Two Patients, Not One
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Walked in the annual Birmingham March for Life today. Always encouraging to see old friends, folks from all manner of denominations and communions, and people of deep conviction for the pro-life cause. The abortion issue to me is quite simple: if the fetus is not human then have it–allow the fetus to be born. If the fetus is not human, then you have nothing to fear–the child, or whatever, will not be human. The fetus born will not be a baby.
But, the fetus is human–a child made in the image of God–a person who deserves the opportunity to live. The child should not be penalized for the choices of the parents.
Since the life of the human fetus is a human life, with the potential of becoming a mature human being, we have to learn to think of mother and unborn child as two human beings at different stages of development. Doctors and nurses have to consider that they have two patients, not one, and must seek the well-being of both. Lawyers and politicians need to think similarly. . . . Christians would wish to add ‘extra care before birth’. For the Bible has much to say about God’s concern for the defenceless, and the most defenceless of all people are unborn children. They are speechless to plead their own cause and helpless to protect their own life. So it is our responsibility to do for them what they cannot do for themselves.
John Stott, Issues Facing Christians Today (London: Collins/Marshall Pickering, 1990), 327.
Dinesh D’Souza posted an excellent essay on the Christianity Today magazine website regarding the weakness of a pro-life argument that only addresses the humanity of the fetus. He points out the inherent weakness of arguing for the humanity of the fetus without addressing the sexual morality of the sixties sexual revolution and its corresponding result, the procreation of children. D’Souza establishes the connection between fornication and the feminist desire to have a lifestyle of sexual promiscuity without consequences.
Why then, in the face of its bad arguments, does the pro-choice movement continue to prevail legally and politically?
I think it’s because abortion is the debris of the sexual revolution. . . .
In order to have a sexual revolution, women must have the same sexual autonomy as man. But the laws of biology contradict this ideology, so feminists who have championed the sexual revolution . . . have found it necessary to denounce pregnancy as an invasion of the female body. . .
No one in the pro-choice camp, of course, wants to admit any of this. It’s not only politically embarrassing, it’s also painful to one’s self-image to acknowledge a willingness to sustain permissive sexual values by killing the unborn.
If I’m on the right track, pro-life arguments are not likely to succeed by simply continuing to stress the humanity of the fetus. The opposition already knows this, as probably do most women who have an abortion. Rather, the pro-life movement must take into account the larger cultural context of the sexual revolution that invisibly but surely sustains the triumphant advocates of abortion.
It won’t be easy but somehow the case against abortion must include a case against sexual libertinism.
It seems to me that pro-life churches have been pointing out the link between sexual immorality and the disregard for human life, but possibly pro-life organizations have not.