The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

February 1, 2011

Fatherhood gives insight into abortion issue

Daily Star

---- — Chuck Pinkey is pinch-hitting this week for Tom Sears while Sears is in Romania. Sears' column will resume upon his return.

More years ago than I care to remember, my wife was pregnant with our oldest daughter. Other than a little morning sickness and a new, expandable wardrobe, nothing much changed. I don't recall how far along she was, but early one Sunday morning as I lay in bed, I felt something kicking me in the back.

Having never been an expectant father before, it took me a moment or two to realize what was happening. Panic ensued, until my wife educated me on the situation. Apparently our daughter was uncomfortable, stretching or just making her presence known, and I was in the way! The rest of the morning was spent waiting for the next kick.

The joyful day was Feb. 6, and instantly I realized how unprepared I was. It wasn't like in the movies. The delivery room was filled with water, blood, screaming and pain! And that was from just me. Thankfully, my wife was there to help me through.

The new bundle had arrived without an owner's manual, and it didn't take long to realize that it was a life changer. How can anything so small and cute smell so bad and excrete more liquid and waste than it consumes?

This was not at all how I had pictured it would be. Somehow, I had imagined that you change a couple of diapers, feed her two or three times a day, and the rest of the time is spent sleeping. Not so! Even simple requests like "Just a minute;" "Hold on, we're at the two-minute warning;" or "Shh, I'm on the phone" went unheeded.

Nevertheless, we managed to adjust, and before all was said and done, we went through this three more times. An old farmer had once told me: "If you have 12 kids, no two will be anything alike. Each is vastly different from the others." How true! He also said, "I wouldn't take a billion dollars for any one of my kids, but I wouldn't give you a nickel for another one!" He was a true sage.

Having fathered four children makes me an expert on nothing, but it does give one a certain insight on life. Many issues need addressing, and one of the biggest is abortion. There are good people and tremendous passion on both sides, but to me there is one inescapable fact. A fetus is a human being.

Its DNA is set at the moment of conception. How often have we seen photos and ultrasounds of babies in the womb kicking, sucking their thumbs and rubbing their eyes? He or she is capable of thought and movement and to feel discomfort and pain.

Recently, there was a photo of a surgeon operating on a fetus. An incision was made in the womb and during the procedure, the unborn baby grabbed the doctor's finger and held it. Much the same as my daughter clenching my little finger while walking, my hand being too large for her to hold.

What exactly is an abortion? The dilation and evacuation method is used on or around the 18-week mark. A pair of forceps is inserted into the womb to grasp the fetus. The forceps twist and tear the bones of the unborn child. This process is repeated until the fetus is totally dismembered and removed. Usually the spine must be snapped and the skull crushed in order to extract them. Does a fetus feel pain? Of course, it does. Can you imagine the trauma?

Between 1990 and 2005 there were more than 17 million abortions in the United States. More than 17 million! I would ask even the most ardent proponent of abortion rights, "Doesn't this give you pause?" Seventeen million human babies, stretching and kicking in the womb, will never see life. They will never hold their father's hand or make him miss the last two minutes of his precious football game.

I realize that all situations are not the same. There will always be abortions in one form or another. Some are justified for health reasons, but how can anyone accept 17 million in 15 years? Sadly in the U.S., we still perform 800,000 to 1 million abortions per year. Another sage once said, "Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do."

CHUCK PINKEY is the owner of River Valley New Holland Inc. in Otego. He can be reached at