Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

The Abortion Question (Part II)


Here, as promised, is the second part of my discussion on the question of abortion.  In the first part I did what I could to answer just the latest of the so-called unanswerable questions posed to those who support the right to life.  In this post I would like to make things a little more personal, with a story and a question of my own.

samuel-1What you are looking at is a picture of my son, Samuel.  This picture was taken only an hour or so after he was born prematurely.  It was an unexpected surprise for all involved.  He decided to come some 5 1/2 weeks early.  One evening at home my wife’s said “Uh-oh!” and hurried into the bathroom.  Minutes later we were already pulling into emergency.  By the time we got her to the hospital things were well underway.  The doctor barely got there in time to deliver him.  Because the birth was so fast (and early) he had trouble breathing on his own.  He needed to be taken to the NICU in a neighbouring city.  He spent the first few days of his life hooked up to tubes and wires.  It was something straight out of a sci-fi movie. I didn’t get to hold him until he was 6 days old.  But he recovered quickly and by two weeks old he was out of the hospital and back home with us.

Now you should also know that I live in Canada, which has a great health care system.  I truly believe that.  They were there for my wife and my son every step of the way.  I have nothing but praise for the doctors and nurses who did so much to help us get through it all.  But something else you should know about Canada is that there is absolutely NO restrictions on when or why a woman may have an abortion.  The very same morning of the very same day my son would be born, it was well within my wife’s legal rights to have walked into a clinic or a hospital that performs abortions and to have had the pregnancy terminated.  In fact, by law she still had upwards of 5 1/2 weeks to have gotten around to it (if he had not come quite so early)!  In my country, while abortions this late in pregnancy are not the norm, they are done.

Now MY question … and this is not meant to stump anyone or prove anything … I’m just asking it because I think it is important to ask and answer truthfully, openly and honestly … My question is this:

“What changed in the couple of hours on that fateful day in September when in the morning what you see in the picture above was (to so many) just a lump of cells, a bit of tissue that could be discarded on a whim, and just a few hours later when he was now very obviously a human being that so many dozens of people were going to so much effort to save?”

What happened?  What changed?  What was the all important difference (legally, and morally speaking)?  He had not changed physiologically over the intervening minutes and hours – he had not grown a head or a heart or anything like that.  He was not any bigger, not any more developed.  In the morning he was disposable flesh, something less than human under the law and in the eyes of so many.  In the evening a person, a citizen of Canada with all the rights and privileges thereof.  … What changed?

Furthermore, on the day he was born he was not technically looked for or wanted (not right then at any rate, not under those circumstances).  He was not able to breathe on his own.  He needed machines and tubes and round the clock nursing care.  Yet not one person in that delivery room for even one second questioned whether he was a human being or if he was worth saving!

So what changed?  He didn’t.  His circumstances didn’t (not in any meaningful way).  His “viability” didn’t.  His need for care and support didn’t.  His life looked very much in the evening as it had in the morning, and was lived very much as it had been that morning – completely in the hands of (at the mercy of) someone else.  So what changed?

I’m just asking …


Author: kenmaher

When I'm not working I enjoy Astronomy, Camping, Comic Books, Epic Fantasy Novels, Games (both playing and designing), Hiking, Juggling, Sci-fi, and building strange things out of pvc pipe. I also enjoy being an honorary pre-schooler with my four great children ... much to their mother's dismay.

5 thoughts on “The Abortion Question (Part II)

  1. What changed is that your son came to two loving, compassionate parents who felt blessed–not inconvenienced–by his birth.

  2. Thanks for the comment ST (I feel weird calling you smelly tourist).

    It is interesting, isn’t it, that what so many will hang a person’s inalienable human rights on are nothing more than the (selfish) whims of another person? I don’t want you ergo you are not human!

    As someone else pointed out in my previous post, we have seen this kind of attitude before – eugenics, slavery, master races, genocide, etc… and history has never been kind to it in any of its forms (and rightly so!)

  3. It’s always amazed me the lengths people will go to protect the rights of animals, prevent them from cruelty and even extinction and yet these same people will claim to have the right of choice when it comes to unborn human life. God has commanded man to take care of the animals, but to man He gave a soul, God breathed into man life and soul.
    The devil at work again reduces man to less than an animal for in abortion, there is not even the courtesy of giving that unwanted child to another who would love and care for him/her. The child is called an embryo or fetus which is cold and medical sounding and bears no resemblance to the reality of the unborn baby who by the time a mother is aware of her pregnancy already has a heartbeat, and all the makings of the person he/she will be. Ask any mother who has miscarried or lost a child by stillbirth and she will tell you that that child is ever counted as a child whether she held him/her or not.
    Indeed it still makes me wonder why some babies receive full value for life and doctors can take and dissolve the life of another at same age whose parent says , me now, not this inconvenience, take it away. I have seen medical teams work with all the powers and equipment and medical knowledge they possess to sustain and keep a little premie alive. To see these little ones is to know God’s awesome creating powers.
    It is said that to give birth is less traumatic than to have to live with the fallout from an abortion. So then why does our society so little value human life? In an age where those who can’t conceive pay for and go to extreme means to conceive or carry a child have we not got a problem here?
    Does it go back to where is God in our lives?

  4. Ruth,
    Your point was the very same that struck me at Sam’s birth. Thousands of dollars in medical treatments, days of specialized (round the clock)nursing care and a whole slurry of activity to save something that only hours before someone else wouldn’t have thought twice about terminating. It was a stunning (and unsettling) revelation. God is not allowed in the conversation. Facts are not allowed in the conversation. Common sense is not allowed in the conversation. In fact conversation at all is not allowed … just one sided attempts to stifle any openings to any of these.

    As to your very astute comment regarding the value of human life versus animal life consider this story out of Switzerland. http://www.geneveith.com/the-dignity-of-animals-plants-but-not-human-life/_1386/ It is the path we Canadians are on!

  5. Pingback: A Little Healthy Reflection « HOPE for the HAPLESS

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