George Graham

The Prickly Issue of Abortion: What’s the Real Choice?

We were visiting relatives yesterday and – like so many American families – got to talking about this new guy, Obama.

One of our relatives allowed that she liked the guy but had a problem with his stand on abortion. Another family member was quick to defend “a woman’s right to choose.” There’s no way for a discussion like that to produce any reasonable consensus.

As a man, I really don’t have a dog in this fight because I’m not likely to face a personal choice between giving birth and having an abortion. But if I can make a few observations from the sidelines, I would say I don’t think anyone could really be “for abortion.”

There’s nothing good about abortion. At best, it’s the lesser of two (or more) evils.

But that’s not the issue. In my view, the question isn’t whether you’re for or against abortion. The choice is really between legalized abortion and back-room butchery. When I was a young reporter in Toronto, I encountered far too many instances of botched coat-hanger operations, and joined the crusade to legalize abortion. It seems to me that no matter what, there are going to be abortions. In some cases, there may be (to me) some moral justification – rape, incest, medical complications, that kind of thing. But in many instances the motivation is social – a question of shame, economics or whatever.

But say what you like about the pros and cons of the issue, abortion is going to be with us always. Making it illegal would be like bringing back prohibition. Booze can be a curse, but when America tried to ban it, the results proved much worse.

However, I am saddened – make that horrified – by the abortion mills that have sprung up in recent years. It seems to show, at best, a lack of respect for one of life’s most solemn decisions.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for