Blog post by Andrew Consiglio, Leader and Director of Youth Fellowship
Johnny enters the kitchen whilst his mum is placing a dish of roast beef into the oven. ‘Can I kill this?’ he asks her with panic in his voice. His mother answers: “It depends what ‘this’ is Johnny.” If it were a cockroach, the woman would have joined her son in exterminating the creature; if it were the intrusive stray cat who persistently insists on relieving itself in their garden, mum may have been tempted but more reluctant to rid the earth of the pesky feline; but if by “this”, Johnny was referring to his baby one-year old brother, his parent would have been the one to panic; after scolding the boy, she would have probably grabbed the phone and booked an appointment for Johnny with a child psychologist.
It all depends what “this” is.
It all depends what “this” is. That is why abortion can never be morally or legally justified because we are convinced that “this” is not a part of the woman’s body like her appendix; but a child, a human being, just as real as Johnny’s one-year old brother. If that is the case, then for 1.6 million women every year who have an abortion in the US, their womb becomes a tomb.
For a number of them, it may have been a painful and difficult decision. According to documented research, the most common reasons women have abortions are social and economic. Only 1.5% said that the reason was because the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. In these cases, a woman has been violated in a horrible way. However, letting her body be invaded to rid herself of the child, is in reality subjecting herself to another act of violence which doesn’t solve the problem. The child within isn’t any less human and worthy of life than any other.
So should the state deny a person the right to choose? It all depends what the choice is: where to work and live, whether to marry or remain single and so on, most certainly not. But no country would allow a person the ‘right to choose’ to kill their living child, or to steal someone else’s property: it is a matter of ‘human rights’. Clearly there is a moral limit to some choices which need to be enshrined in the law of the land. So we believe that ‘termination of pregnancy’ (an oft used euphemism for abortion) should not be through the deliberate ‘emptying of the contents of the uterus’ (another euphemism) but with child birth.
For the Christian who with the Psalmist proclaims in wonder
“Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13),
human life is sacred from conception – so any type of justification for abortion should not even be considered. Yet there are some people who are still sincerely seeking the truth about the issue and we should be ready to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15) and unhesitatingly say that “this” is a real child whose right to life trumps over any other considerations. As Mother Teresa famously said ‘If you justify abortion, you can justify anything’.
Lawrence B. Finer, Lori F. Frohwirth, Lindsay A. Dauphinee, Susheela Singh, and Ann M. Moore, “Reasons U.S. Women Have Abortions: Quantitative nd Qualitative Perspectives,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 37, no. 3 (2005), 114, www.guttmacher.org/pubs/psrh/full/3711005.pdf