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Monday, August 17, 2009

A is for Abortion

I have a particular friend who wears her heart on her sleeve, and as you can imagine a heart on a sleeve can sometimes raise a few eye brows. A few months ago, while both her and my wife were expecting their first babies, my friend posted a pro life article on her Facebook. Fair enough, one would think, after all, I’m pro her choice to believe in such a thing; the fact I happen to be pro life myself doesn’t fact either, even if I was “pro choice”, I would think that surely I would still support a pro lifers’ choice to disagree?

Apparently not.

The fervent protest s against her post was extreme and intense. Never before, on something as trivial as Facebook, had I seen an instant out pouring of pseudo-moralistic passion. Pro-choicers on the left of me, Pro-lifer’s with me on the right; but the curious thing was the loaded cannons were on the left had, ready, aimed and firing.

While we on the right were concerned about the lack of choice of the unborn, all the protestors were concerned with were bullets made from “It’s my body!” Peow! “What about 12 year olds who get raped and fall pregnant?” Bang! And my personal favourite, “Stop judging me!” Ouch!

That last one is enough to make one bleed to death with frustration. No one was judging anyone! An action was being judged. A moral standard was being scrutinized; but no particular individual was being annihilated under the condemning eye of the evangelical right. But I guess in the words of the over quoted bard – methinks she doth protest too much.

As far as their arsenal is concerned I’m not going to tackle their ethical hypotheticals except to say that rape cases make up for less than 1% of abortions performed in so that argument is like bringing a stick to modern warfare.

But that’s not what this article is about. I think people throw loaded statements and questions about to satisfy their own consciences and therefore their own position. If you attempt to provide an answer their pedestal gets to wobbling and they get vicious so let’s not go there today.

It was my daughter’s dedication yesterday. If you’re not church savvy a dedication is a “ceremony” similar to a christening or baptism, where a baby is brought before the congregation and the minister prays a blessing over her while the parents acknowledge their intention to raise the child in a Godly manner. There were of course lots of “oohs and ahhs” as she ogled the crowd, but that is to be expected – she is the quintessential paragon of cuteness.

I mention this because that is where my cerebellum is coming from. A day dedicated to blessing my baby and thanking God for her precious life has led my thoughts into the dark woods of this abortion issue and I fear only writing about it can lead me safely out again.

For me it’s simple; would I prefer my gorgeous girl in a pretty red dress or her limbs in a petrii dish? I don’t think I have to tell you the answer to that.

Every day I go to work and the words “I miss her” don’t quite capture how I suffer in her absence. The phrase, “I love her” doesn’t describe how I feel. She is the one thing on this side of heaven that I would defend against tigers at the risk of my own spine being ripped out by a swift claw. I would launch myself into a pool of piranhas and throw her to safety with my dying hands. My last breath belongs to her...

What I am trying to say is her life is worth more to me than my own. I thank God for her daily. I pray for her almost every hour I’m awake. Before her nothing meant nearly as much (except my wife).

I had an epiphany in her first week that my feelings for her were only a fraction of what God felt for me. My relationship with him changed radically then from being something I “knew” to something I knew and felt on a deeper plane than I thought possible.

Rewind that 6-9 months and I valued her no less then than I do now. I can’t get it. I just can’t fathom or even vaguely understand how someone could consider an unborn baby worthless; regardless of the circumstances surrounding their conception.

So my thoughts continue...

I don’t want to be judge, jury and executioner but I have speculated that the same people who defend abortion with gritted teeth and clenched fists are also the same people who cry against the inhumanity of the death penalty. Would they be the ones defending the man who murders from the hangman’s noose, the lethal injection or the electric chair while supporting the premature death of the unborn child by methods far more cruel and imaginative? (I mean when was the last time a criminal was torn apart limb from limb with a vacuum cleaner?) Do they defend the right to live of the murderer on death row because deep down they know they have to – because they are guilty of the same thing?

Yeah I know, it’s a massive generalisation, but my personal experience with liberal thinkers suggests as much. Please comment if I’m wrong. I want to be wrong.

Recently in New Zealand the mysterious deaths of a few dogs on Auckland’s Eastern beaches made headline news. But the 18,000 or so babies aborted last year didn’t even get obituaries. Am I wrong to think that’s just barmy?

Our previous government outlawed “smacking” children for correction, making it tantamount to child abuse while endorsing a mother’s right to terminate her unborn baby. Please forgive my simpleness but what on earth? Is smacking a naughty kid really a criminal offence while finishing off an unborn baby is ok as long as it is done that side of the birth canal? Excuse me for being a little puzzled.

So as I paced up and down my lonely projection booth, where I work, my mind turned to these things and I decided that as a Christian there is something more I could add to the debate that should not be.

I thought, “Can you argue from the Bible, that abortion is wrong without using the commandment of “number six don’t get your kicks from killing one another”?

I think so...

We all know of the first murder when Cain slew Abel out in the field and God said to Cain, “Listen, your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.” Sounds a bit strange, an idiom perhaps? But then I remembered God’s words to Noah after the flood, the flood sent to rid the world of unprecedented violence, “...for your life blood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.”

There is definitely something in the blood. The only reason blood was shed originally was to provide people with a covering for their sins. Innocent animals were sacrificed to foreshadow a time when an innocent man, Jesus Christ, would shed his blood for all mankind (Which includes women.)

God ordained these sacrifices, but man produced a counterfeit in the form of murder. Essentially when a person kills another person he is acknowledging that something is wrong and killing the other will make it right. Only it’s counterfeit – so it doesn’t work.

To understand this a bit more clearly, it is again illustrated by Cain killing Abel. Cain had presented vegetables to God, the produce of his hard work and skill but God rejected it in favour of Abel’s fat portions from his flock. Cain was jealous, but rather than doing the right thing he did the worst thing and slew his brother. I wonder if Cain mistook God’s ordainment of Sacrificing animals as blood thirstiness so he slew Abel thinking “that’ll keep him happy!” But he missed the point by a million miles – the blood of the animals served as a symbol of the coming Messiah who would ultimately redeem the world, something Abel’s blood was never able to accomplish.

Which brings us back to the unborn child. A baby has a beating heart pumping blood threw their veins at 5–6 weeks. Many women with good but misdirected consciences probably find themselves pregnant and know that something is wrong. Whether it be the way the child was conceived, or the fact the mother is too young or simply not ready. They seek to rectify this wrong by “slaying the blood” of the child because instinctively they may know that a price must be paid for the “wrongness” surrounding the child’s conception. They feel that slaying the child (or aborting if you prefer the euphemism.) will make the wrongness” go away. But it won’t. I know a woman in her 60’s who still mourns over an abortion she had 30 years ago.

Shedding a baby’s blood is only a counterfeit for the real deal – Christ’s blood. Only the shed blood of the “aborted” or crucified Jesus can make right the mistake of an “unwanted” (please forgive the expression) pregnancy. The woman who makes the choice to terminate is effectively saying, even if they don’t know it, “Jesus, the blood of my baby is more able to right my wrong than your own blood.” And sadly they really believe it.

But wait what about before the blood? Is “it” even human then? I still believe so. The blood was just an issue about redeeming right from wrong.

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes talks about the still born child that has more rest than the man who can’t enjoy his wealth and prosperity. It’s the personification of the unborn here that caught my attention, but maybe its a weak starting point. Though the Bible doesn’t say (at least in the English) that an embryo has a soul it does say in Luke that when the pregnant Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth the unborn John the Baptist leaped inside Elizabeth’s womb at the sound of Mary’s greeting (Luke 1:41).

So let’s say a person is a spiritual being from conception, God would not give such a thing as a spirit or a soul to a creature he did not intend to see the bright light of day, surely?

Look at it this way, imagine you had spent the entire afternoon preparing the most scrumptious and finger licking good banquet you had ever set your eyes on, would you then go and scrape it into the rubbish bin? Not likely. It was meant to be enjoyed and wolved down by invited guests. Likewise God does not invent Souls and scrape them into the garbage disposal! He wants them to be nurtured, loved and enjoyed by loving parents – parents invited to the banquet of the brand new individual.

I strongly believe, as I touched on earlier, that children teach us something about God’s character - his love and great patience for us as well as his willingness to lay down his life for us. What are we showing God when we terminate our own children? Nothing less than our contempt for his love. God could have just aborted us on day one after Adam ate the apple – but he didn’t. He travailed through an unwanted pregnancy of sorts and has laboured to redeem those who are willing.

Anyway, I keep digressing...

When Moses received the law, God made it very loud and understandably clear that the Israelites were not to do as the people in Canaan did. The Canaanites practiced the lot, from Incest to Necrophilia. But one thing God was particularly unimpressed with was the practice of human sacrifice, in this instance the passing of their babies into the fire to a false god know as Molech (Leviticus 18:21). To offer a child in sacrifice to any God is an abhorrent thing to do but Molech was a god associated with commerce. The idea was to offer Molech the child in exchange for blessing and prosperity. So what? Have you ever heard this line of reasoning, “I’m just not financially ready for a child” or “I really should focus on sorting out my career first”? You could add to the end of that argument – “So I will sacrifice this child for the sake of my own prosperity.”

Sacrificing the unborn for your own economic security is again a counterfeit for sacrificing your lifestyle for the benefit of your children.

Recently in the news a woman was brutally mutilated but with a twist. After she was murdered her unborn child was plucked from her womb and “adopted” by her killer. When the vicious assassin was apprehended the baby was found alive and survived the ordeal. We all (if we saw the news) watched this story in revulsion, mortified that someone could murder a pregnant woman and steal her unborn baby, but boy did we feel relief when the baby lived.

Well, I smell hypocrisy. Doctors rip babies apart as they suck them out of unwelcoming wombs on a daily basis, so what is the difference between the baby who was ripped out of the murdered woman and the baby that was “removed” in the doctor’s surgery? The only difference I can recognize is that one baby was wanted while the other was not. If this issue rests on a matter of “want” then pro-choice has lost.


  1. While I agree that discussion about abortion shouldn't be a problem, I can understand why someone who is pro-choice might take it personal. If they've had an abortion themselves it IS personal, just like you having your daughter makes the discussion for you. That doesn't give us excuses, but it does help me to understand more where people might be coming from.


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