Earlier this month the Iowa Legislature passed a bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The Sunday after this was in the news, I included these lines in the prayer I offered during Trinity CRC’s morning service:
Thank you, God, for leaders in government who have been listening to those who advocate for the voiceless – the unborn. Use recent legislation to reduce the number of abortions in Iowa, the US, and even around the world. Transform the hearts of people – perhaps including us at times – who reduce sex to merely a pleasurable thing for selfish enjoyment with no intention of commitment toward the other person or possibly a child. Forgive us for any time we have thought of a child as a nuisance or a burden instead of as a blessing from you. Bring healing to those of us who have had an abortion or are close to someone who has. Increase in each of us here and in the leaders of this state and nation the realization that every life is a gift and has dignity, that every person – whether in the womb or approaching death’s door – bears your image.
Girls and women forced to give birth against their will is not dignity of life.
Not to mention the fact that anyone can easily travel to another (progressive) state for a safe, legal abortion; so the attempt at legislating an abortion prohibition in the (secular) United States is a big waste of time.
Thanks for stopping my blog, Amanda. I think there are many complexities to consider between the dignity of the woman and the dignity of the fetus. It seems to me a beating heart is indicative of life (perhaps corresponding to a stopped heart indicating the end of one’s life). As one who believes life is precious, it saddens me when lives (or, depending on when you understand life as starting, potential lives) are discarded. ~Stanley
Life is not the ethical issue, suffering is the ethical issue.
Girls and women have developed central nervous systems and brains, which means they can suffer.
Early term fetuses have no central nervous system or brain, which means they have no ability to suffer.
There is no justification for forced birth on girls and women against their will.
You present an argument I have not fully considered, Amanda, focusing on the issue of suffering over that of (potential) life. I want to say this humbly and respectfully (as a man who has never been pregnant), but I remain sad that for some (for many?) pregnancy is first equated with suffering rather than with joy looking forward to adding a new member to one’s family and seeing the positive impact this life may have on the world.
I also wonder about your reference of “forced birth on girls and women against their will.” Outside of rape (which the Iowa legislation addresses), if a couple chooses to have sex knowing that procreation is very possibly a natural result, I’m not sure I’d agree that it’s entirely accurate to say we’re “forcing” them into pregnancy. Granted, there are many unexpected pregnancies, but that leads me back to my first point above, saddened that those pregnancies, too, are equated with suffering. ~Stanley
Life is precious, indeed!