July 22, 2010

Dependency

One thing that always strikes me as a mom to a little one is the level of dependency my baby has on me. If I refused to feed him or dress him he would surely die. If I refused to put him to sleep, he would cry all day and develop severe problems. The level of dependency is almost exhausting at times, yet we view it simply as a fact of life - if you have a baby you must feed him, clothe him, and take care of his basic needs at the minimum. No matter the mother - rich, poor, Catholic, Protestant, Atheist - when we have babies we take care of them.

As a result, I think it's quite a funny argument among those who claim abortion should be legal, that the level of dependency of a baby in the womb classifies it as something less than human. We all know that babies in the womb could barely survive outside the womb (although the age of viability is becoming younger and younger). Yet if you look at it, babies inside the womb are almost less dependent on the mother for survival. For example, babies inside the womb put themselves to sleep. Babies inside the womb receive nourishment without any real help from the mother (albeit the food does come from mom - but unlike nursing, the mom needs to expend no real effort to feed her baby in-utero. Even moms who starve themselves are able to provide nourishment to their babies). So, if babies inside the womb are expendable based on the argument they depend upon another to survive, then it would make more sense that babies outside the womb should be expendable, too, for they are far more dependent for survival.

Taking the notion of dependency a step further, what about those on life support or even a feeding tube? Are they any less human because they receive their nourishment from something outside themselves? We would hardly argue not, however if we continue to believe the lie that babies inside the womb are not human because they are dependent it will be not long into the future that we will extend this notion to others in the same situation.

I think it's time we begin to look at the arguments for abortion in a rational light and stop allowing ourselves to be clouded by emotion - on both sides of the issue. Yes, emotions and passion may drive us to deeper pursuits of what we care about, however God gave us reason, as well, to discern and pass along the truths of the Divine and Natural Law. And sometimes His reason can be found in something as simple as rocking a baby to sleep.

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