Tuesday, April 3, 2012 7:48
The following is taken from the Georgia news outlet Savannahnow.com
A tea party group wants state Rep. Ron Stephens ousted because he didn’t back this year’s farthest reaching anti-abortion measure.
Stephens is one of 17 House Republicans the Peach Tea Party scolded on Monday for failing to vote to reduce from 26 weeks to 20 the period when a woman could end a pregnancy.
But few members of the Brunswick-based group likely have had to walk in the Savannah lawmaker’s shoes — or those of his daughter, Ashlin.
If the measure were law a few years ago, Stephens says, she would have had to carry to term a baby that would have lived only seconds after birth.
Stephens said Ashlin’s baby had an acute chromosomal malady known as trisomy.
“At five months, they told her part of her baby’s brain was outside the skull and the heart was inverted,” he said. “They said it would take only one or two breaths. She would have watched it die.”
After huddling with her family, she opted for an abortion.
When the bill initially came to a vote in the House, there was no opportunity to amend it to provide exceptions for such situations.
Stephens said he was so upset he felt sick and walked off the floor during the roll call.
“For something this cruel to happen to my daughter, or anyone’s daughter,” he said, “is just plain inhumane.
“I consider myself pro-life, but this provision was a distortion of pro-life values.”
This is a heart wrenching story and a situation that is so hard to imagine being in. This is only an excerpt (you can read the full story here) but I wanted to stop where I did so that you can ponder that last line. “A distortion of pro-life values.” What does that mean? Does that mean that only some lives are celebrated and others are not. Stephens cast himself and his family as sympathetic figures and I do not want to minimize the tragedy they went through, but we need to be careful of the slippery slope that the culture of death has us on.
In case you are wondering what it looks like to give a baby honor and dignity in a situation where a prognosis of death is certain soon after birth, I’d encourage you to watch the 99 Balloons video.
Let us not forget that it was this past weekend seven years ago that Terri Schiavo was murdered by her family when a judge ordered the removal of her feeding tube. For thirteen days she died a slow and painful death from starvation. A culture that says that babies have no right to life says the same thing about those who need help with basics needs like being fed and nourished. Our society no longer judges people by being made in the image of God, but what we can contribute to society and when our lives are not ideal for those around us we are expendable like Terri Schiavo and Stephen’s preborn child. We are ok with taking the life of the pre-born, those too young to fiend for themselves and the elderly because it is not us. What if we take a moment to put ourselves in their situation and consider that they are human just like us. Complicity by silence must end. Yes, they may experience pain and suffering, but that is a part of life and who are we to decide their lower quality of life should have no life at all. When I was dead in my trespasses and sin, God treated me as if I had worth by sending His Son to die for my sins, therefore even when the prognosis of death the lives of the pre-born, young and elderly should be given the same worth as you and I.
The following is an excerpt from my former pastor in Bloomington, Indiana on Terri Schiavo and I’d encourage you to read the whole thing here.
Here in Bloomington, Baby Doe was starved to death in 1981–almost twenty-five years ago, now–and I’ve often wondered why Christians in this town didn’t simply enter the hospital and take him out and feed him? Or at least have a fasting and prayer vigil outside the hospital–thousands of them from Bloomington alone.
Had they done so, I believe Baby Doe would be alive today. But as it was, the little people left it to the big people and the big people sent an IU law professor to DC, and while the law professor was in the airplane Baby Doe died.
My friend Joe Brown told me that Koops’ prophetic witness as surgeon general was to protest against accusations of his complicity-by-silence, saying something to the effect that he was not just Baby Doe’s surgeon general, but also the surgeon general of Baby Doe’s parents and their physician. Recently, Koop told me that his D.C. office received fifty offers to adopt Baby Doe before he died.
So Baby Doe died and the culture of death gained another critical beachhead.
Now, Baby Boomers are aging. Back in the July 12, 1985 issue of Action Line: Christian Action Council Newsletter, (Volume IX, No. 5), Koop was quoted saying, “My great concern is that there will be 10,000 Grandma Does for every Baby Doe.” (Christian Action Council is now CareNet, and Susan Olasky is its chairman.)
Terri Schiavo represents this next beachhead of our culture of death and we ought not to allow Randall Terry and Roman Catholics to be the only voice of conscience this time around.