Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Thoughts on Newborns, Unborns, and the Season

One of the almost scandalous things to me about the Bobbie Joe Stinnett story is the fact that well after the time that Victoria Jo, Bobbie's kidnapped daughter was found and returned to her father, the press continued to refer to her as a fetus, as that unhuman tissue people like to imagine is not exactly a real human.

We humans like to give labels and categorize things that are hard to deal with, simplifying complex situations and impersonalizing the painful. At times of crisis, perhaps, it is easy to do, but the reality is still the reality, no matter what we name it.

At this time of year, where many of us contemplate one of the most famous crisis pregnancies in history, it is worth considering some of the reality we hide behind labels. Terrence Jeffrey tells us:

As the Feast of the Nativity approached, it may have been a providential hand that parted the dark cloud enveloping the death of Bobbie Joe Stinnett and let through a ray of light: The survival of Bobbie Jo's baby, Victoria Jo, focused national attention on the undeniable humanity of what abortion advocates would prefer to call the "fetus."

Pondering the tragedy, Sen. Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, sees cause for hope. "I look at this case that happened in Skidmore, Missouri, and Melvern, Kansas, and I am just aghast at it," Browback told me. "Scott and Lacy Peterson, that trial. You really are seeing a confluence of things confronting the public to deal with the issue of the humanity of the child."

In the new Congress, Brownback will reintroduce a bill he began working on this year to drive the unborn child's humanity deeper into the national heart and mind.

The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act would require a doctor who wants to perform an abortion on a mother pregnant for 20 weeks or more to inform her that Congress has determined that a child at that stage of development is likely to feel pain while being aborted. The doctor would also be required to offer her a brochure detailing the scientific evidence for this determination and ask her if she would like anesthesia administered to the baby to lessen his or her pain during the abortion.

"My hope," said Brownback, "is that a number of women getting in that circumstance will say, 'Gosh, if that child is likely to experience pain, I don't want to do this to that child." He also hopes to enlighten the national debate. Citing an observation of Abraham Lincoln, he says, "You move America by establishing a common thought, and I want the people in America to see the humanity of the child in the womb."

Brownback's bill had 22 co-sponsors this year. Rep. Chris Smith sponsored the House version, which had more than 100 co-sponsors. Brownback believes it will be one of the top pro-life bills moved in the next Congress.

On the first Christmas, a poor young mother and adoptive father, forced into a manger in Bethlehem, joyfully welcomed an unexpected Child into their family and their hearts. In a nation so blessed by God as our own, does any child deserve less?

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?