Recently I’ve been thinking of various news stories I’ve seen recently pop up about abortion, ones about the so-called “hard cases”.
You know the drill. “This mother of four really loves children, and is going to have an incredibly high risk pregnancy where her child will almost certainly die, but her cruel state won’t let her get an abortion and she couldn’t mourn her child and also nearly died.” Or “This ten year old girl was raped by her crack addict father and is beaten without mercy every single day until she gets an abortion, but the evil Republican hillbillies who hate science won’t let her.”
Of course, in most of these cases some pertinent fact or piece of information is missing that changes the moral calculus, but I got to thinking:
What if that wasn’t the case?
I mean, what if those cases were exactly like what they sounded? Would that change anything?
One way or another, eventually we pro-lifers need to accept that we really are asking the mother to take on a higher level of risk to her health than she otherwise would if abortion was permitted. Sometimes – maybe not a lot but sometimes – it really is going to be more dangerous to carry the baby than it is to abort it. Sometimes, it might genuinely be bad for your mental health to have to carry your rapist’s child. Sometimes, a child will be forced to carry her baby for nine months.
I don’t like that this is the case. You don’t like that this is the case. Nobody does. But here’s the thing. If murder is wrong, it changes nothing. If killing your child really is always and everywhere immoral, then at some point we’re going to have to accept that there is SOME higher risk of a situation like this occurring. SOMETIMES, the mother’s life really will be in more danger. SOMETIMES, you will have to carry your rapist’s baby. This is terrible. This is horrendous. This is reality, because murder is wrong and we don’t murder babies. Period.
I’m thinking of part three of Walter M. Miller’s masterpiece, “A Canticle for Leibowitz”. Part three is in some ways an apologetic against euthanasia. One of the things that makes it so powerful as an apologetic is that Miller pulls absolutely no punches, concocting the absolute worst case scenario, when almost anyone would be in favor of euthanasia, but boldly declaring “No, euthanasia is still wrong and for the same reason it was always wrong”.
“What if I’m in constant pain?” No, euthanasia is still wrong.
“Well, what if my baby is the one in constant pain?” No, euthanasia is still wrong.
“What if my baby is going to die soon anyway?” No, euthanasia is still wrong.
“What if the world was about to end?” No, euthanasia was still wrong.
Why is euthanasia wrong? Because you don’t kill the innocent. Because there is more to life than the avoidance of pain. That’s it. That’s why.
It is the same with abortion. What if, what if, what if…
No. Abortion is still wrong. Aslan is not a tame lion. He is good, yes – very good, in fact. But he isn’t tame. He doesn’t do what we want him to do, and he doesn’t change reality to make it easier on us. He demands we be perfect as our heavenly father is perfect. And sometimes that means accepting that things aren’t going to work out for everyone – but that doesn’t mean evil isn’t evil.
It’s time we stopped running. Yes, sometimes, in rare circumstances, a mother is going to be in a worse-off position because she could have, but did not, get an abortion. And so what? Abortion is still wrong. And I’m still going to say that, whether or not I’m confronted with that fact.
One thought on “When Aslan is not a tame lion”
This post reminds me of one Zippy did about evil people doing better in life because they have options available to them that a moral person does not. Morality imposes hardship, and there’s no escaping those crosses.
May Zippy rest in peace
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