|Tough Questions: Hard Cases|
|Written by Marie Bowen|
There is a terrible scene in the movie Rob Roy where Rob Roy MacGregor's farm is destroyed by his enemies. Roy's wife is raped by the villain, Archibald Cunningham.
You know that shortly there will be a final encounter between the honorable Rob Roy and this wicked man, Cunningham. Justice will be done.
While perfect justice is an unattainable ideal, we make important distinctions between the guilty and the innocent. To approximate justice in this life, we make clear distinction between ones who deserve punishment and those who do not."It's not the baby that needs killin'," is a right, wise, and just observation.
Though the baby's existence may be the result of wrong, the baby itself is guilty of no wrong. This truth must be kept clearly in mind. We do not kill the innocent in order to punish the guilty. To kill the baby is to compound the crime. The desire for justice understands that the baby is innocent.
From a sermon by Mark Atkinson, Pastor of Fairview Presbyterian, Glenmoore, PA
But what about the woman who suffered rape? Why should she be punished by having to carry and give birth to the baby?
Some offer abortion as a solution to the atrocity of rape that leaves a woman devastated and pregnant. Yet abortion steals the remnants of dignity from a woman already suffering psychological trauma, and victimizes her again.
Aborting the baby that God has created—for surely only God brings life from horror—will not heal or restore. In her devastation God has given her a child—someone she can love. She may nurture her child for decades or for just a few months before providing him with a loving family through an adoption plan.
Abortion is no gift, but a second trauma. It puts her long-term health at risk and denies her the opportunity to love her child. Abortion replaces the good, that God in his love and grace intends to bring from evil, with rejection and hatred, and kills a tiny, completely innocent human being.
The final degradation of the woman comes not from without but from within. The loathing she feels for those who violated her is turned against herself for acting against her natural instinct to protect and nurture the life in her womb.
Jesus came to bring life and bring it abundantly. Everything in nature teaches us that God brings life from death. Jesus teaches never to return evil for evil done to us. Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek and give the cloak to the stealer of our coat. We dishonor his name when we put the name of Christ on a violent, vengeful act against innocent life.
In raising her son to be a man that treats women respectfully, handles disagreements peaceably, and rejects the violence of his biological father, the mother will find a victory over her enemy that yields peace in the war of her own heart. In loving her daughter conceived in violence, teaching her to be a woman of dignity and grace, able to love and nurture children, the rape victim shows the world the face of Christ and demonstrates his world-changing grace.
God intends to give both mother and child abundant life. Will we, the Christian family, lend our support to what God is doing—bringing life and love from death and hate—or will we promote abortions that perpetuate the violence, hate, and destruction of human life and dignity?
What about incest?
Incest is a form of rape that involves an even greater psychological burden. It is usually long-standing and involves someone that the girl/woman trusted. Abortion does not solve the problem of incest. Usually it is the abuser who arranges the abortion to enable continuation of the sexual abuse. An obvious pregnancy may bring the abuse to light and put a stop to it. With incest, as with other forms of rape, abortion is traumatizing.
In many people’s minds there is the fear of abnormal children as a result of incest. While it is true that there is a higher incidence of recessive genetic disorders in children conceived of related parents, the vast majority of children conceived as a result of incest are normal. Even if the child does have a genetic disorder, does not God care for all of His children?
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