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Anglicans For Life President Reflects on Abortion as the Leading Moral Issue of our Time

Anglicans For Life President Reflects on Abortion as the Leading Moral Issue of our Time
Georgette Forney sat down with Virtueonline to answer the besetting issue: Abortion.

By David W. Virtue, DD
July 22, 2019

VOL: When does human life begin?

FORNEY: According to embryology books, biology and science - human life begins at conception. Once the egg is fertilized and begins splitting, the DNA of a unique individual is created and life begins. The heart starts beating around day 28, except that The New York Times recently described the Louisiana heartbeat law with bizarre new language that dehumanizes unborn babies and ignores decades of scientific evidence. Rather than say the word "heartbeat," the New York Times used the words "the pulsing of what becomes the fetus's heart." It also described the legislation as a "so-called fetal heartbeat bill" -- as if it is questionable whether the unborn baby actually has a heart or a heartbeat.

The anti-scientific language did not end there. In its description of the Louisiana law, The New York Times wrote:
"The measure would require an ultrasound test for any woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy, and forbid abortion if the test detects embryonic pulsing -- which can occur before many women know they are pregnant."

This new terminology is not based on facts or scientific evidence. It's based on an agenda that supports abortion on demand. "Embryonic pulsing," for example, is such a vague description that it is hard to understand precisely what it means. And it appears to have been used that way on purpose.

VOL: Is the issue of abortion primarily a legal one or is it more of a human issue?

FORNEY: I think people are more comfortable discussing the legal and political perspectives of abortion, but it is really an issue of life for both the infant life in the womb and the mother. We also shouldn't pit the mother's rights against the baby's rights. We need to appreciate both are human and need help.

VOL: A criticism often levelled at the Pro-life Movement is that it is more pro birth than pro-life. How do you respond to that criticism?

FORNEY: This story says it all https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/editor-slammed-with-thousands-of-tweets-after-questioning-pro-lifers-support-for-moms-in-need?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=6453758404-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-%2520U.S._COPY_513&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-6453758404-401392417
-- I now refer to the criticism as a Zombie argument!

VOL: What is your argument against that it is a woman's right to choose (an abortion) and not for another person or the government to decide?

FORNEY: We don't let people choose to drive drunk because they may kill other people -- limiting people's rights occurs all the time -- Giving women the power, the right to decide about her fertility starts with the choice to have sex. Women don't choose abortion because they want them -- women choose abortion because they feel they have no other choice -- once the choice (abortion) was made available, most real support systems went away -- pro-lifers have rebuilt maternity homes, pregnancy centers to help women have real choices. The other way to look at it -- is to question at what age are people responsible enough to decide if another person lives or dies.

I remember thinking when I started facing the truth about my abortion experience, that as a 16-year old -- I should not have been given the power to decide the fate of another human being.

Finally, it is important to remember while everyone likes to cloak abortion in choice, about 65-70% of women report feeling coerced and pressured by others to abort.

VOL: If an abandoned mother with three children finds herself pregnant, what "right" do you or anyone else have to determine what is the best outcome for that pregnancy?

FORNEY: It isn't just about the pregnancy -- we must consider the impact of the abortion on the woman and her 3 children beyond the pregnancy. Her children carry the death of their sibling on their shoulders for life. Mommy sacrificed my brother or sister so I can have more -- how does that truth impact those kids for the rest of their lives? Can I ever be enough to justify mom's choice? What if she would have been pregnant with me, would she have aborted me? We need to realize millions of kids are walking around with those facts on their shoulders. We also need to revise support services and laws so that women qualify for aid and service. CHIP in PA, is one example that all kids get health care -- this is also a great place where the church can step up to help our neighbors. JI Packer said that when he met pregnant women, he was meeting two neighbors, not one!

VOL: Lawmakers in eleven states have introduced "heartbeat bills" with three more states pending. Is this a precursor to Roe v. Wade being overturned?

FORNEY: Supreme Court scholars and folks who like to gossip about this topic question whether Roberts court has the stomach to overturn Roe. Many are concerned that Roberts is too politically sensitive, hence many are hoping for more cases that chip away at Roe, laying the groundwork to overturn it.

VOL: To limit abortion, why does the pro-life movement not talk about free child care for mothers; paid paternal leave; and respite help for parents with a handicapped child?

FORNEY: You can add more father involvement, etc. Have you ever heard about Feminists for Life -- they work on college campuses to ensure female students can get parent housing, child-care, etc. Some pro-life groups believe others are doing those things and we should fill in for the nitty gritty others try to avoid. AFL sees it all, but tries to address these issues through ministry.at the local church level.

VOL: Why does the pro-life movement not push for government child benefits?

FORNEY: Same reason cancer organizations don't demand healthcare for everyone? IDK! Expecting all pro-lifers to fight every battle equally dilutes our efforts.

VOL: I recently visited three Nordic countries on the Baltic -- Norway, Sweden and Denmark. They are the happiest countries in the world. One of the reasons is that when a mother gives birth to a baby, she gets 48 paid weeks to care for the child. The husband then gets 6 paid weeks to take care of the child. Why do American pro-lifers not advocate for similar actions?

FORNEY: These three questions are all similar and, in all honesty, I don't know how to answer them. I do know that pro-lifers have worked hard to try and get child support services on college campuses for moms with babies. These types of topics have cultural issues related such as employers' ability to pay for extended leave. What if you don't want that extended time home, how would a parent be perceived by other parents. I don't know.

VOL: At times it looks as though the pro-life movement was abandoning mothers and babies at the hospital front door without thinking about what actively they could for the mother who wants to keep her child.

FORNEY: There are over 3000 pregnancy centers around the United States helping mothers through the first year of their babies lives -- everything from diapers to formula to clothing to furniture needs are available, but those services don't get covered in the media which perpetuates the false narrative that we abandon women at the door. I personally have walked with mothers through pregnancy, delivery, taking the baby home, problems that required me to keep the baby, foster care, hospital stays, etc. for the first 5 months -- then the mother placed the baby for adoption.

VOL: Last week when I was briefly in ER at Penn Hospital, I saw a bassinet for abandoned babies. That is, you could leave the baby at the hospital exit and someone would adopt it. What is your position on this?

FORNEY: The bassinets are part of Safe Haven laws designed to help moms when they can't handle the baby. These laws have saved hundreds of babies and I am grateful for them. There are actually lots of laws on the books designed to help pregnant and new moms, but people don't know they exist.

VOL: Most European countries offer these services and abortion is significantly down. Why doesn't the US offer the same services?

FORNEY: Most folks don't know or pay attention until the need is staring them in the face, then people say, just have an abortion -- it's no big deal, but it is for many. The practical support is available, but the emotional support is lacking as everyone defaults to abortion as the solution. Easiest for them too.

VOL: The Supreme Court has upheld an Indiana law that requires aborted fetal remains to be given burial or cremation, ruling the state has a valid interest in governing how the remains are handled. But the justices declined to reinstate provisions of the state's law that banned abortions when the decision is based on race, sex or a diagnosed disability, such as Down syndrome. What is your position on this ruling?

FORNEY: The disposition of fetal remains makes the point that the baby is human -- so that's helpful, but the legitimized right to kill based on sex, race, or disability is pure eugenics and Thomas called it that somewhat graciously.

This is the info we got from our DC eyes/ears:
Today, the US Supreme Court issued orders on Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. The case challenged two provisions of a pro-life law signed by Vice President Mike Pence when he was governor of Indiana. The first provision requires fetal remains to be either buried or cremated. The second provision prohibits abortions based on a disability or on the sex or race of the unborn child.

When Planned Parenthood challenged the law, the district court found the provisions unconstitutional and blocked enforcement. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the district court's ruling. The Supreme Court released a per curiam opinion reversing the 7th Circuit holding on the provision requiring fetal remains to be buried or cremated. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals on this provision; it upheld the fetal remains provision. The opinion stated, "This Court has already acknowledged that a State has a 'legitimate interest in proper disposal of fetal remains.'

The Supreme Court declined to weigh in on the second provision related to abortions based on disability, sex, or race. Therefore, the 7th Circuit decision striking down this provision stands. Indiana will not be able to enforce that part of the law.

Justice Clarence Thomas authored a concurring opinion. He wrote, "I would have thought it could go without saying that nothing in the Constitution or any decision of this Court prevents a State from requiring abortion facilities to provide for the respectful treatment of human remains." After outlining the historical link between birth control, abortion and eugenics, Justice Thomas concluded, "Enshrining a constitutional right to an abortion based solely on the race, sex, or disability of an unborn child, as Planned Parenthood advocates, would constitutionalize the views of the 20th-century eugenics movement."

Groups may be interested in the analysis of the issued orders available on SCOTUSblog

VOL: A recent article in The Living Church questions whether the abortion debate should be one of legality -- defending or repealing Roe v. Wade. The writer said it was a failure in "moral catechesis." He said the legal issue is not the most important question in the debate. Do you agree with that?

FORNEY: Well, the reality is that we won't stand before a court to defend our actions -- ultimately, we will each stand before God to explain our actions and choices. Identifying it as a moral catechesis sounds pompous to me -- I'd say it's a failure of the church to teach the scriptures. I believe the culture has influenced the Church on this issue and many others -- while God calls us to influence the world/make disciples.

VOL: What does it mean to say human life is sacred? Women miscarry. Women have spontaneous abortions. My wife had a still born child, fully developed weighing 14 pounds who died an hour before birth. What does it mean to say ALL life is sacred?

FORNEY: Every life is created by God and bears His image -- that's what makes human life sacred. Every life that God creates has purpose -- parents like me who aborted a child, denied my child the opportunity to fulfill her purpose -- while in cases like your wife’s, we have to trust God’s sovereignty that her some it is hard for us to comprehend why, your wife's child completed hers/his purpose as well. The hard part is accepting His divine ways, especially when it comes to death of infants and children.

VOL: Is there such a thing as some vulnerable human lives are more worthy of protection than less vulnerable human lives?

FORNEY: NO -- every life deserves to be protected, honored, and respected.

VOL: Is it always wrong to end human life?

FORNEY: YES -- only God gets to decide when a life has fulfilled its purpose.

VOL: Does a woman who is raped and finds herself pregnant have the right to terminate that life?

FORNEY: A woman who becomes pregnant through a rape needs people to come around her that recognize the traumatic experience she has endured and will help her make wise choices. Based on the experiences of women who become pregnant through rape, most will say the abortion was similar to the rape trauma wise -- in the book Victims and Victors, the majority of women agree that having the child and placing the child with an adoptive family is the best solution.

I think society prefers abortion in these cases as it relieves them of their uncomfortableness being around a woman they couldn't protect and are reminded of it through the pregnancy.

VOL: In an open and democratic society, who should have the right in decision making with regard to human life: the mother, the father, the child, the state, or the Church?

FORNEY: A democratic society by its very nature assumes adults and government will make decisions -- as in other examples, the state can put me in jail for driving drunk because I endanger others. Rights come with responsibilities and should also include accountability. The right to make decisions about another person's life should be viewed with respect and honor, not what is best for me.

VOL: Would you be willing to work with people who want to see abortion become rare, but aim to do that through birth control and pro-family policies?

FORNEY: I welcome the opportunity to work with people who are willing to look at the big picture of policy ideas instead of just a particular agenda -- take the idea of birth control for example -- The idea of using birth control pills specifically to prevent pregnancy and hence abortion sounds good, but let's dig a bit deeper into what possible consequences a BC policy will have long -term -- consider for instance the fact that BCP uses synthetic hormones that often cause long-term health problems such as breast cancer, weight gain and blood clots/strokes. By giving out BCP to prevent pregnancy, we have inadvertently caused some of the users to need additional health care that can threaten their lives as well. So if I suggest we teach natural family planning that requires people to exercise discipline and self-control to prevent pregnancy and abortion, you bristle, because it will require men to take some level of responsibility as well as the woman -- how do you respond to that?

VOL:Thank you, Georgette.

Georgette Forney is entering her 22nd year as President of Anglicans for Life, the only global Anglican ministry dedicated to inspiring the Anglican Church to understand and compassionately apply God's Word when addressing abortion, abstinence, adoption, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research. She is also the co-founder of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, an effort to raise awareness about the physical, spiritual and emotional harm abortion does to women and to let those who are hurting from abortion know help is available. Since officially launching the Campaign in 2003, 4,641 women and men have shared their testimonies at 771 Gatherings that have occurred in 48 states and 10 countries with more than 159,429 spectators having heard the truth about abortion's negative after-affects. More than 9,027 people have registered online to be silent no more.

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