A few weeks back, all news channels carried the headline “‘Life Saving’ Abortions” in their scrolling news ticker, the news flash etc. The breaking news referred to the bill passed in the Irish Parliament allowing abortions in case of threat to the mother’s life - a fallout of the death of Savita Halappanavar. I was taken aback by the news. What shocked me, among other things, was the headline itself – ‘Life Saving’ Abortions. I thought to myself, “Hey, isn’t that an oxymoron!”
I’m not sure how others would define abortion, but any dictionary be it Oxford or Websters or an app on my phone, can’t complete the definition of the word ‘abortion’ without mentioning words like ‘death’, ‘termination’ etc. What implies so clearly from these definitions is that the fetus inside is alive and abortion by definition is killing the fetus. In spite of this being so obvious, people still think and believe that it’s a lump of cells within the womb which doesn’t have any life!
Coming back to the headline, in view of these definitions, our headline now reads “‘Life Saving’ Murders” or “‘Life Saving’ Homicides.”!!! Now you know what I mean when I say that it’s an oxymoron - it contradicts itself! One might still say that even murders while defending oneself is justified to an extent by the law. But isn’t that the case when the person who is being killed is on an offense and trying to kill you and you defend yourself against the aggression. But in case of abortion, the one being killed is an innocent, defenseless baby, whose cries can’t be heard by anyone! The place where he is being killed, is one which is most secure for him and the one who decides to kill him is the one who is privileged with the responsibility to give him life, to love him beyond measures – his mom!
“If a human being is no longer safe in his mother’s womb, where in the world can he be safe?” – Phil Bosmans (Belgian Priest and Writer)
One can say, “Isn’t the life of the mother more important, shouldn’t we do everything to save her life?” Pope Pius XII already answered this question more than half a century ago saying. “….the demand cannot be but this: To use every means to save the life of both the mother and the child.” Sure, there might be instances where the life of mother and also that of the child as well is at risk, but these are rare. We know from the Church teachings that“… if for example, the safety of the life of the future mother, independently of her state of pregnancy, might call for an urgent surgical operation, or any other therapeutic application, which would have as an accessory consequence, in no way desired nor intended, but inevitable, the death of the fetus, such an act could not be called a direct attempt on the innocent life. In these conditions the operation can be lawful, as can other similar medical interventions, provided that it be a matter of great importance, such as life, and that it is not possible to postpone it till the birth of the child, or to have recourse to any other efficacious remedy.” [Article 14 of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Declaration on Procured Abortion. Click here]
Here Pope Pius XII was referring to rare and exceptional cases, however how flimsy the definition of ‘life saving’ is as per the new Irish law can be understood from the fact that according to it, if a panel of doctors feel that the mother might commit suicide, the same can be considered life threatening for mother and hence in that case abortion is justified. A simple excuse to abort a child, to end an innocent life. Just because no one has seen the child, heard him speak, felt his embrace, experienced his love and been in his presence, is it right to cut him, chop him, suffocate him, kill him? My apologies for being this graphic, but couldn’t help; that’s the fact anyways. Over the centuries human race has raised voice and fought against inequality and discrimination: whether it is between foreigner settlers and indigenous population, rich and poor, black and white, male and female, high caste and low caste. Now we have come down to a state where we have to raise our voice to ensure equality between different stages of life – between the born and soon-to-be born!
Mother Teresa said, “But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.” [Reference: http://www.ewtn.com/New_library/breakfast.htm]
The reason one would want to justify abortion can be many, but to defend and bring forth life is just one – Love.
“Love protects all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7
Stand for love, Stand for life!