One area that has been the cause of acrimony between the secular society and some religious groups has been in the area of human reproduction, specifically abortion.
Today, 22 January, is the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision. That decision meant that a mother has the legal right to terminate a pregnancy up until the point at which the fetus has the ability to live independently of the mother outside her womb.
Some religious groups have reacted vociferously and sometimes violently to the rights made possible by this decision. Physicians that have been known to perform abortions have been murdered.
People of faith and people with common humanity certainly lament the death of each potential life and we certainly pray for each parent that has made the painful decision to terminate a pregnancy. Each abortion to me indicates a tragic loss, a failure of sorts, yet to place judgmental labels on those who have gone through one or more is to violate a believer’s duty to reflect the G_d that is described in Hebrew Scripture with the term, hesed, or loving kindness.
The other tragedy in this matter is that we people of faith sometimes spend more time worrying about the fate of the unborn than we do the fate of the already born. Hunger among children is rising according to most estimate I have read.
And, instead of welcoming those children that have been born in situation in which the mother had considered abortion, some Christian churches have refused to baptize or christen those children.
Every child should be a wanted child to be sure. Every child already alive has the right to a full meaningful life. Yet, to demand that abortion be outlawed is to cause even more harm in many instances than maintaining it in a medically safe manner.
What is the alternative? In a perfect world there would never be a reason to terminate a pregnancy, but we have much repair to do before the world is perfect. Meanwhile we can make it better for the children who are born and who are in need.
But, what do you think? And, can we discuss it without resorting to uncivil reactions?