Posts Tagged ‘Roe v. Wade’


Right Arm-Baby








On January 22, 2013, America reached a significant milestone. Forty years prior to that day, in 1973, the US Supreme Court weighed in on a decision in Roe v Wade, ruling that the “the emotional, mental, and physical life of the mother” justified the right of a woman by her own choice to end the life of a child growing inside of her.  I have read several interesting and shocking articles that have been written on the occasion of this 40th anniversary, and I would encourage you to do the same (DG-Killing Children, DG- Racism and Abortion, and Washington Post- Silent Evangelicals).

I had so much to say concerning this topic, that on the date of the anniversary, and even the week surrounding it, I was unable to write something less than a novel to explain my thoughts. In this post, my aim is just to shed some light on what abortion is. I have some other opinions, mostly directed at the Church, but will likely just give a few observations, facts, and two horrifying videos for those of you that may be interested (Warning: These videos are not for the faint of heart, and are disturbingly graphic.)

What prompted me to ultimately write this post were the pictures posted at the top of this page.  This is the right arm and side profile of my daughter, who will be born in late June, if the Lord wills. These pictures were taken in late January, when my wife was 18 weeks and 3 days pregnant.  Since I had just read so many articles on abortion less than a week prior to seeing these beautiful pictures of my baby girl, I thought: Certainly, with the development I see in these pictures, we are well past the point that anyone could get an abortion, right? So I looked into it.

The majority of abortions occur prior to week 13 of the pregnancy (like the one in the Youtube video below, which was conducted at week 12.) However, 11% do occur after week 13, and still over 5% occur after week 15 (approximately 142,000 and 67,000 abortions, respectively.) While most sources say that week 20 is the latest an abortion can be performed, there are some places where it is allowed up to week 24, or what they call the age of “viability” (Now considered a real human baby, because it has an increased chance of survival if removed from the mother’s womb.)

This was fascinating to me. At this point, I have heard my daughter’s heartbeat (several weeks prior to getting these images), I have seen her move positions at the laughter of my wife (on the ultrasound), and have seen the outline of her beautiful head and body. Her heart has four chambers. Her brain is functioning. Nearly all of her bones are formed. Her nervous system is in place. She can hear sounds from outside of the womb and would react to light if available. She is very much alive while dwelling amidst my wife’s inner organs. And it is a beautiful thing.

Planned Parenthood is often seen as the culprit of perpetuating the popularity of abortions in the US. This organization, founded by Margaret Sanger, is a group of clinics spread throughout all of the US with the intent to “improve women’s health and safety, prevent unintended pregnancies, and advance the right and ability of individuals and families to make informed and responsible choices.”[1] Sanger was a woman who considered lighter skinned races to be superior to darker skinned races, and curiously chose the poor and minority populated area of Harlem in NYC to open her first birth control clinic. For more on this, read the “DG- Racism and abortion” link in the first paragraph.  Currently, Planned Parenthood’s abortion services section markets abortion as a “a safe and legal way to end pregnancy.”[2]  It is odd to me that any procedure that involves the death of ½ of the patients entering into it would ever be considered “safe.”  Also, according to the PP website, 1 out of every 3 women in the US have had at least one abortion by the time they turn 45. That is a huge number. And I understand that those of you who disagree with my overall view of the procedure would argue that it is a fetus, not a patient and not even a human. And I guess that is the ultimate point I am trying to convey here: These are simply tiny humans.

Another odd statement from a Planned Parenthood site comes from their Chapel Hill, NC clinic webpage.[3] Here, they state that abortions at this clinic can only be performed up to 19 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, just under that 20 week mark I mentioned earlier. The logical assumption that I made from this cutoff is that somebody deemed it unsafe, unwise or unethical for an abortion to be performed past this date. At some point, the pregnancy just must go on.  However, further down the page, they inform inquiring patients: “If your last period was after 19 weeks and 6 days, we can still help. Call us for a referral list of health care providers in your area that offer other abortion services.”  Essentially, you can sum that statement up like this: “We are uncomfortable actually doing this procedure at this point, but know people with lower ethical and health standards than we have. We would be glad to get you in contact with them.”  At best, this is a questionable business practice.

I do not pretend to be unbiased on this topic. As the child of a teenage mom, I find it hard to excuse anyone on the basis that having a child is just inconvenient or unintended. I am not sure that a pregnancy can be more unintended than when it occurs between two 14 year old kids.  But, by God’s grace, my mom made a responsible decision and accepted the consequences of her actions: me.  People know that child bearing is a very real possibility following sex. Just like people know that jail is a very real possibility following a crime.  That is why even contraceptives give percentages of effectiveness.  Abortion is faulting the unborn child for a lack of judgment and short sightedness on the part of the parent(s). ***I am not condemning abortion in the case of rape. In that case, while the baby is still a living human, the choice was not that of the mother to initiate the process. I do know that there is still emotional harm done to women who undergo abortions after they are raped, but understand the delicacy of that situation. This scenario accounts for less than 1% of all abortions.***  This is a cruel and unjust penalty to these children. Since Roe v Wade, 50 million children have been killed prior to their first out of womb breath.  CS Lewis, though writing about contraceptives rather than abortion, wrote in 1944 in The Abolition of Man: “And as regards contraceptives, there is a paradoxical, negative sense in which all possible future generations are the patients or subjects of a power wielded by those already alive. By contraception simply, they are denied existence; by contraception used as a means of selective breeding, they are, without their concurring voice, made to be what one generation, for its own reasons, may choose to prefer.”  By our generation’s desire to have selective pregnancy and “family planning”, we have possibly and probably handicapped our next generations the very thing that would make them successful and fruitful generations: existence.  It is a dangerous game we are playing. And one that should not be taken lightly.

Videos: Warning- These videos show very disturbing and very graphic content. While they certainly add perspective and value to the conversation brought up in this post, they are not suitable for everyone. If you decide to continue, I would recommend keeping a tissue close by. They are horrifying.

This is an Abortion

The Silent Scream (28 minute video. If you do not have this kind of time, fast forward to around minute 13 or 14. Also know this video was made in the 80s, and while the statistics have changed some, the procedure is largely similar.)