So Alicia Chang, billed as the Associated Press "Science Writer," opens her article thus:
Got that? That means that killing an unborn baby won't hurt you, but giving birth to him might. You know, just in case Alicia's sermon didn't come through clearly enough.
The research by Danish scientists further debunks the notion that terminating a pregnancy can trigger mental illness and shows postpartum depression to be much more of a factor.
When you read it, you'll instantly have questions about the study, the disparity of groups, the things they did and did not factor in. You'll question whether their method of evaluating mental health was all that sound and objective. Were the subjects reporting on themselves to any degree, and if so isn't that like doing an obesity study by asking the subjects how overweight they feel?
But I have a different approach.
I don't care and it doesn't matter.
Let me be more specific. Suppose there were a study of who had fewer mental health problems, men who murder their wives or men who stay married to them. Or a study of whether adults who committed child molestation or rape were happier than adults who do neither. Suppose the studies showed that murderers/molestors/rapists were happier than non's.
Who would care? Or, perhaps more, what would those studies prove? Would they prove that murder/molesting/rape were good things? Or would they prove that murderers/molestors/rapists were spiritually dead, had warped and damaged consciences, or were liars who did not even know what real joy was?
All those are open questions, aren't they? Without some transcendent, external, objective standard, we're absolutely hopeless to find a moral path.
However, the study is already premised on a moral path. Its premise is "Whatever makes us happy is good." Of course, my examples above show this to be an inadequate and unlivable basis. Besides, happy for how long? Jumping off a cliff would make me very happy. I'd be flying!
Any adult realizes that all sorts of short-term "happifiers" are long-term "miserablizers." Might this be one? Might the misery take a year... or ten... or fifty... or a hundred? How can we know?
Plus, even our lost society tends to look down on people who make themselves happy at the cost of others' misery. When we hear that someone has murdered 11 people, our first thought is not, "Well, anyway, at least he's happy, and that's good."
So suppose (just for argument's sake) it really did make a woman happy to have her child killed. Does that make child-killing a good thing? Suppose it made a man happy to have his 1-year-old killed — more happy than if he had the responsibility of caring for him? Would that make the killing a good thing? Would not even our insane society say that the man's happiness is irrelevant?
So, to be very clear: I think women should not contract to have their children killed.
But my reason for thinking this is not that I think the women will be immediately happier if they do not contract to have their children killed. Frankly, as the expression goes, in this equation I could not care less whether she is more or less happy having her child killed. I do want her to be happy; I do not want her to be happy at the cost of another's wrongful death.
So why should a woman not contract to have a child killed, even if the child is really-really imperfect, or really-really inconvenient? Simple: God forbids it, as surely as He forbids rape, murder and theft. She should not contract to have her child killed because it offends God, because the child is created in His image, because an assault on the child is an assault on God, and therefore is attempted Deicide-by-proxy.
She needs to know for a fact that any happiness she achieves by shaking her fist in God's face will be illusory, short-lived, and ultimately ruinous far out of proportion to any apparent gains her rebellion yielded.
What she — and all of us — needs to be told is not that she can defy God with impunity. This is a lie, and a disastrous one at that.
What she — and all of us — needs to be told is that God has provided one way through which we can know forgiveness of our crimes, and find reconciliation to God. That is the path to true, abiding happiness free from regrets.
AP won't tell you that.