Pregnant Women in Crisis Need Authentic Compassion—Not Abortion

compassionThe Chicago Tribune ran a column by columnist Robin Abcarian earlier this week in which she begins by asking, “Have you ever wondered what a world without abortion might look like?”

Abcarian falls into the all-too-common modern practice of equating women’s equality with a right to abortion. This attitude is disingenuous and, frankly, condescending to women. Women do not need the right to kill their own children in order to assume their proper role in society.

She reports on a study from Amnesty International, with a heartrending story of a woman pregnant with an anencephalic baby. All the attention is directed to the woman who has some health issues of her own and how abortion is the only solution to her problems. There is no thought of the poor baby with a condition that would result in his death—unless he can be killed first.

Abcarian blames the “inflexible Roman Catholic church” and “archaic” attitudes about women in El Salvador and a few other countries around the world for the fact that this mother could not obtain an abortion.

In the 21st century, doesn’t it seem genuinely archaic not to be able to give the pregnant mom, Beatriz, something better than the right the kill her baby? Why couldn’t she be comforted and encouraged to love her child for the few months that have been given her?

We are constantly bombarded with news and advice about doing things more naturally. More and more food and products are advertised as “organic” or “natural.” Yet we would snatch the natural course of events from Beatriz and her child and simply let Beatriz be the agent of death. This is grossly misplaced compassion.

It is not compassionate to suggest to women that they should be the determiners of life or death for their children. If Beatriz were to have given birth to a child with severe anomalies would we ask her to kill her child or to hire someone to do it for her? I would certainly hope not.

Perhaps El Salvador does need to provide more opportunities to women, but not opportunities to be killers. And thank God for the Catholic Church that upholds the dignity and value of life for all human beings, including both mother and child.

We are called to build a culture of life. That means a culture that meets the needs of both mother and child with true compassion that respects the unique role women have as the bearers of life and the dignity that every human being acquires simply by being conceived.

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