Zika virus has been making the headlines and it will make it one more time in the following discuss. It is our group’s tenacity for moral uprightness and Biblical ethics that attracted some of our members to one of the headlines.
“A Dutch NGO said Tuesday it has launched an international effort offering pregnant women infected with the Zika virus free pills to trigger an abortion, aiming to halt any rush towards unsafe terminations.”
The question was then raised, “is abortion correct and right?” This is a question that we need to answer and we can actually answer it as a group that it is incorrect and not right, but then the circumstance is unlike what we are used to so we needed to rephrase the question “is abortion correct and right in the present circumstance brought about by Zika virus?”
If it were to be answering our own question without a Biblical principle to back it up, we might have had a smooth sail but then how do we say we support the abortion move for pregnant women infected with the Zika virus and not for other pregnant women in other circumstances.
This is more of an ethical issue than a scientific one. I will like to plead the readers to neglect the scientific incorrectness of our debates and focus on the biblical and ethical issues being addressed.
Because the points were made during a chat, I will like to preserve the structure as such. So I introduce to you Bayo Majekolagbe, a Lawyer as we discuss together under the umbrella of the Rebirth Youth Forum. The contents have been edited to allow for easy reading.
Bayo: Hi guys, Biodun raised an issue with me a few days ago. I told him I had no answer. But the issue came back to me this morning. According to him, an NGO in Spain or somewhere gave out abortion pills to pregnant women infected by the Zika virus. Is this right?
Biodun: “A Dutch NGO said Tuesday it has launched an international effort offering pregnant women infected with the Zika virus free pills to trigger an abortion, aiming to halt any rush towards unsafe terminations.”
Bayo: Thanks Biodun. Dawned on me this morning, that I can’t just say there is no answer. There should be. There is.
Joe: This is my GNS 206 all over again. We were to write on either abortion or euthanasia, for or against. And the two to me are similar to a great degree.
Bayo: Joe. I had a debate in my 1st year on the propriety of abortion and it was an easy slam dunk. This is different. A little more complicated.
Bayo: Point of convergence. Termination of the life of the unborn. Point of divergence. The basis for such abortion.
The conventional, it is wrong to abort. Complexity: Is it still wrong when a child would be permanently deformed or die prematurely…? Is it worth the pain?
Joe: A man has been on life support for 14years, his family is struggling with the bills. They have been hopeful he will wake up one day, but so far he hasn’t. The family had a meeting and decided it’s time to let go. The doctor removed the oxygen mask on the man, and switched the machines off. He called in the time of death some grueling 6 minutes later; “time of death, 11:55 am”
In the case of zika virus and its effect (microencephaly) on unborn children, has anyone read of a chance that the baby may not be deformed? (I have not). If there’s a chance, even if it’s just 20%, there’s hope in pain and pain in hope that the baby might turn out not deformed and this will be the pain of going through with the abortion. But if there’s no hope, then I support the move.
Anyone who must hang on to that hope should be ready for the pain.
Either way, there will be the regret of cutting off a life and also the pain of allowing the existence of a permanently brain damaged person.
Bayo: Tried a quick google research on the probability of non-infection of the unborn. I have not come across any study in support of a chance of non-infection.
Same way it is almost unlikely for an AIDS infected mother to give birth to a baby without AIDS
Joe: For HIV/AIDS it is possible and the possibility of not infecting the baby is high with proper handling and knowledge.
I have seen couples who are positive and the babies, 3 children in one case are without HIV.
Bayo: What is the position of the scriptures on this? I told my Muslim colleague while discussing this that the Bible has an answer to every question.
Joe: I don’t think I can answer it from the scripture without feeling I am twisting the scripture to suit the situation.
Bayo: Joe, there is a waning pain, and a permanent one. Would presume that the abortion induced pain would wane… While seeing your child forever brain damaged would inflict a perpetual pain.
Joe: Yes, that’s the price hope demands in this situation. But if there’s no hope. It is at a medical advantage to terminate the pregnancy.
Bayo: Does that mean there is no answer in the scriptures?
Joe: I will say there is an answer from the scripture, but it will feel like I’m using the scripture to suit the situation and or my preference on this matter.
Bayo: I get that bro. Indulge me a bit. Whilst I understand the twisting part and the risk involved… I also understand that application of scriptures is not explicit. It is at times inferential. For example, No exact scripture against drugs in the Bible… But there are applicable scriptures which are inferentially apt.
Joe: Yes, For instance, I can make reference to the story Jesus told of a farm owner whose tree is not productive and wanted it cut down, (Luke 13:6-9) as a reason to support this abortion drive. The farm owner said “Why cumbereth it the ground?”
I also ask why the pregnancy should take the toll on the woman, and why the child should be born as an extra demand on the already thin special children education fund. “Why cumbereth it the ground?”
But again I can use another similar story to go against it.
Jesus told the story of a farmer who planted good seed but his enemy sowed weeds in his field.
The emphasis is on vs. 30, he said “Let both grow together until the harvest…”
In the first story, there was hope and that was why the land owner permitted the gardener one more year. But for now in the case of Zika, there’s no hope yet. So I won’t go the way of that land owner, and the second story also inherently talks of hope, at least there are good seeds growing. But for now what good are we expecting from a permanently brain damaged child? So again I won’t say what the man said, I won’t say “let both grow together until the harvest” or until there is cure for Zika or for the children already deformed. I will say why take the chances, “why cumbereth it the ground?”
At this point, I will like to introduce another lawyer, Sopuruchi by name.
Sopuruchi: Ok, Joseph the truth is that ALL LIVE IS SACRED.
I have the greatest challenges to my faith when I look at small children who obviously have done nothing wrong being afflicted with diseases they have no part in deciding it happens to them. However I have found solace in the fact that even for such individuals, God’s grace is sufficient for them. Abortion is murder of a child that hasn’t been given a chance at life. It is wrong, except where it is utmostly necessary inorder to preserve the life of the mother.
If God permitted that life to come in, then the strength to take care of that child must come from Him. And then who says there is no more balm in Gilead? In fact it is these stereotypes about Special children that has made me develop a special burden for them. If only to show everyone that there’s still something disabled children can do.
Point is, if you’re convinced to abort due to Zika, then you may push the frontiers for abortion tomorrow.
I appeal to the Spirit of God within us.
Joe: Sopuru, if you have this special portion of your heart for special children, you will be broken by certain individuals. I don’t mean children or special children, I mean “special” adults who know that they are Hb S carrier and go ahead to give birth to these brilliant young individuals who have two lives: one normal and the other in the hospitals. It wasn’t their fault you know and they may not have been born if not for 2 “special” individuals who really fell in love.
All life is sacred but there’s a life worth saving but none is worth killing (capital punishment?)
Life is more than breathing. The worst kind of life is first of all a life without hope.
Why Zika issue is serious is its present challenge of hope. A friend of my dad’s first son has Down syndrome and is living a good life, working in d US. But if you’ve seen a microencephalous child living a live, half as good, then there is hope. It is not the smallness of the head that’s the issue, it is the content.
Sopuruchi: I really didn’t get Joseph.
Joe: My concern is a little different from yours.
Even though the issue of Zika and its subsequent cause of microencephaly is hyped (my opinion and observation) I react to it as if every pregnant women infected will birth a deformed child. If this is true, it is not different from two genotype AS individuals marrying themselves. It is similar at the point of prevention. If the two do not marry they prevented the birth of an SS child. In the case of Zika, if the child is aborted, a deformed life is prevented. But then the AS couple has hope. There’s a chance they do not birth an SS child.
I have been discussing on the assumption that such hope doesn’t exist for foetus infected with zika. (This may not be accurate)
Maybe you should look at it on that premise that the fate of the baby is sealed: permanently deformed. And then I also ask, to what degree is the deformity? Is it to a degree that the child is permanently dependent? These are d variables. When you think in that line, I want to know what your response will be. Don’t forget to also back it up with Bible references or inferences.
Bayo: Some sound reasoning there guys. My position is not very clear at the moment. But I am quite disposed to aborting an unborn child with a confirmed case of Zika.
But then, Joe, who are we to play God? Who says there won’t be scientific discoveries on cure to Zika? Who says such Zika inflicted child, like the man born blind, won’t be to the glory of God? Who says a miracle can’t happen later in life? I agree and align with Sop. If the rationale for the pro-life movement is that every life is sacred, That God is the creator of all, that we are all created in God’s image, that abortion is as murderous as murder… Etc… Then, it applies here too. I think I have found an answer I am at peace with.
To learn more about zika virus you can check this link.