I don’t normally do this. I try to be as neutral as possible on most things and keep my opinions to myself. However, I’m feeling pretty passionate about writing this. It’s also fairly lengthy (I just lost half of you) but please read it.
I was meandering through Facebookland’s newsfeed tonight and came across this article: http://tinyurl.com/7uo8fdh.
As I reposted this I got quite a bit of immediate feedback from it.
Basically, to give you the long and the short of it if you have a short attention span: the article is by slate magazine citing a Journal of Medical Ethics paper called “After Birth Abortion: Why Should the Baby Live?” The two doctors’ thesis is this:
“Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”
Me personally, I did a double-take after reading that. I thought to myself, “Is this saying what I think it is saying?” Upon re-reading and then digesting the full medical write-up that follows, I had a most foreboding feeling. I’m a thinker. It takes me awhile to process things. So I have been mulling this around for several hours now. I’ve prayed for forgiveness; I’ve tried to understand, and I’ve just prayed for guidance.
The study says this: (and in context, it’s talking about children born with birth defects and various other congenital disabilities and disorders like Down’s Syndrome and how they live happy lives)
“Nonetheless, to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care. On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion. Therefore, we argue that, when circumstances occur after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.”
An “unbearable burden?” How cruel, cold, and calculated…unfortunately it doesn’t end there:
“In spite of the oxymoron in the expression, we propose to call this practice ‘after-birth abortion’, rather than ‘infanticide’, to emphasise that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child. Therefore, we claim that killing a newborn could be ethically permissible in all the circumstances where abortion would be. Such circumstances include cases where the newborn has the potential to have an (at least) acceptable life, but the well-being of the family is at risk. Accordingly, a second terminological specification is that we call such a practice ‘after-birth abortion’ rather than ‘euthanasia’ because the best interest of the one who dies is not necessarily the primary criterion for the choice, contrary to what happens in the case of euthanasia.”
As I read that I started to cry. First off, they say that they want to change the term “infanticide” to “after-birth abortion.” Infanticide means “the intentional murder of an infant.” Here’s my envisioning of the thought process behind this: “Hey, ‘infanticide’ sounds so nasty – lets call it ‘after-birth abortion’ to make it sound less horrific.” Word games.
Then saying killing a newborn is ethically permissible in cases where the baby could have a happy, normal life, but the well-being of the family is at risk?
Let’s stop playing word games here: this is murder. You can play the Pro-Choice card all day long but whenever that baby leaves the womb and is ALIVE and delivered successfully and under medical care it is murder.
The rest of the “study” seeks to “justify” as the authors write these two points:
1) The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus, that is, neither can be considered a ‘person’ in a morally relevant sense.
2)It is not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense.
I’ll let you read the rest of the article for yourself as I just can’t bear to read it again. However, let me make a couple of observations:
I believe that life begins at conception. I believe when a sperm fertilizes an egg life has begun; I believe they are human beings. I believe God is the Creator and sustainer of everything, even a developing baby. How could I not? The Scriptures testify to the affirmative on this point:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Ps. 139. 13-14, NIV, See Also Isaiah 44:2; Jeremiah 1:4-5; Galatians 1:14-16)
See, when conception occurs we are in the hands of God. No one is born who is “purposeless” or “a burden. He knits us together; He crafts us, He gives us our personalities, He uses the genetic processes He created to merge our parents’ DNA into our own unique DNA sequence. He sets us apart, He gives us LIFE! It is also a firm conviction of mine that God is also the only one who gives life and the only one who can take that away. It isn’t my job to do that! One of the 10 Commandments is “Do not murder.” Doesn’t ‘infanticide’ fall under that category?
I understand, not everyone believes in the Bible or agrees with me, but I’m trying to appeal to you as a person, as a human being…as a former new-born. We do not choose who lives and who dies. Sure, some try, some do heinous things and say it’s in the “name of God,” and some think that there isn’t anything to believe in so why the heck not. Please, understand, every choice has consequences. It is not my choice, or yours to say, “It’s my body and my life! I can do what I want!”
To the church the Apostle Paul writes:
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
You don’t get to choose. It was never your choice to begin with. It will never be your choice. It is not my choice to choose who gets to live and who gets to die. It’s not my choice to say, “This baby will be born with ‘X’ disease, therefore, just kill it and make life easier for everybody; the state, the family, society.” It doesn’t work that way. The choice was never yours and its a choice you’ll never be able to take for yourself.
Do you want a preview of what this road that seems harmless looks like? Do some in-depth research on China’s One-Child Policy. Take a walk back in your time machine to the US in the 1920’s when Planned Parenthood begin and what its true motives are. Look up the “science” of Eugenics. Do some research on the experiments on pregnant women in Nazi Germany in WWII. You’ll have to dig deep to get the real story – not just the historical revisionist stuff to make us look better as humans. Or for a more pop-cultural savvy suggestion, look to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.
When we stop valuing life, any life, not just our own…we lose. We get all worked up and angry at KONY 2012 and talk about how horrible it is to abduct these innocent little children, brainwash them, and turn them into child soldiers who end up getting murdered on the battlefield, but we get extremely defensive when it comes down to this because it’s “my choice.” Isn’t it the same thing? Aren’t children being murdered? Is this a path you really want to walk down? What about the Rwanda Genocide of 1994, the current Genocide in Darfur, or the ethnic cleansing throughout history? Weren’t we outraged and ready to annihilate anyone who harmed another human? Or when a child is abducted, sexually abused, and thrown away like a garbage bag? Don’t we get disgusted with humanity then? How then, is this OK? Children are being murdered.
Since 1973 there have been over 53,000,000 abortions in the United States alone. This year there will be 1.21 million. These are HUMAN BEINGS! These could have been the one to cure cancer; the one to solve hunger problems; the one that cures AIDS…but they were snuffed out as an “inconvenience” or an afterthought. Now we want to take the next step and let the child be born, let it come into the world, look at the beautiful gift from God and say, “Sorry, you’re going to be a burden” and throw it in a medical waste bag?
John Paul II said this: “A nation that kills its own children has no future.” I believe that. If we can kill our own children where does the line stop? Where can I get off this mad roller-coaster? When will the normalcy sink back in? Will it? When we stop valuing a human life we stop valuing ourselves as well. This isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. This isn’t a matter of choice. This is a Human issue. This is about children. This is about you. I pray we will stop this train before it gets too far. God have mercy on us all.