June 20 • 04:00 PM

Some more 'food for thought'

June 05, 2019
In last week's edition of the Tri-City Times Imlay City attorney John L. Lengemann, in his guest column, offered us some "food for thought" on the subject of abortion. Fair enough. So let me share some of my thoughts on his comments.

First, John berates the Supreme Court of the United States for "legislating from the bench." As an attorney, he knows full well that that's what courts do. They adjudicate disputes over law. If one agrees with the decision handed down by the court one thinks that the court has done what the Constitution says it should do and acted properly. However, if one disagrees with the ruling one says the court is "legislating from the bench" and overstepping its bounds, or in his words, "jams a policy down the throats of citizens..."

Sorry, can't have it both ways.

Next he says that "abortion rules should be determined by state legislatures on a state-by-state basis." For the life of me I can't understand why women in Maryland or Mississippi or Michigan should be treated differently on matters affecting them and their bodies.

I'd also note that many of the bills these legislatures consider are introduced by men. One of my male friends said, "Most men can't even buy their own underwear or socks. They have to have a woman do it for them. And they're supposed to make laws that affect women in the most personal way? Please." I didn't argue.

John puts forth his views on when a fetus becomes a human life but allows that "people of goodwill can have widely divergent views." Agreed. My own view is that it is not a human life until it can survive outside of the womb. Until then it only has the potential to be a viable life, the same as the sperm and egg it came from.

John also states, correctly, (you can Google it) that since Roe v. Wade in 1973 more than 60 million legal abortions have been performed in the United States. The Census Bureau reports that there are more than 325 million people in the United States now.

That means, then, had those pregnancies been carried to term that there would be more than 60 million more people in the U.S. now pushing the population toward 400 million.

Importantly, most of those legal (and therefore safer) abortions were performed because the mother did not want a child or was unprepared or unable to take care of a child. Should mothers be forced to bear and raise the children regardless of their ability to do so?

What would we do with those 60 million mostly unwanted additional citizens? If the birth mother couldn't take care of the children, who should? Are there enough Christian or other charities to raise them? Should taxpayers be responsible to pay for orphanages to house them? And build schools and other infrastructure to accommodate them? In 2016 there were more than 650,000 kids in foster care and only 57,000 were adopted.

God didn't create those pregnancies, people did. And it will be up to people to take care of them. Religion aside, are those people who so fervently want to end abortion prepared to take in and raise an unwanted child with all of the assorted costs and challenges? Especially a child of a different race or with special needs? Or do they just say "Good luck, kid. You're on your own?" Shouldn't we put as much thought about what happens to people after they are born as before?

I wish there was never a case that abortion would even be considered. I hate even the thought of it. But that is wishful thinking. And since it is we need consider all of the consequences of the abortion debate.

As John said, "Food for thought."

Email Rick at

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