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Actions have consequences

David Epps's picture

A few years ago, while on study leave in Ireland, I had a few moments to relax at an outdoor cafe one January evening in Dublin. It was around 5 p.m. and very dark except for the lights of the city. Suddenly, the offices closed and young professionals streamed out onto the city’s streets.

What struck me as odd was how terribly young they were. Dozens and dozens of young professional men and women in their 20s and 30s, smartly dressed and carrying briefcases, crowded the sidewalks. I wondered why there were so many young professionals, the average age being several years younger than what I had seen is U. S. cities. A couple of days later, I read a news article that answered the question. In Ireland, abortion was not legal.

By my guesstimated calculations, abortions, from 1973 to the present date, have removed from the population of the United States somewhere around 30,000,000 people of employment age. We have an older work force because the numbers of those who would have joined them have been significantly reduced. This of course has consequences.

We hear from the newscasters and politicians that there are not enough young workers paying into the Social Security system to keep it viable. While there are many reasons why the system is flawed, the elimination of 30 million potential taxpayers and contributors to the Social Security system surely has a devastating effect. The Baby Boomer Generation, while insisting on the right to say, “It’s my body and no one can tell me what to do with it,” has managed to cut its own throat during the retirement years.

Speaking of the consequences of abortion, the Hispanic population has surpassed the black population as America’s largest minority.
The reasons? Well, there are a couple. Immigration is certainly one cause. But another cause is the high abortion rate among African-Americans as compared to Hispanics.

In an article, “Abortion and Race,” posted on, it is asserted that Black pregnancies are terminated 30-36.4 percent of the time while Hispanic pregnancies are terminated at a lower rate of 20.1-25 percent of the time. Non-Hispanic white women still have the highest abortion rate at 36-36.1 percent.

The Reverend Clenard H. Childress calls the black abortion rate, “the greatest deception [to] plague the black church since Lucifer himself.” Alveda C. King, daughter of slain civil-rights leader A.D. King and niece of Martin Luther King, Jr., quotes her uncle often when outlining her opposition of abortion. She writes: “[Martin Luther King, Jr.] once said, ‘The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety.’ How can the ‘Dream’ survive if we murder the children? Every aborted baby is like a slave in the womb of his or her mother. The mother decides his or her fate.”

The Catholic influence among Hispanics may be one reason for their lower abortion rate. Among women seeking abortions 43 percent identify themselves as Protestants while only 27 percent identify themselves as Catholic. Whatever the reasons, Hispanics are now poised to be the dominant minority in American life and politics.

All this is simply to say that social actions have social consequences. To assert otherwise is dishonest and disingenuous. Sometimes the agonizing social problems we face are simply a result of our own choices — choices that have far-reaching social consequences.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. ( He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese ( and is the mission pastor of Christ the King Fellowship in Champaign, IL. He may be contacted at]


Father Epps' larger point is well taken, but he misstates a key statistic from the website he used. Comparing the rate of abortion among blacks and Hispanics with the rate for the white majority, he says, "Non-Hispanic white women still have the highest abortion rate at 36-36.1 percent." This actually contradicts the point his article makes, and it is not correct. The website does explain that about 36% of US abortions are performed on white women, whereas blacks account for over 30% and Hispanics for over 20%. However,the RATE of abortion (usually defined as number of abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age) is much higher for blacks and Hispanics than for whites. That is, black women are more likely to terminate a pregnancy than Hispanic women are, and Hispanic women are more likely to do so than whites. In fact, the headline at the website Fr. Epps cites makes that very point: "In the United States, black children are aborted at 5 times the rate as [sic] white children and Hispanic children don't fare much better."

The problem is the collapse of normal 2-parent family life within black America. Over 70% of black children who are allowed to live are born into single-parent households. Without the support of a solid family structure, pregnant women more often see abortion as their only realistic choice. Sadly, Hispanics in this country are also seeing traditional family life erode, as are lower-income whites. To curtail abortion, we need to encourage lasting marriages and stable families.

Wow, anti-abortion screeds for two weeks in a row on the front page of the Citizen? Somebody sure is grumpy.

The David Epps of the world scratch their brow in complete bafflement as to why people won't accept their rigid dogmatic worldview. They are bewildered as to why people won't accept the "truth" of their convictions that a clump of cells should have the same "human rights" as, say, a fifty year old man.

Stripped down to its essence, the patronizing authoritarians such as the putative Archbishop of Sharpsburg hold this "truth" to be self-evident: <strong>Women should suffer the consequences of their sexual behavior.</strong> "Actions have consequences", y'know.

Ironically, Archbishop Epps points to Ireland as a model of population growth. Ireland, of course, is one of the few countries on earth with more draconian abortion laws than that of the United States.

Paradoxically, though, Ireland was one of the countries that benefited the most from George W. Bush's executive order banning federal grants for stem-cell propagation, the ban that crippled American dominance in stem-cell research. Even in abortion-phobic Ireland, they recognize and understand the fundamental difference between a clump of stem cells and an independent functioning human being.

Finally, you know someone is grasping for straws when one of their arguments for legislating morality is to provide a steady stream of workers to pay for other peoples' retirements. That was one of the arguments that bottom feeder Trey Hoffman put out several years ago, it is truly sad to see the good Archbishop sink to the level of Hoffman.

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