I agree with columnist Star Parker's article "The root of nation's economic crisis is a fundamental moral crisis" (Feb. 17), but maybe not for the same reasons. In it she argues favorably for protesting government-paid abortions and the right of protesters to break the law to do so, if necessary. And she attributes the economic downturn, in part, to the moral dilemma of killing of unborn babies.
I AGREE THAT there is a correlation between man's downfall and his morality, whether in economics or any other facet of life. But hasn't this been the case since man's existence -- at least according to Christian belief found in the Bible?
My problem with Parker's position is that she takes a universal problem of morality and reduces it to abortion to make her point. Nations fall not so much on the fact that they kill their unborn, as Parker would have us believe, but rather because they have gone their own way in all walks of life. Abortion is just one flaw in man's nature that contributes to his downfall.
Don't get me wrong -- I don't intend to make light of the taking of a life. But in God's view, sin is sin, whether it's the taking of life of an unborn or lying on an income tax return.
The basis of the column was to show the so-called unjust treatment a pastor in Oakland, Calif. had received for breaking the Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities Ordinance -- an ordinance that protects the right of privacy of women, and carries certain penalties and fines. The pastor, identified as black, was found guilty of "unlawful approach" -- a conviction that could have been avoided had he stayed within the guidelines set forth in the ordinance -- no closer than eight feet of clients entering the clinic.
Parker does not mention the cost associated with taking care of children allowed to be born. People of her ilk argue and protest vehemently to see to it that children are born, then turn around and deny resources for their upbringing and welfare, even when the mother is void of means to do so herself. If their concern for the welfare of children is as great as it is to see them born, then their passion and protest could be better understood and supported. But that is not the case at all.
The average cost of an abortion at the facility in Oakland is about $600; the gross annual income amounts to around $3 million. Not bad for an inner-city neighborhood business, she exclaims -- a neighborhood where the median household income is 49 percent of the average income of the state of California, 30 percent of the families are below the poverty line and 58 percent of the households with children are single-parent.
In total, California spends about $52 million of taxpayers' funds for "abortion of poor young women." However, Parker fails to show what California spends a year on those who are convinced not to abort, which is a much larger sum. With potential parents having no means to support their children, all medical costs associated with births and rearing of children most likely will be borne by the state -- a tremendous cost that makes $52 million look like chicken feed.
While I'm not an advocate for abortions, I do believe that if we are going to argue against them, then we should be arguing just as vehemently in support of taking care of the children born. That argument tends to get lost in the discussion.
OBEYING OAKLAND'S ordinance is not an infringement on protesters' First Amendment rights, as Parker would have us believe. To have a baby or not is a moral decision, not a legal one, and should be left in the hands of women, not the government -- or protesters, for that matter. The law gives women that right; and until it is changed, Parker and the pastor, and all who share their position, would do well to obey it or suffer the consequence for not doing so.
People who say that government intrudes too much in our lives should champion the freedom of choice for women with respect to pregnancy and abortion. Not to do so is hypocrisy at the highest level, and cannot be defended.
(The writer is a former Augusta city councilman, and a retired labor relations manager from Bechtel Savannah River Inc. He lives in Martinez.)