By Maaike Rosendal (a member of Southern Alberta ARPA). First published in Reformed Daily newspaper (Reformatorisch Dagblad) in the Netherlands, March 4 2011
Once again Maaike Rosendal shares an experience from her trip to New York, where she recently attended the Commission on the Status of Women in UN headquarters.
Today’s meeting is about ‘safe abortion’. The main speaker is Dr. Gill Greer, director of Planned Parenthood, the world’s biggest abortion provider. She explains that thousands of women die in childbirth, which is why ‘termination of the pregnancy’ should be available during all nine months. I stand up and say that high maternal mortality in developing countries is due to a lack of prenatal care, safe delivery conditions, and societal values that respect women. Abortion will not change that.
Dr. Greer scoffs at this and says she cannot change societies. When I point out that the term ‘safe abortion’ is deceiving because research shows that it is emotionally and physically harmful, she smiles disdainfully. “If a woman experiences discomfort this is because society frowns upon the abortion.”
Finally I ask, “If this is about ‘choice’, why does Planned Parenthood make women choose between themselves and their children, instead of providing them with the needed support?” The question remains unanswered. The thousands of abortions that take place in developed countries each day, where maternal mortality is hardly an issue, are simply ignored. Dr. Greer’s tactic is effective; she touches people’s emotions and convinces them that providing abortion is compassionate.
We should never think lightly of the experience of an unwanted pregnancy. I have seen too often how difficult this can be but I have also seen the pain of those who believed the lie that abortion would solve the problem. This is why we should support these women.
However, we can also get too wrapped up in emotions when discussing this issue. The main question is: what is the unborn? If it is no more than a collection of cells, abortion is no problem. If, on the other hand, the unborn is a tiny human being, abortion ends a life at any time during the pregnancy.
Abortion is only an option when the unborn are not considered of the same value as us, or when our rights trump theirs. Yet, even those who do not believe that life is God-given need to agree that scientifically, human life starts at conception. It is therefore worthy of protection from that very moment.
Many unborn children are in a dangerous, life-threatening position. The UN supports this as a woman’s sexual and reproductive right. It demands from member states that they provide access to abortion to its citizens. Does that bother us, or have we accepted abortion as the status quo?
Also in this respect, prayer is needed. Pray for unborn children, for women struggling with unwanted pregnancies or post-abortive pain, and for those working in abortion clinics. As always, our prayer should be accompanied by our actions. Support pro-life organizations financially and urge politicians to make a difference.
It became very clear in New York: thousands of people work hard to make abortion possible. Are any of us willing to spend as much time to attain the opposite?