My heart is heavy this week after hearing details of the new and proposed legislation in various states to legalize abortion up to, and possibly, immediately after birth.
Some of you are familiar with the celebratory mood they took in New York when they passed the sweeping law. The governor of NY even ordered the spire of One World Trade Center to be lit pink to commemorate the “moving forward” of women’s rights.
The giddiness to many, including me, was nauseating. Further videos have surfaced of debates taking place in other states that are considering similar changes to their laws. Those have been equally upsetting; the one from Virginia most especially so.
Much wasted breath has been expelled discussing whether life begins at conception or when the baby is viable on its own outside the womb. We argue over whether it is okay to abort a baby before its tiny heart begins beating. We probably will discuss these nuances ’til the cows come home.
However, these questions miss the obvious question–at least in my mind.
The question I keep coming to is “when is the spirit of the child present?” We know each human is created in the image of God and is created by God. (Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”)
Modern technology has shed tremendous light on what’s going on, and when it occurs, inside the womb. However, we are still clueless as to when the soul enters.
Current research demonstrates a few facts:
- The fetus reacts to touch by 8 weeks post-conception
- The fetus recoils from painful stimuli by 20 weeks post-conception
Based on these facts, one could reasonably speculate the fetus feels the abortion procedure (even those occurring in the first trimester) before it dies.
Modern technology also has provided life-saving care to infants born prematurely, some as early as 24 weeks (2nd trimester). I have performed physical therapy on hundreds of such babies. You probably know someone yourself who was a preemie.
When we discuss the abortion procedure, we tend to focus on what the mother needs, her mental or physical condition. Most agree that if the life of the mother is at stake, it would be acceptable to abort the baby if the parents chose that route. I don’t think this is really ever a debatable question.
But, these new open-ended laws seem to allow the mother to make the decision to discard her baby for immeasurable reasons, such as mental distress or hardship. Mental distress, like pain, can not be objectively measured. You have to take the patient’s word for how bad it is and it can’t be verified by a medical person.
While not disregarding the mental anguish of a mother who is carrying an unwanted child, let’s talk a moment and consider whether it is ever moral to extinguish a life because of convenience. And, convenience is really what we’re discussing when we speak about a woman’s right to choose.
Personally, I don’t believe it is.
If the baby, from the moment of conception, is human then it is made in the image of God. I believe it is instantly indwelt with a spirit, a soul, and is as inherently human as we are. (Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”)
And, I believe each baby’s soul, whether it died early or late in utero, or whether it died immediately after birth, goes to heaven.
I miscarried two pregnancies, both at approximately 10 weeks, for unknown reasons. What happened to those babies? Were they just lumps of tissue disposed of in the red toxic waste rubbish from the hospital where they were burned as a means of safe disposal? Their physical bodies, yes. But, not their souls.
Those are in heaven along with all the other babies who, for whatever reason, didn’t make it to the land of the living.
As you pray and discuss these important topics with your friends and family, think about that verse in Genesis and the souls of those unborn children. I encourage you to ponder and ask yourself a few hard questions:
- Do you believe the fetus has a soul?
- What do you believe happens to the souls of the babies who die in utero?
- If you are a doctor, nurse, or medical practitioner who would possibly assist with an abortion, would you be okay with the baby dying because of the action of your hands?
If you have had an abortion, assisted with one, suffered the loss of a pregnancy, or the loss of a newborn, please know my heart goes out to you. Those of us who’ve lost a baby know in our hearts, we lost a life and not a blob of cells.
But, as citizens of America and citizens of God’s kingdom, we must stand for those who can’t speak or defend themselves.
We are called to love the frightened and confused mothers. We are called to help as we can. However, we are not called to assist with their decision to end an innocent life.
God knew that baby before He formed it. No matter how old it is, it is God’s child. It was called for a specific purpose in life and we are obligated to stand in the gap for him or her.
In God’s world, there is no such thing as an unwanted baby. He created each one and He loves each equally. The only question is are we in agreement with that position?
If you need to talk, contact me or a trusted friend. If you need to pray to God, do it right now because He’s always there. If you want forgiveness for a past decision, ask for it now and receive God’s forgiveness and love. God’s not through with you yet.