Even “Pro-Choice” People Know Abortion Stops a Beating Heart

Opinion   |   Lucy LeFever   |   Jul 11, 2012   |   10:31AM   |   Washington, DC

Would you be surprised if I told you this quote came from a pro-abortion advocate? Well, it did. Here is the quote in its context from Salon’s recent interview with Choices Women’s Medical Center President Merle Hoffman:

“Interestingly, although the standard pro-choice line is essentially to let the woman define the embryo or fetus for herself, Hoffman has a more controversial stance: ‘In the beginning they were calling it a baby. We were saying it was only blood and tissue. Let’s agree this is a life form, a potential life; you’re terminating it. You don’t have to argue that abortion stops a beating heart. It does.’ She adds, ‘I can’t say it’s just like an appendectomy. It isn’t. It’s a very powerful and loaded decision.’

But it’s a decision that she believes is irrevocably the woman’s, which in turn informs the rabid opposition to it: ‘The act of abortion positions women at their most powerful, and that’s why it is so strongly opposed by so many in society,’ she writes in ‘Intimate Wars.’”

As the Salon article acknowledges, this is not the standard pro-choice stance. Often the abortion debate boils down to a disagreement on the humanity of the unborn child. But here Hoffman agrees with the typical pro-life view that abortion is not like other medical procedures, as it takes a life and stops a beating heart.

I am pro-life because of the humanity of the unborn child. Hoffman is pro-choice despite the humanity of the unborn child. Though more medically honest, this stance on abortion is far more frightening than the average pro-choice stance.

Admitting that abortion ends the life of a human being and still advocating for it sets a very dangerous precedent for our society. Who are we to determine whose heart is allowed to beat and whose is not? Every major social injustice, be it genocide, slavery, or oppression, starts with this terrible assumption, this belief that some humans are less deserving of fundamental rights than others. Even if abortion “positions women at their most powerful,” taking innocent human life is a power that none of us should have or desire.

Though she initially acknowledged abortion for what it is, Hoffman followed her honesty about abortion in the interview with euphemistic language about abortion. Below are two of the descriptions that she used:

“‘You know how many women have had abortions?’ Hoffman says. ‘Abortion is as American as apple pie. I think it’s one in three.’”

So because abortion is common, it’s American? Abortion is popular in nations across the globe, so clearly popularity alone does not determine what is an American trait. Actually, when one looks to the common definitions of American, one sees abortion goes against everything that is truly American.

American ideals include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, whereas abortion takes away life, thus, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. American’s pledge to a nation with “liberty and justice for all,” while abortion denies liberty and justice for some. America is constantly defined by freedom, but abortion takes away all freedom from a very tiny American — an American who will never vote, never watch fireworks on the Fourth of July, and never taste apple pie.

“With my choice I was fighting for the right of all women to define abortion as an act of love: love for the family one already has, and just as important, love for oneself. I was fighting to reclaim abortion as a mother’s act.”

An act of love?

Hoffman clarifies that she is speaking about love for oneself and other family members, while love for the aborted child is completely overlooked. She already conceded that abortion stops a beating heart — which definitely is not loving the child. Love is sacrificial. Love puts the needs of others first, rather than focusing on personal convenience. Calling abortion “love” is the literal enactment of loving someone (oneself) to death.

But let’s look at the two kinds of love that were addressed: love for one’s born family and love for oneself.

For oneself, Hoffman ignores the large number of women who feel pain and regret following an abortion. Whether their symptoms are nightmares, depression, or just the feeling of someone missing from their life, none of these common symptoms are evidence that abortion was an act of love toward the women who aborted.



As for love toward one’s born family, abortion still is not the answer. Let’s put this into perspective: If a parent killed one of their born children so they could better take care of another, would the living child consider that an act of love? It is not loving to end the life of one’s brother, sister, son or daughter — born or unborn.

Abortion stops a beating heart. Once that is admitted, it is neither an “American” action, a “loving” action, or an action that should be permitted in our society.

LifeNews.com Note:  Lucy LeFever is a Live Action contributing writer. This column appeared at the Live Action blog and is reprinted with permission.