Abortion is not the hot political issue in the UK that it is in the USA. This is probably because a majority of American electors identify themselves as religious believers. I visited Florida a few years ago and was amazed at the number of churches. On Sunday mornings it was plain to see that most of these churches were well attended. Nearly all Catholics and Evangelicals are ‘pro-life’, as are most other denominations.
I am a Catholic and a staunch supporter of SPUC (The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children). For me, this is not a shades-of-grey issue. Abortion is murder. Try as I might, I find it impossible to twist my mind into a state of sympathy for the ‘pro-choice’ position.
A mother and father who find themselves the parents-to-be of a wanted child would be justifiably outraged by any crime or negligence which caused the miscarriage of their baby – a week, a month or six months after getting a positive result from the GP. We would all share this outrage. We would grieve with them for their loss. Their grief and ours would stem (partly) from a sad sense of what might have been: a healthy baby, a happy toddler, a successful scholar or sportswoman – a mother.
What is the difference if the pregnancy is not convenient? A deliberate ending of the pregnancy would involve exactly the same sad sense. What if both parents were not equally overjoyed by the impending birth? If one parent were under pressure to consent to a ‘termination’? What if both were equally appalled by the consequences for themselves if nature were to take its course? There is no difference. The consequence for the baby would be the same. The attitude of the parents is of no consequence. The baby, the toddler, the scholar, the sportswoman, the mother would be (in circumstances increasingly horrible to imagine as time progressed) snuffed out and discarded. A miscarriage caused by crime or negligence makes us weep. The deliberate destruction of an exactly equivalent foetus (baby) is justified as ‘a woman’s right to choose’. Where is the logic? Nowhere.
I think this constitutes an indictment of our sentimentality. The murder (and there have been alarmingly many in recent years) of small children revolts us. When it takes place in the dark before the child is born, it is something to be ignored. Indeed, we acquiesce to being taxed to pay for it!
And this at a time when contraception is effective and cheap.
We are, as a society, in full flight from consequences. The state indemnifies us from the consequences of our actions. We have become worse people, infantilised.
Are there any arguments for the ‘pro-choice’ position? A few weak ones, perhaps. What about rape? The rape was the fault of the rapist, not the baby. What about incest? Igualmente. What about if the mother’s life is endangered? A vanishingly small proportion of cases, in some of which we may find ourselves confronted with a moral choice. In nearly seventy years I have never encountered such a case – lucky me!
Abortion is Murder – there are no two ways about it.