The girl has just been informed that she is pregnant. She is, of course, scared, as I can’t imagine many young unwedded girls rejoicing at the news. In past times, the fear would have – in many cases, if certainly not all – made place for a clear consciousness of the sacredness of human life and, perhaps, a sincere maternal desire to see this life born. Homicide was forbidden, and human life considered, well, human life. Therefore, not many young mother would choose – though some certainly did – to become the assassins of their own child. Basic Christianity, of course; part of that system of values which helps one to avoid the worst and hope in Heaven.
Fast forward to the begin of the XXI century, when one can consider the pregnancy of a young woman a “punishment” and still become President of the United States. In our age, the pressure works in the contrary direction; she does not help to keep the most basic principles of natural law but rather to pervert them, and Christianity with them.
This is where one of the most astonishing traits of modern societies come in: pressure to murder. The young girl in question will be, more often than not, be advised by her own mother – let alone by her own girlfriends – to get rid of the problem. The basic principles which one century ago would have helped a young woman, difficult as her position was, to do what is right have now been perverted to such an extent that these mothers or girlfriends would not hesitate in claiming vaguely “Christian” principles to support their suggestion: what is such a life worth, would one ask; would it not be better that this child would be born in five or ten years time, would another one say as if lives were interchangeable; does she have the right to give birth to a child condemned to a life of deprivation, would a third one reason without asking herself what the child in question, if asked, would answer.
In countries like the UK, this kind of pressure can be really strong. A lethal mixture of forgetfulness for basic Christian principles, neglect of common humanity and staggering abuse of fake goodism (I have listed some examples above; the Nazis reasoned in the same way about euthanasia) have brought us to the point that people can suggest abortion to their own daughters and best friends without feeling more than a passing discomfort, soon cauterised with the above mentioned excuses.
The pressure increases with the push to legislation in favour of euthanasia, as it stands to reason that once it is allowed to contemplate putting old people in the (of course, environmentally friendly) bin, it must be even more so allowed to do the same with the unborn. In the end, if one can put to sleep old Aunt Agatha (Yes, I love P.G. Wodehouse!) in order that she does not “suffer”, how more legitimate will it be to put to sleep an unborn child, whom no one has ever called “aunt”, let alone with her own name?
And talking of “allowing”, isn’t the biggest element of pressure the fact itself that abortion in itself is not – within huge boundaries – a criminal offence anymore? How can we expect that when the legislator says “you can do it”, there will be many people saying to themselves “I can’t do it”? The very fact that abortion is not a criminal offence must be a great inducement to abortion to all those who find themselves in an unwanted pregnancy, particularly if young and unwed. I do not know how many girls can honestly say “even if it was allowed, I would never have an abortion”. Many certainly can, but many others…
What I do know is that if for abortion there were 20 years of jail and the stigma of having murdered one’s own child, many more young women would be helped to make the right choice. Pressure again, but of the right kind.
Do not believe the tales of the abortionists trying sell you the legend of untold mass murders, occurring in dark garages with the help of knitting needles, or coat hangers. Utter bollocks, as first of all premarital sex was by far less spread than today, and secondly the use of such practices would have led to a huge number of deaths among young women and among countless mothers, a mass involuntary suicide of which there is no historical record.
I seriously wonder how many women died in the UK of the knitting needle in, say, 1952, and how many die of perfectly legal abortions in 2012.
We live in a country where the legislator creates pressure to the homicide of the unborn, and this diabolical legislation in turn corrupts entire sectors of the country; then wise people have always known that the laws of one generation are the morality of the next one.
Still: in a country where the dominant ecclesial community is barely recognisable from the Muppet Show, can we be so surprised?