Monday, June 12, 2017

Pictures on the Wall and Lifeguards on the Shore

   "I'm asking each of you to consider this as if you were considering it for the first time," the congressman said, as he skirted his eyes around the room of fellow lawmakers. "Abortion."
   He paused, then said. "Excuse me. I've asked for the lights to go out just for a short time." The lights then went out, and the face of a six-month unborn appeared on a large screen on one wall. The face lacked nothing. All the features of a newborn were there. 
   "Can we look at this and say it isn't a child?" the congressman asked. "Can we look at it and suppose it isn't living? Do we have any question whether it is a human?"
   He paused again. "Well, then. If we abort it, can we do so without killing it?" He paused again.
   "I think it is obvious," he said, and then paused but briefly before suggesting, "The unborn person before you is alive. If we are going to abort it, we are going to have to kill it."
   He paused again. The screen went black. Then, a second photo appeared. This one was from much earlier in the gestation, the unborn being but weeks old.
   "I give unto you the same child," the congressman said. "No, he would not be viable outside the womb. But, you can see the limbs. You can see the characteristics of a human. If you could place your ear right next to his chest, I don't know, you might even hear a heartbeat."
    He paused again.
    "Anyone want to take a chance that this is not yet alive?" This time, he gave a longer pause, letting the meaning of the question sink in. "Because, if it isn't alive, it becomes legal to abort it." 
   Another pause.
   "I don't think there is any one of you who knows for certain that that isn't a living being. If you are going to abort it, you are going to have to take a chance. To me, it looks every bit to a forming person." He paused just slightly. "I'm going to ask the same questions I asked when the face of the six-month old was on the screen. Can we look at this and say it isn't a child? Can we look at it and suppose it isn't living? This unborn might well be alive. If we are going to abort it, we are going to have to confess we might well be taking the life of another person."
   He paused. The lights went on.
   "We have a responsibility," he said. "We must do what we can. I'm introducing legislation to amend the Constitution. If we don't know whether that unborn is alive, we must save it. If the day comes we fully determine the unborn are not alive, perhaps then we can feel comfortable about aborting them. At this point, we are not that advanced on the subject. 
   "If these are alive, or if they stand a good chance of being alive, if they cannot speak for themselves but must rely on us, if we are the ones who must stand up for them, I want to be one who does speak up for them, who does stand up for them."
    He paused again.
    "Surely, you, also, want to help them."
   He paused.
   "Do you? Will you?"
   Another pause.
   "Together, we must do all we can. If we don't introduce a constitutional amendment, it won't get done. If it gets introduced but isn't ratified by enough states, so be it." He paused again. "But, we must try. If the lifeguard jumps in, but is unable to save a drowning person, that is tragic. But, if the lifeguard doesn't even jump in, doesn't even attempt to save the drowning person . . . "
   He paused yet again.
  "Each of us -- we cannot be such a lifeguard."
   The congressman then paused a final time, looking around the audience, as if to silently beg and implore.
   Then, he sat down.

Indexes: Stories, abortion

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this insightful perspective