Scott Tibbs
Published in Hoosier Review, 9-16-2002

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Hospitals should protect life, not end it

An open letter to Porter Memorial Hospital

It has come to my attention that you are considering whether or not to continue performing abortions at your hospital. I encourage you to reverse your current policy and cease performing this ghastly procedure on unborn human beings at your institution.

You surely know that the original Hippocratic Oath contained a promise not to induce abortion in a pregnant woman. It is sad that some in the medical community have abandoned this promise. The medical community has an awesome responsibility to society and to the patient. You hold the power of life and death in your hands. Above all, the medical community must do no intentional harm to the patients it attends to.

Abortion is not a medical procedure. It is the willful, intentional killing of a human life. I do not understand how a person, or an institution, devoted to saving life and working to heal the physical and mental ailments of its patients can participate in a procedure which has only one goal: to physically destroy the body of another human being through an invasive procedure.

I oppose abortion because I believe life begins at fertilization. The unborn children killed by the abortion procedure are genetically no different from you or I. The only difference between those who have not been born and those who have is the stage of development they are in. Given time, shelter and nutrition, the unborn will develop through life's various stages. Who are we to arbitrarily decide that a growing human being should not have the right to live? It is not the moral right of anyone to intentionally snuff out an innocent human life.

It is my understanding that you perform both first and second trimester abortions at your hospital. It was especially disturbing to me to learn that the second-trimester abortions performed at Porter Memorial Hospital are done on unborn children with disabilities. What does this say to the disabled who come to you for treatment? That if their mothers had come to you before they were born, your doctors would cruelly dismember them, snuffing out their lives before they had a chance to be born?
I understand that this is a difficult issue for many people. It is difficult to weigh the moral right of a woman to have control of her own body against the right to life of the child developing inside her. Many people who are personally opposed to abortion would not support intervention of the state into this matter because they are uncomfortable with government legislating a very personal issue. While I understand this viewpoint to a degree, I find it illogical that someone who believes that abortion is the violent termination of an innocent human life could oppose legal measures to prohibit it. Keeping the abortion procedure legal stands in direct violation to the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which states that "No State shall... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

But by deciding against continuing to end human life through destructive, violent means, you need not be taking a stand on the issue of whether abortion should be prohibited or allowed in our legal system. A decision to stop performing abortions would simply be a statement that, whatever the outcome of this great moral dilemma faced by the world, you will not be involved in killing and will concentrate your efforts on working to protect the lives and health of all your patients, born and unborn.

Legal abortion has resulted in the death of over thirty million human beings since 1973 in the United states alone. With 1.2 million abortions per year in America, the average number of abortions per day kills more persons than were killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks on our nation last year. "Safe and legal" abortion has killed more people than were killed in the Nazi Holocaust. If you listen to the words of even the most pro-abortion politicians, they say they want abortion to be "safe, legal and rare". You can do your part to make the killing of innocent human beings more rare by deciding that you will no longer allow killing on your premises. I ask you to please make the right decision, and once again be an institution that values life, not an institution that ends it.