Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Wednesday, November 7

Obama - choice and the chosen one

He won.

Which is generally good news for the peace of the world, fairness, love for one's neighbour, etc.

But during one of his last speeches he was interrupted by a protestor waving photos of aborted foetuses.

His protest had little effect -  he was quickly bundled away by security.  Now I actually have a lot of sympathy with people bundled away by security during political speeches.  A bit of heckling is good for democracy, so long as it doesn't get out of hand.

His protest did affect me.

I used to be an avid pro-life campaigner.  I presented motions to meetings of Unison (when I was a member) proposing dissafiliation from the National Abortion Campaign.  I frequently woke up in the night and wrote letters to MPs, the Queen, etc, though with hindsight I recognise the influence of eccessive caffeine.

As I grew and matured I grew more tolerant of abortion.

It started with a Bible verse: "Do not fret yourself because of evil men".  So I stopped active campaigning.

Later I pondered the impossible dilemma of the runaway train which you can stop from running over the innocent children by changing the points, but the train will then kill the men working on the siding.  The truth is that to act is evil, to refrain from acting is evil.

And so there are cases where, while abortion is evil, it is also evil to force a woman to proceed with the pregnancy.

So the protestor reminded me of who I once was.  And he made me question again who I am now.

I certainly don't believe in pure free choice, which is often implied when people speak of 'a woman's right to choose'.  It's not just about the woman - it's also about the child, and to a lesser degree the father's desire's should also be taken into consideration. 

I don't believe abortion is a right.

But I do believe that a compassionate society will permit abortion (especially in the first twelve weeks when many foetuses fail anyway) as a lesser evil, when there is a good reason for doing so.

If a girl from a traditional asian family in Britain becomes pregant, and if the father finds out he will kill the girl and the boyfriend and so the baby will die too, the abortion is the lesser evil.

But then the arguement starts. 

What is a good reason?  Money, because the state won't help? Health, discriminating against the disabled?  The mental health of the Mother? (I believe a study showed that abortion has no influence on the mental health of the mother, which was a slap in the face for pro-lifers who said it was harmful but also meant that most abortions in England and Wales are acually illegal!!!)

I conclude that while I now agree that the law must permit abortion, the vast majority of abortions are morally and legally wrong.

But in openly supporting Obama, I can't wash my hand sof it - I am in some small measure repsonible.  And I will face God one day and answer for the things I say.  I hope I'm right!

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