This quotation from a Washington Post article on the free and uncondemned donation of embryos created by IVF for research purposes sums up the real issue: those in power get what they want essentially without repercussions.
But for those without power, money and influence, then it is shame, shame and more shame on the women who had unprotected sex, either willingly or unwillingly.
I don’t like abortion. I wish we lived in a perfect world with perfect people and perfect, always planned pregnancies and perfectly healthy mothers and perfectly supportive fathers and a perfectly fair economy where all can find adequate financial means to raise the perfect children that result from such a world.
I wish I lived in a world where male relatives don’t force themselves on the women and children trapped in their homes. Note this story about an eleven-year-old, impregnated by her stepfather, and then denied an abortion by the state.
In the mostly Catholic country, 684 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 gave birth last year. Most of the minors had been victims of sexual abuse, according to government figures. A Paraguayan law bans abortions except in cases where the pregnancy endangers the mother’s life.
I wish I didn’t live in a world where men get back pats for having multiple sex partners even as they happily infect far more vulnerable heterosexual women to AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases.
There are lots of things I wish.
I suspect we’d all like a perfect world. I also suspect we’d all describe a perfect world differently. Some might describe a perfect world as a place where any man gets to rape any woman he/she wants and then gets to force her to carry all pregnancies to term.
I describe a perfect world as one where all life is held as sacred and all people seen as those created in the image of God and deserving of respect, equal treatment and equal privilege.
In this imperfect world in which we currently live, women pay a far higher price than any man does for what are often his actions and his insistence. Women are the ones who show the outward evidence of having had sex which results in pregnancy. Women’s bodies often suffer for the privilege of bringing new lives into the world. Women’s careers and economic outlets tend to slow or even totally derail by the joys and responsibilities of caring for and nurturing those offspring.
Simply put, babies should be planned and welcomed, no matter what the economic class one belongs to. Here is where Planned Parenthood has played a vital role in helping women do exactly that: plan and welcome their babies.
Yes, the secretly recorded videos with their slanted and edited snips made me ill to watch. Yes, there are way too many abortions taking place for convenience.
But by outlawing abortion, we pave the way for far more outlaw abortions.
By making it more and more impossible for impoverished women to have access to family planning services, we open the door to return to the horror of back-alley abortions and all the damage they do.
I was one of the lucky ones. Each of my children was carefully planned and fully wanted. Would that the entire world would share in that privilege.
But this is what we have before us now: Rich and powerful men seek to punish poor women for having unprotected sex. I bet, and I admit I have no facts behind this, that the daughters of those rich and powerful ones still got and will get their abortions when they find themselves unhappily, embarrassingly and inconveniently pregnant. Embed from Getty Images
Personally, as a pastor, as a Christian, as one who sees all life as holy, I don’t like the position I am taking here. I know it is a compromise with the brokenness in our world. But I am taking a stand with those who say that abortion should be safe, legal and as rare as possible.
Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee commented this past weekend on a 10-year-old rape/incest victim who was forced to carry the baby to term.
Huckabee is willing to carry the “no abortion under any circumstances” to the absolute extreme. By so doing, he and others of the same stance (presidential candidates Scott Walker and Marco Rubio, for example) place the life of the fetus above the life of the girl who has been already tragically violated.
However, even the Bible, which most anti-abortionists cite as their authority, does not take such an extreme position. Note what Exodus 21:22-25 (NRSV) says:
When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.
Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:17)
Some who say they honor the Bible ignore the earlier command as barbaric, and expand to the absurd the second. They end up making their own stance barbaric.
Surely the kingdom of heaven includes a more just world, a world where everyone, including poor and disadvantaged women, have the right to see their bodies as holy and sacred.
Under the growing and draconian abortion restrictions, women’s bodies become nothing but vessels to be used at will by someone else, and without concern as to what harm may befall them in the process.
That is simply wrong.