Freedom Beyond the Church Doors

In Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Jonas is a young boy who realizes that his father intends to kill his younger brother. Jonas makes this realization even as his father seems oblivious to the results of his own actions.

Lowry paints an “ideal” society where drugs eliminate sexual desires and the social order arranges marriages and provides children to selected parents. The society chooses everyone’s family, everyone’s vocation, and instills everyone’s socially acceptable thoughts into their minds. Almost everyone’s.

The society chooses one person in every generation to receive the truth–to carry it–but never to divulge it. For his generation, that chosen person is Jonah.

But the society had failed to obliterate Jonah’s conscience. Some current societies are trying to do the same thing in a very significant way.

Last year, a Canadian court ruled that a patient’s desire to be euthaniized (a medical suicide) “trumps a doctor’s conscientious objection.”

Wesley J. Smith provides background to the case:

“In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada conjured a right to lethal-injection euthanasia for anyone with a medically diagnosable condition that causes irremediable suffering—as defined by the patient. No matter if palliative interventions could significantly reduce painful symptoms, if the patient would rather die, it’s the patient’s right to be killed. Parliament then kowtowed to the court and legalized euthanasia across Canada. Since each province administers the country’s socialized single-payer health-care system within its bounds, each provincial parliament also passed laws to accommodate euthanasia’s legalization.”

Canada isn’t alone in requiring medical personnel to violate their consciences. Victoria, Australia, requires physicians to perform abortions when requested–or to find someone for the patient who will.

What Canada and Australia have become, America may soon also be. Sam Sawyer, SJ, in response to New York’s recently enacted abortion law:

“The R.H.A. [Reproductive Health Act] does not contain any explicit provision requiring anyone to perform or provide abortions, but neither does it explicitly provide any exemption for conscientious objection by health care professionals regarding abortion.”

So this issue is one that remains for the legislature and/or courts to determine.

The radical nature of New York’s law–removing the requirement that doctor’s perform abortions rather than other medical personnel–and removing all protections from children who survive abortion and are born alive–does not bode well for conscientious objection against taking a life.

In the meantime, because abortion can now occur via prescription medication–because assisted suicide often happens via a lethal prescription–and because some contraceptives act as an abortifacient after conception (they kill embryos instead of preventing them–pharmacists are now at risk of violating their consciences too.

Only six states in the US provide a conscience clause, not requiring the pharmacist to either fill the prescription or help the patient receive the requested service through another outlet.

So it was an answer to prayer last Thursday–the National Day of Prayer–when President Trump announced new federal protections for an array of medical providers:

“We finalized new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students, and faith-based charities.”

As with other such rules, this one is subject to change in the winds of any election.

But for those who support life in the medical field–and those who wish to in the future–the news is only good.

Let’s keep working for life to make this change one that lasts for generations. Otherwise, we risk becoming like the people of Lowry’s The Giver–having our consciences obliterated.

Because as James Madison noted, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Trying to Outdo New York

It’s like the states are having a contest to see whose abortion laws can be the most outrageous. And the laws seem designed to protect—not the mother–certainly not the child–but the one performing the abortion–which no longer must be a physician in New York–a provision which may soon pass in other states as well.

Some significant changes in New York: “New York’s RHA also repealed a section of the public health law that required the following: that abortions after 12 weeks be performed in a hospital; that an additional physician be present for abortions after 20 weeks to care for ‘any live birth that is the result of the abortion’; and that such babies be provided ‘immediate legal protection under the laws of the state of New York.”

As outrageous as that is, Illinois and Vermont are in the running to outdo New York by including a provision in their laws (not yet passed, but Vermont’s bill is on its way to the Senate which has a Democrat supermajority). The Illinois provision says that the “fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law.” The Vermont provision uses similar wording.

The laws will have the same effect as New York’s–abortion until birth. New York jumped through the hoop of making a provision for health of the mother but then neglected to define health, thus leaving it up to personal interpretation. The result allows late-term abortion for preference and convenience.

Vermont and Illinois cut to the chase. Their proposed laws contain provisions that declassify the unborn as humans with rights, which has the effect of not outlawing fetal experimentation and organ harvesting (even for profit).

Planned Parenthood employees will be able to go to lunch, in at least those two states, and negotiate the prices for the livers, brains, and hearts of the unborn without fear of legal retribution.

Further, the Illinois law would require all insurers to cover the costs of abortions–even those of religious organizations. And it “repeals laws that allow husbands to block their wives from aborting their child, eliminates requirements to investigate fetal or maternal deaths resulting from abortion, and allows minors to receive abortions without ever having to notify their parents.”

It’s a dream come true for anyone with a kitchen table and a butcher knife to prey on the unsuspecting and desperate.

Legalizing abortion was supposed to prevent just that kind of back alley scenario.

Alexandra DeSanctis comments: “To the left, abortion is no longer a last resort, an option to be prevented, a difficult and sad choice that some women feel forced to make. Abortion is now a fundamental right, a social good so worth preserving that it is necessary to explicitly dehumanize living human beings to justify it.” (DeSanctis’s emphasis).

We stand at a crossroad in America today. Will we continue down the trail New York has blazed? Or will we choose a different path?

Because of the new abortion law, some New York Christians proclaimed last Saturday as a day of mourning and repentance. And repent is what we must do.

“[I]f then my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and heal their land.” (II Chron 7:14 NABRE)

Let us humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn away from this evil. Please, Lord, hear us. Pardon us. Heal our land.

Please.

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way, do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, and you credit the author.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Photo Credit: Pixabay