Child Abuse

There were a couple of letters in the Spokesman-Review as of 18 November 2008 that addressed the abuse and death of Summer Phelps. A local child who’s father was ultimately convicted for her abuse and death.  One is from a Lynn Lynch who is obviously a pro-choicer.  She addresses the question of whether Phelps would have been better off aborted so as to spare her facing abuse and then murder from her father.  Before anyone questions the wisdom of writing such a letter, in Chapter 10 of Job, Job himself asks why he did not die before he was born.  Given the hell on earth he received for the loss of family, health and wealth.  You could say that Lynch at this point could have quoted the bible.  Just as Lynch also asks why anti-abortionists aren’t in a rush to adopt children in need of loving homes.

Don’t even call this two sides of the abuse argument.  In a rather similar vein, Bobbi Crawford wondered about the people who did not come to help a child in distress.  Until the child was dead, and the post mortems of how she died became known, seems that the general public was perhaps a bit ignorant of how a child’s life was going south.

Make that, the continuation of the same argument.  In both writers’ cases, they wondered why the child wasn’t helped when she might have been.  Yes, why wasn’t the child helped when she might have been?

I remember the letters to the editor of years ago when radical anti-choicers deemed abortion to be the greatest of all child abuse cases.  Well, you can’t apply cigarette burns to a fetal body can you?  You can’t shackle a fetus to a bed in a cold dark room.  You can’t slam a door on a fetus and lock him or her in a closet.  But, you can do all that and more to a child.  If the woman isn’t in excellent health, does drugs or alcohol and doesn’t eat right, she can harm a developing fetus.  But she isn’t calling the fetus names, she isn’t producing a “shaken baby syndrome” while the child is in her womb.  She isn’t punching out a fetus.  She isn’t throwing one up against the wall to stop it from crying.  No, but all that can be done to a child.

Why do anti-abortionists stop short of child advocacy?  Perhaps in the warped world view of political morality, the fetus is the “least of these” we must do the most for, because we would do the same for Christ.  But that elevates the fetus to “the greatest of these.”  Then a born child is the least of these who simply falls off the radar.  As cases of child abuse, abandonment and etc. continue, even grow; the news reports on these cases, and anti-abortionists go out to abortion providing clinics to protest their continued existence.

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