Sunday, January 23, 2011

Life and Liberty

I mentioned in my post the other day that even a libertarian can believe that abortion should be outlawed. Why? Life begins at conception, as any intellectually honest medical scientist will concede. Once we have established the individuality and humanity of the unborn, they are vested with the same right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as the rest of us.

I was thinking about the issue in church this morning when I was reminded that today is “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday”. The italics in the last sentence are intentional, because it bothers me that I had to be reminded.

Even before President Reagan proclaimed January 22, 1984 as the first “National Sanctity of Human Life Day“, I was consistently involved in the pro-life movement. I faithfully participated in the annual March for Life; I supported pro-life crisis pregnancy centers; and, in my more radical days, I even picketed abortion clinics.

My convictions on the subject have not changed in the least, but my fervor and level of interest have definitely declined (except for continuing to support the good work of crisis pregnancy centers) and I wonder why.

Part of it might be a good thing. Particularly given the sensitivities involved in something as intimate and personal as a crisis pregnancy, it is most unfortunate that abortion has been so politicized. I remember when I participated in the March for Life how I felt uncomfortable with the sundry placards, shouts and chants that made portions of it seem like a combination pep rally and freak show. Don’t get me wrong. Most everyone there was very well meaning, and on balance, the March did and continues to do much good, if nothing else by continuing to prick the conscience of a hardened nation.

But shouting and slogans don’t exactly win friends and influence people, especially people facing crisis pregnancies, as well as people dealing with the inevitable guilt and shame of having had an abortion or having encouraged or paid for one. That is one reason I continue to enthusiastically support the efforts of crisis pregnancy centers. The Bowie-Crofton Pregnancy Clinic in my community and many others like it freely provide compassionate, professional and confidential services and counseling to women facing crisis pregnancies. May God continue to bless their work and give them much success in reaching women and families in crisis pregnancies, educating people and saving lives.

The extent to which any decrease in fervor on my part has been accompanied by an increase in mercy and compassion is a good thing. Yet I am nonetheless concerned that my consciousness of the issue has waned. In addition to financially supporting the good work of others, may I pray for their efforts, and humbly take advantage of any opportunity to educate and persuade others on the sanctity of human life.

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