Selection from Pyramids of Thrush Creek.

 

           Roger took a sip from his glass of Pepsi.  “Are you demonstrating against abortion itself or against the court decision that made it legal?”

            “What do you mean?”

            “Well, who’s your audience?  Are you trying to influence law makers and judges or are you trying to influence ordinary citizens who have abortions and the doctors who perform them?”

            “I don’t know.  We’re going to Washington.  So I guess we’re trying to influence the government.”

            “Did you ever consider what would happen if you were successful and actually overturned Roe v Wade?

            “Yeah.  We’d save about one point three million babies a year.”

            “Okay.  But beside that?”

            “What do you mean, beside that?  You don’t think that’s enough?”

            “Well, first of all, the number of illegal abortions would rebound.  So you wouldn’t save as many babies as you might think.  Now the fact is illegal abortions are just as immoral as legal ones.  But you have added health risks.  By making it illegal, you create a financial opportunity for unqualified and unscrupulous people who are willing to break the law to make a buck.  In my opinion, that’s not a good thing.”

            “The law needs to be enforced,” Kathy scowled.  “If they don’t enforce the law, it won’t mean anything.  But with proper enforcement, we could save a lot of babies.”

            “But that’s almost impossible to do without invading people’s privacy,” Roger continued.  “And here’s the other thing that would happen.  Most of the babies that you do save from abortion would be born into homes where they are not wanted.  A lot of them would be neglected, mistreated and abused.”

            “They can be adopted.  There are lots of people who want to adopt children.”

            “We already have more unwanted children than what are being adopted.”

            “That’s because the government makes it so difficult and expensive to adopt a child.”

            “We keep hearing the horror stories in the news about children being left in deplorable conditions, children being abused and raped, stories about frustrated parents punishing a baby because it won’t stop crying.  The more they hurt the child, the more it cries.  The more it cries, the more they injure the child, till finally the child dies.  Some of the babies you save would suffer a fate much worse than abortion.”

            “Roger, I never would have thought that you would be pro-abortion.”

            “I’m not!  I just accept the fact that forcing my opinions on everyone else would make a bad situation worse.  But, I’m not pro-abortion.  In fact, I bet I’m more pro-life than you are.”

            “How’s that?”

            “Well, what do you say about a high risk pregnancy, where the mother’s life is in danger?  Is abortion okay then?”

            “Yeah, but that’s the only time.”

            “I thought you’d say that.  But where does that come from?  Where do we get the idea that we should kill the offspring to save the parent?  Look at nature.  The most important thing we have to do is to pass life on to the next generation.  The offspring is always more important than the parent.  Look at the salmon.  They spawn, they die.  It’s okay.  Life has been passed to the next generation.  Take the honey bee.  The queen mates and then she kills the drones.  They’re dispensable.  Their life has been passed to the next generation.  Killing the offspring to save the parent goes against nature.”

            “So, Mr. Know-it-all, what do you think we should do about abortion?”

            “I think that if everyone who claims to be a Christian would really believe what they say they believe, you’d have a different strategy on this issue.”

            “What are you trying to say?”

            “Most Christians say they believe there is an almighty God who has the power to change people’s hearts, to change the way they think and view things.  If they really believe that, why are they fooling around trying to change the law?  They should be convincing people to believe in God so he can change their hearts.  That way, the babies you save from abortion would be born into homes where they are wanted and loved and cared for.  Isn’t that the kind of results we all want?”

            “But we do try to win converts to Christ.  Of course, then we’re accused of being intolerant and not respecting other people’s views.”

            “I’m not accusing you of that.  I just enjoy debating this kind of stuff.”     

            “And at the same time that we’re trying to get converts, we’re trying to fix the law.  We’re working on both fronts.”

            “But you can’t do both,” Roger’s voice was getting louder.  “Trying to force your beliefs down everyone else’s throats is no way to win friends and influence people.  You’re making enemies of the very people you should be trying to convert.  Instead of reaching out to help those in need, you’re building barriers.  That strategy makes no sense—unless you recognize that there is no God who can change people’s hearts.”

            Kathy paused briefly.  She knew Roger loved to argue and she enjoyed an intellectual challenge too.  But this wasn’t what she considered part of a romantic evening.  “Have you seen Schindler’s List?” she asked.