The Ship of Death

  When we hear stories of murder on the high seas, we usually think of pirates or drug smuggling. But if a Dutch abortionist has her way, we'll soon be thinking of dead babies, instead. It's an illustration of the titanic lengths to which abortion activists will go -- by land or by sea -- to promote their deadly agenda. It seems Dr. Rebecca Gompers is raising money to equip a 150-foot ship as a sea-going abortion clinic. Her goal? To sail the seven seas, offering free abortions off the coast of any country that prohibits abortion. Pregnant women will be ferried out to the ship, their babies aborted, and then they're ferried back home in time for supper. You have to wonder what kind of flag the abortion ship will hoist: Will it feature a fetus in a circle with a red slash through it, or perhaps a tiny skull and crossbones? Not surprisingly, leaders of targeted countries are outraged at this challenge to their laws. In Catholic Malta, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi called the plan "horrendous" and threatened to prosecute any Maltese citizen who colludes with Gompers. Richard Welch, president of Human Life International, compares the abortion ship to "the most bloodthirsty days of piracy. What happens," he asked, "when a woman dies on this Ship of Death?" The president of the American Life League, Judie Brown, has an answer: They'll "end up being shark bait along with the mortal remains of their babies." If Gompers really wants to help women, Brown adds, she'll provide basic health care instead of abortions, and Brown is absolutely right. Most of the world's strongest pro-life countries are in Asia, Africa, and South America -- home to some of the poorest women in the world. Gompers claims her traveling abortuary will reduce the number of women who die from illegal abortions -- about 100,000 a year worldwide. That's a gross exaggeration. But even if it were true, it's a drop in the global bucket compared to those who die from other causes. For example, anemia causes at least a fourth of all post-partum maternal deaths in Africa and Asia. What is Gompers going to do for these women? And then there's the matter of their children. Nearly 12 million kids under age five die every year, mainly from preventable causes like diarrhea and measles. A maritime abortion mill isn't going to help them, either. For a picture of true compassion, we need look no further than the Scriptures. Jesus, who lived among the poor, spent much of His time healing the sick. And Christian doctors follow His example today on board a fleet of floating hospitals called Mercy Ships. Instead of aborting babies, these doctors heal them. They travel the world, restoring sight to the blind, helping the lame to walk, and sharing the Gospel. By contrast, Gompers the misguided feminist will be bobbing around in her anti-natal warship, plundering the wombs of the poor. Let the world witness two worldviews in stark contrast on the high seas. And the lesson is clear: true compassion is not imposing a social agenda on the world's poor. It's becoming vessels of mercy, imitating the One whose mercy endures forever.


Chuck Colson



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