Are we mere biological specimens in various stages from birth till death? Do we count ourselves fortunate to have been born and not terminated in the womb by our mothers and collaborating physicians? In that misty world, we resembled unfeathered baby birds fallen from the nest. Yet everything we are was programmed from our conception amid the interplay of family genetics.
Woman’s physiology heightens her vulnerability as the weaker sex. Coincidentally modern medicine has overexerted to counter her reproductive system with chemicals, pills, needles, implants, and all manner of devices. Prized farm animals would not be subjected to such a host of interventions. A woman has supposedly complete control over her now dysfunctional body. Abortion is on the menu, judging by the statistics. While doctors fail to counsel their patients on their vulnerability, they prefer to justify expunging the resulting pregnancies of their newfound freedom. Alternatively, pro-life doctors recognize the conception of a human person and mark their calendars.
Women bear the wombs of the nation, from which come our country’s lifeblood, and so they entrust physicians with the lives of coming generations from conception throughout the human life cycle. We remember the faithful general practitioners, who sweated with their patients in hard deliveries, frequently in the home. Now we envisage the abortionists among them who drag at the coattails of this once noble calling, while still anticipating our esteem and respect. The question thus arises whether one who practices abortion should be allowed to handle any maternity cases and work at the locations where other babies are achieving live deliveries. Pro-lifers would not knowingly choose such doctors for themselves or their children, or place themselves in the hands of these people for higher medical problems.
Unlike any other, the medical profession is free of public scrutiny of its actions from the outside. In our country, noted for its medical discoveries and advances in modern childbirth, pro-lifers suffer anxiety over government tolerance for the choices of these medical persons and their patients, with long-lasting effects on our overall population.
In one province with formerly high birth rates and strong family structures, an open policy on abortion counters any efforts they make to sustain an official language policy for a shrinking population.
As well, nationally, abortion for sex selection, often enforced by the husband for a male heir at the expense of one of more female fetuses, may finally result in a sort of greenhouse male infant birth. Have our laws not been overly influenced by foreign doctors and immigrants from countries where lives are expendable and the wrong sex or unwanted baby becomes easily a medical cipher?
After repeat abortions, especially in countries of rampant use, the womb may compare to an old leather pouch while patients, unfettered by moral responsibility, go through the assembly line encountering the same doctors for further pregnancies. The threat of uterine cancer bodes ill, in particular where medicine is scarcely very antiseptic.
Custodians of Life
Doctors must see themselves as the custodians of life. If their caseload of patients cannot assess them in this manner, how can they rely on their diagnostic judgments and personal ethics? Women have held a romanticized view of doctors and associate them with higher achievement and the performance of some miracles. The profession is now greatly augmented by compassionate young women who manage to raise their own young families while establishing their practices. A happy experience it is to view on their walls pictures of the many infants they have delivered to other women.
What a joy it would be if all doctors might one day implant in the hearts of all they see the true quest for life.
Mary Evans is a retired employee of the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries. She has been closely following the abortion issue since 1970. For five years she was an active member of Birthright and is now associated with Nova Scotians United for Life.