Monday, November 27, 2006

Matters of life and death

I've had many opportunities over the past several years to grapple with issues of life and death. There were the decisions to be made about my father's care when he was dying of cancer. There were issues to talk through with my mother as my grandfather' health failed and she tried to decide what kind of care would help him live out his days with the most comfort, both mental and physical. When Terry Schiavo was all over the news my children and I had many conversations about life, what it is, and who is and should be in control of its beginning and end.

Issues at the end of life are often gray. Not isues encompassing active euthanasia or even the overmedicating that is often seen with hospice patients, but questions about how certain medications may prolong or shorten life, what kind of feeding and hydration are the best choices and many other details.

Issues at the beginning of life, however, aren't gray. A woman is pregnant or she is not. The child in her womb is alive and growing or it is not. It is as black and white as can be.

A friend on one of the many email lists that I am on informed us today that her daughter had an abortion last week. This 23 year old woman had decided that the "relationship" that she was in wasn't working, so a baby wouldn't either. The baby hadn't yet begun moving so she "didn't have any sense that there was a baby yet." She felt that it was the best decision for her.

I read this email and sat in my chair and cried. How can someone so lightly throw away the gift of life? This mother was "proud" of the decision that her daughter had made. It somehow showed "strength." What?! Where is the strength in killing our children?


Marie N. said...

How very sad.

Favorite Apron said...

That hurts. When I was in college, a woman I worked with took her teenage daughter to a local clinic for the same reason.
It's unthinkable.

Kim said...

Weep not only for the baby but the young woman who has no idea what she has done. Most often these women have convinced themselves that this is the easy way out. What they don't realize is that they will have to live with this the rest of their lives and it won't be easy.

Naomi said...

That is so sad! I just don't see how anyone can justify doing that- especially after having Saranita.
The decision that really shows a strength of character in my opinion is going through with the pregnancy and deciding that the best interest of the child would be to give them up for adoption. That is something I don't think I could ever do no matter what the circumstances. When I was 16 I volunteered in the mother/baby unit at a hospital and one day I helped discharge a teen giving up her baby. I watched as a mother said goodbye to her little baby. It was so heartbreaking- I could barely keep from crying myself. Now THAT takes a strong person.

David said...

I think what some call strength is perhaps not real strength, but in fact, weakness. Or selfishness. Or fear. Or any number of emotions or actions that are powerful and forceful, but not necessarily showing strength or courage.

Our sin is strong, but God's forgiveness is stronger, thanks be to Him! I hope that the young woman in question, and all like her, find it in Christ.