The SBJT Forum: Engaging the Abortion Issue -- By: Anonymous
SBJT 7:2 (Summer 2003) p. 92
The SBJT Forum:
Engaging the Abortion Issue
Editor’s Note: Readers should be aware of the forum’s format. D. A. Carson, Gregory Alan Thornbury, James Parker III, and Chad Owen Brand have been asked specific questions to which they have provided written responses. These writers are not responding to one another. The journal’s goal for the Forum is to provide significant thinkers’ views on topics of interest without requiring lengthy articles from these heavily-committed individuals. Their answers are presented in an order that hopefully makes the forum read as much like a unified presentation as possible.
SBJT: What are some practical strategies for addressing the abortion issue?
D. A. Carson: We have just “celebrated” (“endured”?) the thirtieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Countless commentators have weighed in to express their thanks for the Supreme Court’s decision, and voiced their determination to preserve it; no fewer have articulated their resolution to keep pushing for court appointments that will ultimately bring that decision down.
Transparently, the mood of the country has changed somewhat during the last three decades. While many pro-choice voices still defend the Court’s decision with virulent rhetoric, and while the media, by and large, hue that line, only a deaf ear could fail to pick up other voices. On many university campuses today, one can hear students refer to themselves as “survivors”: they are painfully aware that they could as easily have been aborted as the tens of millions who were actually destroyed. In 1999, the Higher Education Research Institute published a survey of 275,811 incoming college freshmen, which showed that only 52.5% of the men and 49.5% of the women thought abortion should be legal. This represents a 14% decline since 1990. A poll published in 2000 by the Los Angeles Times showed that only 43% of Americans support a simple continuation of Roe v. Wade—down from 56% in 1991. It has been widely reported that during the last presidential elections, 27% of those polled said they were more likely to vote for George Bush because he was pro-life, while only 18% of those polled said they were more likely to vote for Al Gore because he was pro-choice. Some high-profile feminists, such as Germaine Greer in her 1999 book The Whole Woman, are now arguing that abortion has become just one more tool of oppression in the hands of the maledominated medical community, which has consistently failed to inform women of the risks. Greer speaks out of bitter experience: several abortions have left her sterile.
In the entire field of bioethics, questions surrounding abortion represent only one tiny part of the complex issues that must be addressed. In terms of the number of people ...
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