If you’re a proponent of abortion, one of the beliefs you must have is that no baby actually exists; at best, it’s a lump of tissue. I’ve heard many opinions on exactly when life begins, from conception to the first cell division to the first heartbeat to out-of-womb viability all the way to birth.
I’ll continue to maintain that I don’t know the answer, and I contend nobody else does, either. My position is that we have a fundamental responsibility to protect life, and if we don’t know for sure when it begins, then take the most conservative approach. If you can’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s not life, then you can’t kill it.
Over the last years, I’ve seen some horrendous example of intellectually vapid opinions on the subject of abortion. Remember General Wesley Clark running for President in 2004? He opined that a woman had the right to abort her baby all the way up to the day it was born. “Life begins with the mother’s decision,” he said. One would hope that if contractions had begun and the mother’s water had broken that he’d consider that birth was inevitable, but Clark’s position was it’s still ok to abort it at that point.
Or how about John Kerry’s position, that he believed life began at conception, but it was ok to abort it anyway. Translated, “I know it’s life, but let’s kill it anyway.” Intellectually vapid because it doesn’t hold up under ethical scrutiny. If you’re going to support abortion, you must hold the belief that there’s no real life there.
Then last year, an abortion clinic got hopping mad when some nuns started burying the aborted babies from a nearby abortion clinic. If they do not believe it’s life, why are they mad? And if they *do* believe it’s life, why are they performing abortions?
Today, thanks to a tip at Lonestar Times, is this weblog from two abortion providers. This week they posted about their respect for life when it came to abortions. Would you believe they helped a woman baptize her baby after they aborted it?
many years ago i remember a patient telling me that she chose our clinic because she could tell that we respected her and knew that we would therefore respect the life within her. it was very important to her that she have trust in the clinic she chose because she felt that, given her life circumstances, returning her baby to god was the kindest, most maternal thing she could do for it. i assured her that her feeling was correct, that we in fact do all we can to honor the life that women are unable to continue and we encourage them to find their own way to make peace with the pregnancy (whether it be a baby or a “pre-baby” to them), figure out how to forgive themselves and also to continue working through any religious or spiritual issues if they have them. we show all patients the section of the clinic where the brochures and handouts are kept and encourage them to take all they want home with them. in addition to the independently produced brochures, there are the publications of RELIGIOUS COALITION FOR REPRODUCTIVE CHOICE and CATHOLICS FOR FREE CHOICE. a while back, we interviewed many priests, ministers and rabbis to determine how we might refer women for pastoral counseling or, if the women preferred, to share some of the messages of hope that we have collected from various clergy. we are glad to be able to pass on those messages of hope and love that come from god via his clergy from various religions.
our clinic is the kind of place where women can ask, as one did today, if we would bless and baptise her baby. i was able to do that for her. honoring her pregnancy as she herself chooses is part of what we hope to do for each woman. using water (she had planned to bring holy water with her but had at the last minute forgotten it) and saying the words i know from my catholic upbringing, i did as she asked. she had a name in mind for the baby, one that could work for either gender and i gave it that name.
we want to be a clinic that respects life, that honors women’s choices. the two are compatible. believe me!
If they have “respect for life,” to the point that they’re willing to baptize an aborted fetus, why the heck are they aborting it in the first place? It’s intellectually vapid, it’s horrendously unethical, and regardless of the title it’s an utter disrespect for life. If it’s life worth baptizing, then aborting it is no different than murder.