Abortion & The March For Life

hammer to fall

(FreeImages.com/MarceloGerpe)

Today was the annual March for Life — an event that protests the 1973 Roe V. Wade ruling by the Supreme Court that legalized abortion in the United States of America.

My son was able to participate in the March for Life today. As I prepared him for the day with plenty of food and warm clothes, I couldn’t help but worry for his safety because of concern over the potential violence of protestors.  I considered whether I should send him or not but decided this was a great opportunity for him to understand the importance of an unborn baby’s right to live.  (It’s “funny” how my kids get the simplicity of this truth and don’t need long explanations.)   I was thankful that my son gets to experience a part of  what I participated in as a child and teenager.

My life and pro-life convictions were forever impacted when my parents offered to adopt a married woman’s unwanted baby. This woman was told by her abortionist that she couldn’t have her 7th abortion because it was too risky.  She and her husband were professional people with good careers and had two “older” children.

Because this woman couldn’t obtain an immediate abortion, she began to look into other options and was eventually connected to my parents.  My parents began the process of seeking to adopt the unborn baby.

Fast forward a short amount of time, and I will never forget that moment that will forever be etched in my mind…

I was with my sister at a highschool event, and we got the call from my mom that our future baby brother had lost his life. The woman had finally found an abortion clinic that would perform a high-risk abortion (high-risk because of the danger to a mother with so many abortions), and she went through with her 7th abortion.

I remember how upon hearing the news, I found a secluded spot and wept — wept for the life of a baby who didn’t get a chance to live, wept for my future brother that I would never get to hold and love, wept for a life ended over the convenience of the mother. After that life-changing event, I decided to become a voice of social justice — justice for the most helpless.

I would never tell another woman what to do with her body, but this isn’t about another woman’s body. It’s about what is done to an innocent life, housed within her body.

No one should ever be given the power to decide the validity or value of another being’s life. When we stoop to that level, we stoop to a level that has no limits to its cruelty.

We must see the abortion issue clearly. Forget the deceptive wording. This isn’t about a woman’s choice. This is about an unborn baby’s right to life!

A woman has a choice before she becomes pregnant. After that, the choice is no longer the woman’s alone. Then, it becomes the right to life that takes precedent.

In fact our Declaration of Independence decrees that all persons have an unalienable right to life.

In honor of that baby boy that was to have been my brother, I will forever defend the unborn baby’s right to life.

Philip, this is for you!  You see, dear brother of my heart, I have not forgotten you, and your life lives on in a powerful legacy — a legacy that gave me the courage to be an advocate for other vulnerable lives just like yours.

Philip, you are not forgotten!

Your life was not in vain.

How Pro-Life Am I Really Continued…

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Photo by Becca Davis Photography.

About two months ago, I wrote a blog called “How Pro-Life Am I Really?”  Since that time, I have thought more about the topic, especially since recent days mark the 40th anniversary of Roe V. Wade.

On January 22, 2013, the 40th anniversary of Roe. V. Wade, hundreds of thousands of people marched in Washington, D.C.  They marched to protest a law that half of our country sees as protecting reproductive rights but a law which another half of our country sees as a death penalty for the millions of babies being aborted/murdered under its sanction.

I know kind-hearted and well-intentioned people who fight for abortion rights.  Some of these people would be the first to vote for laws, curtailing Second Amendment rights, oil-drilling on US soil, Green-House Emissions, child-abuse, and animal-abuse.  Yet, the incongruity is that these very people who dogmatically support protecting any other life form find it not only acceptable but laudable to support the abortion of the unborn — all under the guise of “reproductive rights.”  Why this inconsistency?

Some support abortion because they have believed that a fetus isn’t a baby.  Some believe that a woman’s rights trump the baby’s rights.  Some believe they are saving the woman by rescuing her from the burden of carrying and caring for an unwanted baby.  Some even believe they are “helping” the baby to not be born into a situation where they are “unwanted.”

My first blog on this topic addresses when life begins.  In it, I wanted to establish that life begins at conception.  Since I wrote that blog, even more liberal abortion “rights” supporters are acknowledging when life begins.  The following link is to a liberal’s blog regarding this:

http://www.salon.com/2013/01/23/so_what_if_abortion_ends_life/ 

Direct quotes from the blog by Mary Elizabeth Williams, writer of the Salon:

“Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal. That’s a difficult thing for liberals like me to talk about, lest we wind up looking like death-panel-loving, kill-your-grandma-and-your-precious-baby storm troopers. Yet a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides. She’s the boss. Her life and what is right for her circumstances and her health should automatically trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always.

When we on the pro-choice side get cagey around the life question, it makes us illogically contradictory. I have friends who have referred to their abortions in terms of “scraping out a bunch of cells” and then a few years later were exultant over the pregnancies that they unhesitatingly described in terms of “the baby” and “this kid.” I know women who have been relieved at their abortions and grieved over their miscarriages. Why can’t we agree that how they felt about their pregnancies was vastly different, but that it’s pretty silly to pretend that what was growing inside of them wasn’t the same? Fetuses aren’t selective like that. They don’t qualify as human life only if they’re intended to be born.

When we try to act like a pregnancy doesn’t involve human life, we wind up drawing stupid semantic lines in the sand: first trimester abortion vs. second trimester vs. late term, dancing around the issue trying to decide if there’s a single magic moment when a fetus becomes a person. Are you human only when you’re born? Only when you’re viable outside of the womb? Are you less of a human life when you look like a tadpole than when you can suck on your thumb?

“…And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing.

Unbelievable!  Yet, this is actually a positive step in some ways — to be truthful that it is life and that most abortion activists know this.  This then leads people to question whether the author’s claim is acceptable?

Do women really have the right to choose death or life for their babies — based on the mother’s convenience or inconvenience?  In other words, are mothers more important than their babies, their children?  Is it acceptable for a mother to choose to terminate her pregnancy because the baby is depending on her own body?  Society wouldn’t say it is okay for a mother to terminate the life of her born children so why then when they are unborn?

Again, in my first blog, I address the dangers with people being allowed to choose the worth of another human’s life.   Isn’t that in essence what we are advocating by saying a mother has the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy?  If everyone knows a fetus is a baby — just one not born yet — then what is the excuse for aborting it?  The excuse is rights — that the mother has the right.

The question to be asked is, “Why does the mother have the right?”  Is she more valuable then her child?

If someone has a right to end someone else’ life, then we are judging or placing a value upon one human right verses another human right.  We are saying that one human life, the mother, has more value than her unborn child; thus, the mother can choose to terminate her pregnancy.

When one human life is deemed more worthy than another, a moral travesty has occurredSuch a belief leads to the perpetration of horrific evils: slavery, genocides, the Holocaust.  This belief naturally leads to Euthanasia, Infanticide, and eventually the elimination of any forms of “less desirable” humans, such as the mentally impaired.

Past history has shown us where our present trends will and are leading.  (If you want to know the future, look to the past.)

Our nation’s Declaration of Independence says,

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

As our Declaration of Independence says, “All men are created equal.”  The “creation” of man does not begin once a baby enters the birth canal.  As humans, we don’t derive our value and rights as soon as we leave our mother’s wombs!  Our worth is not based on our habitations.  Our worth is based on who we are — we are humans — with the highest form of created intellect, with souls, and in the image of God Himself!

Planned Parenthood likes to sound as if they are for protecting women and their rights.  If this is true, then why don’t we see them counseling the woman regarding all the options (brochures on adoption options and pregnancy care facilities)?

If their true goal is to help woman, why don’t they seek to protect the rights of unborn women (and men)?

If their goal is to protect woman, why don’t they report when a minor is pregnant due to relations with an adult male? 

If their goal is to protect woman, why don’t they ask the minor if her parents love her and then encourage her to get their counsel and support? 

Why do they separate the minor from any forms of support she might have? 

If their goal is to help women, why don’t they encourage the education of women by giving the women informed information on abortion procedures, truthful answers as to the recovery process, Post-Abortion Syndrome grief counselor’s business cards, and even give the women the option to have an ultrasound procedure done first if the woman desires.  Why not make it be an option they can choose or reject?

If Planned Parenthood is so much for the help of women, why does it promote an aggressive sex education program that excites and incites more sexual promiscuity among youth?  Why do they seem so satisfied with the results of more sexual activity among minors?  Is that truly beneficial?  What is their end goal?

If the end goal of Planned Parenthood is not about truly helping women but more about promoting a profitable financial agenda, then you will see them endorsing and advocating programs that encourage a promiscuous lifestyle that results in unplanned pregnancies and that then results in abortions.

If the goal of Planned Parenthood is about the money-making opportunities in the abortion industry, then you will see them discourage informed consent, parental notification, ultrasounds, alternative option counseling, grief counseling, abortion education, etc…  Instead, you will see the push for quick, private, pressured decisions.  Instead, you will hear the deceptive terms of “rights”, “inconvenience” promoted.

Abortion has also been falsely promoted under the excuse that more women will have “back-alley” abortions if it wasn’t legal.  In other words, the excuse is given for legalized abortions that we make a wrong more convenient so that supposedly fewer women are harmed in the process.  In other words, if women can do it more conveniently, this justifies the action itself?  Using that same logic, should we keep our doors unlocked and perhaps even post a “Welcome” sign to robbers so that they don’t get injured in the process of trying to break in and steal?  Fewer robbers would be injured that way!

If abortion is murder, which it no doubt is!  Wait.  Some are already responding with, “How can you say it is murder?”

If there is life, a heart beating and then some outside force comes and violently dismembers that being and stops that heart, I would indeed say it is murder.  The result is death!  We had a life; now, we don’t.  Fairly simple conclusion.

There is also the point that legalized abortions, clinical abortions, still end in women being permanently injured and even dying — not to mention the millions of babies killed every year through abortion procedures.

Dr. Bernard Nathanson, one of the early supporters of legalized abortion, in later years admitted that the coat hanger stories were mostly fabricated as propaganda to promote the abortion industry.

Wikipedia gives this history on Dr. Bernard Nathanson:

“Bernard N. Nathanson (July 31, 1926 – February 21, 2011) was an American medical doctor from New York who helped to found the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, but later became a pro-life activist.

“Nathanson was born in New York City. His father was an obstetrician/gynecologist,[1] the same career that Nathanson held in his professional life. Nathanson graduated in 1949 from McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal.[2]

“He was licensed to practice in New York state since 1952[2] and became board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology in 1960.[1] He was for a time the director of the Center for Reproductive and Sexual Health (CRASH), then the largest freestanding abortion facility in the world. Nathanson has written that he performed more than 60,000 abortions.[5] Nathanson also wrote that he performed an abortion on a woman whom he had impregnated.[6]

“Originally a pro-choice activist, Nathanson gained national attention by then becoming one of the founding members of the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (later renamed the National Abortion Rights Action League, and now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America). He worked with Betty Friedan and others for the legalization of abortion in the United States. Their efforts essentially succeeded with the Roe v Wade decision.”With the development of ultrasound in the 1970s, he had the chance to observe a real-time abortion. This led him to reconsider his views on abortion.[1] He is often quoted as saying abortion is “the most atrocious holocaust in the history of the United States”. He wrote the book Aborting America where he first exposed what he called “the dishonest beginnings of the abortion movement”. In 1984, he directed and narrated a film titled The Silent Scream, in cooperation with the National Right to Life Committee, regarding abortion. His second documentary Eclipse of Reason dealt with late-term abortions. He stated that the numbers he once cited for NARAL concerning the number of deaths linked to illegal abortions were  ‘false figures’.[7][8]

“Referring to his previous work as an abortion provider and abortion rights activist, he wrote in his 1996 autobiography Hand of God, ‘I am one of those who helped usher in this barbaric age.’[1] Nathanson developed what he called the ‘vector theory of life’, which states that from the moment of conception, there exists ‘a self-directed force of life that, if not interrupted, will lead to the birth of a human baby.’[1]

In other words, stories are fabricated, truth is suppressed, an agenda is promoted — all under the guise of ‘woman’s rights’ — when in reality, women are being extorted in order to advance the monetary profit and selfish lifestyles of its proponents.

It is easy for those within the pro-life movement to decry the proponents of the abortion industry.  In the process of condemning the evil of abortion, it is also possible and easy to condemn those who have been deceived by its lies.  Those who call themselves pro-life must also recognize that women are the victims too. 

Women are the means to the monetary ends for those who benefit from the coffers of the abortion industry.  Women are extorted and abused under the guise of helping them and promoting their “rights”.  The sexuality of women is degraded and abused.  It is casually promoted to the extent that its value has been debased to the vulgar.

What should be a blessing  and an honor to women has been vulgarized to be a burden and hindrance.  The “invocation”, dignity, and distinction of motherhood has been redefined as the ignoble and the nugatory.

As Mother Theresa said:

Mother Theresa of Calcutta:
“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts — a child — as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners. Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign.” –Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, “Notable and Quotable,”
Wall Street Journal, 2/25/94, p. A14

To be pro-life means that one not only recognizes the evil of abortion but that one sympathizes with its victims.  It does not mean the condemnation of the mothers; it means the empathizing with women who are just as much the victims of abortion as their unborn children.  It means that we, who call ourselves pro-life, must support, educate, “empower” women to understand that they do not need to be the victims of our society’s abuse and degradation of our sexuality.  It means that we must understand our value — our value in God’s eyes.  It means that we must seek healing for those who are and have recognized their deception and who grieve in agony as a result. 

It means that we must with courage speak up while we still have the power and breath to do so — to be the advocates for woman and their unborn children so that the abuses and the deception is made apparent, restrained, and finally obstructed!

How Pro-Life Am I Really?

(The picture was taken by Becca Davis Photography.)

What does it mean to be “pro-life”?  How pro-life am I really?

Being pro-life to me means that I view all life as valuableI believe human life as holding the most value of all living organisms.  I believe this because God established man’s dominion over all creatures in the Garden of Eden and because God said that man was made in the image of God.  No other creature has been given that honor.

Since we have dominion over the rest of creation, what does that mean?  Strength and power do not mean abuse.  They mean authority and responsibility.  We are accountable to God to deal responsibly with the rest of life, to not abuse that which He has placed under our care.  We are caretakers.  We use responsibly — not abuse negligently.  God created the rest of Creation for our enjoyment.  Therefore, we need to cultivate, preserve, protect, use where needed, and enjoy.  We are to be wise stewards.

What do I view life as?  What does it mean to have life? 

Webster-Merriam Dictionary defines life as this:

“: livelihood 8 : a vital or living being; specifically : person <many lives were lost in the disaster>
9 : an animating and shaping force or principle 10 : spirit, animation <saw no life in her dancing> 11
: the form or pattern of something existing in reality <painted from : the period of existence (as of a subatomic particle) — compare half-life 14: a property (as resilience or elasticity) of an inanimate substance or object resembling the animate quality of a living being 15: living beings (as of a particular kind or environment) <forest life>”Life therefore is when something/an organism came into being — began to function with life.  Life begins at the beginning of that thing or organism.  The beginning is the beginning.

What does that mean then when it comes to protecting life in this form?  Does it hold as much value?  Do we judge a form of life by its functionality?  Is its worth based on how functional the organism is to us?  If that is the case, the worth of an object is vulnerable to interpretation.  Could we also become vulnerable to interpretation?  What if our functionality diminishes?  What if we lose some function of our physical abilities or even mental abilities?  Has our value decreased because our function has decreased?  Do we determine the worth of an organism, or does the Creator of that organism (God)?  If so, it is our job then to be responsible caretakers, handling the most delicate and vulnerable with the most care.

What if I am inconvenienced in this process? Don’t I have a choice to continue a pregnancy or to terminate a pregnancy since this organism resides in my own body? Don’t I have a right over my own body?

Science/biology can be debated back and forth on this matter.  It’s been done too frequently to count.  Everyone wants to debate that if a fetus is dependent on you for sustenance, you can rid yourself of it at any time.  Thus, the debate continues over what substitutes independent living.  The argument is held that if the organism is not independent from you, you have the right to eliminate or preserve the (living) organism as you choose.

First of all, we are not debating a dead thingThe debate is over a living organism.  Establishing that basic concept raises a different point.

If this is a living organism, we must then establish if it is a separate organism from its host (the mother).  Medical science establishes this fact.  The fetus has a different heart rate, different blood type, and different gender often from its host (mother).  It is obvious this is a separate identity.  Just taking the fetus’ DNA would reveal a separate DNA from its host (mother). Here’s a quote I recently saw on this matter:

“That baby’s DNA is human from the time of conception, and is separate from his/her mother’s. Yes, it proves that it is human from the very beginning. People will try and say anything to make legalized murder ok, and call it choice. EDIT- and for those who say that just because it has separate DNA from the mother does not prove it is life, and since it cannot survive on his/her own it is not life, here is another scenario that shows these statements are false. Let us say that a baby is born 2 months prematurely, and has to be in a incubator and hooked up to machines for a couple of months. That baby cannot survive on his/her own then. But try asking this question to the mother and father of this child. “Since your baby cannot survive yet on its own, it has not life”. That mother and father would not agree with you. Also even if a child is born on time, can that baby truly survive on its own. If the mother abandons that baby , the baby will die. Do they just say it is was the choice of the mother to abandon the child- NO THEY ARE CHARGED with murder.”

“To accept the fact that after fertilization has taken place a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or opinion … it is plain experimental evidence.” The “Father of Modern Genetics” Dr. Jerome Lejeune, Univ. of Descarte, Paris

“By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” Dr. Hymie Gordon, Chairman, Department of Genetics at the Mayo Clinic

Here’s an excellent link to a website written by physicians on this topic: http://www.prolifephysicians.org/lifebegins.htm.  Here’s a direct quote from their website:

“According to this elementary definition of life, life begins at fertilization, when a sperm unites with an oocyte.  From this moment, the being is highly organized, has the ability to acquire materials and energy, has the ability to respond to his or her environment, has the ability to adapt, and has the ability to reproduce (the cells divide, then divide again, etc., and barring pathology and pending reproductive maturity has the potential to reproduce other members of the species).  Non-living things do not do these things.  Even before the mother is aware that she is pregnant, a distinct, unique life has begun his or her existence inside her.”

Therefore the question arises, does the host (mother) have a right to eliminate this separate life because it is the host?  In order to respond to this question, we have to return to my earlier statements:

“Strength and power do not mean abuse.  They mean authority and responsibility.  We are accountable to God to deal responsibly with the rest of life, to not abuse that which He has placed under our care.  We are caretakers.  We use responsibly — not abuse negligently.  God created the rest of Creation for our enjoyment.  Therefore, we need to cultivate, preserve, protect, use where needed, and enjoy.  We are to be wise stewards.”

Because I may have the legal right to do something, does it make it morally right?

Using the same arguments that we raised earlier:

Don’t I have a choice to continue a pregnancy or to terminate a pregnancy since this organism resides in my own body?  Don’t I have a right over my own body?

First of all, this goes beyond your own body.  This is a living organism with a separate identity, as I briefly discussed.

Why do you think you have the right to terminate this organism?  Because it is part of your body?  It isn’t part of your body, it RELIES on your body to provide its necessary nourishment until it can function independently.  That takes us back to the point of life’s worth.  Is it based on its functionality or the level to which it can live independently?  If it isn’t, then we have to admit that a human life, even in its most beginning stages, holds value because of its very nature.  It is a living organism — not just any organism but a living human organism.  It is the start of a separate human life!

As such, it should be protected under the same laws and guidelines that protect any other human life.

If we protect human life based on its functionality or ability to live independently, we fall into a “slippery slope” that can lead to the elimination of other “less” productive humans: the elderly, paraplegics, mentally-impaired, blind, and the list goes on…  Perhaps, our children will use the same reasoning we used on them when it comes to determining our worth when our functionality has diminished and when it becomes physically, financially, or emotionally expedient for them to do so.

So, if I believe all the above: that all forms of life hold value and should be respected and protected, I consider myself pro-life, right?  Yes, you are!  The question remains, “How pro-life are you?”

Are you pro-life when it is convenient for you?  Are you pro-life when you can control it?  Let me make myself clearer — where I am going with this…

What happens when my husband and I have decided we are done having children?  We like the number we have; we feel quite content with the number we have been given.  We want a specific spacing between the children we have.  What happens then when we have a “surprise” or “oops” baby?  How do I respond to the unexpected life — to the “inconvenient” life?  Do I still see it as having worth?  Do I still see it as life — a separate human life with great value?  Do I treat it with respect and with care?  I may have a good cry and be surprised, and that is okay, but what is the end conclusion/the result?  What is my official response to the unexpected/”inconvenient” lives that have been entrusted into my care?  How pro-life am I really?

Baby Concern

As I was listening to the news while driving the boys to school, the topic of abortion was mentioned.  (I have briefly discussed this with Will in particular before, and he has always been concerned for the babies and wanting to pray for them.)  Upon hearing this topic being discussed again, Will said, “Mommy, let’s pray for the babies in their mommies’ tummies and that they won’t be killed.”  “And a little child shall lead them…”

“I Want to Hold the Babies”

Today, I was watching a video clip regarding The Born Alive bill.  I started crying and Will asked me why I was crying.  I told him that it’s because of the babies.  He saw a picture of a baby lying by itself on a table and asked me why the baby was lying there.  I told him it was because some people do not want to take care of the babies.  He asked me why they didn’t want to.  I told him because they are selfish and sinning.  He said, “Mommy, I want to hold the babies.”  I said, “Me too, Will.  Me too.”