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Choice isn't what makes life worth living

Posted by Anthony Ozimic on 22 April 2016

Women between 45 and 64 have had both the highest and the fastest growing suicide rate in the last 15 years

This afternoon the US media is reporting that the suicide rate in the US increased by 24% from 1999 through 2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

There was a startling rise in suicide rates among women. CNN reports:

“Middle-aged women, between 45 and 64, had the highest suicide rate in both 1999 and 2014. This age group also had the largest increase in suicide rate: 63%, from 6 to 9.8 per 100,000.”

Land of the Free?

America is known as the Land of the Free. Since the late 1960s and early 1970s, women have supposedly been emancipated by a range of so-called rights and freedoms: to have an abortion, to use contraception, to have sex before marriage, to file for divorce, to put career before motherhood. Yet it is the very generation of women who supposedly benefitted from these freedoms who are now experiencing the highest suicide rates.

It is often difficult and dangerous to make conclusions based on statistics. It is speculated that some of the factors in the overall rise in the suicide rate may be the 2008 economic crisis and changes in official messages about anti-depressant medication. Nonetheless, the question must be asked: Is the culture of choice responsible for women killing themselves?

Pro-life optimism

The pro-abortion mantra of “my life, my body, my choice” ignores the question of what is chosen and whether the object of that choice is good. Rather than supporting women to make good choices, the pro-choice mentality actually abandons women. Fathers, doctors and politicians evade their responsibility to women by using the get-out clause: “We will support you whatever choice you make”. Conversely – and hypocritically - those same groups exploit women’s legal right to choose abortion when they nudge or even pressure women to conclude that abortion is the right choice in the circumstances.

In the pro-life ethic, life is always worth living and choices are made which make lives flourish. There is a natural optimism in the pro-life ethic, which encourages natural fertility, healthy sexuality, early marriage, strong family bonds, and a growing population. These are among the things which made America great, rich and powerful. America’s tragic choice to turn away from fecundity to barrenness now seems to being paid in the lives of its women.

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