Thanks to Westminster, Northern Ireland now has the most extreme abortion law in Europe.
As society grinds to a halt because of coronavirus, our society — and our lives — have certainly changed. We have been advised to stay at home and save lives. As a result, most of us are spending a lot of time locked in the house, but we do know what many other people are doing and thinking, because they tell it all on social media, especially on Facebook.
From what I have read so far, I suspect that, in a few weeks’ time, many homes will end up a lot tidier, judging by the number of people who are spring-cleaning.
Others will have given their garage what we might describe as a good “reddin’ oot” and perhaps the most unusual activity was that of the person who was painting his garden ornaments. Now there’s someone who appreciates a well-painted gnome!
The pandemic is a daily reminder — and with 24-hour news a constant reminder — of our human vulnerability and the frailty of life
However, alongside the reports of activity, there is a seriousness about a lot of the posts and I see people speaking about “fear” and being “anxious”, even “terrified”.
At the time of writing, 28 people have died in Northern Ireland from coronavirus and, by the time of reading, the figure will be in the mid-30s.
However, epidemiologists are telling us that the peak of the pandemic will come later this month and that the final death toll could be as many as 3,000.
Worldwide, if the predictions are right, the coronavirus death toll in the USA will be somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 and certainly greater than the fatalities in the American Civil War. So, it is no wonder that many folk are thoughtful and some are fearful.
The pandemic is a daily reminder — and with 24-hour news a constant reminder — of our human vulnerability and the frailty of life.
Older people are more vulnerable, but the youngest victim in the UK was just 13 and otherwise in good health.
As a pastor wrote the other day: “In the eyes of the world, we’re all different; in the eyes of the virus, we’re just the same.”
It is also a reminder of our human smallness and limitations. We love to be in control of things and there are some things we can control, but there are other things we can’t control.
In spite of all our advances and discoveries, scientific experts are struggling to find a vaccine and there is no instant remedy.
‘BC’ (Before Coronavirus), our lives were crammed with things to be done, but now some things that seemed so important have been taken away from us. Yet, life goes on.
The new car can wait and so can the new kitchen. Televised sport has to rely on old events and yet, life goes on.
Perhaps we need to reconsider our priorities and rethink what is really important.
Overall, there seem to be two things that matter to most people. Social media posts highlight the importance of family and coronavirus has caused all of us to spend more time with our immediate family.
So, on one hand, society is doing all it can to save lives, while, on the other hand, the United Kingdom Government has imposed on us the “right” to take lives
The other thing that matters is life and everything is being done by governments and people around the world to save lives.
Doctors and nurses are working to save life and essential services are working to sustain life.
Human life matters — and that includes the life of pre-born children.
In fact, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has a page on its website about “Coronavirus infection and pregnancy”.
Yet, earlier this week, the law in Northern Ireland was changed to make abortion widely available. The new abortion law in Northern Ireland is among the most extreme in Western Europe.
The womb of a mother should be the safest place for her child, but under the new law many pre-born children will be disposed of as having no value.
Any pregnant mother can have an abortion up to 12 weeks with no justification required.
So, on one hand, society is doing all it can to save lives, while, on the other hand, the United Kingdom Government has imposed on us the “right” to take lives.
When it comes to coronavirus, we are a life-affirming society that wants to save life, but when it comes to abortion, life has been devalued and for many children it will be denied.
At present, many of us have more time to think. Is that not something to think about?