A deadly plague has stolen the lives of some 17,500 lives in Australia so far this year. That’s almost 200 people every day, or one every eight minutes. What plague could possibly be so deadly? It is the plague of abortion.
We learn some important lessons when we compare this to how many Australians have lost their lives to the coronavirus so far—a national tally that currently stands at 19.
First, it provides us with much-needed perspective. This is no time for complacency, to be sure. But compared with other potential threats to life or the scale of what could be, Australia is doing a remarkable job at slowing the spread of the Wuhan virus on our shores.
One in five Australian pregnancies end in abortion. Alarmingly, less than 5% of these are performed for medical reasons, or rape or “fetal abnormality”. This, despite the fact that such reasons were the grounds for legalising the practice in the first place.
You read that correctly: over 95% of Australian abortions are now for elective reasons such as “mental health” or financial convenience.
To simply point out these statistics, as I have done, is to invite a barrage of anger and censure. I understand that it is impossible to be both popular and pro-life—and that probably won’t change any time soon.
Back to the task at hand. Lesson number three in this coronavirus-abortion comparison is a very strange irony.
See, abortion runs rife around the world—over 10 million pre-born babies have lost their lives already in 2020. And yet for a virus that has so far taken only 38,000 lives, the world has willingly upended just about everything.
Granted, many more lives would have been lost to the coronavirus were it not for the extreme measures we have taken. But that is not the point.
The point is that if we are happy to overturn our economy and our freedoms and our very way of life for this virus, where is our outcry for the 40 million unborn whose lives are taken every single year?
Somehow it just doesn’t add up.
The present pandemic has exposed a glaring cognitive dissonance in western culture. On the one hand, we seem to be passionately pro-life. Consider, for example, what leaders of even the world’s most “progressive” places like New York and Los Angeles have been saying about the value of human life:
“We’re not going to accept a premise that human life is disposable. We’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life.”
—Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York
“I started with the premise tonight that human life is precious. If we don’t start there, I don’t know where we ever start.”
—Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles
Whether or not these men realise it, they are echoing the sacred message of Genesis 1:27—that all humans are precious because we have been made in the image of God. Our civilisation’s Christian roots run so deep that we don’t often see them.
And yet, when it comes to abortion, such leaders hold incompatible standards. Last year, for example, Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill that allows babies to be aborted up to birth for almost any reason.
And in Los Angeles, Garcetti has remained silent about the city’s many abortion clinics that are still open for business, and as ever, making bank. This despite America’s dire shortage in masks and gloves. This despite most businesses and even churches being closed. In the words of Lila Rose, founder of Live Action:
In a nation gripped by fear and concern for innocent lives, our abortion clinics remain OPEN, killing over 2,000 helpless and innocent lives every day. May we allow this crisis to open our eyes to the sacredness of LIFE and unite to once and for all stop this shameful madness.
The situation is no different in Australia. Like much of the world, we have shut down most of daily life, from business to dining to sport, and shrunk our lives to the four walls of our home. We have done this not primarily for ourselves, but for the innocent, vulnerable lives that are threatened by the coronavirus plague.
Thankfully, we have kept the death toll to double digits. But meanwhile, tens of thousands of our most innocent and vulnerable have had their lives deliberately cut short by a far more deadly plague before they’ve tasted oxygen.
Has the present pandemic proven our pro-life proclivities? The answer is a confusing mix of yes and no. Instinctively, we know all human life is sacred, and we are seeing this play out right now, as we should.
Yet those who need our help most are still silently screaming.
Pray with me that our shameful madness will end, and that our eyes will be opened to the sacredness of all life.
In the famous words of Dr. Seuss, a person’s a person, no matter how small.