The right to life of the fetus must not be worth less than the woman’s right to self-determination
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling by a two-thirds majority. Going forward, it will be up to the 50 states to find their own positions on abortion. In some press commentaries, this decision is portrayed as a step backwards into the dark ages. I consider this assessment to be completely wrong!
Fall 1988. My wife worked as a resident at a large hospital in Cardiff. She was on night duty and had her dinner in the hospital’s cafeteria at about 7 p.m. That’s when she was joined by a young English gynecologist. A short exchange of words ensued.
Martina: “We’re fighting for the life of a baby born at 24 weeks gestation in the neonatal intensive care unit right now. I hope it pulls through!” Gynecologist: “I’m supposed to induce an abortion on a baby at 23 weeks gestation right now. I think that’s so horrible!”
In the spring of 2016, I had a long conversation with Trevor Sampson in Johannesburg. The gifted musician has been helping disadvantaged youth in South Africa for many years. He has a special heart for the children on the street because he himself grew up in similar conditions.
That he is still alive is almost miraculous, because his single mom, when she was expecting him, wanted to end the pregnancy with an abortion. And this intervention would not even have cost them anything. Her own mother, Trevor’s grandmother, was responsible for performing abortions in the township. She performed her craft with long knitting needles. She did this efficiently and thoroughly and without much remorse. One day the old woman was on her last legs in her hut. The scene is etched in Trevor’s memory to this day. From her deathbed she screamed into the dark room, “The children I aborted are all here accusing me!”. Her death was gruesome.
At Hospital Diospi Suyana, we aim to assist the most vulnerable members of society, the disenfranchised Quechua Indians as well as the uninsured rural farmers. And who is more defenseless and helpless than an embryo in its mother’s womb?
Abortions are taboo at our hospital for four reasons.
Traditional medical ethics from Hellenism: The Hippocratic Oath is a document that may have originated around 400 BC. For over two thousand years, physicians in the Western world have understood its content to guide their ethical actions. To this day, in many “countries” young physicians take this oath at the beginning of their medical career. In it it says: “… I will give no lethal medicine to anybody, not even on explicit request, and I will also give no corresponding advice; likewise I will hand over no abortifacient to any woman. Loudly and conscientiously I will preserve my life and my art …!”
The position of the Book of Books: All volunteers at Diospi Suyana are committed Christians. And the Bible makes it clear that God is the Lord over life and death. God’s love is for every human being, not only after birth, but already during and even before pregnancy. The words of the prophet Jeremiah are among the most important passages in world literature. He wrote in the first chapter of his book, “I (God) knew you before I prepared you in the womb and set you apart before you were born of the mother (Jer. 1:5).” The author of the 139. Psalms sings: “Your eyes saw me when I was not yet prepared, and all the days were written in your book that were yet to be, and there was none of them!”.
Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS): The psychological short- and long-term consequences of abortion are extensive. The most common symptoms women suffer from after a beating range from intense guilt and depression to nightmares and suicidal thoughts. In an analysis by the Elliot Insitute, only 5.1 percent of the 260 respondents felt an inner peace.
Percentages vary from study to study. It is important for me to point out that psychological stress after abortion causes a great deal of suffering in countless women.
The legal situation in Peru: In Peru, abortions are illegal. There are only a few exceptions, for example, when the mother’s life is in danger.
In the so-called Christian West, we strive to protect the frogs and toads on the streets. And on the other hand, many act as if an embryo is just a lump of protein with DNA inclusions. Did you know that 97 percent of babies are completely healthy at the time of birth?
Unfortunately, many opinion makers try to label abortion opponents as religious fanatics in the public debate. Abortion advocates are portrayed as modern, understanding, contemporary, and democratic. In contrast, in this black-and-white thinking, abortion critics are considered intolerant, unfashionable, undemocratic, and radical. I am following this development with great concern. (Excerpt from the book: Walking on Water). /KDJ