Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.


In Focus

Four lives of great worth

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
I read something very interesting during the discussion in our State Parliament on the Reproductive Health Care Bill 2019 that I found rather striking and I thought I would share it.

“Would you consider abortion in any of the following four situations:

  1. There’s a preacher and wife who are very, very poor. They already have fourteen children, and now she finds out she’s pregnant with the fifteenth. They’re living in tremendous poverty. Considering their poverty and the excessive world population, would you consider recommending an abortion?
  2. The father is sick with a bad cold, the mother has tuberculosis (TB). They have four children. The first is blind, second is dead, third is deaf, the fourth has TB. She finds she is pregnant again. Given their extreme situation, would you consider recommending an abortion?
  3. A white man has raped a thirteen year old black girl, and she has become pregnant. If you were her parents, would you consider recommending an abortion?
  4. A teenage girl is pregnant. She’s not married. Her fiancé is not the father of the baby and he’s concerned. Would you consider recommending an abortion?

If you said yes to the first case, you just killed John Wesley, one of the great evangelists and hymn writers of the nineteenth century. If you said yes to the second case, you killed Ludwig van Beethoven. If you said yes to third case, you killed Ethel Waters, the great black gospel singer who thrilled audiences for many years at Billy Graham crusades around the world. And if you said yes to the fourth case, you killed Jesus Christ.” (“Stories, Illustrations & Quotes” by Robert J. Morgan)

We live in extraordinary times. These are days when the medical profession can save a mother at the cost of the unborn. Ethically, there are some circumstances where we face the conundrums of either/or decisions, of mother or child. One lives and one dies. It is an unenviable choice that comes to us in a fallen and broken world. It is nothing to rejoice in. It is a decision by family and Doctor that requires prayer for a choice we wish we never have to make. Under the rule of law this has been accommodated for in the past and we understand the conundrum.

The bigger issue is when the either/or is unnecessary and death can be avoided. The unborn should never be put to death as a result of personal promiscuity or some designer lifestyle that the designer baby needs to fit. The unborn should not suffer the economics of personal choice. The unborn should not be the casualty of the shame that someone might feel or what others might think. Abortion should not have to be on the conscience of Doctors, politicians or the voters and it is not something you should want on your own conscience whether man or woman.

When it comes to conceiving a life sometimes a woman may suffer as a result of another’s evil. Sometimes life deals us the hand we were not wanting. Sometimes we are just our own worst enemy. To all such circumstances we can respond poorly and cause others to suffer.

It takes real courage to not pass on such evil, bad hands, or poor choices to others who are not responsible. I have no doubt it takes courage to move forward with a pregnancy you may not have planned for, or wanted. It may not be the life you would have chosen for yourself but there is a better life you can offer another. Strikingly the world is full of stories of lives that improved when courageous and right decisions are made to give life not take it. The world has seen some extraordinary lives given birth in the midst of adversity, extraordinary lives cared for by courageous mothers or adopted by others desirous of offering life. I think that this is a better consideration than the loss of a life.