie Women’s Health Centre of Excellence, 2002. University of Ottawa. Web. P. 7.
 Camarata, S. (2018). Iceland “Cures” Down Syndrome: Should America Do the Same? https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-intuitive-parent/201801/iceland-cures-down-syndrome-should-america-do-the-same
 Sanger, M. (1922). The Pivot of Civilization. Brentano’s: USA. P. 101-102
 Ibid at p. 273-274.