Greetings in Christ,
Psalm 139:13–16 (RSV)
13 For thou didst form my inward parts,
thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful.
Wonderful are thy works!
Thou knowest me right well;
15 my frame was not hidden from thee,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately wrought in the depths of the earth.
16 Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance;
in thy book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
I do not support abortion. It is a challenging topic to discuss, but in light of events last week in New York I feel compelled to say something. As a pastor of the Church, the witness of Scripture teaches that human life begins in the womb even before it could be viable on its own. The Church for the majority of its history has taught that life begins in the womb, even at the moment of conception. I cannot speak to exactly when a human life is there, but I am convinced from Scripture and ordinary human experience that the child in the womb is a human being from very early on after conception
Our nation has allowed abortion on demand since the Roe v. Wade ruling in the 1970s. It is not illegal to obtain a medically safe abortion in our country. I can understand circumstances in which an abortion can be the only means to protect the life of the mother. But such circumstances need to be rare and not the first choice regarding a troubled pregnancy. There are many medical options available to a mother experiencing a difficult pregnancy.
It is also important to acknowledge that every abortion ends a human life. No matter what attempts to minimize we offer to explain what takes place in an abortion, it is the ending of a human being, a unique person created in the image of God. We cannot pretend that it is anything less than this. Doing so can lead us to lose our humanity as we value one life over another. Any action in which we must find as a ploy to avoid speaking directly and honestly about what we are doing must be questioned.
The State of New York has recently passed an abortion law that in their effort to protect what they viewed as a woman's rights has opened the door to end a pregnancy for any reason up to the due date. It has also opened the door to persons who are not doctors, such as a nurse practitioner or a midwife to perform an abortion.
I fear we are becoming far too comfortable with the ending of human life in the womb. The less it disturbs us, the easier it becomes to take the next step and seek to end life after birth if in the judgment of the parent(s) that the child is not perfect. There are voices already advocating this, and once the conversation has begun, we are part way down the road to it becoming a reality.
We in the Church are always about life. We are about all life and not just for the life that can stand on its own. We are to care for the least among us, the weakest, the voiceless, the helpless and regard each human life as beloved of God. Let us pray for the wisdom to care for in all its stages and courage to do so.