On November 23rd a radical bill to decriminalise abortion and impose it on Northern Ireland was stopped in its tracks thanks to opposition led by Christopher Chope MP. The status quo is preserved for now – but it is no time for us to rest on our laurels.
The Royal College of Common Practitioners has just stated: “The College will now function with partners across the well being sector, like the BMA, the Royal College of Nursing, Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Well being, the Royal College of Midwives and other individuals, to get in touch with for the decriminalisation of abortion across the UK.”
A month prior to the November knock-down I’d listened wide-eyed at a pro-abortion Parliamentary meeting as Diana Johnson MP and Stella Creasy MP candidly shared their dream to see abortion totally decriminalised correct up till birth. This would for instance officially legalise gender-abortion – a reality which, when raised in the meeting, was neither denied nor apologised for. It would also drive abortion even additional underground in terms of healthcare accountability. No longer would (increasingly discredited) “health” grounds be required to grant each abortion, creating it tougher to prove as the tracks are covered that hundreds of thousands of distinct abortions have been performed expressly on the basis of false healthcare facts.
There was in this meeting a palpable eagerness to capitalise on the Repeal of the Republic of Ireland and rush abortion into the North, even even though it is against the wishes of the Northern Irish people themselves – 100,000 of them are alive nowadays thanks to the powerful protection of the unborn at present enshrined in their law.
These twin legislative giants, representing the most aggressive advances against our unborn in current years, are nevertheless lurking just about the corner and have only seriously been held off for now by tiny extra than a political technicality. The DUP’s powerful pro-life stance, combined with its position as anything of a cornerstone in an otherwise non-existent majority, indicates that for now any such bill is unlikely to get time or assistance from the Government. But the abortion business will not rest till they have prevailed, and the post-Brexit Home of Commons could properly be a lot extra vulnerable. Furthermore, abortion advocates are increasingly attempting to sneak it via in the type of amendments to other bills – anything the DUP could be powerless to cease.
It is nearly not possible to locate a single prominent Church figure in the UK who has publicly denounced abortion at all, let alone these distinct and imminent threats, and some Christian medical doctors, while avoiding involvement in abortion themselves, choose to retain their heads down rather than raise them above the parapet with vocal opposition.
Our relative silence is taken for assent – specially when it is our taxes paying for abortions, our Royal Colleges championing them, and our British Healthcare Association backing complete decriminalisation.
If there was ever a time for the Church and for Christian medical doctors to break our relative silence on abortion, it is now.
So what holds us back?
A blast from the previous may help…
In the late 19th Century, horrific atrocities had been getting committed against the native folks of King Leopold II’s Congo Free of charge State. Hands had been reduce off for the crime of insufficient rubber collection, and kids had been eaten by soldiers, in complete view of their fellow-villagers to terrorise them.
The English missionaries there had been uniquely placed to offer proof and expose this injustice internationally, but they didn’t want to provoke King Leopold they risked expulsion from the Congo Free of charge State. Would it be worth it?
Probably we ask ourselves the exact same query, faced with present and threatened abortion injustice. Probably, like these missionaries, we look at what we have to drop – our position, our platform – and possibly we seriously do think that we have to have to guard these for selfless, gospel-driven causes.
“The difficulty,” stated Grattan Guinness, director of the Congo Balolo Mission at the time, “is to do very good with no performing harm.”
But is this price/advantage strategy to choice-creating seriously the biblical, Christlike way?
Numerous males and ladies in the Bible risked and gave their lives in obedience to God. Believe of Joseph, Moses, Jesus, and the early Church (and later, the Reformers). They didn’t cease to wonder no matter if it would be “worth it”. They merely obeyed God and left the outcome to him.
Don’t forget the words of Esther confronting the King about the plot to exterminate the Jews: “If I perish, I perish.” She understood that her platform, and even her life, had been not for guarding: they had been for utilizing and if required for utilizing up, “for such a time as this”, in the bring about of anything higher.
If engaging with problems of justice is a command of God, there are in reality only two achievable paths – obedience, and disobedience.
It is really hard to consider of a harassed folks group extra many, extra vulnerable, and extra unable to speak for themselves, than undesirable babies in the womb.
The unborn is our neighbour, and we are commanded to enjoy our neighbour as ourselves.
Can there be any query more than the biblical mandate to defend the unborn?
Anytime we permit God to back the safety of our job or mission field but disallow him from speaking via us about justice, we make God in our personal image and engage in a type of idolatry.
Fortunately the CBM did come out publicly against the Congo injustice in 1903, a year ahead of the Government’s Casement Report, with the support of the newly invented Kodak, turned the political tide.
I wonder how history will appear back and judge us. Will they see males and ladies who stood up what ever the price? Or will they see males and ladies who loved their personal lives?
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, comments: “Ultimately, this is about supplying non-judgemental care to our individuals so that ladies who face the challenging choice to proceed with an abortion are not disadvantaged by the legal program.”
When faced with a pregnant lady, she sees only one particular patient. But we see two, and as medical doctors, and as Christians, we have a duty to guard each.
Decriminalisation, and abortion in Northern Ireland: these giants will make yet another try, and quickly.
Will we wait for them? Or shall we go on the front foot, go on the offensive, and “speak up for these who can not speak for themselves“?
Dave Brennan, founder and leader of Brephos