In 1954, while at the University of Wisconsin in the United States, Abdul Fattah Jandali, a Syrian immigrant and a teaching assistant met a young graduate student named Joanne Carol Schieble. The two quickly fell in love and not long after, Joanne was pregnant.
However, they were not ready to become parents! Coming from a conservative German-Catholic family, Joanne’s parents were not supportive of the young unwed couple’s relationship. And according to press reports, Joanne’s father threatened to withhold on-going financial assistance if she didn’t break up with her Muslim boyfriend. Furthermore, the 22-year-old Joanne decided that neither she nor Jandali had the financial means to raise a baby.
The couple decided against abortion but chose to place their baby for adoption. And shortly after the son was born on February 24, 1955, he was adopted by a lower-middle-class American couple. The baby was named Steve Jobs and his adoptive parents were Paul and Clara Jobs.
It is this Steve Jobs who later went on to become one of the world’s most innovative, respected and visionary business leaders who ever lived. He not only helped to start Apple Inc., but he also revolutionized the technology, music and entertainment industries. And even after his passing in 2011, his work is still greatly visible in our daily lives.
This miraculous story came to my mind on Friday, June 24 when the U.S Supreme Court overturned the (in)famous Roe v. Wade ruling, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. In 1973, the court had ruled that pregnant women were entitled to an abortion during the first three months of their pregnancy, while allowing for legal restrictions in the second and third trimester.
But the Supreme court has now overturned that earlier ruling, effectively making it possible for U.S States to ban abortions earlier than three months. It is important to note that abortion will not automatically become illegal in the US but individual states will now be allowed to decide if and how to allow abortions.
This historic and far-reaching ruling has sent shockwaves throughout the United States and across the entire globe. The decision has attracted a mixture of reactions – dissent and praise – from different parties. And most of the dissenters believe that women’s rights are under attack. President Joe Biden said “the health and life of women in this nation are now at risk…It’s a sad day for the court and for the country”.
“Sexual and reproductive health and rights are the foundation of a life of choice, empowerment and equality for the world’s women and girls…Restricting access to abortion does not prevent people from seeking abortion, it only makes it more deadly”, said Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
On the other hand, Former U.S Vice President Mike Pence praised the ruling, saying that: “…a new arena in the cause of life has emerged, and it is incumbent on all who cherish the sanctity of life to resolve that we will take the defence of the unborn…”.
To ban or not-to ban abortion is a real catch 22 situation and it’s one of those issues that would perplex the veteran and surprise the beginner. But I for one, my opinion is a pretty conservative one: I believe that abortion is mankind’s greatest sin. It’s unfortunate that babies are being sacrificed just because they are not convenient and not even considered human unless they are wanted.
Today, so many people live only for themselves, and have convinced themselves that babies are only important if you want to keep them and they describe abortion as “Healthcare”. “My body, my choice” is a common phrase nowadays. Some of these people further convince themselves that the baby is not a real baby with rights until after it is born.
In the biblical context, the scriptures says that God knit us together in the womb, and knew us intimately even before we were born. To me, this seems to indicate that we are all valuable even before we are born, at least to God. But now, parents have no trouble talking about their “baby” before it is born when they want to have a child. However, when an abortion is desired, they never talk about the baby, they use words such as “fetus”.
And one may ask: How about if the pregnancy is as a result of rape or defilement? I know. Rape or defilement is a horrible thing and I would never wish it for any woman or girl but then, you can’t make it better by taking life of an innocent child. Rape or defilement shouldn’t take away our humanity, it shouldn’t turn us into murderers!
One of the few exceptions I can think of is when abortion is considered for health reasons. But this is even more complex. It should really depend on what the health concerns are. Certainly, if the mother is going to die, and a choice has to be made, I can understand letting the mother live. But if the health concerns are far less serious, then abortion shouldn’t be an option.
I have always wondered: What if Steve Job’s biological parents had decided to abort him? Would the world of technology, music and entertainment be as it is today? I don’t think so! Their choice helped to push the human race forward.