This article states something that I noticed long ago: that ancient religious infanticide (which we find repugnant) isn't really all that different, in spirit, from abortion. They are both a way of giving up something that does have value in the belief that the abortive/sacrificing parent may have a chance at a more comfortable, prosperous future. From what I've read, many women give economic stress as the reason for aborting, and many couples don't wish to "jeopardize their future" by having a child at the "wrong" time.
This article also talks a lot about the selfishness and barbarity of abortion, comparing our modern culture with other ancient cultures who were similarly advanced technologically, but who had beliefs that demanded innocent blood for the prosperity of all to continue.
The following link is NOT kid-safe, because it does have one really sad picture of a dead fetus. :o( The text is very good, though:
First, let us ask the question, "What is sacrifice?" Well, "sacrifice" (in this context) can be defined as "relinquishing what is valuable in order to secure a better future for oneself." In the Mesopotamian religions of the second and third millennia BC, for instance, the subjects of a certain kingdom would bring forth their offerings to the temple, and along with prayer and accompanying rituals, they would provide the gods their due, in exchange for health, prosperity, and well-being. In the extreme, the offering of one's child would be considered the greatest sacrifice; therefore, the subject would expect even greater rewards. Sometimes the remains of the firstborn child were even interred in the wall of the family home, thus assuring prosperity for the family.
Now although the pro-abortion community would decry such a comparison with ancient child sacrifice, if we superimpose the intents of the heart from that period onto the modern day, there is really no difference whatsoever. Essentially, we can conclude two things about abortion: First, that it is indeed a sacrifice, in that it can certainly be defined as relinquishing something that is valuable. And second, the deed is done in order for the individuals to secure a better future for themselves (the "individuals" being the birth-parents or others who benefit from the abortion -- several examples could be noted here, but this would bring about an unnecessary digression). Without getting into great detail, then, it is believed that a newborn child will be an obstacle to the future aspirations of the birth-parents and/or others. Indeed, even as it was in ancient times, the cultural mindset of the day (zeitgeist or spirit of the age) encourages and supports the abortive sacrifice of an [unborn] child in order that the participants might secure for themselves a better future. For instance, a young man and woman might decide that a child would be an obstacle to their college education, which would have implications for their future career and financial state -- thus, the abortive sacrifice is the answer. Or perhaps a single mom might decide that another child might require her to work harder in order to provide food and sustenance for another mouth. On the other hand, the abortive sacrifice sometimes benefits peripheral figures who then become instrumental in the decision-making process. For example, a wealthy father who has a reputation to protect in his community might persuade his unmarried pregnant daughter to procure an abortion in order to secure his future reputation in the community. In sum, at the heart of all these decisions is the attribute of selfishness -- even worse, it is selfishness at the expense of another -- indeed, even the death of another. However, contemporary Western man psychologically and sociologically veils this selfishness, first by denying the humanity of the [unborn] child, and then by proceeding to define the act in terms of altruism. The appeal to altruistic ideals intends to reinforce the legitimacy of abortion and provides a veil for the guilt that usually arises after the abortive sacrifice is secured (though the guilt associated with abortion is difficult to suppress, hence "post-abortion syndrome"). Some altruistic cliches which are employed to justify abortion are "Population explosion," "Individualism -- 'No one has the right to tell you what to do with your body,'" "It is unfair to bring an unwanted child into the world, especially if that child will be handicapped," "Just think, you could get a college education and do so much good for so many people," etc. But as the philosopher Ayn Rand once observed, "Every barbaric act of history has been built upon an altruistic ideal."
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