Friday, 29 March 2013

So when is a person a person?

When a friend and I went up to take part in the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil recently we ended up having a very interesting conversation with a pro-choice advocate in which we had a short debate about when precisely life began. It's a question that divides many but, from what I have experienced, no two people who maintain that life begins at any moment other than conception can agree on when precisely it starts. Some say it's when all the organs develop, some when there is a heartbeat, some say it's during the third trimester, some when the baby is actually born. And the thing is their understanding, their opinion will change depending upon the circumstances. To the woman considering aborting a child at, say, 20 weeks its "just a clump of cells", to the woman excitedly announcing she's 5 months pregnant its time for congratulations as she's carrying a baby. And now, alas, there is this from Planned Parenthood in the US.

I think the bit that highlights the utter hypocrisy, utter lunacy of this organisation's endorsement of post-birth abortion is when Ms. Snow (Planned Parenthood's representative) is asked;

Representative: "Along the same lines you stated that a baby born on a table as a result of a botched abortion that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family? Is that what you're saying?"

Ms Snow: "That decision should be between the patient and the health care provider."

Representative: "I think that at that point that the patient would be the child struggling on the table. Wouldn't you agree?"

Ms Snow: "That's a very good question, I really don't know how to answer that. ..."

Her response sums up the whole debate on abortion; when is a life a life? When is it 'acceptable' to take a life? At what point is a baby a baby? Under these circumstances a child is not even a child when born alive; his or her heart is beating, he or she is breathing, he or she is probably crying but it's not a baby and it's 'acceptable' for that life to be ended if the woman, the doctor and the family say so.

Life begins at the moment the egg is fertilised; that fertilised ovum will continue to divide and grow, it has human DNA and, all being well, it will continue to grow and thrive and be born. He or she is a person at the second they are born, he or she is a person five minutes before they were born, he or she is a person at every point in the pregnancy. All of us were created equal, all of us have equal dignity. One thing that really hits home writing this post today; Good Friday is that we are powerfully reminded that Christ came to restore this fundamental dignity as children of God. No one can strip us of that. It is never right to take a life.

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