Death By Any Other Name

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” is a popular reference to William Shakespear’s play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet seems to argue that it does not matter that Romeo is from her family’s rival house of Montague, that is, that he is named “Montague”. The reference is often used to imply that the names of things do not affect what they really are. (Wikipedia)

“Margaret Sanger, Eugenics and Planned Parenthood”

After World War I, Margret Higgins Sanger (born Margaret Louise Higgins, September 14, 1879 – September 6, 1966, also known as Margaret Sanger Slee) was an American birth-control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse. She increasingly appealed to the societal need to limit births by those least able to afford children. The affluent and educated already limited their child-bearing, while the poor and uneducated lacked access to contraception and information about birth-control. Here she found an area of overlap with eugenists she believed that they both sought to “assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.” (An event of history has shown that the Third Reich had an interest in those same beliefs and practices.) They differed in that “eugenists imply or insist that a woman’s first duty is to the state; we contend that her duty to herself is her duty to the state.” Sanger was a proponent of negative eugenics, which aimed to improve human hereditary traits through social intervention by reducing the reproduction of those who were considered unfit. Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established organizations that evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. (Wikipedia)

[A significant note confirming that Sanger’s aim still hits its mark to this day: 2010 Census results reveal that Planned Parenthood is targeting minority neighborhoods. 79% of its surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African-American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods.]

“Abortion Facts”

The pro-abortion rights Alan Guttmacher Institute reports that there have been nearly 50 million abortions performed since 1973, the year the Supreme Court issued the Roe v. Wade decision ushering in legal abortion nationwide. As of 2018 the number of abortions in the United States stands at over 60 million and counting.

Those supporting legal abortions under any circumstances=50%. Those in support of legal abortions under certain circumstanced=29%. Those supporting illegal abortions under any circumstances=18%. Those today who consider themselves pro-choice=49%; those who consider themselves pro-life=46%. With the introduction of 3D ultra sound imagery, perception has changed and along with it has likely influenced a reduction in abortions.

“Capital Punishment Facts”

The Death Penalty Information center has compiled the following statistics since 1976.

There have been a total of 1263 executions performed in the United States. That is on average 172 executed/million population out of 2206 on death row/million population since 1976. A Gallop poll shows that Americans supporting the death penalty is the lowest since 1972 at 55%.

Although there exist laws to protect the unborn and reprieve be granted to death row convicts, the numbers show that those on death row proportionately fair far better than the unborn.

Once a life is before us it then becomes a moral issue. A person on death row can be seen. The unborn is for the most part hidden from view. Yet, Isaac Newton tells us that an object set in motion stays in motion unless acted upon. In following this law of nature, it is true that once life begins at conception (see my blog: “The Significant Spark,” May 5, 2016 ), if the process is left to itself, the fetus will continue to grow to a complete human being by a geometrical proportion; (2+4+8+16+32…). And is therefore no less before us than those on death row. So, then, the fetus is not potentially human, but, rather, is a human with potential. For those who hold to the pro-choice slogan, “My body, my choice,” science offers an argument. It has been proved that the fetus possesses one half the DNA of the mother and one half the DNA of the father. Therefore, the DNA of the fetus is unique unto itself. By this fact, then, in this matter, one’s choice does not solely effect oneself but also effects another.

The compared numbers as regards capital punishment and abortion respectively since 1972 and 1973 are staggeringly evident: 1263 to 60,000,000. One on death row acted in some way in breaking a grave law of society and of God. He/she did something to warrant death. The unborn acted not, but is the result of an action. An action, as all actions, which has a consequence also carries with it responsibility. The unborn did nothing wrong other than to be conceived. And in most cases is perceived an inconvenience while awaiting entry into the world as is his/her right granted, if you will, by natural law.

Today, a full 42 % of the women having abortions live under the poverty line, and another 27 percent have incomes within 200 percent of the poverty line. Taken together, 69 percent of women who have abortions are economically disadvantaged. Women seeking abortion tend to be unmarried; around 85 percent of those seeking abortion aren’t married. While the discourse around abortion still focuses on scared white teenagers, the reality is that the typical abortion patient these days is a twenty-something single mother of color.

It is difficult not to find compassion and understanding in light of the statistics in the above paragraph. Yet when a concerned and frightened women or female adolescent makes a choice to enter an abortion clinic, that is where choice very likely ends. We must not in any way so trivialize life that we would extinguish it either through fear or inconvenience. For how then can the worth of all humanity not be significantly diminished? To make a prudent choice one needs a viable alternative. That alternative can be found at a new website called: Here, those who are in a very serious quandary over their circumstance can find direction and solace at alternative women’s health clinics at locations in their state. Often these health centers can be found directly opposite a Planned Parenthood location. In one particular case in my State of Connecticut. A young African-American woman entered a Planned Parenthood location with intent to abort her baby. But upon reflection found she could not go through with it. As she left that clinic she looked across the street and saw the Women’s Health Center. And for this confused and frightened young woman, as in Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken;” “it made all the difference.” She gave birth and life to her child and with the guidance and help afforded her by the center, mom and child are doing fine. She was able to, unlike too many who do not investigate an alternative, avoid the lasting regret of an uninformed hasty choice.

Each infant, whether fit or unfit in some capacity, possesses the greatest purpose inherent in us all: the capacity to be loved. Oscar Hammerstein II validates this truth in the following lyrics: “A bell‘s not a bell ’til you ring it, A song’s not a song ’til you sing it. Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, Love isn’t love ’til you give it away!”  And, therefore, by the very presence of the infant yet to be, offers another the opportunity to love.

Death by any other name….is yet a contradiction of life. Through abortion we are  reminded of a sorrowful consequence; that millions would never claim their right to life given by God. And for many, who by such decisions, may be impelled one day to ponder: “What if…if only…What – might – have – been?”




About Alan A. Malizia: Contagious Optimism! Co-Author

Retired mathematics teacher and high school athletics coach. Honors: 1988 Ct. Coach of the Year for H.S. Girls Voleyball and 2007 Inducted into the Ct. Women's Volleyball Hall of Fame. Since retiring have written two books; "The Little Red Chair," an autobiography about my life experience as a polio survivor and "A View From The Quiet Corner," a selection of poems and reflections. Presently I am a contributing author for the "Life Carrots" series primarily authored by Dave Mezzapelle of
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