Skip to comments.Speaking About Abortion? Mention Min Chiu Li
Posted on 03/04/2012 8:58:29 PM PST by stolinsky
Speaking About Abortion? Mention Min Chiu Li
David C. Stolinsky
Mar. 5, 2012
In 1899 a baby girl was born to a poor family in China. Three previous children had died in infancy, and the family hoped for a boy. Boys were − and are − valued more highly than girls in China, as well as in India and elsewhere. So the midwife expected that the little girl would be exposed to die, as was customary.
But the father looked into the babys face and bonded. He allowed the girl to live and, most unusually in those days, gave her an education. The only school open to girls was a Christian school, and Jeanette Li became a Christian. She later became an educator and had a long and productive life. Her autobiography is available. If this were the whole story, it would be well worth telling. But theres more.
Jeanette Li had a son. Min Chiu Li became a physician and obtained a position at the U.S. National Cancer Institute. He was interested in womens cancers and began a series of experiments. Eventually he showed that the drug methotrexate was able to cure choriocarcinoma, a rare but lethal cancer of young women.
This was the first demonstration that chemotherapy could cure metastatic cancer, as well as the first demonstration that widely disseminated cancer could be cured by any treatment. This was a milestone in the history of medicine.
But this distinguished, productive scientist would not have existed if his mother had been exposed to die in infancy, as was the custom. Equally important, Min Chiu Li would probably not have existed under Chinas current coercive program of one child per family, coupled with the continued preference for boys − and the resulting abortion of unborn baby girls and the killing of newborn baby girls.
The normal human sex ratio at birth (the ratio of boys to girls) is about 1.05. This is the ratio in the United States. But since the introduction of ultrasound, the ratio of male to female newborns in China has increased to 1.133. It is estimated that there is an excess of about 35 million males in China − that is, a deficiency of about 35 million females. As a result of selective abortion of unborn baby girls, in addition to infanticide of newborn baby girls, tens of millions of women who would otherwise live in China have been eliminated. And they still are being eliminated.
Lest you believe that such goings-on are limited to China, recall that prominent British ethicists declare that parents should have the right to kill newborns if they are defective or merely unwanted. Not to be outdone, a prominent American ethicist extends this return privilege to one month, or even longer. And if we follow the example of the Netherlands, mobile euthanasia vans will save us trouble and come to our homes. But this development is not original − Nazi killing vans did it first. We reveal much about ourselves by whom we emulate. Some people emulate the man who saved Jeanette Li. Other people emulate the ones who wanted to kill her.
What is more, selective abortion of females is occurring in Britain and America at unknown rates. Oddly, this is not seen as misogyny. Not enough women on corporate boards? Big problem. Selectively killing unborn baby girls? No problem. To leftists, economics replaces ethics as a guide for our actions. Thirty-year-old women having to pay for their own contraceptives? Big problem. Selectively killing unborn baby girls? No problem. To progressives, a woman controlling her own body means only abortion on demand, but not actually controlling her own body.
Ultrasound is a valuable medical tool, but like all tools, some people will find a way to misuse it. You can use a hammer to build your neighbor a house or to bash his brains out. You can use ultrasound to make pregnancy safer or to abort females. Dostoyevsky wrote that without God, everything is permitted − but we dont have to work so hard to prove him right.
We can talk about abortion from the point of view of populations. We can discuss the effects of reducing the number of females who reach reproductive age. We can ponder the resulting decline in already low birth rates, and the aging of the population. We can contemplate the inevitable collapse of old-age pensions, and the deficiency in the number of young workers. We can worry about the resulting excess of young men who cannot find wives. This excess can cause social unrest. The leaders of China know this − and might be tempted to start an aggressive war, in order to utilize this excess of young males before internal unrest breaks out. And we can express deep concern that in America, the abortion rate for black babies is twice that for Hispanic babies, and over three times that for white babies.
All this is true, but it is not the whole story. Abortion and infanticide have been discussed from many points of view, but often with the unspoken assumption that unborn or newborn humans are interchangeable − that is, that a baby aborted today can be fully replaced by a baby born later.
Such an assumption is nothing new. The first person euthanized by the Nazi program to get rid of the defective was Baby Knauer. When the disabled five-month-old baby boy was killed, the loving papa declared, Later we could have other children, healthy and strong, of whom the Reich could be proud. The Reich was indeed proud. But we should be deeply ashamed. The Nazi euthanasia program used drugs, then gas, and was the physical and psychological prelude to the Holocaust.
Except for identical twins, each individual has unique DNA unlike that of anyone who has ever lived, or is ever likely to live. But one need not be a geneticist, much less a theologian, to know that human beings are unique and not interchangeable. Jeanette Lis father, an uneducated peasant, knew it in 1899. Yet many so-called educated people dont know it today. Wisdom and education are two different things entirely. If you doubt this, consider the graduates of prestigious, left-leaning universities who are running our country.
Overpopulation and unwanted pregnancy are real problems. But it is unrealistic to assume that human beings, including unborn or newborn human beings, are as replaceable − and hence as disposable − as auto parts. A womens clinic is not an auto-parts store, much less a wrecking yard.
When I was a young trainee in medical oncology, we had a guest at our weekly conference. Outwardly he was unimpressive. He was short, plump, and middle aged. But he had a ready smile and observant eyes. Our professor had known him at the National Cancer Institute and invited him to visit. He was Min Chiu Li. It was my honor to meet him.
Though I did not know it at the time, it was my special honor to meet a person who would never have existed, were it not for the love and wisdom of his peasant grandfather. When we kill a human being who is younger than, or in, the reproductive years, we kill not only that person, but also all that persons potential descendants.
We can only wonder how many advances in medicine, and in other fields important to human well-being, have not been made − because the persons who would have made them, or their ancestors, were not allowed to live.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
An excellent article. Thank you.
Thanks for the article. I had a discussion with an acquaintance on New Years Eve about abortion, and one of the arguments I used was that, since we’ve abored 50 million children in the US, we may have already aborted the next Einstein, or the person who might have come up with the cure for cancer. He admitted this was a thought-provoking argument, but still wanted to dismiss it as too hypothetical. Next time I see him, I’ll be able to bring this concrete example up.
This is a terrific article! This is exactly why I hate abortion and hate war.
I understand the medical necessity for abortion, and the national necessity for war. But both should happen rarely and only when absolutely necessary.
So you want abortion to be “legal and rare”?
My nephew, now 20-years old, would never have existed if his mother hadn’t had a life saving abortion after a car accident, four years before he was conceived.
Abortion should be legal, rare, and only performed in hospitals to save a woman’s life. NO to abortion on demand! NO abortion profit-center “clinics”!
There you are wrong. Abortion should be illegal. I presume that you are female, correct?
Why should a medical procedure used to save a woman’s life be illegal?
Should we therefore make guns illegal, because they’re used to protect life by taking another’s?
I’ve tried the same argument and neither you nor I will get anywhere.
If you’re threatened with death, do you have the right to kill in self-defense?
Nothing is simpler.
You sure do have the right to kill in self-defense.
I agree with you that abotion should be legal but rare.
Since it used to be that way, I believe it can be again.
Doctors appear to be ceding the moral and ethical stance the profession had in the past. They must reassert the morality that existed 50 to 60 years ago. There is so much to lose if the medical profession fails to take up the challenge of ethics.
As long as the baby can not live outside of the mothers womb, I guess I can see an abortion to save the woman’s life. But if only my daughter or I could survive if I had been pregnant and in a car accident, I would gladly have given my life for hers, and couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t.
I also have a daughter adopted from China, and I thank God that whomever abandoned her did so in front of a Police Dept. So she was found before it was to late.
Abortion is about killing pre-born babies.
That is why it has to be illegal.
Legal = common.
And one pre-born baby murdered by abortion is one too many.
It should not be illegal.
Well,if you think that a woman should die during childbirth...
My sister was five weeks pregnant when her compact car was T-boned by a Chrysler New Yorker going the wrong way down a one-way street in Portland, Oregon, in 1986.
She told emergency techs at Pill Hill (Oregon Health Sciences Universtiy Hospital) she was pregnant but a pregnancy test was negative, so they loaded her up with painkillers. That poisoned her baby, stopped its development but she didn’t miscarry.
Later she began seizing due to the effects of eclampsia, and the doctors at the ER who had doped her up originally said an abortion was necessary to save her life because the dead baby was septic and would kill her.
Now here is the part that enraged my entire Roman Catholic family. The hospital refused to perform the abortion even though the baby wasn’t viable. Why? Because it was a state-run hospital and the Oregon State legislature had passed a law making it impossible for abortions to be performed at any state hospital FOR ANY REASON!
This is the ONLY time I’ve been thankful an abortion clinic exited.
Four years later I was coming out of an anethesia fog following a hystorectomy when my sister told me she was again pregnant. We called him the miracle baby, because sis was told she would never have any children again due to damage caused by the car accident. He is my parents only grandchild, my only nephew.
So my Roman Catholic family, very conservative and pro-life, all understand that abortion as a necessary medical practice has a purpose - to save the life of a woman so she can have children in the future.
That should be abortion’s only reason for being performed, and it should be done solely in hospitals. Abortion on demand at death mills should be illegal.
You’re a know nothing.
I hope this gets the point across.
Thank God, these kinds of situations, like eclampsia, are rare.
But I am becoming alarmed over doctors stating that there is no ethics problem with killing a born-alive infant! What are these people? Monsters?
Quite the opposite.
Just keep your head in the sand,or whatever else works for ya.
You won’t convince others that these circumstances do exist.
But yes,partial-birth abortion IS murder and should never be legal.
You’re the one OK with murdering pre-born babies.
I don't think that very many pro life people would say that a mother would have to keep a dead baby in her womb that would kill her because it was naturally rotting. Nobody would not want a dead baby expelled from it's mother. When we say abortion must be illegal we mean the killing of a baby in it's mother's womb, not forcing a mother to retain an already dead baby. I am sure that there isn't any pro life person who would object to the qualification being added that if a baby is already proved to be dead that it may be medically removed from it's mother's womb.
No,I’m OK with aborting them in very rare cases,like the one SatinDoll mentioned.
Did you read that,or do you want to remain oblivious?
OK,you got me. I think a woman should be able to run right out and have an abortion for any reason under the sun.
OK,you got me. I think a woman should be able to run right out and have an abortion for any reason under the sun.
At the risk of being to personal,there are times that I wished my mother aborted me.
There is none.
Good God, woman!
If the baby is already dead (in this case, due to a medical screw up) ...
Get this straight:
REMOVING A DEAD BABY'S DEAD BODY FROM HIS MOTHER IS NOT ABORTION
I'm very sorry that you lost your nephew, but for God's sake quit telling people that your sister committed an abortion. You've just told us she didn't.
You said the baby already had passed away, so I don’t even consider that an abortion. I wasn’t trying to judge you or your sister, as I didn’t know all the facts, just state if I were in a certain situation what I’d do.
I’m Catholic, too, and I’m sorry for all your family went through. My sister lost twins when she was pregnant and it was horrible.
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