At Easter time each year, we are reminded of the importance of life to our Creator. The Father sent his Son to Earth to die for sinful man, though he himself was sinless. In doing so, he defeated death and rose again in new life – something that everyone is invited to take part in.
The state of Indiana took a step in the right direction toward further protecting life last week when Governor Mike Pence signed a bill banning abortions that are sought because the unborn baby has Down syndrome.
Certainly, some abortion proponents support allowing the termination of a pregnancy in such cases out of concern for the life the child will end up leading or the ability of the parents to raise him in such challenging circumstances. But do we really believe that life is only worth living when it is comfortable or easy?
There are plenty of reasons human beings are concerned with the right to life and, individually, with staying alive. Hamlet is just one example of the fear of death – or rather, the fear of what comes after – that incentivizes us to endure hardship and keep from dying.
But beyond the desire not to die, it is evident that humans inherently desire to really live and live a significant life. In Alexandr Sozhenitzyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, the gulag in which the title character is imprisoned is devoted to making life miserable for those held there. Yet, no matter what communists take away, they cannot take away the desire to make something of one’s life.
Ivan Denisovich finds meaning in things as small as completing more work than the required minimum and acquiring an extra roll of eat the next day. Though one might be able to write the latter off as a need for better nutrition, but why would a prisoner care about accomplishing more than the minimum workload? But accomplishment gives Ivan Denisovich meaning.
The quality of one’s life is not determined by its comfort.
Too, one’s quality of life is not decided by the situation of one’s birth. Examples are of this self-evident truth are endless, but just one will suffice here.
During his childhood, fiction author Dean Koontz watched his mother and abusive father’s marriage disintegrate before his eyes. His father later literally tried to stab him to death. Koontz, however, has made the most of his life experiences, rather than pitying himself and developing a sense of entitlement.
He said while those memories were something he had to overcome, they also helped define who he is today.
“I have said sometimes that I would not have had my career if not for my father because that’s where all the creativity comes from,” Koontz said. “When I write about sociopaths, I’m writing from the trenches.”
When we take an unborn child’s life, we take away the child’s ability to do something with his life. When we take the life of an unborn child because it is likely to be hard, we simply replace one possible cruelty with worse – and definite – one.
Kudos to Indiana for moving toward a culture that values life.