I have been thinking about Superman (Man of Steel) lately and it’s various and many allusions to Christianity, faith in general and, it seems, conception.
In brief: Krypton has evolved technologically to a place where the burden of pregnancy and child birth have been removed from women and placed in the hands of the medical establishment. There has not been a live birth “in hundreds of years”.
I have never been fond of eugenics (the medical and scientific manipulation of human beings essentially to breed out “imperfections”) and this seems to lean in that direction but it lends an interesting scenario…
Were there abortions on Krypton? It sounds like a silly question (I suspect it is) but these sorts of hypotheses can be helpful in looking at a situation we are close to.
If women no longer had the burden (I will call it burden although many women would call it a blessing it depends on circumstance and context) of being pregnant would that end abortions?
To lay my cards on the table I should say I am not and have never been a supporter of abortion. I think it is wrong. I thought it was wrong before I was a Christian and I still think it is wrong.
But time has led me to consider certain uncomfortable realities – context for instance. Should the rule against abortion be a strict no abortion ever under any circumstance? Should there be absolutely no laws regulating abortion whatsoever such as in Canada? Is there a happy medium? Should fertile 9 year old girls who have been raped by their fathers be forced to carry that child to term? Should a woman who uses abortion more like a reactive contraceptive be allowed to have her fourth or fifth abortion? Should abortion be restricted or limited after a certain point of fetal development?
How do we answer any of these questions? I know how we avoid to answer them – we objectify that little human being in the womb (some of you just cringed at that description) and we use the scientific name for it – fetus. To put it in words that perfectly express this: “She’s not a fetus, because fetuses don’t necessitate or care about government protection since they’re not real people. She doesn’t exist.” from this article – http://bit.ly/16zL79J
The fetus becomes an object and as such open to manipulation and destruction. It is not alive. Not like us. Or if it is it is not really human and what’s the point of trying to figure out when life begins anyhow? The very suggestion that we debate this is shouted down in our culture because of fear. We fear what the answer might be. When did we become afraid of knowledge and dialogue?
Culture has successfully communicated to me that, as a man, I have no right or voice in any discussion on abortion (unless I support it). It has been so successful that posts like this make me literally break out in a cold sweat.I am afraid to communicate.
Some would respond by stating that this has been the state of things for years for women but past injustice does not justify continued injustice.
Back to Man of Steel. The film makers sent a clear message by having Kal El’s (Superman) parents choose, against all cultural restraints, to have a child naturally. They are called heretics for their choice. But the message is clear – choice. Freedom. These things are of supreme importance.
And just when you think we have wrapped up our argument in a nice little bow and determined that since choice rules women should be allowed to choose abortion we must be reminded again of the nagging little question – what if this being is alive…alive in the same way I am?
Is it murder?
Some of my Christian friends clamor at this point and state unequivocally that it is murder and therefore should be illegal. After all we have laws against murder. But what about the death penalty in some countries? What about state sanctioned murder (war)? Where are the Christian voices that stand strong against these things? Oh they are there but not nearly in the same way they are there for abortion. In fact many Christians who stand against abortion support a death penalty and war.
Some no doubt do not like the comparison of abortion to the death penalty. People on both sides of the false dichotomy recoil at it. On the pro-life/anti-choice side people would say that you cannot allow abortions because we allow war and the death penalty it’s different. On the pro-choice/anti-life side there are those who would say that to compare it to the death penalty equates women and their doctors to executioners.
Still the reason for aborting the life is because it has been deemed to be a burden. An unwarranted (or warranted?) emotional/physical/societal burden. Like a criminal.
Complicated. Like a tangle of yarn.
We are told that to regulate or ban abortion equates to regulating a woman’s body and yet we regulate each and every person’s body everyday…what can be put in; what can be taken out. It is illegal to put crack cocaine into your body. It is illegal to remove your kidney and sell it on eBay. But it is my kidney…to do with as I please. My body – to do with as I please.
We need to allow the philosophical/moral/ethical conversation about life and when it begins and its value to happen regardless of what you believe. Why? Because when we stop philosophizing; when we stop discussing something it dies and becomes corrupt and is left open to abuse…abuses we think are not possible at all…like eugenics…like removing the choice of natural birth altogether in favour of the seemingly morally right choice of leaving it to science.
Whether we agree with one-another or not we must talk about these things and wade through the terribly uncomfortable swamp of dialogue and we must do so with enough respect for the other to allow them the possibility of being correct (which allows for the possibility of us being incorrect) but to do this we must love one-another, genuinely…and there is a distinct lack of love in our world these days.