Sunday, May 31, 2009

Killing in the Name of "Pro-Life"

I went into my Yahoo account this afternoon to find the headline, "Abortion doc gunned down at church" staring straight at me. I read on to hear that he was a doctor who performed late-term abortions, that his clinic was one of three that performed abortions after the fifth month of pregnancy. He was serving as an usher in his parish the day he was shot, while his wife was singing in the choir. Immediately, a few thoughts came to my mind.

First, I believe abortion is wrong. I won't deny that. I think it's a sad state for women when circumstances are so desperate, the only way to deal with a pregnancy is to get rid of it. For me, I find that society is not doing enough and that women are not fully empowered if we had to make that choice. Also, I find that it causes a certain mindset, that some babies are worth more than others, that some humans are worth more than others, just because of who their parents are, how much money they have, how old (or young) they are, or whether or not they have disabilities. As for late term abortions, I find that to be a cruel, barbaric practice and if a child is viable and could survive, why would we even resort to something like that? Especially considering some of these practices are more harmful for women than actually giving birth.

That said, I think gunning down a doctor who performs abortions is always wrong. Always. As much as I think his practice was cruel, I cannot forget that the doctor in question truly believed he was helping women and children and that his mission was to save life, even if it meant death. I cannot forget that he was a husband, possibly a father himself and probably went to medical school because he sincerely believed in helping people. I cannot forget that it is not up to us to judge when it's all right to take life away, but to leave it to God, much like the pro-life movement advocates.

If you are truly pro-life, you have to support everyone's basic right to life. That includes the right of the unborn child, the pregnant mother, the prisoner, the sick, the old, yourself (so suicide is not an option), the soldier, the poor, and others. This includes the lives of all, even if you do not believe yourself that someone is worthy. I do believe self-defense is pro-life, but only if you are honestly preventing the loss of more life (this includes in time of war). However, going after someone and brutally murdering them is not pro-life. It merely puts you on the same level as the person you are trying to stop.

I do not claim these people as pro-life. I believe that witness must be met with non-violent resistance. Humanity knows enough suffering, enough death. Let's try not to add more to the equation.

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