From the Psychology Today blogs, Christopher Ryan, Ph.D., psychologist, June 1, 2009:
“If human life is so sacred, why not protest avoidable poverty, tens of thousands of unnecessary infant deaths due to lack of water purification that costs pennies? Why not work to support anti-malaria measures that would save millions of sacred human lives? Why not work to end war or to protect children from environmental contaminants that kill thousands every year? Why not oppose capital punishment that kills innocents or long prison sentences for victimless crimes?
“Those who claim they oppose abortion in defense of the sacredness of human life (and don’t devote energy and passion to any of these other causes) are speaking non-sense.”
Indeed. There is something about life on “that side of the womb” which makes it easy to talk about for those on both sides of the argument. It is easy to love- in theory- someone else’s baby- a baby you won’t have to feed, pick up, clean up after, spend money on, go to the school of, or drive to pre-school, kindergarten, band practice, choir practice, Sunday school, or to the baby sitter when there is no babysitter and no money to pay one anyway and the car won’t start and food stamps have run out and if I miss one more class I fail this course and that’s the end of this semester.
For those who sit in support of the mother’s right to end the life of the fetus/baby/child/human growing inside of her, it is also pretty easy to ignore (because you’ll never have to see, and you know it) the eyes that will see, the lips that will smile, the hair which will curl amazingly, and the first chubby steps across the living room floor.
Look, can we agree- for God’s sake of course we can!- that abortion is something we wish would go away because only married twenty and thirty somethings with decent incomes and good family support systems have babies, and then no more than two? NOBODY WANTS ABORTIONS to have to be. NOBODY! We’d all like there to be some other way. Trouble is, that “other way” will happen right about the time that Jews and Muslims are turning their swords into plowshares and just a few months after Christians begin genuinely loving their neighbors and blessing those who curse them.
Here’s a heads-up: it ain’t gonna happen. Not the way either side would like it to happen. Abortions are going to keep happening, just like they happened before 1972. Instead of happening in clinics, though, they will happen in motels and bedrooms, with butter knives, slippery elm (google it), sponges, and lemonade douches. Women- lots of them, will die. And no one, no matter how the “uterine growth” is depersonalized, no one will ever be able to stop most aborted mothers from marking birthdays, first days of school, and the pretend births of pretend grandchildren. (“She’d be 16 this October.”)
Given the fact that abortions are not going to stop happening, they must remain available and safe. That should be a given. Those opposed to abortions should have all the opportunities they can muster to win the hearts and minds of the potentially aborting mothers, including bribing, contracting to help them raise their children, provide housing, and/or some semblance of life enhancements- i.e., dance lessons, piano lessons, day care, or college.
And I, for one, hope you are able to dissuade many, many women from making the decision to abort through your generosity and graciousness. Being a real hands-on part of the village it takes to raise a child will be a good experience for you. You could, once your own children leave home, maybe even open up those newly vacant bedrooms for pregnant mothers, then allow them to live with you while their children (now your children, too) are growing up!
The children are worth it, aren’t they?
This is the way Jesus would do it, isn’t it?
Every child should enjoy the life your child enjoyed, yes?
Is anyone listening? Hello?