Many nations in the West offer abortion services in their healthcare programmes. One small country that has, so far, resisted the availability of State approved abortion services is the Republic of Ireland, where much of the pro-life stance flows from the once-dominant influence of the Roman Catholic Church

Now, as that old dominance has collapsed and as a popular secular humanism rises in its place, Irish legislators are holding a national Referendum aimed to secure the freedom to offer abortion services by a change in the Irish Constitution. Clearly, how we view the issues surrounding abortion demonstrate the character of a society


I listened carefully to a popular radio programme as a young woman defended her right to have an abortion if she ever became pregnant. She had a relatively common neurological disorder, which didn’t affect her fluent and intelligent speech; a disorder which has hardly ever prevented people from marrying and raising families. But, in her case, she argued that if she ever became pregnant with all of the social challenges that would come upon her, abortion would be her only choice. Clearly, she was using her own disorder to launch a strongly emotional appeal in favour of State-provided abortion services

But, as I listened, what struck me was that all of the young woman’s reasoning, all her thinking, was taking place through her feelings. Everything, even the major life decisions she was hypothetically making, were being made on the basis of how she felt about these issues. She appeared to have no principled guidelines to inform her life decisions; instead, all was controlled by her feelings. Had her disorder affected her reasoning? – No, not at all


And then I realised that this is where secular humanism has brought our Western world. It has taken over the minds of millions, who now believe that there are no absolute moral truths; no such things as utterly final right and wrong revealed by Almighty God. Instead, everything is relative; it is as I see it, and as it suits me. I am at the centre. I determine what is right and wrong depending on whatever situation I find myself in. So, now, with this way of thinking, every person’s situation determines how they will think and react to it. Now, the big game is how to read your own life situation, and if you read it in the way that most favours or advances your personal interests, then you will be making the best possible choice

Seeing how people make their decisions in this way helps to understand how even major life and death decisions such as abortion are all resolved on the same level of feelings and what seems to be a person’s best interest. Secular humanism devalues and destroys. Now, we are nothing but the strange part-evolved creatures of a vast accident that had no meaningful cause, and has no meaningful destination. With that basis for life and death and everything in between, people merely follow their own feelings

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Is this where we’re at in Ireland today? If it is, we are no different from the people, several thousand years ago, where, in the absence of a wise ruler, ‘Everyone did what was right in his own eyes’ (Old Testament, Judges 17:6). Full circle – here we are back there again, and people think it is progress

And so, Ireland is thinking about abortion, and as it does, significant numbers of people are very concerned to repeal the Eighth Amendment in the Constitution so as to facilitate the removal of the Catholic ethos from the practices of the medical profession and make way for the introduction of liberalised abortion services

This view seriously overlooks that this is not merely a narrow, jaded Roman Catholic ethos, which ought to be thrown out, but the much wider values of historic Christianity upon which much of our Western civilisation once rested, including the foundations of government, justice, education, freedom of speech and individual conscience, and healthcare


So, if people not only want a Catholic ethos rejected but the wider, historic Christian foundation and its high value of all life (I write as Christian with biblical Evangelical convictions, but not as a Roman Catholic), including the precious unborn, specifically with which ethos do they want to replace it? The tragic reality beneath abortion is the passing of a death sentence upon the unborn

But beneath all the feelings, what social ideology do abortion advocates prefer; secular humanism, socialism, atheism, or what? Many desire change and are driven to get rid of values without seeing the close connection between their preferred society and whether or not it has a clear basis for justice and compassion and for valuing them as persons

They overlook that true freedom is not doing whatever you want, but doing what is right. This is where we all need the good news of Christ, who died to reconcile moral rebels such as ourselves to God – yes, for we have all missed God’s mark and sinned (see Roman 3:23). It is only with the new life in Christ received as a gift that we may then find help and strength to live for him who gave his all for us

If, in a “progressive society” the unborn are exposed as mere subjects of deathly injustice, as and when it suits a person’s individual circumstance – that society has undermined itself and has started to collapse. Should the present secure protections given by the existing Eighth Amendment be repealed and done away with? – absolutely no


Source by Michael J. S. Austin, Ph.D.

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