Can’t you be personally opposed to abortion, but still think it should be legal?
Many people who are personally opposed to abortion—who consider abortion to be the unjust killing of a human being—still believe that abortion should be legal. They say that it’s impossible to stop abortion, so we need to keep abortion legal to reduce the risks associated with abortion. However, history does not support this analysis.
Between 1972 (the year before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion throughout the United States) and 1979, the nation’s abortion rate skyrocketed. But when Poland made abortion illegal in 1993, its abortion rate plummeted.
The law is a powerful teacher, influencing people’s attitudes towards right and wrong. We cannot assume that if abortion were made illegal, the abortion rate would remain steady, with similar numbers of women seeking illegal abortions. The evidence above suggests the contrary.
Those who wish to make abortion rare must seek to make it illegal. That would not end all abortions, but it would dramatically reduce the nation’s abortion rate.
Willke, John, MD and Barbara Willke. Abortion: Questions & Answers. Cincinnati: Hayes, 2003.