Many years ago, a young woman expecting her first baby went into labor while her husband was far away at war. The birth was a difficult one and the doctor chose to anesthetize her. She awoke later in the hospital to find her mother and older sister sitting beside her bed. The looks on their faces told her the news might not be good.
This was in the days before a woman could know the sex or the physical status of her unborn child. They told her that her son had been born with a very visible birth defect which could turn out to be an impairment in life.
But my young mother was blessed with the wisdom and ingenuity to teach me how to deal with that defect so that through almost eight decades of life, it has never been a handicap to me.
I suppose today there are women who if they knew their child might have a defect such as mine would abort that baby, so I take the issue of abortion a bit personally.
We hear much of a woman’s right to control her own body. I don’t dispute that right, but I may disagree with others as to when the right should be exercised. When two people willingly engage in the act that creates an unborn child, I believe it is morally wrong—a sin—for them to destroy that life. It is an offense against all humanity.
Where the child was conceived in a consensual relationship, I would hope mother and father will counsel together on any choices about the life of the unborn. (Parenthetically, I believe that men who father babies and then abandon mother and child will face the wrath of the Father of us all.)
Many would disagree with my moral arguments about abortion, and they would feel justified in making decisions I see as wrong. It is not my place to tell them how to manage their lives. But I believe it is tyranny to force me to help pay for actions that violate my conscience and are an assault on my faith.
I believe that every one of us existed as a being of spirit—with intelligence and gender—before we came to live on this earth. We are immortal beings having a mortal experience. We brought with us certain strengths and behavioral characteristics. When we leave this life, we will take with us, as eternal spirit beings, all the knowledge and strength and growth we acquired here. This mortal experience is a step forward on an eternal path. Destroying a viable child is putting a roadblock or detour on the eternal path of another being.
There undoubtedly are circumstances when abortion needs to be an option: if the mother’s life is in danger, if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest and carries with it that horror and trauma.
Politically, this is a very highly charged issue. Some say it is her life and her body, so the choice is hers alone. That is only partly true. The mother may make the choice alone, but there are two lives and two bodies involved.
Some would say the mother should have the right to abort the child if she knows it is carrying a serious defect. I would plead for the life of the child. Give that baby a chance—please. You can’t know who or what that individual may become. I have lived a full and productive life—married to a wonderful woman who loved me despite my physical and moral flaws—with fine children, grandchildren, and a great-grandchild, all free of my birth defect. Yet some people would have erased my life—and theirs.
If you don’t want the baby, there are couples like my daughter and son-in-law willing to help that child grow into an intelligent, productive, unique individual.
Please, if you can find it in your heart, give that child a chance.