October 25, 2012

The Sanctity of Life

Another Republican has stirred up another shit storm over rape and pregnancy. One said that pregnancy is never a by-product of a "legitimate" rape. Now we have another saying that pregnancy does occur in the aftermath of a rape, but it's God's will. Although these two guys seem be saying completely different things, they both end up in the same place, arguing that abortion in the case of pregnancy due to rape is not morally acceptable.

This line of reasoning begins with the assumption that life is sacred and must be protected from the moment of inception. The sanctity of life. How often is that phrase used to justify opposition to abortions of any kind. My question is this: What sanctity of life?

Am I living on the same planet as those who say that life is sacred? I don't know, because on my planet people die excruciatingly awful deaths every day, deaths that keep the concept of evil alive in our minds. That little girl who was murdered and dismembered and left in  dumpster?  Is that the sanctity of life that we are talking about? The millions of innocent soldiers and civilians who have died in war, often in unspeakably brutal ways? The old and the abandoned who die lonely deaths because they couldn't pay their electric bills?

This is the sanctity of life that preachers and politicians say God ordered them to defend to the death? If that's the best God could do, maybe (s)he should have gone into another line of work. Anyone of us could have designed a world that made more sense than that, because in a better world there would be no unwanted pregnancies, just as there would be no disease or war or poverty.

But we don't live in a better world. In our world, many lives are terminated early, most long after they have left the womb. Those deaths seem to be something a lot of supposedly moral persons can live with. They practice a form of pick-and-choose morality, where the life of the unborn is sacred but the rest of us, well, we're on our own.

Does that make Planet Earth a free fire zone, where we can do whatever we want to whomever we want once they are outside the womb? Of course not. What it does mean is that we must decide for ourselves where we draw the line. On the issue of abortion, that line is different for each of us, for many reasons. The unborn deserve protection, but so does the mother. That choice is often a cruel one, but it is a choice that must be made. How we make that choice defines us as individuals and as God's children.

No comments:

Post a Comment