When pro-abortion advocates were first trying to legalize abortion in the early 1970s, one common argument was that legalizing abortion would prevent child abuse. The argument was that women who wanted abortions but weren’t able to have them were more likely to abuse their children.
Lawrence Lader, co-founder of the pro-abortion group NARAL predicted that abortion would make the world a better place when he said:
The impact of the abortion revolution may be too vast to assess immediately. It should usher in an era when every child will be wanted, loved, and properly cared for; when the incidence of infanticides and battered children should be sharply reduced.1
Some children, he and others admitted, would be born instead of aborted. But these children, they said, would all be unwanted and therefore resented, leading to parents abusing them.
This ignores, of course, the bonding that occurs between a mother and her newborn, and sometimes, before that. I have never given birth, but mothers I know have told me that meeting their newborns face to face for the first time was one of the most profound, powerful, emotional experience of their lives.
But what do statistics say?
In reality, Child abuse increased by 400% between 1973 and 1990.2
Child abuse injuries involving hospitalization rose 4.9% between 1997 and 2009.3
While it’s possible that the 400% rise was partly due to more stringent reporting, child abuse began trending upward after Roe and the number of battered children continued to increase. Injuries to children through abuse increased from 1997 to 2009, even though abortion was legal in every state.
Babies are still abandoned and even killed, as well. This is why pro-lifers have worked to establish Safe Haven Laws that allow mothers to surrender their children if they no longer feel they can take care of them, as an alternative to violence. These laws do save lives.
Live Action News reported that two infants were placed in safe haven baby boxes in Indiana, just this year.
It is pro-lifers’ advocacy, not legalized abortion, which is saving babies from infanticide and abandonment.
[Today’s guest article is by Sarah Terzo. She is a writer for Live Action News and a board member of PLAGAL+ (formerly the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians) and the Consistent Life Network. Download Sarah’s free short ebooks here: https://www.subscribepage.com/sarahterzo and https://www.subscribepage.com/born-alive-after-abortion]
- Lawrence Lader The Abortion Revolution” The Humanist May/June 1973
- Michael J New “Abortion Promises Unfulfilled” The Public Discourse, The Witherspoon Institute, January 23, 2013
- Crystal Phend “Child Abuse Injuries on the Rise” ABC.go.com, October 1, 2012