The issue is simple. Either ALL lives have value or none do. Either ALL lives have a dignity or none possess this innate quality.
Rights or values that are arbitrarily applied can just as easily be retracted. Last century undoubtedly witnessed the greatest denial of human dignity within world history. Communism, Nazism and, to a lesser extent, Apartheid, emerge as monsters in this praxis. But there is one loudly-silent denier of human dignity. One that outpaces the others by its sheer number of victims; that is abortion.
Standing and praying outside an abortion clinic can expose you to the heart of the beast. And that is the attack on truth or at best an ignorance or distortion of it. Very few discuss; some shout; others give you the fingers and move on. Their version of what constitutes truth even though it may not hold up to scrutiny is all that matters. Recently, an overt ‘middle-class’ lady shouted “and who is going to take care of all these (thousands of) children?” Who indeed?
Is it because we know what happens during an abortion and that this truth is uncomfortable?
Well, how can the taking of innocent life ever be seen as comforting or normal? Sadly, abortion has been so ‘normalised’ within society that it sometimes sounds like “I’m just going for a cup of coffee” or “I’ve had my hair done this morning”. Instead we have invented phrases and twisted words to assuage our consciences that if everybody else does it, then surely it must be okay.
But New Zealand history shows that Kiwis do stand up for the ‘under-dog’, the person who is ill-treated, oppressed, killed or simply denied their innate dignity. I recall watching in the early 80’s, as thousands of ordinary Kiwis stood up for the 2nd and 3rd class citizens of South Africa. Many of us were amazed that so many ‘distant’ people could be the voice of the voiceless. They could and did speak up for the oppressed; for those brutalised by an unjust system. A system based purely on a single attribute of their humanity; the colour of a person’s skin. This raises a question; is it easier to support a cause that is in a far-off land; far away from you? Thus the closer to home, the less comfortable people may feel?
But apartheid was not only about racial discrimination. There was a much less-discussed economic aspect to it. By keeping people down, by denying their dignity, it was easier to exploit them. A select few were making money through exploiting others. Some ‘fat cats’ were making huge sums of money through cheap labour. Of course, there was no concern over the home situation of the exploited masses. None of the ‘top dogs’ walked in their shoes; none of them knew or cared about the situation of their underlings. Profit was the concern, not people.
Is it a co-incidence that we have today the aptly named abortion industry?
Fast forward 30 years and so few speak up for the voiceless; the unborn child, the woman being pressurised to “get rid of IT”. One invariably finds that some who were anti-apartheid, anti-discrimination back then, are keen promoters of abortion. The dignity of ‘non-white’ peoples was recognised and defended back then, but for the unborn child, a strange double-standard is still at play. Discrimination based on a single attribute – that these children are unborn. Lest we forget that science clearly shows that an unborn child in the foetal stages of growth is a separate human being. Much the same like the non-white in South Africa.
A key difference was that the South African system enforced the “Group Areas Act” which did not allow certain types to occupy the same space whereas with an unborn child, nature dictates otherwise.
The same rhetoric fashionable today was applied back then. “My body my choice” could easily read “my slave my choice” or if you want, “my worker my choice”. All that is needed is simply a few words on a piece of paper, and the deed is done. It is legal. It is the law.
But does anybody give a thought for the victims; those affected by these acts of exploitation. Like under apartheid, there were many. Some were just doing their jobs; they felt it was good for the non-beings; those who were different to them. Likewise in the abortion industry. Many are just doing their jobs; many think they are helping women. A select few are reaping the financial rewards off the tears of others. Unfortunately, just as under apartheid, many of the people at the ‘top’ are victims as well. As they refuse to or do not see the humanity, the dignity of others, so too do they lose their own dignity.
It is just that situation that has led many to apologise for what happened in South Africa. Somehow they felt that they should. So too do we find in the abortion industry. Some people are recognising the error of their ways and walking away. It appears that there comes a time in their life when reality kicks in. And the workers walk away.
But just like under the apartheid system, healing can occur; help is at hand for those who recognise clearly what abortion does and the ramifications upon the individual – mothers, fathers and abortion workers. A “truth and reconciliation” process as happened after the end of apartheid also occurs post-abortion. Individuals seeking healing have already confronted the truth; reconciliation can begin. The major difference is that with abortion, this process is private; there are no recriminations, no finger pointing. Only closure, healing, love – a restoration of dignity.