Stash Hempeck, Hendrum, Minn., Published October 19 2013
Letter: Surely God plays role in miscarriagesThe Oct. 13 edition of The Forum carried a front-page story about the 40-day anti-abortion protest against the Red River Women’s Clinic by people of Christian faith. Rather than revisit the same tired, old specific arguments and counter-arguments relative to this issue, I would attempt to introduce what I perceive as a new line of reasoning, or one possibly new to public discourse in this area.
While the word abortion is currently used to describe what many people of Christian faith believe to be a deliberately chosen act of murder, the word’s original meaning – of mid-1500s Latin – also applied to natural, or spontaneous, abortion; i.e., miscarriage, which is the word used today to describe a fetus death deliberately not chosen by humans.
The issue of responsibility in human-chosen abortion would appear to be rather clear-cut. The issue becomes, then, who is responsible for a miscarriage? And I would argue that if one is of Christian faith, one inevitably has to follow that line of reasoning back to their Creator. Because Christians believe their God to be omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, there exists no other choice than for God to be ultimately responsible for each and every miscarriage to afflict humanity.
Most Christians, of course, are reluctant to judge their God’s actions; and even if they do question them, the general answer comes out as: This is God’s will. So in essence, a human decision that results in an abortion is an incorrect one, while a decision of God that results in an abortion is a correct one.
One could, of course, attempt to make the argument that because most miscarriages occur for the reason that the fetus is not developing normally, God may be doing humanity a favor each time he aborts such a fetus. Unfortunately, for a person of faith, such a stance would have to lead to the question of why God would allow such a scenario to develop in the first place. Besides, if all life is precious – as most, if not all, Christians would assert – why not allow such a non-normal fetus to be born? Other arguments, such as, for example, a miscarriage being the work of Satan, would inevitably lead to questions about God’s lack of omnipotence; or if not that, why God would allow Satan such power. So, again, if a Christian believes in the tripartite “omni-ness” of God, they would have no choice but to believe miscarriage to be the responsibility of God.
According to modern statistics, 10 to 20 percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage. However, the actual number is assumed to be much higher because many such spontaneous abortions occur before a woman is even aware she is pregnant. In addition, estimates are that between 30 and 50 percent of all fertilized eggs – which many Christians consider as the beginning of a life – are lost either before or during the process of implantation. By comparison, the number of human-chosen abortions relative to known pregnancies is between 15 and 20 percent. Thus, by any standard of reasoning, the number of spontaneous, God-induced abortions outweighs by a considerable amount the number of human-chosen abortions.
Perhaps, then, all those people of faith who spend their hours in front of the Red River Women’s Clinic protesting a human’s action relative to ending what Christians believe to be a baby’s life should spend an equal amount of time in their church questioning their God about his action(s) relative to ending a baby’s life.