• The Judgement of Solomon.


    NB: The above image has been used as certain historic paintings relating to the biblical text could be considered offensive to an audience unfamiliar with the text.
    Most British Gazette readers will know of the famous piece of scripture, 1 Kings 3:16-28 – generally known as the Judgement of Solomon.

    This morning when I downloaded the emails I received a notice of a press release by the campaigning organisation, Christian Concern relating to the issue of abortion. Herewith the post on their website that relates to this: https://christianconcern.com/comment/a-demographic-disaster-25-of-pregnancies-aborted-as-family-size-shrinks/
    Although this is a classic example of the conflict of rights; namely the right of an unborn child to life and the right of a woman to control her own body and as such should be approached from a detached perspective (of not being directly involved), invariably as a man, the first thing that strikes me is that there are no circumstances where I could be directly involved in such a situation for two perfectly obvious reasons:

    #1: I am not an unborn child.
    #2: I am a man.

    Of course, being a man means that I could hypothetically be indirectly involved, being a hypothetical father. Therefore I start from the standpoint that it is very difficult to justify forcing a woman to carry a child to term if she has decided that she is not prepared to.

    There has been much heat and precious little light shed in this most difficult of areas, but one neglected area in the debate concerns how the woman became pregnant in the first place. Now, clearly, we all know how having had “the birds and the bees” talk as children. What I am referring to here are the circumstances surrounding conception.

    Firstly: was the conception consensual? If it was not, in my opinion, the unborn child has NO right to life as it was created unlawfully.

    Secondly: is the life sustainable? In other words, is the child likely to survive following it’s birth and if so, for how long and what quality of life will he/she have?

    Thirdly: can it be construed that the conception formed part of a jointly settled decision with the child’s father? In other words, was the mother party to a contract where the procreation of children could reasonably be implied in a manner where the person on the Clapham omnibus would assume that it was. I use such long-winded text because it is not simply a question of was the woman married when she conceived. This because marriages take place at all ages and there comes a point in terms of the age of the bride where procreation can not reasonably and sensibly be regarded as forming part of the marriage contract – and of course the ceremony reflects this!

    By now, I know that certain BG readers will be getting very hot under the ruffles of their blouses! And some getting hot under their collars!

    However, I can report of an actual “real world” example, which will be reported here but with the names of the individuals directly concerned not mentioned:

    My late father was a consulting engineer and a large part of his job was that of appearing as an expert witness in court. He obtained work through solicitors. My late mother was a local preacher with the Methodist church. My parents had a couple of friends – a married couple. The husband was partner in one of the firms of solicitors who instructed (hired) my father. This husband/solicitor was also a local preacher. As he neared retirement age he ceased practising as a solicitor and became a District Judge which included dealing with family law. There was on one particular occasion a case that upset our family friend greatly.

    It concerned a married couple whose marriage had broken down and they were engaged in divorce proceedings. Herewith the facts of the case:

    The couple were a young couple in their twenties. The husband was (unbeknown to the wife) a philanderer and had adulterous liaisons with women with whom he had made the briefest of acquaintance with. In other words, a scoundrel. Whilst he was philandering with divers women, the husband and wife conceived a child. This was not an accidental but a planed conception. However, when the husband’s philandering became known to the wife she third handedly ejected him from the family home – the third hand being her brother who was much taller and of heavier build than her philandering husband!

    The outraged wife decided to exact a severe revenge upon her husband. Knowing that he very much wanted the child she was carrying, she had an abortion. At no point was there any evidence or suspicion that the unborn child was abnormal/damaged. There were no obstetric or gynaecological problems relating to the pregnancy. The reason for the abortion was spite and vindictiveness. The Abortion Act 1967 c. 87 allowed for this.

    There are some anti-abortion campaigners who would describe this as a case of capital punishment with a difference. Whereas in countries like Saudi Arabia adultery is punished by death – to the adulterers – in this particular circumstance the death sentence was applied not to the adulterer but to his unborn child.

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