The subject of abortion is much in the news recently. The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled a challenge can go forward on a Texas law which prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detectable. It also heard arguments on a Mississippi law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks.

Pro-life people are hopeful that the Mississippi law will be upheld, and pro-choice people are fearful that Roe vs. Wade will be overturned.

I have been pro-life ever since I was first able to think about it and am proud to serve as board chairman for the Life Care Pregnancy Center, a Moore County pro-life organization committed to helping women, men and families facing an unplanned pregnancy.

I understand the complexity of this subject and am personally convinced that abortion is morally wrong. I believe that human life begins at conception. If not then, when? There is no other logical starting point for human life other than at conception.

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a case known as Roe vs. Wade, ruled that the right to have an abortion is a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution. I encourage you to read the Constitution — it’s not that long and is good to read for many reasons — and see if the subject of abortion is mentioned or even referred to in any way. It is not.

Supporters of Roe say that the ruling is based on a constitutional “right to privacy.” I ask you to see if a right to privacy is mentioned in the Constitution. It’s not. The Supreme Court in 1973 created a right that is simply not there.

Many legal experts believe that Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and that it will eventually be overturned. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said in 1983 — 10 years after Roe — that, in view of advances in medical technology, “Roe is on a collision course with itself.” Medical and ultrasound technology have advanced tremendously since then, far beyond what could be foreseen in 1973.

Roe and a subsequent case, “Planned Parenthood vs. Casey,” established a 24-week “fetal viability” timeline, during which an abortion can be performed under U.S. law. I encourage you to Google what a 15- or 24-week-old fetus looks like and tell me it’s not a human being. I believe that performing an abortion at that stage of development is just morally wrong. Certainly, a 15- or 24-week-old baby cannot live on its own outside the womb. Neither can a full-term baby after birth.

No matter when an abortion is performed, it interrupts a human life. If not interrupted, more than 99 percent of 15- or 24-week fetuses will develop into a fully functioning, normal human being. Abortions after 24 weeks are allowed in some states. You can research the details of how this is done, but you’ll need a strong stomach.

At the opposite end of the spectrum of life, is it also OK to interrupt the life of a comatose or severely disabled person who has no chance of recovery? That’s euthanasia and not many people support it.

Those who support the right to choose an abortion say that the decision is between a woman and her doctor. Maybe so, but does that really mean a woman has an unfettered constitutional right to end the life of a baby developing inside of her? I don’t see much difference between that and euthanasia.

Abortion proponents say the government shouldn’t be involved in an abortion decision. OK, but isn’t that where we already are? Abortions are being performed every day because the government, via the U.S. Supreme Court, says it’s OK.

Since Roe was passed in 1973, more than 60 million abortions have been performed in the U.S. That’s more than twice the combined population of the 10 largest cities in the country. I wonder which lives we have ended.

If Roe is overturned, it would not mean that abortion would be completely prohibited. But it would mean that there is no fundamental national right to have an abortion, and states could regulate abortion in ways that are supported by the majority of people in that state. Government works best closer to the people.

So it is possible, and maybe even likely, that the Supreme Court will eventually correct what many feel was a bad decision. Personally, I hope they do.

John Rowerdink lives in Pinehurst.

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(22) comments

Jim Tomashoff

John Rowerdink: "I don’t propose to use government to do anything to force my vision of reality; it’s your side that does that. That is the effect of Roe. I believe that government should stay out of this entirely. The moral issue is between us and our Creator." How do you square your argument that the government "should stay out of this entirely" with your desire to use government to end practically all abortions? Isn't the use of government an attempt to impose your views on abortion on others?I agree that the moral issue is between individual and "their Creator." So let the "Creator" deal with it, not legislatures and governors.

Kent Misegades

The left lost this battle years ago. Americans do not approve the murder of innocent children. “Actually, most people don’t support Roe v. Wade”, Washington Examiner, September 2020.

Jim Tomashoff

Gee, Kent's lying. What a surprise. NOT! Most Americans do approve of abortion being legal and safe, regardless of what our resident pathological liar says. Moreover, the 2020 article that Kent bases his lie on doesn't say what Kent says it says. I invite anyone to read the article which can be found at: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/actually-most-people-dont-support-roe-v-wade.

Roe v Wade, in conjunction with a follow-on Supreme Court decision, "Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52, 63--65 (1976)" has set fetal viability outside of the womb as the basis for safe and legal abortions and abortions that can be regulated by individual States.

As for the support of Americans for safe legal abortions, "in a 2021 poll, 80% of Americans approve of abortion being legal and safe in all or most conditions: https://news.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

"The share of Americans in Gallup’s poll who say abortion is morally acceptable reached a record high of 47% in May, up from a low of 36%" This also in 2021.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2021/11/30/how-americans-really-feel-about-abortion-the-sometimes-surprising-poll-results-as-supreme-court-weighs-overturning-roe-v-wade/?sh=5de5cb9a36c9

Also in 2021 a poll found: "While public support for legal abortion has fluctuated some in two decades of polling, it has remained relatively stable over the past five years. Currently, 59% say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 39% say it should be illegal in all or most cases."

https://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/public-opinion-on-abortion/

Jim Tomashoff

John, given your focus on morality as tied to safe legal abortions, here's another little fact for you to ruminate on:

"The risk of death associated with a full-term pregnancy and delivery is 8.8 deaths per 100,000, while the risk of death linked to legal abortion is 0.6 deaths per 100,000 women, according to a new study, published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. That means a woman carrying a baby to term is 14 times more likely to die than a woman who chooses to have a legal abortion, the study finds.

"Regardless of one's sentiments about abortion, legal abortion is very safe, and dramatically safer than continuing the pregnancy," said the study's lead author, Dr. David Grimes, a clinical professor in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine at Chapel Hill."

So John, tell us barbarians how it is moral to force a woman or young girl to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, thereby increasing the risk to her very life by 14 times greater than getting an immoral, but safe, legal abortion?

John Rowerdink

Jim…8.8 deaths per 100,000 is .009% of the women who carry to term could die. The risk of death for the aborted baby is 100%.

Jim Tomashoff

You just don't get. You simply do NOT have the right to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term before the fetus is viable. To do so is nothing short of authoritarian, using government to enforce your vision of morality is not acceptable.

John Rowerdink

Jim…..I don’t propose to use government to do anything to force my vision of reality; it’s your side that does that. That is the effect of Roe. I believe that government should stay out of this entirely. The moral issue is between us and our Creator.

Sally Larson

John, I don’t see any offering of contraceptives in your Moore County pro-life organization. Helping people to be responsible would seem to be an important aspect of your organization and the first step to avoiding unwanted pregnancy and abortions. Along with free contraceptive pills, what about counseling men to get vasectomies? Finally, men are being brought into the conversation and stepping up realizing they are equally responsible for unwanted pregnancies and need to be accountable.

As far as women’s rights are concerned, women are not property and should not be under any control by the law. Every time I hear the anti-vexers yell “My Body, My Choice!” I think they are paving the way for women’s rights as well.

John Rowerdink

Ken....Happy New Year. I hope 2022 is a better year for you.

Mark Hayes

John, with all due respect as to your opinion, this issue has been the topic of discussion for decades, and as society has changed, so has the argument. My own thought is, that if one cannot afford to financially support a child, they should not have one. Yet with the various government entitlements provided, we have mothers, birthing multiple babies, they cannot afford, ending up on our government programs, in some ways for them, more is better, many often without knowing who the father is, tax payers become the unknown fathers paying child support. These women , by their own actions, resulted with a pregnancy, should be limited to one child, a possible encounter, one night stand, a mistake, whatever, but after, instead of abortion, after abortion, there are surgical procedures that eliminate the possibility of another pregnancy. It is their body, and their right, but when they become our tax burden, they forfeit that right, unless self sufficient and financially able to afford multiple children. Exceptions to the rule are numerous, but the basic cause of a unwanted pregnancy, more often than not, lack of preventives that are easily bought, some provided by the government. Watching these illegals crossing over into this country from Mexico, a country that allows abortions, there seems to be thousands of young women, carrying a child in their arms, with a few tagging along behind them, who do you think will be supporting those children ?

Sally Larson

Mark, are you serious? "These women, by their own actions, resulted with a pregnancy" What about the man involved?? Women can say no all they want but it's the man's actions that should be under scrutiny. To be fair to your comments that a woman should have a surgical procedure to eliminate the possibility of another pregnancy, shouldn't the man involved also be required to have a vasectomy? Or, should he be allowed to impregnate all the women he wants? Men need to be included in the discussion.

Mark Hayes

Yep, I'm serious, did you read the line where I suggested the use of preventatives ? Even in early 60's, in my teen years, we knew the consequences of not using those, the availability was at one time, for the girls, the pill, or the $ 0.25 cent dispensor in the men's restroom. Today there is no reason, other than rape, that a man, or a woman, teen, or adult, should become pregnant. Oddly, you advocate for abortions, but offer little in the way of prevention, seems that would decrease the need and put an end to government interference and go a long way in ending this decades long debate. Research the number of unwed mothers, those with multiple children by multiple deadbeat fathers, you will locate many living in the government housing and subsidized living quarters. This is an opinion section, I gave an opinion. To avoid becoming eristic, I surrender . Have a great day.

ken leary

Appreciate that John. You keep up the good work. With any luck you and your ilk can "make America great again" by forcing women into the back ally, coat hanger days. That will be the result for you and your "god" and perhaps it will make 2022 a better year for you. We all want you to be happy John.

Jim Tomashoff

No John, I am not wrong, you are. But you're a great sophist (a person who reasons with clever but fallacious arguments), I'll give you that. If abortion is a moral issue, based on religious beliefs, and I've yet to meet a person who doesn't oppose abortion on anything other than their religious beliefs, though I'm sure you'll say otherwise, then let God sort it out. In the meantime let living, breathing, eating and excreting human beings make decisions regarding their own body. It's as simple as that.

If Roe is overturned it will be because five or six justices, all practicing Catholics, will be using your kind of sophistry to impose their religious beliefs on others. And Roe's being overturned won't even stop abortions. Women of means will simply go to states where it is legal and safe. Poor women will resort to "illegal" abortions, that are not safe.

Tell us, is it a moral issue for you that overturning Roe will almost certainly cost hundreds, and maybe more, of poor women their lives every year? Are you willing to see your taxes increased to provide for babies, from birth until they're 18, whose mothers cannot afford to raise them? We know Kent isn't, he's told us so quite recently. Are you, like Kent, one of those Republicans who believes in the sanctity of life from the moment of conception to the moment of birth, and after that kid, you're on your own? You'll deny that of course. But has any State that is moving to ban abortion attached legislation to such a ban to provide government financial support for the children who will benefit from abortion bans? That's a rhetorical question John, I know the answer. It is NONE.

You might want to check this out, although I know it will have absolutely no impact whatsoever on your thinking: https://www.colorado.edu/today/2021/09/08/study-banning-abortion-would-boost-maternal-mortality-double-digits

Kent Misegades

To the article’s title: Amen! And that goes fir many, many other issues that should never, ever go beyond the sovereign states. Like education and the definition of marriage. The good news about the struggle against infanticide is that - regardless the debate in the Supreme Court - those of us who cherish life habe been winning this effort fir a long time. The large majority of Americans now oppose abortion. Praise the Lord.

Jim Tomashoff

Kent's lying. What a huge surprise. He says "The large majority of Americans now oppose abortion." That's a lie. A recent national poll by Gallop found that 32% of Americans believe abortion should be legal under all circumstance, while 48% believe abortion should be legal under some circumstances (which the ruled in Roe v. Wade). Only 19% of Americans believe abortion should be illegal under all circumstances. So once again Kent demonstrates he has something in common with his favorite President, like Trump, Kent is a pathological liar.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/1576/abortion.aspx

John Rowerdink

Jim….If you think Kent is wrong, why not just say you think he is wrong, rather than to accuse him of lying? More importantly, public opinion is not the issue here. The question is when does life begin and does anyone have a right to terminate that life. This is a moral issue.

Jim Tomashoff

No John, Kent is explicitly lying in his assertion. There are ample means by which he can attempt to back up his assertions on this issue among many others. He rarely, if ever, does. So I call them lies when the actual truthful "facts" are readily available, as the Gallup Poll results show. And the issue is not really about when life begins it's about when life become viable, even with the help of technology. The issue is whether a woman loses all her rights to control her body when she becomes pregnant, as Kent asserts, or whether or not society is prepared to say her pregnancy is a matter left to her and her doctors. Many, many years ago I saw two bumper stickers on two cars that perfectly summarizes the issue of abortion to my mind. One read, "Against Abortion? Don't Have One." The second read "Adoption Is An Option." Therein lies the solution to the abortion issue to my mind. I find it morally reprehensible that society should, by law, force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term. And it's especially reprehensible when a self-style radical libertarian, which Kent claims to be, would use the force of law to force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.

ken leary

I don't find abortion to be a "moral issue" John. If you do society should respect your decision to never avail yourself of the service. You appear to be just another of a long line of holier than thou weak minded males who desire to dominate women's bodies for less than wholesome reasons. Why don't you people be honest. You could care less about human life and the evidence is all around us. You turn a blind eye to USA exported death and destruction. You sit back while hundreds of thousands of children die from malnutrition and disease due to our sanctions; or we just blow them up. You care to do nothing about homelessness, poverty, or the despair that is the harbinger of this countries dissolution. You are a phony with a wedge issue. I'll repeat that: A phony with a wedge issue.

John Rowerdink

Jim…There are several things wrong with your posting. I don’t think you’re lying, you’re just wrong or misinformed.

1. The issue of viability centers on whether a fetus or a baby can exist on its own outside of the mother’s womb without support. Certainly, a 24-week fetus cannot. But neither can a full term live baby. For that matter, a one year old child can’t either.

2. The issue is not whether a woman loses her rights when she becomes pregnant. The issue is whether she has the right to terminate her pregnancy in the first place. Roe says she does but many legal experts disagree and it’s likely that Roe will be overturned someday, as Sandra Day O’Connor predicted.

3. You say you liked the bumper sticker which said “Adoption is an option”. So do I. But adoption is not an option if the pregnancy is terminated.

4. “Society” does not force a woman to carry her pregnancy to term. The issue is whether the law says she can terminate her pregnancy. But the more important issue is the moral one. It is simply immoral to interrupt a human life. Google a 24 week-old fetus and decide for yourself if that baby is human or not.

5. You say you find it morally reprehensible for a woman to be “forced” to carry her child to term. I say it’s morally reprehensible for her to end the human life growing within her.

Kent Misegades

Jim, I pity you with your cold, cold heart. My guess is that you never held your own new born child and seen how utterly helpless a baby is. At the pearly gates Supporters of infanticide will have to defend themselves for the 62 million babies murdered since Roe. Good luck with that. The focus of this subject must be 100% on the inalienable right to life of the child, not the whims of the mother. The late Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer Paul Greenberg once wrote, “The right to life must come first or all the others can never take root, much less flourish. As in the Declaration of Independence’s order of certain unalienable rights, among them ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ Note which one is mentioned first. And for good, logical reason.”

Jim Tomashoff

I could care less what a pathological liar and authoritarian like you thinks about me. You claim to be a libertarian yet you support the most intrusive act by government as possible, prohibiting a woman from getting a safe and legal abortion. You are an arrogant hypocrite as well as a liar. "...the whims of the mother," you say. You're pathetic.

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