Imagine a frantic mother being restrained by firefighters in front of a burning house. We can understand why she want to risk her life to save her child, but we can also understand that if the case is hopeless, at least her life should be spared.
Imagine the same scene with a twist. The mother realizes the case is hopeless and heartbroken, sits on the ground sobbing. Now imagine someone trying to force her into the house, risking her life in a vain attempt to save the child.
Americans are deeply divided on abortion. Depending on how the questions are framed, about half are broadly “pro-choice” and the other half are generally “pro-life.”
The vast majority of those who oppose abortion believe it should be allowed in extreme cases: certainly to save the mother’s life, and nearly all agree it should be allowed in cases of rape or incest. I say “nearly all,” because I know some argue that even the product of rape has a right to live; but I can’t imagine any state passing a law restricting abortion without provisions for cases of rape or incest.
My internet friend Margaret has sent a link to a thoughtful article in the NY Times by Judith Warner–you should also read the followup comments. Earlier Margaret sent a link to an article by her writing teacher relating her tragic experience. Margaret also related her own story in a comment here.
If these stories don’t make you sad enough, Valerie Tarico tells her own tragic story here. Valerie is a former evangelical Christian who became an atheist. She is less abrasive and more thoughtful than most of the outspoken atheists today. I’ve seen firsthand enough of the dark side of evangelical Christianity, although I will probably read her book on the subject.
As I say, I’ve seen enough to be sympathetic to Valerie, but I have also seen enough of the good that people of faith do–and the good that faith does in their life–that I hope I will be a reformer rather than an apostate.