Monday, May 18, 2009

Evolving thoughts on abortion

I wonder if you have been following the controversy about President Obama's invitation to Notre Dame University to deliver the commencement speech.

For those who have not been following this story, here is a brief summary of the controversy.

is what happened at the ceremony.

I have been thinking about this subject of abortion over the past month. As you know, I have generally been against abortions, but was willing to consider that abortions could perhaps be done when the unborn child was likely to have serious disabilities. This past year of working with children with varying disabilities has changed that.

I now feel that all children are a gift from God, created in His likeness, and must be welcomed, loved and valued. They have much to contribute to us, and our families and society. We are enriched and blessed by living with them. After all, none of us is perfectly normal and yet we are perfectly loved in spite of our own eccentricities and disabilities.

Most of us studied India's Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and learnt about when it is legal to perform an abortion. This is what the Act says:

"According to Section 3 – Sub section (2) of the MTP Act, a pregnancy may be terminated for the following indications :

1. If the pregnancy would involve a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or of grave injury to her physical and mental health.
2. If there is a substantial risk that if the child was born, it would suffer physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.

Explanations I and II further clarify the following indications

* Pregnancy alleged by the pregnant woman to have been caused by rape.
* Pregnancy resulting from a failure of any device used by any married woman or her husband for the purpose for limiting children."

Gradually, even the Christian doctors among us begin to think that what is legal is also what is right, and become more open to the idea of abortions for any of the reasons mentioned above. It is easy to understand how easily words like 'grave injury to mental health', 'serious handicap', 'failure of any device used by any married woman or her husband for the purpose for limiting children', etc, can be used to justify almost any abortion.

I mentioned in my previous post that one of my classmates had an abortion because she developed German Measles during her pregnancy, and there was a 53% chance of the baby being born with a congenital problem (like deafness or mental retardation).

So while this is not meant to be a position paper on abortion, let me just say that I can now think of only a very few instances in which I would agree with a decision to undergo an abortion.

Here are an interesting article on Choosing Not to Abort Babies with Disabilities

Here is John Piper's response to President Obama's statement on the anniversary of Roe vs Wade.

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