I saw this classic Romanian movie yesterday. Set at the end of Communism in Bucharest, it tells the story of two college students in their early 20s as they try to procure an illegal abortion. It’s an Iron Curtain movie about abortion. This is not first-date material people.
It is appropriately dismal however, because it draws out the dark corners that we get caught in. If you are feeling especially robust some day, you should track it down.
The movie has emboldened me to raise the issue of abortion on this blog. Usually I like my controversy to be stupid and pointless (evangelical theology bitch fights). And the last thing I want to do is be insensitive about this most fraught of issues.
It probably won’t surprise anyone that I am convinced that abortion is wrong. I can try and secularize my views to make them easier to understand and say that everything with human DNA is human. But basically I am convinced that every single human is of countless worth because they bear the image of God.
Perhaps some other day I’ll be vulnerable enough to tell how I moved from my pro-choice to pro-life position but the first time I talk about things, I like to keep it all abstract and distant and bloodless. So here goes.
If the Christian pro-life position locates selfhood in the body, as it does (the foetus is a biological human, therefore has human rights) then it is by far the less “superstitious” of the options available.
If a human being is characterised as a being marked by Homo Sapien DNA and therefore the brain-dead and the disabled, the foetal and the virile mature adult human are all equally free to live, then the Christian position (which is not to be read as equivalent to the “Pro-life” position) is grounded in the material reality of humanity. Their assessment of “humanity” cannot be disputed.
If you side with the Pro-choice movements, be they abortion rights advocates like Ivana Bacik or euthanasia advocates like the great Peter Singer, you are driven to groun personhood in reason or utility or some other immaterial, contestable and inherently metaphysical quality.
As a Christian I believe that all of humanity bears the imago Dei. But this “superstition” of Christianity actually maps to reality with a tight fit that makes a sweet harmony. But the materialism of the modern world is driven to the metaphysical whenever it has to make a serious decision; such as abortion rights.
Your Correspondent, Believes in reality