This year is the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton, the twin Supreme Court decisions that created abortion on demand in all 50 of the United States. Abortion supporters insist on calling unrestricted induced abortion a fundamental constitutional right while others see it as an intrinsic evil and an abomination. Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Associate Justice Byron White, the two dissenting justices in the 1973 decision, called it an exercise in raw judicial power.
Since 1973 it is estimated that more than 50 million voluntary induced abortions have been performed, more than the total populations of all major cities in the United States and Canada combined.
Abortion is easy to obtain, billed as safe for mothers but, of course, deadly for the unborn. Safe and legal and choice are favorite buzzwords. Supporters and abortionists insist that complications from abortions are almost nonexistent, but thousands of women on websites such as Silent No More have testified to debilitating physical, psychological and emotional problems. Check it out yourself; you decide.
Prior to and during the abortion process, there is little if any meaningful guidance or support for mothers, and once the abortion is performed they are sent home and are on their own.
In 2009, the average cost of a non-hospital abortion with local anesthesia at 10 weeks gestation was $451.
During the 40 years since induced abortion became legal, pro-life groups have developed non-abortion solutions to the problem pregnancy issue. These are voluntary not-for-profit projects, people helping people in a spirit of sisterhood and compassion. No government funding is used and, of course, no profits from abortions.
One of the largest and best-known in this area is the Womens Care Centers, with three locations in Fort Wayne and several other cities in Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. In Adams County we have the Hope Clinics in Decatur and Berne.
The goals of both ministries are:
Womens Care Center: Exists to help pregnant young women choose life for their babies, have healthier babies and become better parents. During 2011 it served 18,828 women and their babies, who made 76,360 visits to 17 pregnancy centers.
The Hope Clinic: Is proudly committed to giving women and their children hope by striving to be the first choice for women facing unplanned pregnancies in Adams County and surrounding areas; offering support programs for women who are struggling to meet the challenges of providing material needs for their children; and offering educational assistance to parents in their endeavors to increase their parenting skills.
Neither ministry charges a fee or is judgmental; no one is coerced. The only request is perhaps an occasional smile and a thank you.
EDWARD L. and RITA A. LINDER