By: Brian Sikma

What if we were to learn that in the state of Indiana in 2007, 11,150 avoidable deaths occurred as the result of a very identifiable cause? What if this statistic were not a one-time statistic but instead an annual figure that changes only slightly from year to year? Think of all the potential that these people had but were never able to realize because they died as a result of something that was avoidable. Think of how our communities and neighborhoods were tragically deprived of these people’s full contribution to life.

If these deaths were the result of poorly engineered and unsafe roads, we could probably expect there to be a group of highly frustrated citizens forming a coalition to pressure local and state highway officials to undertake a massive redesign of our transportation infrastructure. Studies would be commissioned, expert engineers sought out for their opinion and government revenues appropriated for the purpose of building newer and safer roads.

What if these deaths were the result of school violence? We would see a public uprising as parents, citizens and school officials rightfully demanded immediate action. School regulations would change, more police officers would be deployed to schools and teachers and students would be trained in how to be alert for imminent attacks and how to respond if the nightmare did become reality.

What would be the result if these deaths occurred because of medical malfeasance? If health care professionals engaged in such egregious carelessness as to cause this many deaths, surely a day of reckoning would be called for them. Prosecutors would review cases to determine if criminal activity took place while grieving loved ones properly brought civil wrongful-death claims against those who so utterly neglected to live up to their professional duty.

Fortunately, none of the preceding three scenarios is true, yet the statistic still stands. You see, every year in Indiana 11,150 people lose their lives as a result of aborted pregnancies. True, these people are unborn, but that does not minimize the fact that every year we lose a resource that has great potential to contribute to the society that we live in. Every year we deprive ourselves of the creativity and ingenuity and joy these people could have brought to our lives. Every year we deny them the same basic, unalienable rights we demand that our government respect.

We cannot ignore the moral, economic and social implications of abortion in our state any longer. Those we are aborting could have been a part of the next generation of problem solvers who develop the vitally important solutions and cures that our society needs.

Identifying the cause of death for these 11,150 people is simple when we look at the statistics and reported data. Doing the right thing to solve this problem, however, is not necessarily easy. Women seeking abortions often do so as they struggle through a period of serious crisis in their lives. Unfortunately, our laws do not mandate that certain safeguards be in place to protect women as they ponder this life-and-death decision.

Our ultimate goal, if we are to protect human life from a legal standpoint, should be to pass legislation prohibiting abortion except in the very rare case in which the life of the mother is at stake. We must look toward that future while working now to make sure that women are given every opportunity to understand that by having abortions they are allowing medical professionals to kill children. Through the use of three-dimension ultrasound technology, the provision of medical services and the sharing of information, advocates of the pro-life position can do much to further the cause of protecting unborn life.

As we consider the human cost of abortion in Indiana, let us commit to graciously and courageously seeking to end this practice that hurts both women and their unborn children.

This column was originally published here and here.