Faithlife Sermons


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Magdalena Kewerich, an eighteenth-century German, was afflicted with very poor health. She finally died of consumption at the age of forty -one of her son's earliest known letters is a cry of grief over her death. She had suffered several miscarriages and had contracted venereal disease. Health is just one of several problems she struggled with; social conditions, family history and her age also made pregnancy a perilous experience both for her and for her child.

So when she became pregnant again, the prospect must have seemed grim. If she had gone to a doctor to discuss the pregnancy, he would certainly have urged her to have an abortion. His concern might well have been as much for the child as the mother. The foetus would most likely be under- nourished and was very likely to be born sickly. Several of Magdalena's children had died in infancy. What sort of a life would the child have, if it survived? Surely the life of such an individual would be so limited that it wouldn't be worth living. The fact that makes this story stand out is that Magdalena Kewerich was the much-loved mother of the composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Had she taken a doctor's advice and terminated the pregnancy, she would have aborted one of the greatest composers in history. Though her motives would have been understandable, she would have been cutting off at the outset a life that by any standards must be considered a valuable and meaningful one.

Ram Gidoomal, How Would Jesus Vote? P75.

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