Monday, April 2, 2018

Pre-natal Education of the Fetus

Korea like many other countries of the world has an ongoing confrontation between the pro-abortion and pro-life groups in society. Recently the pro-abortion group has petitioned the government to abrogate the law against abortion and allow the drug Mifegyne to be sold in Korea to terminate pregnancy. They received more than 200,000 signatures. The government responded they will conduct a survey.

The bishops began a nationwide drive for signatures against the abrogation of the law and within two months passed over one million. The UN Human Rights Council has recommended that across the world they repeal laws that criminalized and unduly restrict abortion.

A parish priest writing in the Catholic Times on the issue mentions the church has long seen abortion as a killing of the fetus. Women are now promoting self-determination and see it in opposition to the right of the fetus to life.  Many believers rather than accepting the teaching of the church see this as a matter of choice. Clear evidence of the weakening of the church's influence on the members.

The changing times invalidates the church's essentialist approach to abortion writes the priest.  The slogan of abortion as murder is no longer effective today. The church should be concerned with a culturalist approach that focuses on a way of life.  An attitude that emphasizes the relationship and process of love in which the pregnant woman and the fetus interact in the womb, from an initiative of their separate lives.

The controversy over birth or abortion focuses only on the consequences of life, and there is little concern for the whole process of life as a human being within the womb.  He mentions the movie "Juno" (2007) which shows a new way of seeing the process of life in the womb and not only the outcome of life outside the womb. The 16-year-old girl, Juno has sex with her boyfriend and is unexpectedly found to be pregnant. When she goes for help she is told the child has fingernails at this stage of growth and she decides against abortion. She was helped to make the decision because of the environment in which she found herself.

Juno frankly told her parents of her pregnancy. The parents weren't pleased but accepted the pregnancy and went along with what the daughter wanted and was beside her during the process of having the baby adopted and the hospital calls. The boyfriend stayed with his girlfriend during this time knowing they were too young to be parents.They found a couple to adopt the child. There was a center to which Juno could go for information and advice during the pregnancy.

The Seoul diocese has a program for pregnant mothers to help them during their period of pregnancy. They are told of ways to communicate with the fetus and to appreciate the mystery of life and how to interact with the new life within them.

The priest mentioned a program that he saw on TV in which a 7-year-old girl gave an amazing pansori (Korean genre of musical storytelling performed by a singer and a drummer)  performance. The mother who likes traditional Korean music while she was pregnant provided the music in the education of the fetus.This shows clearly, he says, how prenatal care affects the baby.

Pregnancy is an important time for the physical, emotional and cognitive development by providing a good environment for the fetus. More important, however, is that pregnant women interact with the fetus to develop the ability of the fetus, to establish the identity of the parents, and to begin to build attachment by sharing meaning between the parents and the fetus. Therefore, it is necessary for the church to strengthen and widely spread this teaching as one of the alternatives for protecting the life and cultivating a culture of life.