Hearing the right voice
No longer is it national news, it is now international news. Newspapers and News channels all over the world are reporting the very sad and tragic death of Savita Halappanavar and her just 17 week old baby. The very real emotion of it all has reignited the whole abortion debate, with protests in Dublin and Cork, calls for new legislation and demands for abortion to be made legal. It seems no one is short of an opinion. Those who are pro-choice will say that Mrs Halappanavars death is reason enough to introduce abortion in Ireland, after all, if it was legal it would have saved her life. However when an Irish woman nearly died last year, during an abortion at a Marie Stopes clinic in England, the same argument was not applied, after all, if it was illegal then her life would never have been in danger! Amidst all the voices and opinions who do we listen to?
First, I think we should listen to the voice of Praveen Halappanavar, Husband of Savita. More than anyone else he wants answers and an explanation but he has also requested privacy and time to greive. Right now Praveen is greiving the the loss of his wife and his child that he never got to hold and cuddle. In the emotion of it we should pray for Praveen and Savitas’ wider family as they come to terms with the loss of a dear loved one, what ever the cause of death may have been. What this may mean for pro-life or pro-choice campaigners is yet to be made clear, and whatever laws are passed Praveen will never see his wife and child again. Sometimes we need to greive with those who greive.
Second, I think we should listen to the voice of the 100,000 + who can’t give an oppinion. These are the voices of those who have been aborted by Irish women in the UK over the last 20 years. What ever the cause of Savita Halappavar’s death (the findings we may know later today), what ever legislation will be needed to bring clarity in a similar situation, let’s remember that while we all have an opinion many will never be able to say what they think – the most basic of human rights.
Third, I think we should wait and listen to the voice of those who have been given the responsibility of inquiry. Theirs is a difficult job as they interview doctors and staff and see what procedures were or were not followed. The truth is we do not yet know what was the reason and we will do well to wait, be patient and listen before passing judgement.
Fourth, I think we should listen to the voice of God. God is the creator and sustainer of all life, both mother and child, and is grieved when any life ends. God has compassion on all he has made and entered into this world as a baby to redeem and restore all life. The suffering and the tragedy that the whole Halappanavar family have had to go through is great and it is for this reason that Jesus Christ came – to bring hope, to bring life, to restore the brokenness we see all around us. The saviour of the world became a baby, lived and died and rose again to defeat death and offer eternal life to all who come to him. That’s why we celebrate Christmas – the birth of Jesus – who came for all people, Irish and Indian.