(I was unable to post last week. Hurricane Idalia forced us to evacuate. The eye of the storm passed a little to the west of us, and when we were able to return we did not have any power or internet connection for a few days.)
It was recently reported that Republicans had a closed door session discussing what it means to be pro-life? They believe they lost seats in Congress in the last election because of their ‘pro-life’ stand. If what I read is accurate, they were not talking about retreating from a ‘pro-life’ position but how to better convey to voters what they mean by being ‘pro-life.’
Abortion is not something new. Abortion existed long before Roe V. Wade made it legal for virtually any reason up to birth. But the Constitution does not address the matter of abortion anywhere in its language. This is why the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, because “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.”
He died on February 25, 2013, at the age of 96. As the Surgeon General, the top medical officer of the United States, he served form 1982 to 1989 under President Ronald Reagan. Surgeon Generals are known for two things, they are quickly confirmed and forgotten just as quickly. Yet the Associated Press said he “was the only Surgeon General to become a household name.” His name was C. Everett Koop.
He took a strong stand against the tobacco industry and the health problems caused by smoking. His policies to address the burgeoning AIDS epidemic raised Republican eyebrows. And though he was a staunch conservative Presbyterian, he opposed abortion on demand not merely for religious reasons, but on strict medical grounds and his allegiance to the Hippocratic Oath.
Koop saw a subtle shift in the abortion issue few recognized. There is a significant difference in aborting a pregnancy and aborting a baby. He said, “In my thirty-six years in pediatric surgery I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother’s life.” When “toward the end of the pregnancy complications arise that threaten the mother’s health” the doctor “will take the child by inducing labor or performing a Caesarian section” in an effort to save both. Koop emphatically stated, “The baby is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.” This is what it means to be ‘pro-life.’
Every state in the Union had laws regarding the practice of abortion because there were times it was medically expedient. But under Roe v. Wade abortion was available to perfectly heathy women with perfectly healthy babies. We became a nation that aborted babies, not pregnancies and for no genuine medical reason.
This is the testimony of a seasoned surgeon. The mother is literally the life-support system for her child; if the pregnancy is a threat to her it is also a threat to the child. Abortions were performed to save the life of the mother and the child when there was a troubled pregnancy, because the lives of both were threatened.
God told Jeremiah the prophet, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” Jeremiah 1:5. King David wrote, “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them,” Psalm 139:16. From God’s perspective there is no such thing as an unplanned pregnancy or unwanted child.