When I read the following line from a News Article summarizing the main points from a statement on abortion issued by the Mexican Bishops on March 25th – immediately after reading about a campaign to ban pig scrambles at the annual Dundas Fair in PEI – I couldn’t help but shake my head in dismay at the thickening cloud of ethical and spiritual confusion presently darkening our world:
“The ideology of respect for animals is presented as a responsibility, while the power to bring death to an unborn child is understood as a right.”
I love animals. I consider them an invaluable part of our intricate and marvelous creation. I’m definitely not in favour of either disrespecting them or causing them any unnecessary pain….and I’m totally against all forms of animal cruelty! I just don’t understand how some of the same people who would walk barefoot over broken glass to prevent a little kid from chasing a little pig around a little pen for a few minutes can also demand as a “right” fully-funded access to surgical procedures to unnecessarily end the life of unborn human beings. I’ve checked the names of the people calling for a ban on the pig scramble, and some have been strongly and publicly pro-choice. I mean really….where’s the logic?
Can’t they see the blatant hypocrisy? Where’s the compassion for these totally helpless and vulnerable little human beings, whose right to continue living should be totally obvious to anyone with an informed conscience? After all, they are indeed tiny human beings, each with a unique DNA code, each growing by his or her own force, relying only on two things: nutrients (food) and a warm, safe space (lodging), both provided by their mothers. Do we not hold that all humans have a fundamental right to both food and lodging?
There is simply no credible scientific evidence or moral justification which makes it ethically okay to end the lives of unborn children – at least none that I’ve ever seen or heard – yet facts no longer appear to count for anything it seems, and they continue to be ignored. And the very humanoid image of the unborn child which clearly shows us the child is human, with a human face and human limbs and a beating human heart; well, any reference to such things just doesn’t seem to come up in the discussion anymore, erasing the human shape of the unborn child from our minds. The unborn child disappears in the murky and deceitful discourse that speaks about abortion only as a women’s choice, carefully avoiding any mention of the brutal and tragic procedure that actually ends the life of unborn children. Now that’s what you call disrespect for life: masterfully camouflaging human beings with the clever use of avoidance tactics and euphemisms so that the act of disposing of them won’t formally be acknowledged and give rise to any troubling moral awareness of the cruelty.
In fact, in our culture, unborn babies are not really “babies” anymore at all, or at least not by default, but only when they are “wanted.” Only then do they somehow miraculously come to life and become deserving of love and care; only then is there cause for joy and celebration; only then are we given cultural permission to use the official designation “baby.” But shouldn’t every brand-new human life in the womb be a cause for joy and celebration? Doesn’t every unborn child deserve love and care?
What the Mexican Bishops lament in their Statement is exactly the same situation we should be lamenting here in PEI: a situation where Premier MacLauclan continues to break the law that clearly states that medically-unnecessary abortions are not to be paid for under the PEI Health Services Payment Plan (while the official Conservative opposition, which claims to be against medically-unnecessary abortions, refuses to demand government compliance with the law); and where the science that confirms the unique and autonomous life of every unborn human child from the moment of conception is never factored into the decisions to either have, or provide, abortions, as if science should have no bearing on the decision whatsoever. Is that what you call an enlightened society? Tell me this: how exactly did breaking the law and ignoring scientific facts become an acceptable basis for ending the lives of innocent human beings on our “gentle Island”?
There’s currently an online petition asking Islanders to help put an end to pig scrambles at the annual Dundas Fair. It has over 3,000 signatures (although the vast majority are not from PEI). If science can show that those little piggies are indeed suffering, then I would gladly sign the petition. But I’m not yet convinced; I know dogs love that game.
To be honest, I really don’t know enough about pigs, or pig anatomy and psychology, to comment or decide on this issue. The framers of the petition seem convinced: the preamble declares unequivocally, and with an air of authority, that pig scrambles are indeed both “cruel and unethical.” I wonder how these same people would characterize a sharp metal blade tearing through the tiny beating heart of an unborn child still living in the womb? What would they call that?