Thursday, June 25, 2015

Just inches away ... (NV-17)

John woke in an instant.  It had been quiet, just some outside noises muffled by the walls of his refuge.  Suddenly, an intruder grabs him by the arm and drags him violently toward the exit. The grip on his arm tightens, and the bones break under the pressure.  The shoulder separates and muscles are torn; tendons stretch to the limit and are torn from their roots. Flesh tears and separates as the arm is pulled free.  He bleeds, and in pain intense beyond description, he becomes aware of the same crushing grip, now on his leg ....  John dies, just inches away from being born.  He'd expected another few weeks before making the trip, but even this early, he might have lived.  

April was born prematurely at 25 weeks gestation.  She survived.  She a year old now.
Viability is just one measurement.

Among the issues before us these days and in the upcoming election as well, what will be the future of personhood? If a child is a person after being born, how about seconds before?  Or days?  And at what point does parental responsibility begin?

In our culture, this is not a simple yes or no.  Unintended pregnancy is the first and perhaps most important decision point, and many are not equipped with information or answers. For a preventative solution, we're perhaps encumbered by widespread abandonment of our earlier moral principles, by a sexualized advertising industry, and by an objectivization of women and girls. Feminists have attacked the problem, Christians have spawned a homeschool and family counterculture, thoughtful subculture segments have pulled back from the mainstream. Generally, they agree.  They hope to protect their children from the shallow, irresponsible behavior so commonly associated with sexual freedom in our world today.  Why did that behavior arise, and how might it be appropriately reigned in?

Beyond that, there's the extraordinary burden of choice a pregnant mother faces.  How might she face a complicated pregnancy or congenital defects and the longer term implications?  While we might have personal convictions about the right answer, culture and science provide a gray area where it's left to individual choice.  It's often framed in 'likelihood of survival' and 'likelihood of physical or mental difficulties'.

It's all both thoughtful and defensible. Every purposefully pregnant mother is pro-life in some measure, but can circumstances intrude and make a different choice acceptable?  For many, yes. Many.

Such difficult questions are the basis of defensible choice and of leaving the choice to the mother.

Is life sacred?  Of course.  Choices should reflect that fact.  With liberty comes responsibility.  Great responsibility

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