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Forty Fractured Years…and Counting

January 15th, 2013 Posted by Susan's Musings 6 comments

Do you remember the days when you weren’t supposed to bring
up religion or politics in polite company? They are long gone, perhaps because
there is almost nothing that affects our lives these days (including the weather)
that doesn’t fall into one of those categories. Most meaningful matters seem to
fall into both.

As we near the 40th anniversary of the Roe v.
Wade Supreme Court ruling, raising the topic of abortion is particularly
divisive. There are many people for whom either the ‘Right to Life’ or the
‘Right to Choose’ constitutes the sole criteria on which to evaluate a
politician. We are passionate about our views of abortion, no matter on which
side our hearts and minds lie.

The opportunities that exist today to save the lives of babies
who are months away from sustaining life on their own (see this
heart-tugging story
) can’t be ignored.  The widespread availability of 3D pictures
that early on show an active baby with a beating heart refutes the concept of a
fetus as ‘just a clump of cells”. Testimonials from women who, despite being
told that abortion is ‘no big deal,’ are tortured by the memory of their
abortions—including Roe v. Wade defendant Norma McCorvey—belie the underlying
assumption that this legislation would be only a positive step forward.  Points made in the 1973 case are
anachronistic, yet emotions on this subject are so easily inflamed that few
people are able to sustain a reasonable discussion.

Rather than abating, the divisiveness is becoming more
aggravated. Contentiousness about abortion is not going away. The ability to
talk to each other with empathy and sensitivity is. Forty years later, Roe v.
Wade hasn’t settled into the history books. Since it deals with human life, it
shouldn’t. Competing views on slavery eventually could not be ignored, though
generations pushed the issue down the road until it exploded. Competing views on the
sanctity of life, or even life potential
, cannot be ignored either. If the
Justices had the foresight to see into the future, would they still have voted
as they did?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 comments

Carol Brady says:

Hi Susan,
Your post this week is particularly meaningful especially in the light of the shootings in Newtown, CT. It amazes me how upset (and truly we should be) about losing the lives of 20+ children, but not upset enough to have save an entire generation of babies that would be grown up now and adding to the taxes helping to sustain Social Security. Well, abortion does have its pesky unintended consequences, doesn’t it. How many poets, artists, engineers, doctors, and other professions did we lose as well as someone who might have cured cancer, Ebola or diabetes. I heard someone say the other day that God must be in tears to see what the human race does to itself. I had to agree. We’re not getting more compassionate, thoughtful, kind, or loving, we’re creating more technology to teach people to kill, to be unkind, and to separate us. It is a sad commentary of just how low we can actually sink.

James says:

A woman very dear to us made mistakes in her youth. She partnered impulsively and unwisely, and in consequence received an abortion. We were heartbroken, in addition because many women who abort lose capacity to conceive again. But she was blessed later with two beautiful, vibrant and intelligent children. Yet often I wonder, when she looks at her children, and thinks back on that aborted soul, how she must feel today about who might have been.
Also I would speak to the brilliant answer you and the Rabbi gave to the former Christian woman who lamented that prominent people in the Church of her experience were crazed power-trippers: Ann Landers used to say that a church is not a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners. She could switch churches.
Seek and ye shall find, it is said. Yet it is amazing how strong and seductive is our human power of suggestion. What we will find is colored or even programmed by our expectations. Life is a rosebush with roses and thorns in abundance. If you focus on the roses, you will find them, and their brilliant colors and lovely smell will delight you. But if you must focus on the thorns, you will certainly find those, too, and might get pricked.

TMay says:

I don’t know if you saw this news story.
http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/benelux/130114/deaf-belgian-twins-commit-suicide-after-discovering-they
“Deaf Belgian twins euthanized after discovering that they are going blind
Euthanasia for adults has been legal in Belgium since 2002. This case marks first time two brothers have been permitted to die together. Jan 14, 2013 ”
“Marc and Eddy Verbessem, 45-year-old twin brothers who were born deaf, were euthanized in Belgium on Dec. 14 after finding out they were going blind, in a case that has drawn euthanasia in Europe back into the spotlight.”
They were not in pain. They were not dying. They lived together. “They couldn’t stand the idea of never seeing one another again.”
“The separation from their parents and brother was very serene and beautiful.”
“Belgium’s current socialist government has put forth a controversial amendment that would allow dementia sufferers and children to commit legal suicide, as well, wrote Agence France-Presse.”
Assisted suicide for non terminal patients is allowed in Belgium, Switzerland, and Amsterdam.

Betsy says:

And how will our country not be judged for this?

TMay says:

In contrast to the story mentioned earlier about the two identical twin brothers in Belgium committing suicide, here is how an American with a Jewish upbringing, Rebecca Alexander, is handling a similar situation. It reminds us that our daily problems are pretty minuscule. Rebecca is a fraternal twin with a twin brother. She works as a psychotherapist. She is writing her autobiography. She is beautiful too, with brown long hair and blue eyes. She might be missing a man whose proposal she turned down.
“Peter Alexander on his sister who is losing both her sight and hearing”
From Peter Alexander, TODAY
http://allday.today.com/_news/2009/03/19/4378233-peter-alexander-on-his-sister-who-is-losing-both-her-sight-and-hearing?lite

Jean says:

Absolutely, Carol. If a civilization stifles opinions that do not bear out theories they hold to be truth the outcome is always the same. The sanctity of life is abandoned from before the cradle to the grave.
Without Judeo-Christian ethics and compassion for everyone we are lost. History bears this out from the beginning of time.

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