SPEAKING AGAINST ABORTION, someone has said, "No one should be denied access to the great feast of life," to which the rebuttal, obviously enough, is that life isn't much of a feast for children born to people who don't want them or can't afford them or are one way or another incapable of taking care of them and will one way or another probably end up abusing or abandoning them. 

And yet, and yet. Who knows what treasure life may hold for even such children as those, or what treasures even such children as those may grow up to become? To bear a child even under the best of circumstances, or to abort a child even under the worst—the risks are hair-raising either way and the results incalculable. 

How would Jesus himself decide, he who is hailed as Lord of Life and yet who says that it is not the ones who, like an abortionist, can kill the body we should fear, but the ones who can kill body and soul together the way only the world into which they are born can kill unloved, unwanted children (Matthew 10:28)? 

There is perhaps no better illustration of the truth that in an imperfect world there are no perfect solutions. All we can do, as Luther said, is sin bravely, which is to say, (a) know that neither to have the child nor not to have the child is without the possibility of tragic consequences for everybody, yet (b) be brave in knowing also that not even that can put us beyond the forgiving love of God.  

- Originally published in Whistling in the Dark

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