A bit of a furor has erupted over in England, where Cambridge's Addenbrook Hospital has admitted it disposes of the products of abortion in the standard hospital trash incinerator.
The hospital is doing this to save money, as the formal crematorium they use for miscarriages costs a shade more - roughly $40 CAD per fetus.
On one hand I can hardly find fault with the hospital's reasoning: they must see a vast difference between a miscarriage and an aborted baby. Sure, both may physically appear the same, but the difference is one was wanted, and the other was not. Or, more accurately, one mother's hope overcame her fears, and the other mother's fears overcame her hope. So why should the unwelcome baby be treated with as much respect as the one who will be missed?
Now if you, like me, ascribe to the concept of absolutes, you will agree that to solve a problem you must first find the cause of it, AKA the absolute that has been violated. Then you have to get back to that absolute.
In this case, the absolute is Human Life Is Always Precious. Where does this decision find itself in relation to that? By inference, if human life is precious, then in death the former life does not become any less precious. Therefore the physical remains of that life must be accorded due dignity. The hospital has thus violated the absolute of the sacredness of life.
But what I find most interesting about this story is this quote from a woman who had procured an abortion there:
I am furious and very hurt. Imagine my horror when I discovered that my baby was incinerated in the same furnace as the hospital rubbish.
It's easy to jump on a condemnation bandwagon here and say to her, "Serves you right, killing your baby. What right do you have to care about it anymore?" But that is not the Christian way.
We are called to make disciples of all nations. To do that, we must educate the soul; we must catechize. We must help the Christian form his or her conscience properly.
One thing a properly formed conscience does is make us perfectly sensitive to absolutes. Absolutes beckon us. The human soul knows when it has crossed a moral line. Somewhere deep within, this woman knows she did a hideous thing. So much so that when the sanctity of her lost child is violated again, she recognizes it immediately, and reacts as would any mother, abortion or not.
So all is not lost for our unnamed British lady. May God continue to lead her back to himself, the source of all absolute truth.