CHILDREN ARE PARASITES.
Actually, babies —both born and unborn— are parasites. A bit harsh?! But it’s a justifiable statement.
an organism [a baby] which lives in or on another organism (its host) [the mother] and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense [gestational diabetes, anaemia, high blood pressure— the list goes on].
From the definition you can see that my initial statement isn’t as crazy / heartless as it sounds. Having children is often synonymous with loss of freedom and spending tons of money on someone who isn’t wise enough to appreciate it. As cute as babies are, if we are being completely honest, they can be a huge inconvenience. A bump [pun intended] in our carefully planned out lives — especially when they’re unplanned.
Even when they are planned, people usually go about the issue like it’s something they were obligated to do. ‘We’ve-been-married-X-amount-of-years-we-might-as-well-bite-the-bullet-and-get-this-“baby-thing”-over-and-done-with-as-soon-as-we-can-so-we-can-get-back-to-regular-scheduled-programming’ sorta thing.
I believe this is why abortion is convenient. It’s the ultimate get-out-of-baby-jail-free card; it offers a way out from a life-long commitment — especially when we can be doing more fun and productive things with our lives; in some cases, it presents an end to a questionable quality of life for the unborn.
I don’t think every woman who has had an abortion took the decision lightly. I believe, it was agonized over and / carefully thought out. It would be simply naïveté to offer that women do not understand the ramifications of an abortion and prescribe that the remedy is to show videos or provide details of the procedure, in a bid to scare people straight. I believe, it is because the ramifications are truly and deeply understood, we have opted for different lenses through which to have this discussion.
I believe every child, has the right to lead a life, regardless of the quality of life.
I realise the implications of this statement. It is a big statement and I do not say or take it lightly. I stand by this because children are a gift — a gift from God. They may not come in the ribbons and bows we expect but they are a gift all the same. They are not a curse, neither are they a source of punishment nor a cruel joke from fate. As humans, we are created in the image and likeness of God and each of us has intrinsic (immeasurable) value afforded us, regardless of our function in the world.
When we choose to end a life for quality of life reasons, we choose our own convenience over a life that has infinite value.
I know that there are some heart-wrenching and repulsive ways babies are conceived, and I don’t condone / pardon these methods – the perpetrators are to be tried to the fullest extent of the law. People do cause us hurt and pain, but God has a way of seeing us through our valleys of the shadow of death. The quest for justice and God’s healing / comfort aren’t mutually exclusive – one is not a substitute for the other. Both are to be pursued fervently.
Whilst, we often bring up rape, incest and threat to life as the main reasons for abortion (they account for <2%*); most abortions are elective. If we are honest with ourselves, what we try to portray as the norm are truly exceptions. Our real fight is for autonomy and convenience.
There are also views that the unborn are just a lump of living cells and can be disposed of at [insert arbitrary number, which happens to be moving closer to full term as we progress further in technological advancements] weeks. The bible talks about us being knit in our mothers’ wombs and how we are fearfully and wonderfully made [see Psalm 139:13-16]. If God’s care for our lives transcends time (read: before we were formed), who are we to dismiss conception as the beginning of life, or try to shift the goalpost vis-à-vis when life truly begins?
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…”
Unborn children aren’t even technically parasitical in nature —for one, they are not a different species to their mothers. Secondly, they are not typically physically injurious to the mother. When we create an impression, albeit false, of a moral equivalence between an unborn child and a parasite – we inadvertently, relegate the unborn child to subhuman status; where extinguishing their life becomes palatable.
When we use disingenuous methods frame the narrative, we begin to influence the essence of the discussion. It starts to shift from should we end a life, to is it really a life in the first place?
DISCLAIMER: To be completely candid, if I got pregnant now (immaculate conception, of course), I’d think long and hard, but I like to think I’d keep the child.
I’m not saying this to come across as hypocritical – I’m just bearing my heart. I want it to be clear that I, too, struggle with the implications of what it is that I believe.
Interestingly enough, I feel a lot of the anti-abortion legislation are punitive in nature, they do not seem to offer any sort of support – I can’t honestly say, they have interest of the child (or mother) at heart – for example, there has been no discussions on the revision of the timelines for when child support begins. Well, if it smells like an agenda, walks like an agenda and breathes like an agenda…
A lot of Christians take the pro-life / anti-abortion stance and that’s great (thou shalt not kill and that). But what I see is, Christians say don’t abort because it’s wrong but do not have the same vim towards championing foster care, adoption and welfare issues for children within ‘the system’. It appears we lose interest in these lives as soon as they are born. This ought not be the case.
As Christians, the essence of adoption is one that is close to home for us. He sacrificed his own blameless son so that anyone who believes may be adopted into his family. We see the great lengths God went to, to redeem us from our unpleasant, unfulfilled lives. We should be willing to replicate this!
I’m also not saying it is compulsory for Christians to adopt. I’m saying find ways to care for lives and the people around us.
The pro-life stance goes beyond unborn children.