The car had two bumper stickers: "Compost -- a rind is a terrible thing to waste." And "Keep abortion safe, legal and rare."
The irony apparently escaped the car's owner but has haunted me for months now. My husband and I compost. With a little effort and the passage of time, kitchen scraps and leaves become a rich blend that enhances the ground and helps us grow healthy plants. I feel a little smug about composting. It is a good thing.
How can someone who can recognize the potential inherent in food waste simultaneously support denying millions of people the opportunity to live? Even if one doesn't believe that life begins at conception, surely it is easy to recognize that an embryo will become, if nature takes its course, a living, breathing, loving human being in a matter of months. The progression is much clearer than an orange rind becoming plant food. Abortion denies a person the right to live no less than intentionally ending the life of a person post-birth -- what we call "murder." (Unless, of course, we call it "euthenasia" -- simply another step down the path of playing God and deciding who has the right to live.)
Aside from the question of abortion's safety -- women continue to die in abortions, even legal ones -- abortion cannot be considered "rare." Sadly, the 1.2 million abortions that took place in 2005 have been acclaimed as a record low since 1974 -- and still represents slightly more than one in five pregnancies. There have been 45 million abortions since the legalization of abortion 35 years ago -- that's twice the population of Texas, I heard on the radio.
It is hard to mourn for people you don't know, but it is horrific to think of 45 million babies -- children, people -- dying, and for what? Because their parents didn't want them? Motherhood isn't easy. Neither is having a baby and allowing him the opportunity to be adopted by a family who wants him. (6 million couples struggle with infertility -- I wonder how many of those 1.2 million babies killed in 2005 could have been adopted). But millions of people are choosing the "quick fix" of abortion to the morally right choice of having a child.
How can we help others choose to do what is right rather than what seems like the easy way out? Perhaps by choosing to do what is right rather than what is easiest -- something like volunteering at a local crisis pregnancy center. How can we express with our assets -- time and money -- the value we place upon life? I confess I don't know what I'm going to do. But I'm wondering what kind of Christian I am if I'm not willing to do something on behalf of those who are too vulnerable and weak to defend themselves against death.