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“The Abortion Myth”

August 19, 2010

While i still have a few pages left to read, i think it’s safe to write a little about this book, “The Abortion Myth,” by Leslie Cannold.

I must say that when i first started reading this book i was quite excited. I was hoping that i would be able to recommend this book for other readers, so they could get some insight into the Pro-choice movement. It is a Pro-choice book, but Mrs. Cannold does not use the regular approach when trying to defend this position.

Before getting to the content of the book i thought it wise to inform you about the research that went into this book. Mrs. Cannold explains to a great degree in an appendix how she did her research for this book. She also includes some detail in the forward, and introduction about her methods. An extensive bibliography is also included, with end notes provided for comments made in the main text itself. The main research for her book revolved around interviews with women, both pro-choice and “anti-choice” supporters (she refers to pro-life supporters as “anti-choice”). These women, all 45 of them, came “from the city of Melbourne, with the majority residing south of the central business district,” Australia (where Mrs. Cannold resides, although she is an American by birth). The women ranged in age from 19 to 53, some had abortions and some had not, some had children while some didn’t, married and single, some had post-secondary education, etc. The interviews were conducted in groups. I am no expert, and i am not trying to be, but i take issue with this type of research for one reason: When addressing such a delicate subject as abortion, it is vital to expand your interviews to include more than 45 women, and certainly to expand it beyond just one city, in the country you currently live. Interviewing 45 women from one city, in one country, does not give a great enough understanding about the issue to write an entire book.

But anyway, as i said earlier, i was hoping that i would be able to recommend this book for readers, but the content hardly goes past a surface scratch of what Mrs. Cannold argues is the real reason for the abortion debate. She writes, “The key to understanding women’s assumptions regarding the value of fetal life is to remember that they follow from women’s beliefs about the morality of abortion, they are not the reasons behind them. It is the belief about the place and position of motherhood in women’s lives, in other words, that determines why some women favor abortion choice while others oppose it. When looked at this way, abortion provides a means for women to consider motherhood not as a destiny, but as a choice.” This is the main argument behind Mrs. Cannold’s reasoning. That the morality of abortion rests on the issue of motherhood, and whether or not a woman is ready for it, or if they will choose to further their careers before choosing motherhood.

The language of a book is always very telling about exactly what the author believes. As i noted above, anti-choice is used instead of pro-life. The other telling piece of language in pro-choice books is always the reference to the “fetus” as opposed to the “baby”. For pro-choice advocates, this distinction is great. Until the “could-be child” (another common phrase in this book) is born, it is simply a fetus, and never a baby. The problem for pro-choice advocates with calling the baby a baby, even when in the womb, is that it means that the baby is a person, and not simply a “could-be child”.

The other strong argument in the book deals with the issue of adoption. To understand the stance taken in the book, i will simply cite a few comments made by some of the women interviewed for the book:

“My decision to have an abortion was a decision I made to care for the child that was within me. To adopt that child would be more cruel to me than just ending it, because it’s giving the child no help. It’s saying, “Well, it’s not my problem.” My decision to abort will affect my child in a humane manner, because I’ve got my child’s interests at heart. That’s why I decided to terminate, for that child’s sake.” -Charity.

“To go through six, seven, eight months of justifying why you’re going to give it away when the whole time you’re bonding to it yourself? It would make you crazy. I don’t know how people could do it, I could certainly never see myself doing it.” -Gillian

“You’ve still got to go to work, go shopping, see friends. They’ll all assume you’re having a baby because you want to, not because you’ve made this moral decision that it’s wrong to kill the baby. So it’s not only what you think, it’s the pressures of people around you.” -Gillian

“I’d rather terminate than go through the pregnancy and have to go through the trauma of giving up a child at the end, after giving birth to it.” -Charity

According to Mrs. Cannold, and the women she interviewed, it would be more traumatic and heartless, both to the mother and to the child, to give it up for adoption that it would be to get an abortion. As i said earlier, i’m no expert, but this is just ridiculous. I understand that separation after birth for the sake of adoption would be difficult. To me this just screams of Satan’s continued work of deception in the minds of people, convincing them that to kill, to murder, is more “humane” than letting the child live. Children who are put up for adoption do wonder why their birth parents didn’t “want” them, i don’t disagree. And i imagine it can be painful at times for them, as well as for the parents who now wonder “How is my child doing?”, but to think that it is healthier to abort, that is just not right.

The final thing addressed in the book worth addressing is the issue of ectogenesis. This seems to be a major issue for Mrs. Cannold, as there is a lot of paper devoted to it. Ectogenesis, (which i will admit, i had not heard about until i read this book), is the removal of a child from the womb, and placing it into an artificial womb until gestation is complete and the baby is ready to be “born”. This means that the viability of a child can be reduced from 28 weeks to between 14 and 18 weeks. This means that laws could be passed which would narrow the gap for when abortions can take place. No laws have been put in place yet regarding this, but all (45) of the women interviewed agreed that ectogenesis is not a reliable solution to the abortion issue. Basically what would take place is that the doctor would remove the baby intact from the womb, and place it in an incubator which would act like an artificial womb until the baby is ready to be born. The women felt that this was the most inhumane possibility, as they could not be sure about the health of the baby while in the plastic womb. They all felt that if a woman is pregnant, it is the woman’s responsibility to care for that child, even if the care involves abortion. I have yet to form an opinion on ectogenesis, but all the same, abortion is not care for the child.

In conclusion: I wish i could recommend this book to readers, and i was hopeful that it would shed light on the abortion issue from a pro-choice point of view, but sadly, if you’ve read this post, you know all there is to know from the book. The points mentioned above are re-told over and over again in the book, using virtually the same language and same information. In the coming days i will add a post or two about a few things that Mrs. Cannold wrote that i would like to address, but otherwise, find a different book to read.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. ruth permalink
    August 20, 2010 9:15 am

    have you heard of gianna jessen?
    i just read her book…she was aborted and LIVED! her story is amazing….her message – inspiring.

  2. justsnapd8 permalink
    September 5, 2010 6:56 pm

    “Could-be child” is actually a new term to me. I can bet it won’t be long until I see that term again. This is the same proabort rhetoric we hear every day. We’re anti’s (and proudly so), the baby is a fetus.. that they can refer to abortion as “humane” is beyond the scope of understanding for us “anti’s”

    • September 7, 2010 1:54 pm

      I suppose i can accept the term “anti-choice” but i prefer the term “pro-life”. The problem with this, according to individuals such as Cannold and others is that they declare that they are also pro-life. They try to make this claim by insinuating that they do not support murder etc. A bogus claim if i’ve ever heard one. They support the killing of living babies. That is murder, not pro-life. Thanks for your response.

      • justsnapd8 permalink
        September 7, 2010 4:49 pm

        Thanks Jason! I would prefer the name prolife as well… but ‘anti’ is actually one of the nicer names I get called.. How about pro-rape and pro-slavery? I’ve even been compared to the Taliban recently! These people have no respect for the unborn, NONE. How do we change that? CAN we change that?

      • September 7, 2010 5:39 pm

        I suppose it’s better than being called a Nazi. That was my attempt at sarcasm. I am actually surprised at your comment, and more so the names you get called. Niverville is a community built on faith, and I think it’s safe to say that a majority are pro-life. To answer your questions: No we cannot change a thing. But God is a great God and he can change anything, even the hearts of the most hard hearted people. Trust in that, continue to fast and pray, and seek his guidance for change. Amen.

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