Archive for Religion

When You Think about Abortion, Think of Min Chiu Li

By | November 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

In 1899 a baby girl was born to a poor family in China. Three previous children had died in infancy, and the family hoped for a boy. Boys were − and are − valued more highly than girls in China, as well as in India and elsewhere. So the midwife expected that the little girl would be exposed to die, as was customary.

But the father looked into the baby’s face and bonded. He allowed the girl to live and, most unusually in those days, gave her an education. The only school open to girls was a Christian school, and Jeanette Li became a Christian. She later became an educator and had a long and productive life. Her autobiography is available. If this were the whole story, it would be well worth telling. But there’s more.

Jeanette Li had a son. Min Chiu Li became a physician and obtained a position at the U.S. National Cancer Institute. He was interested in women’s cancers and began a series of experiments. Eventually he showed that the drug methotrexate was able to cure choriocarcinoma, a rare but lethal cancer of young women.

This was the first demonstration that chemotherapy could cure metastatic cancer, as well as the first demonstration that widely disseminated cancer could be cured by any treatment. This was a milestone in the history of medicine.

But this distinguished, productive scientist would not have existed if his mother had been exposed to die in infancy, as was the custom. And Min Chiu Li would probably not have existed under China’s coercive program of one child per family, coupled with the continued preference for boys − and the resulting abortion of unborn baby girls and the killing of newborn baby girls.

The normal human sex ratio at birth (the ratio of boys to girls) is about 1.05. This is the ratio in the United States. But since the introduction of ultrasound, the ratio of male to female newborns in China has increased to 1.133. It is estimated that there is an excess of about 40 million males in China − that is, a deficiency of about 40 million females. As a result of selective abortion of unborn baby girls, in addition to infanticide of newborn baby girls, tens of millions of women who would otherwise live in China have been eliminated. And they still are being eliminated.

Nevertheless, the leftist media continue to idolize communism. The New York Times declares, “For all its flaws, the communist revolution taught Chinese women to dream big.” Really? What do the 40 million Chinese women who were not allowed to live dream about? At some point, a lie grows so big that it becomes a delusion.

Lest you believe that such goings-on are limited to China, recall that prominent British “ethicists” declare that parents should have the right to kill newborns if they are “defective” or merely unwanted. Not to be outdone, a prominent American “ethicist” extends this “return” privilege to one month, or even three years.

And if we follow the example of the Netherlands, mobile euthanasia vans will save us trouble and come to our homes. But this development is not original − Nazi killing vans did it first. We reveal much about ourselves by whom we emulate. Some people emulate the man who saved Jeanette Li. Other people emulate the ones who wanted to kill her.

What is more, selective abortion of females is occurring in Britain and America at unknown rates. Not enough women on corporate boards? Big problem. Selectively killing unborn baby girls? No problem. To leftists, economics replaces ethics as a guide for our actions. Thirty-year-old women having to pay for their own contraceptives? Big problem. Selectively killing unborn baby girls? No problem. To progressives, a woman controlling her “own body” means only abortion on demand, but not actually controlling her own body.

Ultrasound is a valuable medical tool, but like all tools, some people will find a way to misuse it. You can use a hammer to build your neighbor a house or to bash his brains out. You can use ultrasound to make pregnancy safer or to abort females. Dostoyevsky wrote that without God, everything is permitted − but we don’t have to work so hard to prove him right.

We can talk about abortion from the point of view of populations. We can discuss the effects of reducing the number of females who reach reproductive age. We can ponder the resulting decline in already low birth rates, and the aging of the population. We can contemplate the inevitable collapse of old-age pensions, and the deficiency in the number of young workers. We can worry about the resulting excess of young men who cannot find wives. This excess can cause social unrest. The leaders of China know this − and might be tempted to start an aggressive war, in order to utilize this excess of young males before internal unrest breaks out.

And we can express deep concern that in America, the abortion rate for black babies is twice that for Hispanic babies, and five times that for white babies. But just as the higher abortion rate for girl babies is not seen as misogyny, the higher abortion rate for black babies is not seen as racism. Why?

All this is true, but it is not the whole story. Abortion and infanticide have been discussed from many points of view, but often with the unspoken assumption that unborn or newborn humans are interchangeable − that is, that a baby aborted today can be fully replaced by a baby born later.

Such an assumption is nothing new. The first person “euthanized” by the Nazi program to get rid of the “defective” was Baby Knauer. When the disabled five-month-old baby boy was killed, the loving papa declared, “Later we could have other children, healthy and strong, of whom the Reich could be proud.” The Reich was indeed proud. But we should be deeply ashamed. The Nazi euthanasia program used drugs, then gas, and was the physical and psychological prelude to the Holocaust.

Except for identical twins, each individual has unique DNA unlike that of anyone who has ever lived, or is ever likely to live. But one need not be a geneticist, much less a theologian, to know that human beings are unique and not interchangeable. Jeanette Li’s father, an uneducated peasant, knew it in 1899. Yet many so-called educated people don’t know it today. Wisdom and education are two different things entirely. If you doubt this, consider the leaders of prestigious, left-leaning universities who are making such a mess.

Overpopulation and unwanted pregnancy are real problems. But it is unrealistic to assume that human beings, including unborn or newborn human beings, are as replaceable − and hence as disposable − as auto parts. A women’s clinic is not an auto-parts store, much less a wrecking yard.

When I was a young trainee in medical oncology, we had a guest at our weekly conference. Outwardly he was unimpressive. He was short, plump, and middle aged. But he had a ready smile and observant eyes. Our professor had known him at the National Cancer Institute and invited him to visit. He was Min Chiu Li. It was my honor to shake his hand.

Though I did not know it at the time, it was my special honor to meet a person who would never have existed, were it not for the love and wisdom of his peasant grandfather. When we kill a human being who is younger than, or in, the reproductive years, we kill not only that person, but also all that person’s potential descendants.

We can only wonder how many advances in medicine, and in other fields important to human well-being, have not been made − because the persons who would have made them, or their ancestors, were not allowed to live.

Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

www.stolinsky.com

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