The Race for Life Begins

If you have ever experienced the birth of a baby, you know what an incredible event that is! It is truly amazing, a miracle of the greatest magnitude, when 23 chromosomes from a father join with 23 chromosomes from a mother  to form a unique, new biologic entity (embryo) that has a gender and is fully and uniquely programmed and equipped to grow and develop and change until death.

Unfortunately though, since 1973, more than 53 million of these miracles have been needlessly killed, mostly for convenience sake. Almost every third baby conceived in America is killed by abortion!

I wrestled with whether I wanted to post about abortion, but if I am encouraging that we celebrate life, then I must also promote all life. Because  only with a culture of life in this country, are we ensured that all life will be valued, including the elderly and those with disabilities.

If we are so quickly willing to end a life in utero because the baby will be an inconvenience or is in some other way unwanted, what is to stop the next step–deciding that those with certain (or any) disabilities or those too old to contribute in any “meaningful” way to society are also an inconvenience and ending their lives prematurely (often the case when a disability is determined in utero)?

This past Saturday was the catalyst to this post.  My oldest two boys, Daniel and Zachary, and I went to the Republican Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa. Now regardless of political bent, most would have found the event interesting if only for the people watching. But, I found it especially encouraging for the fact that all of the presidential candidates present prefaced to value the life of the unborn.

Michele Bachman summed up her convictions on life at the first presidential debate by succinctly stating, “I believe in the sanctity of human life. I believe you can get money wrong, but you can’t get life wrong.”

During his Straw Poll address, Ron Paul shared a poignant description of a horrific abortion he witnessed as a medical student that helped shape his support-of-life position.

And on Meet the Press in June, Rick Santorum was clear on his support of the unborn: “I believe that life begins at conception, and that that life should be guaranteed under the Constitution.”

The rest of the presidential contenders at the event also touted a pro-life stance in their speeches.

Now, I acknowledge that there are many honest and well-meaning intentions in the debate on this issue, and I sympathize with those in pain on both sides but as my son Daniel often quotes from DragonKnight by Donita K. Paul, “There is never a right reason to do the wrong thing.”

Having lost so many children prematurely, I have not had to be convinced to support unborn rights. However, one of the most compelling reasons I have heard about protecting life from conception is the SLED argument. First presented by Stephen Schwarz in his book The Moral Question of Abortion, SLED points out in a logical fashion that the differences between the newborn child and those not yet born are really quite miniscule and can be boiled down to only four: size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency. Stand to Reason summarizes the four points in an easy to understand .pdf document.

In a nutshell, Schwarz and Stand to Reason contend that

  • a baby still in the womb is simply much smaller than a newborn, but a smaller size doesn’t make a toddler less human than a 7-foot adult;
  • an unborn baby is less developed than the newborn, but so is a 2-year-old when compared to a 20-year-old, but that doesn’t make the 2-year-old less human;
  • a baby still in utero has a different environment, but the value of an individual is not determined by whether they live in the desert or in the mountains; and
  • an embryo or fetus is very dependent on the mother and for the first five months or so cannot live without her, but those who need kidney dialysis or a certain medicine to survive are also dependent as is a newborn, young children, the elderly,and those with significant disabilities; that doesn’t mean they are expendable.

If any of the four reasonings above are justifications for the expendability of a life, that would mean that Rachel is less human than my other children because she  is (and will likely always be) more dependent, smaller, and less developed than most her age. I find this difficult to reconcile!

With my oldest two children approaching the time when they will exercise their independence and strike off on their own (so to speak), I have found myself just staring at them at times. I struggle with processing how those strong, independent young men developed from such tiny totally dependent squirming bundles of baby not that many years ago. And to think, they both started their lives from those 46 chromosomes!

Regardless of where you stand on other political “hot points,” this is an issue we cannot get wrong because how can we tell the next 53-plus-million aborted babies, “Sorry, we made a mistake,” and bring them back.

Although I too dread the endless advertisements and propaganda that always precedes a presidential election, I look forward to doing my part so this presidential race ends with life!

“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born.” Jeremiah 1:5

“You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:13b-14a

“Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all [my] days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” Psalm 139:16

Tiny human feet (10 weeks after conception)

By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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