The Ripple Effect of Abortion

“Abortion seems to be the only medical procedure that people want to deny you based on how you got in that situation.

Drove drunk, got in an accident and need an organ transplant? No problem.

Messing around with a gun, accidentally shoot yourself in the leg and need surgery? Of course.

Smoke tobacco for most of your life and need treatment for lung cancer? Yep.

Climb a tree, fall out and break your leg? We’ll fix that right up.

Have sex and get pregnant when you don’t want to be? YOU GOT YOURSELF INTO THIS SITUATION AND YOU DESERVE NO MEDICAL HELP OR COMPASSION! THIS IS YOUR FAULT AND YOU WILL DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES!”

—– Worry About Your Own Uterus (via quoilecanard)

I don’t normally care a lot about people arguing about abortion. I feel there is a lot of baggage associated with the pro-life, pro-choice debate. In that, I don’t think a lot of pro-choice arguments are about whether a baby is being killed in abortion, but the whole issue is intrinsically tied with feminism. Therefore, it is difficult to engage the abortion debate when the two sides aren’t talking about the same thing.

Regardless, I stumbled across this little tib-bit on tumblr. There is obviously a great amount of hyperbole, and a bit of irrelevance. I don’t think that a hospital is really a good idea of what is morally right or wrong.

It also disturbs me that the writer has compared having a baby to: [having] lung cancer”, “breaking a leg”, or “[receiving an] organ transplant”. Moreover, that having sex is like “smoking tobacco”, “driving drunk”, or “falling out of trees”.


The Ripple Effect.

The core of my problem with this argument is that none of those examples given involve a life outside of the person’s own life. It’s not very much like you drove drunk and got into an accident because that is all about your own life’s preservation.

Abortion has a much greater far-reaching impact on not only yourself and whatever you’ve done to yourself, but your own unborn child. It has not been engaged with properly by the author, but some rather fantastic analogies have been given for an abortion.

The Reality.

The reality goes more like this:

It’s more like you were driving home from a dinner with your girlfriend. You had a few glasses of wine, but not that much that you thought it wasn’t safe to drive home. On the way home, you didn’t stop at a red light. It somehow slipped your mind as you were thinking about work the next day. The car door has been wrenched open, where you T-boned the car at the intersection.

You start mumbling in a drunken haze:

“WHYYY ARE YOU IN MY WAYYYY?!”.

You then begin to explain your conditions. You expect the person to pay for the repairs to your own car, and not to call the police or anything. Basically, you begin to demand to the body that they don’t interfere with your life and to pretend that nothing happened. After a while, when the body doesn’t respond you realize that the person you crashed into is actually dead and you’re actually just talking to a bloodied corpse.

Maybe the corpse is on fire and the clothes have burnt off leaving a naked body. You shake the limp body and ask for compensation for your own mistake and lack of foresight.

After a while, you become sober, and you walk home. The police never come knocking at your door. The whole car disappears overnight, the midnight bells have caused the carriage to revert to its former state. The shards of broken windshield scattered on the road the night before is no more when you drive to work the next day. It’s almost like it was a dream.

It is blatantly obvious if you drive drunk, you have an increased chance of crashing into someone and causing loss of life. If you have sex with someone without a condom, you have an increased (well, almost 100% greater) chance of having a baby.

There is a risk taken. Abortion immediately assumes that there is a positive and negative side to this coin flip. It has this idea that life is always great or unimportant according to someone who doesn’t know anything about the person they just crashed into.

The Solution.

Christians fail in this department. More often than not, they are too willing to condemn babies born outside of wedlock because it makes them feel good about a sin they are not guilty of. More often than not, there needs to be a sense of humility and service to people that are unlike us.

On the reverse, the condemnation they dish out, they create an environment that distances rather than draws sinners close. Admittedly, I am one of those who would be more likely to be standing outside abortion clinics, but you would never see me supporting the single mothers. You never see me play an important part of raising these babies not judged as interference to life. It’s so much easier to wave signs and say sermons to people for a short time, rather than invest a lifetime into seeing someone grow to value life and what a gift that God has given.

Don’t miss the forest for the trees. Don’t miss the babies for the political stance.

The Church needs to be that vehicle the gives the help and the compassion.

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Abortion: Breaking the Human Hierachy

One of the books I have been reading recently among many is Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

The book is crazy popular among the peers that I hang with, but I can’t say I’m entirely enamored like many people who have recommended it to me. His greatest sin, though there is a sizeable chunk of the appendix filled with citations, is probably the use of oversimplification in many of his conclusions which makes reading the book somewhat frustrating to me.

He does make a interesting point in that abortion being linked to the decrease in crime in the 1990’s. I would tend to find his line of reasoning as convincing as possible, without doing a repeat experiment would I suspect would not be such a good idea. I could understand the criticism that he received for this proposition. Attracting accusations from conservatives for proposing abortion as a genuine crime fighting tool, as well as shouts from liberal for supporting racial eugenics by removing entire races through abortion.

Morever, he does make some interesting points on abortion, and the value we place in a baby. His argument begins with the Connecticut schedules used for the compensation of pay for work-related injuries:

“8 weeks for the loss of a other toe.

35 weeks for loss of nose.

36 weeks for loss of first finger.

168 weeks for loss of master hand.

155 weeks for loss of other hand.

157 weeks for loss of eye.

520 weeks for loss of heart. (very common in political positions).

35 -104 weeks for the loss of sexual member. (dependant on the size, jk)”

Levitt proposes the question : “What is the relative value between a fetus and a newborn? If faced with the Solomonic task of sacrificing the life of one newborn for an indeterminate number of foetuses, what number might you choose?”

My question in addition, is how many third trimester babies would you sacrifice for a newborn life? How many second trimester babies? How many first? I ask these questions because I suspect people do put prices onto a fetus, going from an ascending price to the first trimester babies. But aren’t trimesters a artificial human standard to differentiate between development? With this, aren’t we imposing an unfair standard to determine where it is morally correct to abort a fetus? Therefore, we are putting values into human life that is simply not there naturally.

My greatest problem with abortion is the implication of facelessness of fetuses. Where abortion is designed to flush out the fetus out of the womb of a mother, the desacrilisation of the human body through this creates a hierarchy of body parts. A fetus is deemed less important than – for example, an arm. No one would willingly lose an arm, but to lose a foetus renders a more ready attitude – there is a disconnection here.

There is such a great disparity between those who are willing to have a baby, and those who did not plan for one. The unlucky ones who didn’t use protection will be stuck paying for the loss of a toe perhaps, but the ones who do, would pay more than 520 weeks because they feel they are missing so much more than a heart.

Either way, it is disparaging to think of so many attitudes that we can pigeonhole such a precious life.

It is ironic, the separation of ideals that occurs with the rise of women’s rights of her own body within society coupled with the removal of the distinctive of feminism. The apex of being a woman’s power in society is embodied within the medical procedure of abortion. Through the procedure that rids her of her child, there too is removed all there is that makes us human. For what is a woman without reproduction? Is she not merely another man?

Should we judge?

Lately I’ve been thinking about judging others. Now, Christians are often called very judgmental and the like. I think it’s a fair observation, except for the fact that the observant may be acting very judgmentally towards Christians.

Often quoted Bible verse about judging is Luke 6v.37-38 : “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Matthew 7 has a similar version with some absent phrases from Luke. The context of the text is Jesus talking about loving enemies and being kind to those who wrong us.

The context here is important as I think it is speaking of salvation. Previously Jesus was talking about loving your enemies and why? We shouldn’t judge others because we do not know who is in the favour of the Lord and not. Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you and furthermore do not judge whether people are saved or not. Jesus was asking for some tolerance from the Jews, not to look down on others that were struggling, but to lift up and invest in them.

Furthermore, I think what Jesus is highlighting most here is that there is a Pharisee in all of us. The Pharisee is the one that wants to see the speck in others while not seeing the log in himself. Jesus talks about this in subsequent verses. Using a concordance, the same word ‘krinete’ is used in Romans 2v.3:

Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?”

John Calvin remarks in his exposition of this passage:

This disease, in the first place, draws continually along with it the injustice of condemning any trivial fault, as if it had been a very heinous crime; and next breaks out into the insolent presumption of looking disdainfully at every action, and passing an unfavourable judgment on it, even when it might be viewed in a good light.

In fact, my Greek dictionary tells me that the word krinete in the Judaism context was that God judges and he alone. Jesus here is warning people not “to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong” (Strong’s) but to be gracious towards their enemies.

Nevertheless, I don’t think that this verse can be taken on its own. My other text I think is what I believe in, is the account from the Gospel according to John 7. It reads:

“I did one work, and you are all amazed,” Jesus answered. “Consider this: Moses has given you circumcision —not that it comes from Moses but from the fathers —and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses won’t be broken, are you angry at Me because I made a man entirely well on the Sabbath? Stop judging according to outward appearances; rather judge according to righteous judgment.”

The context to the last verse is important. Jesus is accused of performing a miracle on the Sabbath and the Pharisees have grinded it into him. Then Jesus in the passage above turns the accusation around pointing out that the Pharisees themselves have been circumcising on the Sabbath.

Therefore the context of judge here is more concerned with hypocrisy. The Pharisees judged Jesus unfairly without considering themselves and their practices. I think that’s why non-Christians accuse Christians of being judgmental, they criticize others yet they do what they hate.

Christians are against homosexuality and yet they condemn them like they are lepers. Christians are against fake emotion and stealing yet they have TV networks like TBN (Whoops, did I say that? =D). Christians are against abortion, yet they do nothing to help those teenagers that decide to have a baby.

I think the image that comes to mind is from the TV show (forgive me) Glee. One of the main characters gets pregnant from a one night stand with another character. The implications from the show are that her parents are Christian because they have brought her to purity balls and promoted abstinence to her constantly. But her parents could not find it in themselves to forgive her for disobeying them.

Now, that’s a terrible indictment against Christians, if we can’t forgive others, how can we expect God to forgive us? Not to discount that the main character had done something wrong, she was certainly portrayed repentant and willing to correct her wrongs. How can we let our judgments cloud our unconditional love towards others?

Therefore, I think that making judgments is correct but only ultimately righteous judgments. God after all judges people: “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have rejected him. Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart.”

That is one of the many differences between us and God : we cannot see inside people. So I implore that Christians do not judge so readily, but only with great wisdom and discernment which comes from God. He gives us this wisdom because he is the one who is omniscient. Therefore, we cannot make objectively true judgments because we cannot see everything, yet we can make judgments which are beyond reasonable doubt, ie. eating rat poison will kill us.

I remember a real life situation, one of the guys I knew there used to really piss me off, like really badly, he was one of those skater dudes with 5 girls clinging to the fabric that clothed his body. If you know me I really hate skaters, my opinion is they are arrogant prats which the world would do better without. Anyway, I could ignore that, I was always polite and patient with him.

One day, he was especially pissing me off as he always was, being loud and obnoxious and mumbling about something or rather. He was disruptive and so I flipped at him, I absolutely flipped at him, which I have learned not to do very often. Again if you know me I have this bad habit of being extremely acerbic towards people I don’t like. No one knew that I held up so much resentment towards him. But I told him to sit down or piss off…he picked the latter option. Someone told me later that his mum had cancer.

I felt so so so so bad. Not excusing his behavior, but I knew that I had judged him without stepping into his shoes. I had slayed a mockingbird.

I hope that Christians would stop being so judgmental against everything that doesn’t fit with their idea of what a Christian should be. Maybe there is a bit of hope for skaters. Christians aren’t those that go to church every week and act properly but those who are chosen by God. I wish people would get that in their heads, going on protest rallies ain’t the only way to get people to make people listen. Being obnoxious and proud isn’t what a Christian is supposed to be, broken and humble is a statement louder than words.

I am never perfect, but I hope that people realize I try incredibly hard. Though I sometimes live a terrible testimony for God, they would not forget all the other times I have acted rightfully. I hope people know how hard I am trying, and forget how hard I fail sometimes. Above all, I hope that God doesn’t judge them too harshly but grants the grace that saves me from his condemnation.

PS. – Technically I am making unrighteous judgments against TBN as I have never actually seen TBN ever in my life…but I have seen the roster. Anything with Joel Osteen should be avoided at all costs.=)