Patricia Johnson: Values vs. Morals

Published: Tue 23 Nov 2004 11:32 AM
Values vs. Morals
by Patricia Johnson
Thirty one years ago, case law established that the government of the U.S. cannot interfere in personal decisions about reproduction, marriage and certain other aspects of family life. Jane Roe was an unmarried woman who sought to safely and legally terminate her pregnancy. The Roe v. Wade, (410 U.S. 113) (click here) Supreme Court decision acknowledged that the constitutional right to privacy "is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy" which legalized abortion.
Abortion is an issue that divides the U.S. along the same lines as the 2004 election with a majority of Republicans on the ‘Right to Life’ side and a majority of Democrats on the ‘Right to Choose’ side. Unfortunately, abortion is not as simple as choosing sides.
It’s a subject that extends beyond the here and now into the future. When a woman gives birth to a child she is not simply giving “birth”, she is basically committing herself to raise and care for that child for the rest of his/her life. Does the government of the U.S. or any other government in the world have the right to tell a woman what she is going to do for the rest of her natural life? If the government of the U.S. is going to be involved in the care and upbringing of the child, then absolutely they may have a say. But, they are not involved.
The government is not there at 2:00 in the morning when you’re stumbling out of bed to give the newborn a bottle. The government is not there to drive you and your child to the pediatrician for necessary inoculations. The government is not there to drive you and your child to the grocery store to purchase the necessary items to feed and clothe the child, nor do they pay for the purchases. The government is not there to drive you and your child to school, but demand that your child attend school for a certain numbers of years.
When you bring a child into the world you and your spouse are solely responsible for supporting and caring for that child until his or her emancipation (and beyond, if you’re a good parent). When you are a single parent you get double-duty on the workload and the child becomes your sole responsibility. Is it any wonder that thousands of women opt for an abortion every year?
The alternative to abortion, when a child is unwanted, is generally foster care or adoption. But, is that a feasible alternative? When you give birth to a child do you want to wonder, for the rest of your natural life, what happened to the child? Will you wonder if the child is living in squalor and filth, is being abused, or has been transported to a foreign country and sold as a slave?
Children’s Rights completed a report “Continuing Danger Revisited:” (click here) that focused on the deaths of 81 children, in New York City, during the 14-month period from January 2003 through mid-March 2004. This study is a follow-up 2003 report “Continuing Danger: A Report on Child Fatalities in New York City”. Continuing Danger Revisited splits the decreased children into three groups as follows:
GROUP I - 34 cases – These children had no involvement with the New York City public child welfare, or the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) prior to their death.
HOMICIDES – “as in the initial study, the most frequently found manner of death was homicide (41%)”
GROUP II - 21 cases – The family was known to ACS and the child was in the custody of biological family at time of death.
HOMICIDES – “Despite the fact that the families were known to ACS, a significant number of children in this group were murdered. Homicide was the manner of death for 43% of the children in this group.”
GROUP III - 26 cases – The child died while in foster care.
HOMOCIDES – “The three homicides of children in foster care involved two adolescents and one child under the age of one.”
What is so significant about the Children’s Rights report is the fact that after their initial report was released in 2003, another 81 children died.
When George W. Bush won the 2004 election we knew that Roe v. Wade would be in danger of being overturned by the placement of pro-life appointees to the Supreme Court when vacancies arise.
What we didn’t take into consideration is our Republican dominated Congress which added a provision to the $388 billion dollar spending bill passed Saturday making “it a little easier for hospitals, insurers and others to refuse to provide or cover abortions” according to AP headline news (click here)
Making abortions more difficult for women that do not want the child they are carrying in their womb is wrong because the decision will result in more deaths to children, or worse – the children may spend their entire childhood being mentally, emotionally, sexually or physically abused.
© 2004 Patricia Johnson
Patricia Johnson is a freelance writer and CEO of Articles and Answers. Visit us online at

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