By Tom McLaughlin

KUCHING, Malaysia–I am against abortion. I believe it is the most despicable event that could happen to a life that has been given and to the mother. I believe it is a sin against God and nature.

My witness is that at 60 I have a son. I have proven my belief and stand firmly behind it; absolutely no regrets and with a great outpouring of love towards Dzul and his mother, my beloved bride Suriani.

We did see a doctor with the greatest fear that the pregnancy would kill my wife, because she was not supposed to be able to have children; plus she was 43. Everything was fine and we did not have to make the next awful decision.

Our faith told us nothing would be wrong and it wasn’t.

Author and his pregnant wife Suriani are depicted in book "Borneo Tom," art by Waterfront Niki.

Should we have had to take the next step, the choice would have been between the life of my wife or the child in her womb. By the Grace of God, we did not have to.

I am relating all of this because during my return to the states for medical treatments, women’s issues have come to the forefront again. A raging debate I thought was settled in the 60’s has been resurrected.

All of this has caused me to reflect on decisions made in my wild and wonderful hippie days. The decision I made 40 years ago remains as strong now as then.

As an anti-war radical I decided the taking of life, any life was wrong. Be it abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia or war. The Sixth Commandment forbids all of this. There is no amendment, codicil, “see page 37,” correction, modification, revision or amelioration. One cannot be for one and against the others. I believed that way then and I believe that way now.

Then, along came a couple of friends of mine. A buddy called Jesus and another later friend named Mohammed. I have a personal relationship with these guys, as many of us do, defined by our own souls. They taught me something very simple. Forgiveness. Just as they forgive sins I must also forgive sins. The root of forgiveness must come from “love they neighbor.”

It is this “love thy neighbor” concept that places me in favor of legal abortion. I want a clean and safe place for them to have a procedure done and not return to the days of coat hangers and filthy conditions. I am not going to cast stones. That will be done at a later time by someone much, much greater than me.

For those of you who disagree with me, and there will be many, please do me a favor. When you speak out against abortion please make sure you have a plan to raise an unwanted child. This means funds for preschool, education and college. Please make sure you have a total commitment for the child. Advertise on the Internet. Make it attractive for a woman to keep her child to birth.

Cover of author's book depicting life with Suriani and creatures of the Rain Forest of Borneo. (Waterfront Niki art)

Don’t hire lobbyists, contribute to campaigns or other measures to get useless legislation passed which does not help anyone, but fills the financial coffers of those who will do nothing but help themselves.

One of the things I have noticed about the anti-abortion groups is that they tell people not to get an abortion, but never talk of the future. Who will raise the child? Who will pay hospital bills? Who will pay for college? Where will the child live? What if the child is disabled?

If these groups are serious about their anti-abortion views they must publicize their financial support. Take all the money you give to politicians and their organizations and give it to support children.

A Challenge!

Each church, temple, mosque and any other group who portends anti-abortion in their teachings will establish a fund that will support a child saved from abortion through college.

For those organizations too small, purchase a radio ad on the most listened to teen station, your local newspaper or the local shopper throwaway and buy billboard ads to tell people where they can get help with e-mail addresses or phone numbers. Put flyers on cars at shopping centers. Standing along a road and waving signs does nothing but make you feel better.

Say something like:

“Don’t abort, we will support! Call or e-mail….”

Don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk.

Life is good.—©Tom McLaughlin 2012

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Editor’s Note: The CovertLetter.com is pleased to feature this thoughtful commentary from colleague Tom McLaughlin. We hope to feature other articles from Borneo.)

Tom McLaughlin’s 2010 book “Borneo Tom” describes his new life in Borneo, almost 40 years from the time he served there in the Peace Corps. He is a freelance writer and regular contributor to TheTentacle.Com, a local commentary website in Frederick, Md. He holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and International Affairs and a B.A. in biology. He also has an Internet book business. He suffers from a rare neurological disease for which he recentlycompleted treatments in Maryland. He lives about 24 km from downtown Kuching, Malaysian Borneo. He also has daughters Chris and May, who live in Maryland.

For information about obtaining a copy of his book, contact him at borneotom@aol.com .

This commentary appeared in its original form at www.thetentacle.com March 21, 2012 and is reprinted with permission of the author and The Octopus, LLC.