Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tobacco and Abortion ... A Tale of Broken Possibilities.

For years, folks like me, who oppose abortion not because we hate women and want to control them, but because we love life and want to see it fostered, have offered as an point in opposition to recreational abortion, even therapeutic abortion, that destroying a child in the womb destroys a future of unknowable possibilities.

If Beethoven's mother had lived today as she lived then, with diseased and broken children preceding him, with testing for genetic abnormality available, there would be no Beethoven in all likelihood. No Jonas Salk.  No Maya Angelou.  Because, in the modern ethic, the response to difficulty in pregnancy is optimal relief of responsibility, avoidance of hard circumstance, disposition of that which discomfits.  The point is typically lost on those with whom it is shared.

After all, it's hard to imagine that Beethoven's mom would abort him. Or Oprah's. Or Elvis's. 

Yet we know that 1.5 million moms abort their babies here in America every year, and some 65 million moms do around the world.  So, it isn't that hard to imagine, among those 65 million children lost each year, a child that designs a better mousetrap, composes a sweeter symphony, or lightens the load of another as they walk life's often broken way.

At this point, you have to be wondering what this has to do with tobacco.

Yes, there is a connection and it is in that interesting story of the treatment given to American aid workers exposed to the Ebola virus.  You see, it turns out that the treatment is derived from mouse antibodies and grown in tobacco plants.  Yes, tobacco plants.

Had we the good sense to rid the planet of the noxious weed, we could have won the accolades of those who believe healthy health choices should be made for you by the government.  Had we done so, however, we would have eliminated a highly valuable plant substrate for growing the proteins that make up the ZMapp treatment.  

Of course, had we had that good sense, then those mouse anti-clonal antibodies would have had to be grown in some other manner than the highly efficient and high speed tobacco plant.  While many of us enjoy tobacco, just as C.H. Spurgeon did, we don't argue for its beauty, its intrinsic worth and value.  And, had push come to shove, how many would take up arms to prevent the eradication entire of the plant?  Well, probably about as many as take up arms to protect children from abortion, and likely with equal success.

And that, my friends is the connection.  From a despised plant springs new hopes for tomorrow.  Just as, if afforded the opportunity in life, from unborn children such unbounded hopes and possibilities could yet spring.