I guess I get to editorialize a tiny bit, since this is my blog. I was perplexed that they seemed to be granting me permission to have an abortion.
I have to confess, it seems funny that we could both be Christian's, and feel so differently. It's not that I don't think Mr. Kaufman has a right to his opinion, or even that he is entirely wrong, it's just that I'm perplexed by Christians who use such destructive language to pursue their opinions. Abortion matters. I'm just not willing to rip and tear people to get a point across.
I think, in the end, they both missed my point. (Or maybe I didn't make it)Abortion is large and complex. There are no single answers. We need to accept that there is a multitude of experiences and reasons why women choose to end a pregnancy. And really, words have power. We should choose them very wisely.
I also don't read the partial birth legislation the same way as Mr. Slater, and I have become acquainted with a few women who were unable to be induced before term at the hospital of their choice. I don't know who's right.
So, without further ado, here is Ted Slater's Response.
Please know that I'm very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how painful it is to have lost a child, and to have been put in the difficult position you were in.
Also please know that we believe "self-defense" is a legitimate reason to have an abortion. A woman who is expected to die as a result of an ongoing pregnancy is free to either continue with the pregnancy or bring it to an end. An excruciating decision, but biblically defensible. Neither we at Boundless nor our author Matt Kaufman condemn you for your very difficult decision. I'm sorry the article was written in such a way as to imply otherwise, and I understand how you could thereby find it offensive.
I do need to correct something you wrote. You said that:
... the current partial birth abortion legislation contains no exception for the health of the mother. I suspect you support this legislation sir, and you need to know that you would have killed me.
You should be relieved that that's factually incorrect, a misconception promoted by those who favor abortion for any reason throughout the entire pregnancy. The wording in the legislation is clear:
This subsection does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
See this article -- http://www.citizenlink.org/FOSI/bioethics/A000001313.cfm -- for more information.
Again, my heart goes out to you, Cheryl. May the Lord grant you peace and instill in your a joy that one day you will see your son again, a child who's been dancing with Jesus and experiencing glory, and who holds no grudges against his mommy.
And here's Matt Kaufmans' response:
Dear Mrs. Spit,
Ted Slater relayed your message, and I want to add my sympathies to his. Please know, too, that I never intended any condemnation toward your decision. Ted said it already, but I feel I need to say it for myself: In those rare cases when your very life is at risk, and when the terrible choice is between one life or another, there's no iron law to say which life must be chosen. There's only prayer to do what's best and to come through it with healing.
I could say a great many things to explain what I intended with my column. But suffice it to say that it was addressed toward attitudes about situations very different from yours. It was responding to attitudes holding that a pregnancy itself--a (for want of a better word) normal pregnancy--is not blessing but affliction, and that the infant be seen not as having precious worth in his or her own right, but as having worth (positive or negative) conditional on other people.
Perhaps I should say something, too, about the language I used in my desert-island analogy. I was talking about the case of a basically strong, healthy person faced with a case of caring for a weak, totally dependent infant. That person--knowing full well that he or she was caring for an infant (as McDonagh et al's argument is willing to grant), not a "potential" human being--would have to become someone truly awful to justify abandoning the infant, much less to assert that abandonment as a "right." In our society, there are many factors that can confuse people (men as well as women) about just what abortion is. I intended the desert-island example as a means of dramatically illuminating what's wrong with counting the preciousness of life as conditional, much less as "the enemy." Absent that example, I fear, it's easier to fall into a habit of philosophy-class rationalization, fed by the general relativism of our time. ("You have your truth, I have my truth, everyone has their own truth" ... that sort of thing.)
I regret that reading my column brought up such pain for you. And I pray that you and your family are comforted through all these years, secure in the knowledge that your Gabriel is in the arms of the loving God, and that in faith in Him we will all one day join in the land where there are no more tears, only everlasting joy.
God's blessings to you,