Effort and Cost

There’s a bunch of guys in the gym who take it upon themselves to make sure everyone knew the locker room is a locker room. The 5 minutes before and 10-15 minutes after that I spend in that locker room, is constantly peppered with vulgarity, profanity, abuse and sexual derision that is constant and gratuitous.

This morning there was “something entirely different” – they “discussed” the case of a baby (yet to be born) who has two faces, two brains but just the one body. That case was going to be a feature story of a magazine styled tv show later tonight and was advertised extensively this morning. I guess we must have been seeing the same things on the tv screens facing the cardiovascular exercise machines.

A member of this usually loud and bothersome trio opined loudly that if the baby is still unborn and it is a known fact that he/she would be born with this complication, the pregnancy should be terminated forthwith and the child spared the agony of social, physical and emotional wars he or she would surely have to fight for the most part of his or her life.

Last Thursday at the home group of our church, someone mentioned Melinda Tankard Reist and I remember reading about her work iin Caberra, where she established a halfway house sort of facility for pregnant women. Tankard Reist is a pro-life campaigner and founded the home to support women who would otherwise have terminated their pregnancies. At that time I thought it was compelling work. I have a vague sense of the mountains of challenges single women and women without the support or means to bring up a child, face when the contemplate bringing a child into this world. Pro-life campaigners may mount the most compelling argument against abortion but that still leaves the issue of the practical challenges facing women with unwanted pregnancies. The halfway home Tankard Reist founded gave credence and real help to back up its convictions.

Life is indeed sacred. So terminating life for no other reasons than the mother’s right to live a life of certain quality on the one hand seems difficult to support. But equally difficult to support is an argument for preserving that life if this would then mean years of untold agony the mother and many others, would face given the pregnancy was unwanted. This would be especially true if that child is also saddled with the sort of complications the tv show would highlight tonight. No doubt with state of the art graphics that would tell a most visual story.

Maybe the community of faith is meant to step in here. It may work better if the prolife camp had “more skin in the game” i.e. when an unwanted pregnancy isn’t terminated, the baby would be assured of a village he or she would require to bring him or her up. Extended somewhat, a community of faith in obedience to our Lord’s teaching can ensure that even that child with such astounding complications (as we shall no doubt find out tonight) would be provided with the best chance of being loved and becoming a cherished member of a community. It is when we each look after ourselves that we look for the easiest way to deal with issues like unwanted pregnancies – make the problem go away…