'No Tragedy'? Abortion in a Tough Economy

Chuck Colson

'No Tragedy'? Abortion in a Tough Economy


April 17, 2009

The story is heartbreaking. A woman showed up at an abortion clinic “in flip-flops and in tears,” having walked for an hour to have her fourth child aborted after her boyfriend lost his job. “‘This was a desired pregnancy—she’d been getting prenatal care—but they re-evaluated expenses and decided not to continue,’ said Dr. Pratima Grupta,” in the Associated Press report.

Yes, it’s a heartbreaking story. But columnist Bonnie Erbe sees it quite differently. “In the long run,” she asks, “can we agree that this unwed couple’s decision not to bring a fourth child into the world when they are having trouble feeding themselves and three children is no tragedy?”

After a brief analysis of the expenses of raising a child, Erbe then reiterates that their “fact-based, rational decision” is “no tragedy: it’s a good decision.” In fact, she believes, we’d all be better off if we could recapture the national mood we had just after Roe v. Wade, when abortion “was not something women whined about publicly on the scale many seem to now.” Unbelievable! It’s as if abortion is a good thing.

It’s appalling to see the shift in pro-choice attitudes that’s accompanied the worsening of our economy. For a while, pro-choicers were willing to humor mothers who were grieving over their aborted children. Not that they were willing to give up advocating the killing of those children, but some of them still recognized that these actually were children being killed, and that they had little to gain by denying it.

Just a few years ago, I spoke on this program about a group of abortion clinics where women were counseled to see abortion as “a loving act,” and encouraged to do things like write messages to their aborted children and take home colorful stones as mementos.

Well, things may be changing. Now, it appears, there’s no time or place for sentiment over one’s aborted child—“not when the economy is depressed, jobs are scarce and family incomes are dropping,” as Erbe says. Get the job done and quit your whining, would seem to be her motto.

And she’s not alone. Katherine Ragsdale goes her one better by calling abortion a “blessing” when it enables women to continue their education or career. And Ragsdale has just been named the new dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts!

Just the other week, you may remember, I talked about British official Jonathan Porritt and his desire to cut his country’s population in half for the sake of the environment. Although Erbe bases her concern on the scarcity of economic resources instead of environmental ones, the message is fundamentally the same: Fewer humans means better living for those of us who do get to live.

If you remember your history, the famous satire by Jonathan Swift, Modest Proposal, suggested that Irish children be eaten to save resources. That’s just about where the pro-abortion movement seems to be heading—except this time there’s no satire about it.

Maybe it’s just as well that the abortion movement is starting to show its true colors. In stark contrast with the crisis pregnancy centers and the church volunteers who would lovingly help provide for parents in need, the “pro-choice” movement can now be seen for what it truly is: “no-choice” movement. Death is your duty to save the environment or the economy.


Chuck Colson’s daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.

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