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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Op-Ed: Abortion, Infanticide, and Child Abuse in America

One of the major societal epidemics in America today is the lack of respect for not only the sanctity of life, but a lack of love for our own children.

When one thinks of infanticide, child abuse, and abortion places like China and many third world nations come to mind, not America. Yet we find that America is dealing with major issues regarding the human rights of children (born and unborn) and mothers. The statistics are scary, and what is behind them is even more worrisome.

In America,

There are 1,290,000 abortions annually and one in five pregnancies ends in
abortion. 49 percent of all pregnancies are unintended.

Excluding miscarriages, 54 percent of unintended pregnancies end in abortion.

57 percent of women who have abortions have incomes below 200 percent of the
poverty level.

`Cannot afford a baby' is the second most frequently cited reason women
choose to have an abortion; 73 percent of women having abortions cited this
reason as a contributing factor.

Homicide is the leading cause of infant deaths due to intentional injury Compared to
other developed nations, the United States has the highest rate of child

Child abuse rose 300% between 1976 and 1996.

Instances of Teenage Pregnancy had a 3% rise in 2006.

While some people sit in shock, others gather themselves and attempt to address the problems. Tim Ryan D-Ohio, and 38 other cosponsors introduced February 2007 ,H.R. 1074, legislation designed to" provide for programs that reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, help women bear healthy children, and support new parents."

The bill has been inactive in congress since June 2007 and has not moved past the introduction phase.

Likewise H.R. 819 was introduced in February 2007 under the title of the Prevention First Act. It is also designed to provide programs to reduce unplanned pregnancies by providing access to contraceptives to those who would not otherwise be able to afford them.

The bill as been inactive since May 2007 and has not moved past the introduction phase.

A previous article written on Digital Journal highlights the intention of Feminists for Life.

Feminists for Life recognizes that abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet
the needs of women. We are dedicated to systematically eliminating the root
causes that drive women to abortion—primarily lack of practical resources and
support—through holistic, woman-centered solutions. Women deserve better than

The grassroots organization also introduced a bill in Feb 2007 titled the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Student Services Act of 2007(H.R. 1088). The bill was co-sponsored by Representatives Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and Sue Myrick, R-North Carolina. It too is stuck in committee.

Many bills with the same name and intention have died while in committee since the 106th congress, none have made it to the debate or even voting phase. The haunting question is why have bills so important to the health of families and children been left in the dark corners of congress? Without even moving to the debate stage it is difficult to find out why. One could argue that the vagueness of some of the text in the bills would open up funding for those seeking abortion using federal tax dollars through the medicaid program. However, even if that were the case, again it still has not been able to be debated. What is more important is that this legislation would put a band aid on the wound that is abortion in relation to poverty and all that it entitles. The bills address some of the major needs to help avoid abortion.

The real issues of abortion need to be discussed as well as the role unwanted pregnancies play in child abuse and infanticide. Many pundits in favor of indiscriminate abortions cite the argument that abortion will cut down on the instances of unwanted children and thus decrease the amount of child abuse. The argument however falls dead on the ears of the children of today who are being abused in America. A 300% rise in child abuse from 1976-1996 is a horrible trend to report.

Another trend that coincides with the same time table is the number of abortions. The number of abortions peaked in the early 1990's and slowly declined in number following initiatives to education young girls about unwanted pregnancies. If one correlates the numbers they will find that it goes hand in hand with the number of unwanted pregnancies and teen pregnancies.

To sum it up, for the last 30 years there was a peak in abortions and teen pregnancies, then a decline as well as a 300% rise in child abuse. There must be something we are missing here as a society, obviously there has been much progress in the concerns over unplanned pregnancies with minor setbacks. So why are we seeing legislation designed to help with unplanned pregnancies and child rearing education practically tabled and infanticide, abortion, and child abuse at staggering levels for a developed nation? Why are 14 year olds killing their children or clueless to being pregnant, for that matter why are they sexually active? Why are women having abortions and dying for it because of corrupt abortion clinics? Why are Americans killing viable fetuses and then are surprised when someone kills a newborn?

These are not rhetorical questions, these are questions that need answered, need addressed, and need everyone to take the look of shock and horror off of their faces and, well, face them.

Samantha A. Torrence
Citizen Journalist for Digital Journal
Original Posting