Monday, February 6th, 2012
“What do you think the consequences should be for a woman who harms her unborn baby by drinking alcohol?”
That is the question a friend from high school recently asked on Facebook. She and her husband adopted a little girl from Russia who suffers from several physical conditions because the birth mom drank alcohol while pregnant.
It’s common knowledge that when an expecting mom drinks alcohol, it greatly puts an unborn baby at risk. Granted, alcohol isn’t the only harmful threat for a child in regards to the pregnant mom’s wreckless behavior.
What about drugs? What about carelessness in general? What consequences are there for those in our society whom we consider to be “unfit mothers?”
It’s not like it’s easy to always pinpoint the “birth defects” of a child on the mother’s bad decisions. After all, not every baby born from a good mother makes it into this world perfectly healthy.
But going back to the topic of pregnant mothers who make destructive decisions, what exactly can we consider to be “child abuse” in the womb? Or as I like to call it: in utero child abuse.
For me, though, I take this topic a level further:
If a mother deliberately harms her fetus with the intent to kill her child, maybe by using a coat hanger, or having someone repeatedly punch her stomach, or even if the mom herself shoots her own stomach with a gun, and the child dies in the womb, is that definitely considered murder?
I realize each state may have its laws regarding this situation, but I’m less concerned with man’s law and more interested to know how our society perceives this within our own moral scope.
When a mother intentionally terminates her pregnancy on her own in some unthinkable way I just named, is that definitely murder?
Or do we deem that as an illegimate version of an abortion?
Image: Pregnant woman holding a cigarette, via Shutterstock.
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Thursday, August 26th, 2010
Twenty-eight weeks. (The beginning of the 7th month.)
I’ve been thinking how it’s kinda weird that in order for two people to reproduce, there’s no paperwork involved before things can get started. Giving birth to another human being is one of the most life-changing events that can happen to a person. And not just to the family of that new baby, but also to the world-wide network regarding that human interaction of that person’s present and future life. For example, in 1981, my parents had me, and now 29 years later there’s a guy at Aflac getting a commission off my paycheck every week because he sold me an insurance policy three years ago. I am affecting that Afflec guy’s life simply because I am alive. And that’s the slightest of examples!
In the back of my mind, I question why God is okay with the fact that it’s so easy and natural for human beings to be born. If I was God, I would be pretty tempted to prevent certain people from being born, like Adolf Hitler (a pretty obvious choice). And not let future serial killers and rapists be born either. Instead, God allows all kinds of people are allowed to be born into this world, under the best and worst circumstances.
But God doesn’t prevent “ignorant people” from having babies, nor does He keep “bad people” from being born into the world, nor does He prevent unwanted pregnancies. Ultimately, every time a person is born, it’s another opportunity for someone to bring glory to Him, whether they ever do or do not. Not every child who was abused in their youth grows up to repeat the vicious cycle and by becoming an abuser themselves, even if most do. And what about all the babies who were born into this world as a result of rape? What about all the orphans throughout the history of the world who were born destined to die young of starvation or disease?
It’s pretty easy for babies to be born, given that that the father and mother physically can conceive. No paperwork and background check required. So as I tame my wildest fears regarding all the ways I can mess up this kid who is planning to arrive in two months, I have to remind myself, millions of babies have been born into this world under the worst of circumstances and actually turned out okay. My future is as unpredictable and uncertain as anyone’s. Yet I must daily resist thoughts of financial concerns and pointless worries regarding my own conceived incompetence. But all I really can do is enjoy this new life and remind myself of all the countless times God has provided for me before.
All pictures with the “JHP” logo were taken by Joe Hendricks Photography:
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