Perspective: Abortion And Right To Life Through An Astronaut’s Eyes

Astronaut Sidney Gutierrez

Astronaut Sidney Gutierrez (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I received the following within an email from New Mexico Right To Life. .As you will see the narratives were penned by Sidney Gutierrez, a native of Albuquerque, and a retired astronaut.

A tip of the flat cap to Mr. Gutierrez and New Mexico Right To Life. Now to Mr. Gutierrez’s words:

You may have noticed a pro-life Letter to the Editor that ran in the Albuquerque Journal last Sunday.  I have written a number of Letters to the Editor and they have actually published several on abortion, but this one has invoked 10 times the response I got from the rest.  From work, to home, to Church, to family, many people found it helped put the issue in perspective.  So I thought I would forward it to you to use as you see fit, if at all.  The copy I am forwarding is what the Journal editor said they would run.  When they actually ran it they deleted the reference to the Genocide Awareness Project Web Site –, but I think it is more effective with that reference included.  Particularly if it is distributed electronically.  In the letter I mention some of the same ideas I covered during my presentation to your groups several years ago.

Sid Gutierrez

Joline Gutierrez Krueger’s column on Jan. 28th deserves an appropriate
response from those of us who value every human life. The issue she
addresses has become very controversial as the tone in her article
indicates, but I really don’t think it needs to be so.

Please let me explain.
The issue of abortion really comes down to two very basic observations
and the answer to a single question. First, the observations. If an
abortion really involves the removal of nothing more than growing tissue
within the womb, then no justification is necessary. If abortion
actually involves taking the life of an innocent unborn child, then no
justification is sufficient.

So the only question that needs to be resolved is whether that which is
growing within the womb is tissue or child. Arguments not addressing
this question are irrelevant.

Krueger provides the answer to this question in her article. She
describes the proposed requirement to “view a play by play obstetric
ultrasound and listen to the heartbeat of the unborn child” as a
“gruesome experience.”

Why would it be gruesome? I recall my wife and I listening carefully in
the doctor’s office for the heart beat of our unborn children. My grown
daughters now proudly place ultrasound images of their unborn children
on Facebook for all of their friends to see. These actions are viewed as
beautiful and joyous, not as “cruel.”

Krueger describes these as gruesome not because of what one sees or
hears, but because of what one knows will happen to the living human
being that is being witnessed. Using her own words: “As these wars rage
on, we should at least be honest about our intentions.” In everyone’s
heart of hearts we all know that these are children, not tissue. That is
the only reason she could describe this requirement as gruesome. Her
words betray her.

This issue is not going away, because issues involving violations of
basic human rights never go away. Instead they grow as people become
better informed, until finally one can no longer deny the truth. Just
like the issues surrounding slavery and civil rights grew until they had
to be faced. Two forces are conspiring to make that day grow closer for
the issue of abortion.

The first is better imaging technology, including the very ultrasound
that Krueger rails against. Images of the unborn child are improving so
that each day the truth becomes harder to deny.

The second force is the internet. Media censorship of the true face of abortion is the most successful mass censorship of our time. We are shown truly gruesome images of war including bloated, fly covered corpses along with burnt bodies hanging from bridges or being dragged through streets.  But if the image of an aborted fetus is ever shown, it is carefully blurred to the point that it cannot be recognized..

But the internet has broken the media’s censorship and is providing
transparency into the true face of abortion. Thanks to this invention,
these images are now being viewed by many on sites like This site will probably become the “Uncle Tom’s
Cabin” of the fight for the abolition of abortion.

I was an astronaut and give occasional presentations about the shuttle
missions I flew. I am often asked if I believe in aliens. I usually
mention something about how I believe that people who encounter aliens
are experiencing something, but because we cannot explain it in our
current understanding of nature, we dismiss the claims.

More recently I have been begun to think of this question in a different
way. Just supposed an advanced civilization traveled thousands of light
years through space undetected by our telescopes and radars to visit our
planet and see what we are up to. Just what would they report back? Well
they might well respond to us the way we react when we observe certain
species of animals.

When we encounter a species that kills its young, we are hesitant to
view them in a positive light. So I can only guess what type of message
a truly advanced civilization would send back after seeing what we do to
our unwanted, unborn children.

It would probably read: “Avoid contact. Very primitive. They kill their
young so they can live as they wish.” I plagiarized the last few words
from Mother Theresa.

Sid Gutierrez