The Curmudgeon


Friday, June 01, 2007

For God's Sake Think of the Children

A Scotsman with an invisible friend has compared those who give and receive abortions to psychotics who butcher children - the small-time, quiet-loner type of psychotic, of course, not Cherie Blair's husband - and has warned that being pro-choice and Catholic erects "a barrier ... to receiving holy communion". Presumably a disinclination to overturn the 1967 Abortion Act causes some sort of interference with the process of transubstantiation, so that one ends up swallowing something undesirable, instead of just the body and blood of an ancient Palestinian troublemaker. Cardinal Keith O'Brien was exercised by the fact that, in the fortieth anniversary year of the Act, there are thirteen thousand fewer unwanted children than there might otherwise have been.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor defended his colleague, saying that "the Catholic Church believes that every life has been created by God in his own image and likeness. This means that all life is sacred, with value and meaning at every stage and in every condition, from the moment of conception." There are degrees, of course. The value the Catholic Church places on the lives of a few million Africans, for example, is substantially less than the value it places on the need for their spermatozoa to have appropriate freedom of travel, to say nothing of the need for a flourishing human immunodeficiency virus.

I am myself a hard-liner on matters of birth control; the term unwanted child is, as far as I'm concerned, a pleonasm, and when I am master of the world I plan to introduce tax breaks for abortionists, financial incentives for voluntary sterilisation, and chemicals into the drinking water to lower sperm count. I am surprised that more conservatives don't agree with me on this, since it is basically a matter of market forces: too many human beings means that human life has little value. If there were fewer human beings, human life would accumulate more value, in accordance with the laws of supply and demand. As a means of reducing the population, of course, abortions are not quite as exciting as war; but with a little cultural conditioning it is not impossible that they might acquire a certain glamour of their own.

Jack Straw, whose discomfort at certain types of headgear was so vocally expressed some little time ago, apparently made no comment on this issue, which is merely one of life and death.


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