The Word on the Week

Abortion Again

There is something far wrong with a country where its people clamour for the death of their young. It seldom happens in the animal world although there are one or two species where the male becomes murderous. But when the female of the species wants to destroy that which she has been given the power to create – that is a different league. That belongs to the so called evolution of modern western humankind.
The main change in the law in Ireland took place in 1983 with the inclusion of the 8th amendment to the Constitution which gave babies in the womb the same right to life as the mother. This unusually powerful step (the Constitution is for values which are considered to be ‘set in stone’) was seen to be necessary to quell the emotions of the campaigners and secure the welfare of the unborn.
There have been one or two small changes culminating with the 2013 Act which changed the wording from ‘life’ of the mother to ‘health’ of the mother. More recently we have been bombarded by statistics purporting to show a swing towards a more liberal abortion regime. The Government have responded by forming a Citizens Assembly to discuss the 8th amendment.
In the US for example abortion rates have been falling. There are probably a number of reasons for this but possibly longer acting contraceptive methods have had a significant impact on unwanted pregnancies. This has led to the closure of abortion clinics with their draconian suction and cutting tools.
On the more positive side adoption rates have been rising. Homes for unwanted children, especially those with so called abnormalities, can be places where great love is experienced. Whereas societies where the condition of Down’s syndrome has been almost eradicated due to abortion, as if it was an infectious disease, are depriving themselves of the essence of a caring society.
The Bible differentiates between man and animals. Man is made in God’s image which, although dreadfully marred is still in His image. This means to kill a human is murder whereas those who say killing whales is murder are wrong. It may be unwarranted slaughter but it is not murder. Humankind is intrinsically different from the rest of creation despite strenuous efforts to say we are evolved hominids.
Jesus came across many cases of people who would have been aborted because of their physical challenges. His remedy was not extermination but healing. In this he demonstrated his Messiah-ship and gave a foretaste of the life to come.
Take the case of the paraplegic. St Luke records his four friends had to carry him to Jesus. They would never have believed Jesus if he had simply said “Your sins are forgiven”. There would have been no verifiable proof. Jesus added the words “Rise, pick up your bed and walk”. The healing was complete the man walked (Chapter 5 verses 17 – 26).
This incident foreshadows the last supper where Jesus proclaims the cup to represent his blood which was to be “poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins”. No one would have believed that sins were forgiven. There would have been no verifiable proof. Then came the cross and resurrection. The dead walked. It was all true. Thomas exclaimed “My Lord and my God” (St John Chapter 20 verse 28). The Spirit came and millions believe!
This great salvation includes repentant bereaved mothers who have experienced abortion. There are no excluded categories.