This year we remember the landmark decision Roe v. Wade of 1973. For 42 years, the American conscience has grappled with the rightness and wrongness of abortion.
Abortion is a human rights issue. If a human being does not have the right to be born, of what use are the other rights that follow? That’s the first problem.
The right to choose does not mean the right to terminate an innocent life. The problem with “it’s a woman’s right” is that we’re saying that a mother has the right to choose to terminate the life of her pre-born child. Should she have the right to terminate the life of a child after he or she is born?
The case of rape does not hold. The father is obviously a heinous criminal, but not the child. He’s her child as well, not just the male’s child. If a parent feels that keeping such a child would do her harm, there are adoption agencies that help with this. One does not need to kill a child to get him out of one’s life.
Another problem with “a woman’s right to choose” is that it strips the man of his right to be a father. The child of a good father only has a father if the woman decides to keep the child – only then the father comes into the equation. However, we’re saying that a raped woman is carrying a “scumbag’s” child. Let’s run with that for a moment. If it’s a scumbag’s child, the child fathered by the good man also has a dad. If the rapist is a parent, so is the good man. What happened to a parent’s duty to bring his children into the world?
We can’t abdicate duties, because we have the means to eliminate the obligation. Means does not make right. We have the means to blow up our planet too.
It is true that we have a duty to protect and provide for those who have been born, regardless of age, social condition and politics. The duty to protect the voiceless is not rooted in the fact that a person has been born so now we have to provide for him.
Our duty to the voiceless is grounded in our humanity. As human beings we acknowledge that other human beings have the same rights as us. They have the right to be born and the right to succeed in life. The human response is to protect those rights from the moment of conception to natural death. Abortion is not a human response. It is a response of humans. Responses of humans are acts of which a human being is capable, but they are not acts that make us better people.
The bible argument does not hold. The fact that Jesus never uses the term abortion does not mean that he was indifferent to it. Abortions did exist in his time. There were many other forms of evil as well.
The Gospel writers report in concepts. Jesus condemned evil, not specific acts alone. Those specific acts that the evangelists mention in the scriptures are given to the reader as examples of evil, not the only evils in the world.
The Scriptures were written as summaries of the faith of God’s people, not as comprehensive statements. If one wants to know what God revealed to man, one must look at the oral tradition as well as the written tradition. Much of what we know about moral truths was passed down from generation to generation through oral tradition. The biblical writings are synopses. We must read beyond the scriptures to fully understand what the early Jews and Christians understood, and understand it as they understood it.