(In the liturgical calendar of the Latin Church (Roman Catholic), December 28th is the Feast of the Holy Innocents. I posted this three years ago. Because the Sanctity of Human Life is still so important to me, I wanted to share as a #WorthRevisit post. I am linking up on Reconciled to You and Theology is a Verb.)
The Feast of the Holy Innocents marks the brutal slaughter of babies ordered by an enraged and jealous King Herod. He couldn’t handle the prophecy about a Child becoming King. Actually, Satan could not handle it…so he had Herod to do his dirty work. This Child Jesus was posing a real threat to Herod’s kingdom because Herod assumed Jesus would be a military-ruler-type of King. Satan understood the threat was more spiritual…and in his pride, he thought he could kick Jesus off the Throne. Pride, this kind of intense, ugly, self-serving pride, only leads to destruction.
While Herod ordered the slaughter of boys, undoubtedly little girls died too. Think about it…babies and toddlers are often wrapped in blankets. I doubt the soldiers were very particular in checking the gender of these children before they committed the crime. They may have killed older children too…trying to get the ugly deed done as quickly as possible…”Just following orders.” Many cringe, thinking of killing so many innocent children…as well we should. But I have often reflected on the similarities in our modern culture. Sure, we dress things up a bit under the terms of “reproductive rights” and “mercy killing”… but abortion and infanticide are evidence that the Enemy still can’t handle seeing these babies. Satan has worked for decades, convincing our nation that there are “too many” babies, and that sick babies would be better off dead. I don’t know anyone who favors legalized abortion who would see him/herself as doing Satan’s work. In fact, many believe they are doing God’s work…if you can believe that. That is because Satan is conniving and deceitful. He is not going to put himself out there blatantly. Just think about the arguments made for keeping abortion legal, they often sound so “compassionate.”
- “These babies would be growing up in poor homes, with little chance for a future.” We should never assume all women seeking abortion are poor. Nor should we assume all poor people have miserable lives with no future. Those are elitist notions. But even if these things were true, the problem is POVERTY, not the baby. Address the poverty. People of good will can disagree on how best to do that…welfare, job training, material assistance, pregnancy resource centers. But we must fight poverty, not babies.
- “A baby born with a disability will suffer so much.” As a person born with a disability, it irks me to no end when people suggest babies should be aborted if an anomaly is detected. And as the mother of a son who was stillborn due to severe anomalies, I was livid at the suggestion that I get rid of him. It reeks of Hitler’s method of exterminating the “unfit.” Yes, I compared aborting disabled babies to Hitler’s reign of terror.
- “These teenagers are unable to be good parents now. They should finish school and wait to have babies.” Again, we should never assume those seeking abortion are all teens (poor teens, of course, according to some). Many women are in college, or they have established careers, or they are happily married with 3 kids in school, and thought they were “done.” But even in the case of teens…who says these girls cannot finish school? Or go to college? How about promoting ADOPTION as a loving, safe alternative? How about supporting the programs at pregnancy resource centers to assist them in completing school? How about helping them on college campuses, as Students for Life America is currently doing with their Pregnant on Campus initiative? Pregnancy and education can coexist.
- “The woman was assaulted. It’s not her fault that she is pregnant. She should not have to be reminded of her attacker every day.” This is one of the most difficult and sensitive issues. In fact, in the political realm, this one gets a lot of “pro-lifers” all tangled up in a web. Let me first say this: I have met women who have been victims of rape and incest, and who have gotten pregnant because of those violent attacks. My heart goes out to them. But as one who believes that life begins at conception, I cannot accept abortion as a solution to this trauma. Why? Because it doesn’t get rid of the trauma, it only gets rid of the baby. Do you really think that aborting a baby will let the woman forget she was raped? And in the case of incest, do you not see that the abuse will likely continue because the evidence (aka BABY) was destroyed? It is true that it is not the woman’s fault…but it also isn’t the baby’s fault. In these cases, it is the man’s fault…how does abortion hold him to account for his crime?
- “No one should tell a woman what to do with her body. She needs the freedom to choose what is best for her life.” This is the most common argument that I hear in debates or read in social media. “My body, my choice!” Sounds so logical, doesn’t it? Especially if you don’t like big government “intrusion.” But it falls short in a big way: It is NOT just “your body.” There obviously is another body in there, or we would not be having this conversation. Trying to define the unborn baby as not being fully human is just as wrong as it was to define African slaves as not fully human. The attempts to dehumanize a group of people in order to justify some “right” of another group of people is always wrong. Always. I’ll probably write more about this later, because my head is swimming with thoughts, and this post is longer than I anticipated it would be!
These are just a few of the arguments for keeping abortion legal (or even making it a global “human right.”) And my responses can be summed up with my personal mantra…The Baby is Never the Problem. After all, each baby, each child is created in the image of God Himself. He made every child intentionally, with a purpose! We need to build a culture that helps all babies grow up to fulfill their purpose! I pray for the day when the Innocents are no longer slaughtered by some order from a king (or judge or president.) I pray for the day when our culture strips away pride and jealousy and fear and selfishness…recognizing that babies are not burdens at all, but BLESSINGS from the Lord.
This is why I do this work. The battle is a big one, the ultimate goal (an abortion free society) seems impossible. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.