This Sunday, the 23rd of November, marks a National Day of Mourning and Compassion in Australia.
People all over the country will be meeting to grieve the growing incidence of abortion in our nation. Australian churches are also being asked to remember those who have been affected by abortion.
The National Day of Mourning and Compassion website states the mission of the event as follows:
* Join together in compassion with ALL who’ve been affected by abortion, enabling the expression of mourning within a safe a supportive social forum.
* For all those with faith in Jesus, to pray in repentance for acts of abortion. To feel and acknowledge his grief over this sin of humanity.
* Raise awareness in the community of the thoughtless daily disposal of life.
* Bring into the light the grisly reality of what the new Victorian Abortion Reform Bill means to our society – in particular as it relates to late term abortion.
* To acknowledge the intrinsic value of every human life.
It’s not a protest and people will be asked not to carry placards or try to force their point of view, rather that they simply meet to mourn and support those whose lives have been touched by abortion.
I know that there are intelligent, thinking people on both sides of the debate and I don’t want to turn this into an argument over the rights and wrongs. I would simply and with respect say that I believe that a life begins at conception and that the taking of innocent life through abortion disturbs and saddens me.
I know that many women have abortions for many different reasons and I would never want to condem them for what they’ve done. It’s not my place to condem others even when I disagree strongly with their actions.
Here are a few words from Dr Lachalan Dunjey who is coodinating the Perth event on Sunday.
Why does abortion concern me?
Why would I take part in a gathering together of people nationwide this coming Sunday who are grieving because of abortion in our nation?
Why am I involved in the abortion issue when I didn’t want to be? When I knew it would be divisive? When I knew it would also be divisive amongst Christians and even Christian doctors? When I knew it would put me in conflict with others and cause me personal pain? When I had a vague idea of how much it would cost in terms of time and putting myself forward?
I think we just have to remind ourselves of what is really happening here – what has really, without our full realisation, happened.
Yes, there have been many who have been awake through the whole process but most of us have been asleep.
Who would ever have thought that abortion would be promoted as just another aspect of contraception?
Who would ever have thought that medical personnel would deliberately turn the ultrasound away so that the mother-to-be would not see the beating heart and know that the child she was carrying was not just a clump of cells? Who would ever have thought that this action would be recommended by a NHMRC committee?
Who would ever have thought that killing would be a solution for misery?
In Senate hearings in Canberra three weeks ago it was acknowledged that abortions were being carried out for fetal abnormalities some of them quite minor and surgically correctable e.g. cleft lip, as well as 90% of Down Syndrome babies. Further, it was argued that taking away the Medicare item for mid-trimester abortion would have the effect of increasing the cost to the community of disability services. Thus we have an argument for selective abortion on the grounds of disability – with implications as to how we view people with disability – that is not only justified by maternal choice as to whether that baby should live or die, but also by economic rationalism.
Mothers who refuse abortion for disability have been labelled “genetic outlaws” because of the implied extra cost to the community.
The implications are huge – including economics being applied to other aspects of health care and also euthanasia vs palliative care.
So we need to look at the actual direct effects of abortion
• What it means in terms of actually taking a real human life where its 46 chromosomes have already determined how it smiles.
• How that human life is actually taken in terms of gruesome techniques.
• How this is done without any consideration of pain to the baby especially in later pregnancy.
• Consequences to the mother – physical, psychological and spiritual.
And then to the wider implications to society that is coming to view life as expendable depending on its value and the implications for
• Experimenting with the origins of life.
• Mixing of human and animal genetic material.
• Eugenic selection in our society for elimination of anything considered less than perfect.
• Physician assisted suicide.
• Euthanasia – voluntary and involuntary.
At root, of course, are the questions
• When does human life begin?
• What does it mean to be human?
• When is human life of value?
• If it does not have intrinsic value from conception then when does it have value and on what basis do we ascribe that value?
Lachlan Dunjey. November 2008.
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