A petition against abortion has recently emerged and I am encouraged by the timing of it.
Firstly, we are actually in our jubilee i.e. 49th; 50th year, of the Abortion Act.
Jubilee is significantly a year of “release” (Lev 25:8-10). Land sold or mortgaged are returned to the poor, debts owned are cancelled, even slaves are set free at God’s command.
These jubilee principles point to God’s love for the under-privileged and His intent to help them find liberty, so much so that he compelled society to be sacrificially generous during the jubilee. It foreshadows the real liberty meant to be found in Christ, who proclaimed (when He started His ministry),
“He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor..to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed..” – Luke 4:18
If we are in the jubilee year of the Abortion Act, who would God expect of the Singapore society to be sacrificially generous to? Who are in captivity and oppressed? Yes, they are the aborted unborn (who have been mercilessly aborted, carelessly forgotten and apathetically ignored).
Secondly, the petition was fully Bible-espousing.
In this dearth of justice, the petition that invades into the silence of (almost) every segment of Singapore’s society, is one that fully espouses Biblical views. It is in fact started by a pastor.
Should a Christian pastor voice his opinion on this matter? Not if Singapore is Communist, anti-religious or atheistic as a society.
As I explained previously, if Singapore is truly democratic – and we thankfully are – our secularism must be accomodative in essence: (which means) free will, free speech and equality must be for all citizens, religious or irreligious. Religious opinions are hence considered by even our government, as espoused by PM Lee in his speech in 2009, where Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and atheists (who have ‘faith’ in the non-existence of God) contribute to important moral debates like casinos and 377A:
“You might ask: Does this mean that religious groups have no views and cannot have views on national issues? Or that religious individuals cannot participate in politics? Obviously not. Because religious groups are free to propagate their teachings on social and moral issues and they have done so on the IRs, on organ transplants, on 377A, homosexuality. And obviously many Christians, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhist participate in politics.
In Parliament, we have people of all faiths and in Cabinet too. And when people who have a religion approach a national issue, they will often have views which are informed by their religious beliefs. It is natural because it is part of you, it is part of your individual, your personality. But you must accept that other groups may have different views, informed by different beliefs and you have to accept that and respect that. And the public debate cannot be on whose religion is right and whose religion is wrong. It has to be on secular rational considerations, public interests – what makes sense for Singapore.”
– PM Lee, 2009.
I take pride in Singapore as a democratic, secular (as well as multi-religious) society (and I will never seek to change this), but this also means I should have the right to support this petition unreservedly. In fact, I take immense pride that a pastor has finally spoken up against the injustice of abortion.
Thirdly, the petition calls for members of Parliament to publicly repent.
My first thought was, should members of Parliament share Christians’ religious convictions about abortion? Are the words of this pastor insensitive?
Then I realised 3 things:
1) to understand that abortion is the murder of a human life is a matter of science. All human beings, even if irreligious, ought to acknowledge it.
2) Christians believe life on earth is a temporal test put forth by a divine God who seeks reconciliation with them i.e. to remind earthlings of their positions in light of this God is Christian witness and love. This should represent the pastor’s intention.
3) Should a person truly realise the depth of the injustice permitted on unborn children, he is justified to be outraged – to even demand repentance. (To put things in perspective, repentance have been demanded for much lesser issues)
In case the logic of the injustice of abortion is lost in the religiously worded petition, let me summarise its points: 1. Killing of innocent is wrong; 2. Government should punish those who kill the innocent; 3. The unborn child is as any human life (I suspect the male-dominated Parliament of 1969 never considered the science of this, so this should be due for a review); 4. Those who passively accept the killing of the innocent are complicit in murder; 5. The Singapore Parliament legalised the murder of the unborn in 1969 and need to right this wrong; society ought to have a corresponding social outcry.
This pastor’s logic is not difficult to catch.
While I understand our current Parliamentarians weren’t the ones who passed the Abortion Act, they are now responsible if this law actually stays in place. In fact, Singaporeans do not support abortion. 60.3% Singaporeans believe abortion is never (or seldom) justifiable.
As part of civil society, I will lend my voice to support a review of our Abortion Act and urge Parliament to consider if the life of the unborn is a human life in and of itself.
Stand against the genocide of the unborn. Sign this petition here.
Additional Notes: My answers to 4 most Common Objections to banning Abortions:
1. Is the unborn truly a human life or just a (non-living) clump of cells?
At which point is the “clump of cells” a life? I.e. when left uninterrupted, these cells will develop into a full-bodied baby. Aborting this process then would be the murder of a life. This process actually begins right from conception i.e. the moment of fertilization. That fertilized egg is called a zygote. Right at conception, the zygote already contains all the genetic code (DNA), responsible for instructing how these cells should multiply. Within weeks, the human form becomes noticeable. All of us came through this process.
2. Isn’t abortion necessary if pregnancy endangers a mother’s life?
First, it can be easily explained why for a pregnancy above 20 weeks, abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life.
By 20 weeks, abortion will a tedious procedure to be performed in an emergency. This is because it involves the process of dilation – a hours-to-days long process where the mother’s cervix expands to considerable size. The more straightforward solution would be a C-Sect surgery. The C-Sect surgery delivers the baby alive.
In other words, abortion after twenty weeks is a lengthy procedure, which is counter intuitive in an emergency where the mother needs to be relieved of her pregnancy in order to save her life.
For pregnancies below 20 weeks, I supply a quote from an excellent article that explains this:
“Most of what passes as a therapeutic, or medically-necessary abortion, is not necessary at all to save the mother’s life. For example, if a mother has breast cancer and requires immediate chemotherapy to survive that can kill the baby, the physician will frequently recommend a therapeutic abortion. Another example: if a mother has life-threatening seizures that can only be controlled by medication that will kill or severely deform her unborn child, the physician will frequently prescribe a therapeutic abortion. In both of these cases, the abortion is not necessary to protect the mother’s health. The necessary medication may injure or kill the pre-born child, but this is no justification for intentionally killing the child. If the child is injured or dies from the medication prescribed to the mother to save her life, the injury was unintentional and, if truly medically necessary, not unethical.”
– Association of Pro-Life Physicians
This video on a neonatologist who is regularly consulted to advise on mothers with high risk pregnancies affirms that even in the most high risked pregnancies, there is no medical reason why the life of the child must be directly and intentionally ended with an abortion procedure.
In other words, abortion is never necessary to save a mother’s life. But if in any case this is even challenged, the pro-life philosophy is as such:
When the life of the mother is truly threatened by her pregnancy, and both lives cannot simultaneously be saved, then saving the mother’s life must be the primary aim. And if through careful treatment of the mother’s illness the pre-born patient inadvertently dies or is injured, this is tragic and, if unintentional, is not unethical and is consistent with the pro-life ethic. – Association of Pro-Life Physicians
3. How about women who are raped? Would you support abortions in such cases?
Jennifer Christie, a mother from rape, describes common misconceptions pro-abortion activists made about women pregnant from rape:
“Every time someone hears of a woman conceiving a child in rape, the response is usually horror, disgust, or pity. Yet I’ve read hundreds of accounts from the women themselves and their responses are not at all horrified or disgusted. There are some common sentiments that are expressed again and again. The baby felt like a light in the darkness. The baby was the good within so much bad. There was something to look forward to.”
“Women who have just experienced violence and violation are not healed by further acts of violence and violation. Nothing about that makes sense. I’ve met countless women who abort after rape and live with that guilt and regret. I’ve never known anyone who was sorry she had her child.”
Back in 1979, in the only major study of pregnant rape victims ever done, Dr. Sandra Mahkorn, MPH, MS, found that 75–85% of victims did not abort their children. Here’s what the study revealed:
- Pregnant rape victims in the study felt that abortion would be just another act of violence perpetrated against their bodies and their children’s bodies.
- They reported a belief that their child’s life may have some intrinsic meaning or purpose which they do not yet understand. The child was brought into their lives by a horrible, repulsive act, but perhaps God, or fate, will use the child for some greater purpose.
- After their own victimization, the thought of victimizing their innocent child through abortion was repulsive to them.
- Victims reported a sense that getting through the pregnancy meant conquering the rape. While the perpetrator was selfish, she can be generous. While he was destructive, she can be nurturing.
In a smaller Elliot Institute study published in 2000, outcomes reflected similar viewpoints:
- Nearly 80 percent of the women who aborted their children after rape reported that abortion was the wrong solution, that it only increased their trauma.
- None of the women who gave birth to a child conceived in rape expressed regret or wished they had aborted instead.
As a counselor, the psychology displayed by victims of rape who got pregnant cannot be neglected. I have personally housed a single mother who said she was pregnant from rape and her only child was her salvation. How can we argue against the voices of the victims?
4. Would banning abortions lead to back alley victims?
I understand this is a powerful rhetoric, but statistics in countries that had banned abortions showed that this argument is simply untrue.
Poland (3 deaths per 100,000), where abortion is only allowed in rare cases and Malta (9 deaths per 100,000), where abortion is completely banned, have lower maternal mortality rates than the United States (14 deaths per 100,000), where abortion is legal (video source above).
Another country, Chile, banned abortion in 1989, and their maternal deaths dropped from 41.3 to 12.7 per 100,000 women.
How is this possible? Prof. Elard Koch, lead author of the study in Chile, observed that abortion-minded women displayed a vulnerability profile marked by coercion and fear, which accounts for nearly 70% of the reasons women considered abortion.
Simply put, most women would not even have to face pressure from their family or loved-ones to abort – if abortion is made illegal. These women and their families would simply settle for the humane and automatic option of giving birth, and to give up the child for adoption if need to. With this simplified, healthcare, social and educative services can all be better directed to support women with unwanted pregnancy more specifically towards adoption. Society also becomes more responsible such that unexpected pregnancies decrease.
Dr. Koch states, “it is a unique natural experiment conducted in a developing country.” During the fifty-year period under study, the overall maternal mortality rate dramatically declined by 93.8% – from 270.7 to 18.2 deaths per 100,000 live births – making Chile a leader in maternal healthcare outcomes in the Americas.
This story is consistent even in Africa, where abortions are still restrictive. Abortion-related maternal mortality in Africa is less than half what it is in developed countries.
The higher maternal mortality rates in pro-abortion countries point to an often unknown point: Abortion is in itself harmful. It always kills a child and it harms the mother psychologically and physically, with complications including deaths. It is simply hypocritical to promote abortion as a women’s rights issue, when information about the mental health issues and physical complications surrounding abortion are hidden from women. This must stop.
Women like June Bai and Jennifer Heng have bravely stepped out to talk about their shame, pain and regret from abortions at an age where they did not know better.
Let’s champion whole new perspectives around this issue so no more innocent lives be it babies or women be harmed. Sign this petition now!