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Abortion, Suffering, and the Chinese Widow
An ancient Chinese tale contains a lesson for today
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Once upon a time, according to a Chinese legend, there was a poor widow whose only son was killed in an accident. Her grief was so deep that she wanted to die. In desperation, she went to a magician and asked if he could prepare a potion for her to cure her grief.

The magician told the widow that he could make just the potion she needed. But the widow had to bring him a special ingredient: an onion from a home that had never known sorrow.

So off the widow went to find an onion from a home that had never known sorrow. She went from village to village, door to door, seeking the onion. But every home she went to had known sorrow. Soon the widow found that she was spending her time giving comfort and recieving comfort from those she visited, sharing her sorrows and their sorrows. And in time, her grief faded and she found a will to live again and a new joy in life.

Finally she went back to the magician and told him that she had failed. She could not find an onion from a house that had known no sorrow.

"Ah," the magician said, "But still the potion worked! For your grief is cured!"

So many arguments in favor of abortion are based on the idea that abortion is somehow necessary to spare the child a life of suffering. But I challenge you, like the Chinese widow, to find someone who has known no sorrow, no suffering.

It's natural for parents to try to protect their children from suffering. They take them to the doctor and the dentist for preventive care. They teach them to beware of strangers. They teach them basic safety rules. And their hearts are always broken as life somehow manages to cause the child suffering, from a skinned knee to a crippling automobile accident, from taunting at school to torment by criminals. All of our best efforts to keep our children safe and happy only stack the deck. They delay the encounter with suffering, or they mitigate the suffering, but they can't eliminate it entirely, because suffering is an inevitable part of life.

The parent who is considering abortion to spare the child suffering might do well to follow the Chinese magician's advice. For proof that you're making the right choice, go and find an onion from a home that has never known sorrow. If you find one in time to keep your abortion appointment, go for it.

Then let me know. Because I'd like to meet the people who gave you the onion.

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