I want to talk about abortion again.
I posted here in a blurb about embryonic stem cell research, how I arrived at my pro-life views from a scientific perspective. But there's a societal perspective too. Here is another mostly direct quote from a comment I've left elsewhere.
I think the abortion issue goes back to a fundamental lack of respect for human life and a reluctance to provide protection for helpless humans whose existence is inconvenient, and who we don't have to look at so we can disconnect our emotions (hearts). I think there is a continuum from a complacency about abortion, to babies getting knocked in the head or shaken for crying (see the occasional article in any urban newspaper), to toddlers being beaten to death over toilet training (ditto), to people being killed during robberies or drive-bys or just because someone thinks he's been "disrespected" as if lack of respect weren't the fundamental problem in the first place. I think when we made it legal for women to delete their unborn just because they didn't want them, we encouraged this whole domino effect thing.
Yes, I know people have always committed murder, and sadly, even murder of babies and children. But I really do think there is a culture of death and things are worse now than they were. For instance, when my daughter graduated from high school and went off to college in 2005, after a couple of months she remarked to me with some surprise that she hadn't seen any fights yet. I saw exactly one fight during my entire high school career, and that one was sponsored by a couple of teachers who were trying to settle a feud between two boys (no, it didn't work). Do you remember school shootings when you were a kid? I sure don't. I carried a pocket knife to school on occasion; no one cared about such things back then because they had no need to.
Why are people so violent nowadays? Is it the crap we see on TV all the time, and in the movies, and the music? Maybe, but I still draw a line from dehumanizing the unborn to devaluing all human life. Feel free to disagree. But this is where I stand.
(BTW, if anyone thinks this is exclusively a religious point of view - I personally know two atheists who oppose abortion: one because he thinks it is immoral, and one because he thinks it is bad for society.)
One of the things that so profoundly disappoints me about Pres. Obama's adamantly pro-choice view is the fact that statistically, black babies are almost four times as likely as white babies to be killed in the womb. From the Guttmacher Institute:
The overall abortion rate is 21 per 1,000 U.S. women (i.e., each year 2.1% of all women of reproductive age have an abortion). Black and Hispanic women have higher abortion rates than non-Hispanic white women do. (The rates are 49 per 1,000 and 33 per 1,000 among black and Hispanic women, respectively, vs. 13 per 1,000 among non-Hispanic white women.)
Is this in line with these statistics?
Racial differences exist, with blacks disproportionately represented among homicide victims and offenders
In 2005, homicide victimization rates for blacks were 6 times higher than the rates for whites.
Looks that way to me.
We have a black president. He has the bully pulpit and the unblinking attention of all kinds of people, but in particular young black folks. How wonderful if he would appeal to them: Let's stop killing each other and start valuing each other, starting with the most helpless and vulnerable: our brothers and sisters in the womb.