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Archive for June 12th, 2008

Doug Phillips posted anew to his blog today with an article entitled “Is Innocent Human Life Ever Negotiable“. In it I found the following:

Dan forwarded to me this article written by him on the importance of maintaining a 100% pro-life, anti-abortion position in all cases including rape, incest, and ectopic pregnancies. This is the formal position of Vision Forum, the Roman Catholic Church, and numerous leaders and organizations within the pro-life community. We all stand for the proposition that self-conscious, intentional abortion is never justified, and that both parents and the medical community must respect and honor the personhood of both the mother and the child.

As the token Roman Catholic in the bunch, I feel that it’s my duty to make a few clarifications here. In the interest of fairness and so that the reader understands what bias I have in my writing I will say that as much as I love the Roman Catholic Church, I do not agree with them on all matters theological or ethical. That said, they do not hold the same position as VFM when it comes to the treatment of ectopic pregnancy.

The Roman Catholic position is that the termination of pregnancy is never licit, unless it is to save the life of the mother. Further, the goal has to be saving the life of the mother, not the injury of the baby. For example, removing the fetus in the tube would be permissible under Catholic teaching because it doesn’t directly hurt the baby and the goal is to save the mother. Another example would be a hysterectomy to remove uterine cancer during pregnancy. The goal is to save the mother, not hurt the baby, thus it is morally licit. It’s called the Principle of Double Effect. VFM is currently teaching that women would be better served by waiting it out with an ectopic pregnancy, thus putting her at risk of death. That is not the same as the Catholic teaching.

When making the decision with my daughter, I chose to induce labor which would thus end the issues that were causing me danger, and nothing was done to my daughter. She was born still, but whole. In fact, my church brought me Communion while I was in labor, and a deacon came to bless her after her birth. My church was very supportive of my decision because my life was worth as much as my daughter’s, and she had conditions that made her incompatible with life.

What I find interesting is that Mr. Phillips is so quick to apply this 100% pro-life attitude toward ectopic pregnancy and pregnancy in general, but not as quick to apply it elsewhere. Why is Mr. Phillips not writing against the war in Iraq? Many innocent lives have been lost in our efforts there. Why aren’t we condemning our soldiers as murderers? Why isn’t he questioning his faith after reading that God commanded the deaths of children in the Old Testament? Is God different today than He was yesterday? Or are His standards so arbitrary that it’s okay to take some innocent life but not others? It seems he’s applied the Principle of Double Effect to war and to Scripture, but not to pregnancy.

I agree with Mr. Phillip’s statement that “Intent is everything. We must never intend to abort the child.” I disagree with his application of this in the event of tubal pregnancy and other pregnancies where a mother must save her life. Believe me, we don’t intend the deaths of our children, but only the preservation of our lives.

More importantly, Mr. Phillips, the leader of a “ministry” fails to recognize this amazing opportunity to minister to those in need. He has a chance to reach out to women in pain and show them the love of Christ. But he instead focuses on discussing the law in the sterile setting of his blog. Out in the real world, it’s far messier.

To any woman reading this blog today, please know that I believe in a God who loves you, right where you are. He does not condemn you for saving your own life. My God grieved the loss of my daughter with me, and He knows pain and suffering. My God does not offer judgment, but has taken our judgment upon Himself that we may be made clean. He knows that life is messy and hard. And He promises to walk with us on that path. If you are reading this after experiencing the pain of loss, you are not alone. You have sisters-in-loss here, and a God who understands what you’ve been through and wants to comfort you.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,

to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,

and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.

Isaiah 61:1-3

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Who’s Life?

From Doug’s blog today:

“At Vision Forum, we are passionate about life.”

Except when it comes to the lives of pregnant women.

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