Unborn

THE HARDEST part of going on duty at the OB Admitting Section (OBAS) is having to interview patients who have willfully aborted their children. They come in many forms: teenagers who think an unplanned pregnancy is going to cost them their future, middle-aged mothers who can no longer sustain another mouth to feed in the household, single women who believe raising a child would be burdensome in this harsh and cruel world.

Because we do not have the luxury of time at the Emergency Room, our conversations would revolve on the most crucial details: how they went about the process, what medications they took, and whether there was an egress of meaty material—and if there was, how much of it. Eliciting these pieces of information borders on torture—for the patients, especially—but the questions must be asked for the correct medical care to be given. Unless I ask the patients again, I am usually met with denials or excuses, but they would own up to the deed, eventually. Some would break down in tears, while others would feign nonchalance. I can only imagine how their consciences are eating them away, tearing them apart in a way that only the experience of murdering a helpless, innocent human being can bring about.

There are many ways of dealing with these patients. Some people I know do not hesitate to blame these mothers, repeating time and again the crime that was done, and threatening to report them to local authorities. They would place the fetus—macerated, no longer breathing, a messy bog of flesh—beside the patient to make her understand the murder that was committed. While I do not agree with this practice, I can understand the frustration: here we are, trying to save lives, doing the best that we can to usher in the birth of a child, no matter how perilous the situation is—and we are met by people who do the exact opposite. I plead that God help me to not judge them (because it is all too often tempting to lash at them with vindications) but to approach the situation with a Christ-centered perspective.

Abortion is but a symptom of an even greater disease—sin. It's appalling how sin has enslaved the world and made it unbearable. How it has fooled men and women into thinking that irresponsible, casual sexual encounters do not lead to anything but bliss. How it has killed the innocent and ruined the mothers who bore them in their wombs.

Dealing with cases of induced abortions stresses me out, and if I had the choice I would rather not handle them. They depress and grieve me. I grieve for the dead child, and I grieve for the mother. I would think of these patients for days. Their lives will never be the same again. They will be eaten with guilt at the sight of children. They will recall their dead unborn when they finally decide to have children. What will become of them? Is there deliverance?

Oh, that they will know Christ and find forgiveness. No sin is too great for Jesus to forgive—yes, even the murder of the innocent. A graphic example is found in John 8. Jesus forgave the woman who was caught in blatant adultery—we can only surmise that she was in the act of sexual congress when she was dragged out of bed and exposed to the public for stoning. And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more" (John 8:11). This wasn't an easy thing to do: forgiving this woman's sin cost Jesus His very life. He would later die on the cross, when it should have been that woman hanging there.

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