There was a real sense of celebration in our home group last night. Two of the group, Roger and Marina, had become grandparents for the first time earlier in the day. There was great excitement and lots of questions as we took in the details of Adam’s arrival. Roger explained that everything had gone well (Adam was born at home) mother and baby are doing well. As is normal on such occasions, we began sharing our own experiences as parents and grandparents and a number confessed to being moved to tears when confronted with new life, it is after all a miracle.
Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes that there is; “a time to weep and a time to laugh”. If last night was a time to laugh, this morning as I listened to the news at 7.45, I felt like weeping.
The Telegraph has carried out an undercover investigation where reporters approached a number of clinics and asked for an abortion solely on the grounds of the baby’s sex. The report can be read here.
Although this is illegal, doctors admit to falsifying paperwork and as the doctor in the film states; “I don’t ask questions”. The health secretary, Andrew Lansley, has ordered an immediate enquiry; I suppose it will be in the news for most of the day.
On BBC 5live this morning, Nicky Campbell interviewed Kate Smurthwaite, vice chair of Abortion Rights UK. She described the story as; “a bizarre entrapment story”.
When Campbell asked; “Is it morally wrong to have an abortion on the grounds on gender?”
She replied; “I actually think it’s a difficult line.”
I actually, do not think it’s a difficult line at all, I think it’s vile. Furthermore, when we look at the global picture we see literally millions of female babies being either aborted or abandoned or killed shortly after birth. In an article in the pro abortion publication ‘The Economist’ (read it here in full) we read;
“It is no exaggeration to call this gendercide. Women are missing in their millions—aborted, killed, neglected to death. In 1990 an Indian economist, Amartya Sen, put the number at 100m; the toll is higher now.”
“Most people know China and northern India have unnaturally large numbers of boys. But few appreciate how bad the problem is, or that it is rising. In China the imbalance between the sexes was 108 boys to 100 girls for the generation born in the late 1980s; for the generation of the early 2000s, it was 124 to 100. In some Chinese provinces the ratio is an unprecedented 130 to 100. The destruction is worst in China but has spread far beyond. Other East Asian countries, including Taiwan and Singapore, former communist states in the western Balkans and the Caucasus, and even sections of America’s population (Chinese- and Japanese-Americans, for example): all these have distorted sex ratios. Gendercide exists on almost every continent. It affects rich and poor; educated and illiterate; Hindu, Muslim, Confucian and Christian alike.”
“We have scorned the truth you gave us
We have bowed to other lords
We have sacrificed the children
On the altars of our gods
O let truth again shine on us
Let your holy fear descend
Upon our nation, upon our nation
Have mercy, Lord”
When Nehemiah heard of the state of Jerusalem his response was clear;
“When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
Perhaps the time has come for us to weep and pray before God. Only God can change things. Only the gospel can bring people to a point where men and women are seen as made in the image of God and of equal value and worth. Only God can forgive us the sins we have committed.
The last verse of the song quoted above are for me truly beautiful and give us hope as we look again to the cross.
“Who can sound the depths of mercy
In the Father heart of God?
For there is a Man of sorrows
Who for sinners shed his blood
He can heal the wounds of nations
He can wash the guilty clean
Because of Jesus, because of Jesus
Have mercy, Lord”