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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Just One Woman

After reading through some of the accounts at Feminists for Life of women who have died from abortions, I could imagine defenders of abortion looking at the list of twelve names and shrugging. Twelve deaths are hardly an apocalypse, I can hear some voice saying.

So a doctor made a mistake. It's sad, yes; but that is the price we pay for freedom, right? And really, can you hold just one mistake against a person? Anyone can make a mistake, and we all do.

On many other subjects, I've been one of the voices defending against crucifying people for a single mistake. From president to housewife, we really do all make mistakes. But I can't manage to adopt that aproach when it comes to a death from abortion. You see, each one of these women who died at the hands of a man committed to killing someone on that table was not "one mistake." They were women. Human beings. Unfortunately, we frequently count deaths with numbers; but the reality is that no human being is a mere statistic. Each of these victims was loved, and left behind someone whose world partly crumbled away in devastation because their dear daughter, sister, mother, wife, or lover died needlessly and violently.

If you asked the four year old son of Jane Doe whether Mommy's death was easier to take, knowing that many others come out of the procedure physically fine, do you think he would have stopped crying, stopped hurting, and said "oh, well in that case, I guess it's ok,"? Do you think he now, at sixteen, realizes he was selfish to feel like his world caved in when his mother died, because a bigger principle, of freedom of choice, is at stake? Does it make him less deserving, somehow, of the hug and the beaming of pride on his mother's face when he graduates from high school?

She was just one woman. It's a bigger issue than that, isn't it?

Or is it?