A Point Observed in the Abortion Debate
The debate between “pro-life” and “pro-choice” is heating up. Some of the fervor is being driven by the recent passage of laws either loosening or tightening abortion restrictions. Behind this is the fear or hope that “Roe vs. Wade” will be revisited by the Supreme Court.
Before I share my “point observed”, I wish to clearly state that I support the “pro-life” side of the debate. I believe when life is created by a man and a woman, it is their responsibility to protect and nurture that life. I know there are various indicators we use to define what constitutes life, but I believe it begins at conception. I personally find it strange that we get excited about a speculative piece of data that suggests life exists on other planets, but we diminish the significance of human conception, which, given a healthy set of circumstances has repeatedly proven to lead to the birth of a child.
My “point observed” focuses on silence. There certainly isn’t much silence in the arena of public debate. People are screaming, picketing and committing criminal acts to promote their position. The news media is in a feeding frenzy.
And everywhere, locked inside wombs throughout the world, are babies.
They are silent.
I wonder what they would think if they could see and hear the commotion their presence is creating in our world. Would they be confused that the same grown-ups who chose to bring them into existence were arguing over whether they should be allowed to continue their journey?
I will step over a line momentarily as I consider babies who were conceived as a result of rape or incest. I understand the reason many, even on the pro-life side, support excluding these circumstances from anti-abortion laws. In these cases, a man and woman have not entered into a consensual or equal act resulting in a pregnancy. It is abhorrent to think of how a woman’s life can be forever altered because of the sinful and illegal actions of a rapist or family member. This is unfair, unjust and undeserved.
However, I continue my thought process to consider how this might seem to the baby being formed in her or his mother’s womb. How would we explain that his or her life is not valuable because of how conception occurred?
I do not wish to answer all of the finer points of the abortion discussion here. It simply bothers me that the one at the center of the debate is silent.
I heard the other day that it was cruel to bring an unwanted child into the world? How do we know? Has the child said he or she feels a particular decision would be cruel?
Since babies are silent, we cannot base our conclusions on their desires or feelings. We must discern how we might feel, knowing what we know now of life, and how we are going to interpret abortion in light of our moral convictions and sources of truth.
I have already shared my position, but that still doesn’t reveal what a baby might say in the matter. Which brings me to the ultimate question. When someone is incapable of speaking on their own behalf, what should we do?
This is where we sometimes put words in an unborn child’s mouth. Or we reach conclusions for them, based on our life-experiences.
I know I am merely rambling about a point that will not change. Unless babies start finding a way to share their thoughts inside the womb, they will forever be silent.
It upsets me when I see images of people shouting and picketing in the streets. The one who will be affected most by other people’s decisions has no say.
They didn’t ask for any of this.
They are innocent.
I suppose this is why the debate at hand centers around who holds the power to make choices for them.
Regardless of where people land on the issue, I personally would like to see more reflection on the one who, through no fault of her or his own, is silent.
The argument in the city square is deafening.
So is the silence in the womb.
There you have it. We are no longer able to listen, and the innocents cannot speak.
No wonder we are in such a mess.