Medical Ethics and the Stewardship of Life
What about an unmarried, pregnant Christian?
That's where we Christians are reprehensible. I've been involved for a long time and was instrumental in founding the Evangelical Child and Family service in Philadelphia largely because of my concern for Christian unwed mothers. One would expect that evangelical Christians, having understood the grace of God, would be most gracious under these circumstances. They are not. They are judgmental and it's to our detriment that this can be said of us. My son and his wife took to live with them a Christian girl who was pregnant and carried her child to term. She knew she couldn't raise the child, so I made arrangements for it to be adopted by a Christian couple who were on cloud nine at the prospect. I knew of another unwed pregnant woman who joined a very conservative, fundamentalist, independent church in the suburbs because she wanted to be in a Christian community when her child was born. I was afraid that the poor girl would get the cold shoulder. To my absolute amazement and delight, that congregation rallied around her. They provided her with babysitting and child care until she could finish her education to become a teacher. She is now raising that child herself. It could not have been possible without that church. Unfortunately, such experiences are exceptions.
Would you always recommend adoption?
In general, yes. There just aren't many babies around to adopt these days. People are willing to adopt racially different babies, ethnically different babies, even handicapped children. I don't think having a single parent is nearly as good for a child as the usual arrangement.
That might be a blessing sprung from the curse.
Oh, it's a blessing, but many childless couples will not be able to have it. I wrote the introduction for a book published by Good News Press called Chosen Children. It's the trials and tribulations of parents who adopted handicapped children and made it work. The outstanding emotional experiences in my pediatric surgical career have been to get to know parents who went out of their way to adopt handicapped children.
Explain the difference between birth control and contraception.
Birth control is a big umbrella that covers any kind of plan or procedure that prevents birth. Contraception is a form of birth control; abortion is a form of birth control. Many people use the terms contraception and birth control as if they were synonyms; they're not. The morning-after pill is not a contraceptive, but it is a birth control medication. An IUD is not a contraceptive; it is something that's effective in birth control.
And you would not approve of those two methods.
I would not. They affect the already fertilized egg.
Is there a problem with the use of the word fetus?
Fetus is a perfectly good Latin word for an unborn baby. It was used primarily in medical circles. I am convinced that we are using certain words to depersonalize the unborn baby. It doesn't pose such a problem when you decide to kill it. It's easier to kill a fetus than an unborn baby.
What other language problems are there?
You never see the term unborn baby used in proabortion circles. The most flagrant semantic fraud that has been carried out is one by obstetricians who changed the definition of pregnancy. The definition of pregnancy when I went to medical school and when you were born was that period of time between fertilization of the egg, or conception, and delivery of the baby. Now, pregnancy is called that period of time between implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterine wall and the delivery of the baby. If pregnancy doesn't begin until implantation, and you prevent implantation as with an IUD, the patient doesn't have to face the fact that she is destroying a fertilized egg that could have become a baby. The IUD used to be called IUCD, interuterine contraceptive device, but the word contraceptive was removed long ago, because IUDs aren't contraceptive. An IUD acts after the egg is fertilized by a sperm. The IUD sits in the uterus and prevents the egg from nestling onto the wall and getting its blood supply.