Matters of life and death

Yesterday it was announced that Marie Stopes, the ‘sexual health specialists’ are to advertise their services on TV starting next week.

The organisation claims to be “the UK’s leading provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare services” (apart, presumably, from the NHS), though this description is, to put it charitably, somewhat disingenuous.

If you want to have a child but can’t, they are strangely silent.  If you want advice about living a sexually healthy lifestyle, the best they seem able to offer is “Wearing condoms can help protect you against STI’s.”

What they provide is not help and advice on sexual health, it’s help and advice on how to avoid or end pregnancy, and how to find out if you’ve got a sexually-related disease (including cervical cancer).

They are not interested in promoting sexual health, no matter how many times they say they are.

Not surprising then, that the advert for their services has been dubbed the UK’s first TV abortion ad. They don’t mention the ‘A’ word, of course, just let you know that if you think you may be pregnant and don’t want to be, there’s someone you can turn to for ‘help and advice’.

They conveniently omit to mention your GP who can give you the advice and help for free.  Why go to a free, impartial healthcare provider who’s committed to your whole health for the whole of your life, when you could pay money to go to one who thinks pregnancy is a problem and wants to fix it (and by the way, has the resources to do it for a small extra fee…)?

In his excellent blog post on the issue, Daily Telegraph journalist Ed West writes:

How odd someone awaking from a 30-year coma might find the values of our country, as reflected in television. You can’t advertise cigarettes at any time or fatty foods during children’s shows, because it might harm the health of children, but you can advertise the killing of unborn children in the middle of a game show. (Likewise you can’t smack your kids, according to the European Court, but you can kill them up to birth if they have a hairlip.)

Meanwhile, over in the science labs, geneticists are rejoicing because they’ve managed to create ‘life’ artificially.

What do these two stories tell us about our culture?  Do we want to create life or destroy it?

Well, both.  What we want is to be in control of it.  We want to create the specific lives we need or can use. We want to destroy any life that doesn’t fit with our plan.

They call this ‘playing God’, but it’s not any God that I know – God gives life as a gift.  He considers it all precious. He wants people to live life in all its fullness, but that doesn’t mean he only wants perfect physical specimens. He wants you and me, physically flawed, fundamentally sinful, but washed clean by the sacrifice of His son, and living for His glory.

Every life matters to God. Life and death are not consumer choices, they are far more precious than any commodity, and we need to re-envision our world with that perspective. Soon.

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