Monday, March 9, 2009

When Does Life Begin, Anyway?


Watching the morning news with a good cup of coffee is something I normally look forward to. Good news or bad, I have this inherent need, as do my brother and sister, to know what’s going on in the world. There are some frightening things going on right now. The economy is on a steady free fall, North Korea is claiming that they will be launching a satellite soon (some say it's a diversion and it is really a missile. Who can trust the N. Koreans?) and the US says they don’t have plans to intercept it (what???) and a pastor was shot and killed during a church service yesterday. But nothing was as frightening or as sickening to me as the announcement that our president, Barack Obama, will be rescinding George W. Bush’s ban on embryonic stem cell research.

Since Barak Obama was inaugurated in January, he has launched an all out assault on the unborn. First was the passage of the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). This law would bar government - at any level - from interfering with a woman’s ‘fundamental’ right to chose to bear a child or to terminate a pregnancy. All restrictions will be removed from abortion. His next ‘presidential’ act is to allow the use of human embryos for experimental research. Call it what you will folks. Name it anything you like. It doesn’t change the truth.

I have always been pro-life. For the last 25 years God has whispered to my heart about the unborn. But until September of 1999 I was just a bystander. Looking in. Not being touched by the prospect of abortion. I was 44 years old that year. I had 4 children. Two were out of college, 23 and 24, one was a senior in high school and one was a 12 year old. I was through with the child bearing part of my life. Or so I thought. After a month of trying to convince myself that it was just an early change of life and dealing with it on my own, the pregnancy test showed a plus sign. The floors and ceiling crashed in on me. My ears were buzzing. I couldn’t breathe. I cried and cried and pleaded with God to change the results. In my distress, abortion came to mind. “Who would know” I said to myself. I felt sick to my stomach at the thought. I cried out more and more and louder and louder. God was at my side the entire time. He said to me “Dana, this is the child I am giving you.”. He comforted me and caused me to repent of my selfishness. On April 28, 2000, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. The Lord showed me the meaning of joy that day. I tell you these things so that you know that I have been tempted. I understand women in distress with an unplanned pregnancy or one that isn’t perfect. I believe that God wants me to write to you about what He thinks about life. Today I will begin at the beginning. What is that bunch of cells and when does human life begin?

For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13,14. This is probably one of the most well known verses in the bible in support of life. The thing to notice here is who the maker is. God. The Father. Yaweh, Jehovah God. I tend to sit up and take notice when He speaks. Makes me a little nervous to argue with Him. Does it you? Here’s another one. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you….” Jeremiah 1:5. Catch that? BEFORE he was formed God knew him. How can that be.? We must be greatly loved by God even before we are born. Well, I am convinced just because of these two verses that life must begin at conception. But for those of you who might doubt the Word of God or try to read some other meaning into it, let’s answer some arguments.

You might say, “No one knows when human life begins. That’s a religious argument that can’t be answered by science.” Well if that is the case, shouldn’t we always err on the side of life? Besides, many prominent physicians and scientists recognize that life begins at conception and testified to that before the U.S senate in 1981.

“It’s just a blob of cells. An embryo or fetus. Abortion is terminating a pregnancy not killing a child.” An embryo or fetus is a term used to describe a human at different stages of development. Just like toddler or teenager. Calling a pregnancy a blob of cells is just semantics used to affect perception. Product of conception or POC is just a way to depersonalize the child. Actually, if you think about it aren’t we all just “POCs”? Prior to the earliest first trimester abortion an unborn child will have all the body parts he or she will ever have. We can detect the heartbeat at 20 days , brain waves are detected, the brain is controlling muscle movement and a skeleton has been formed by 42 days. At 8 weeks the tiny hands and feet are formed and fingerprints are developing. At 12 weeks the child can swallow, squint, make a fist, frown, kick, open it’s mouth and urinate. All of this happens in the first 3 months of life. In the next 6 months nothing else develops or begins functioning. The child only grows and matures.

“The unborn isn’t a person with meaningful life. It’s only inches long and can’t even think. It’s less advanced than an animal.” A living being's designation to a species is not determined by it’s size or maturity but by the sum total of it’s biological characteristics - actual and potential- which are genetically determined. If we try to say that the human embryo is not human, homosapiens, then we must say it belongs to another species and this can’t be so. If size or skill determined someone’s personhood then wouldn’t an NBA player be twice the person I am? Size, IQ , age and stage of development are just differences in degrees, not in kind. Our kind is human. If an unborn is compared to animals, why not we who are already born?

“Obviously life begins at birth. That’s why we have birthdays not conception days and we don’t have funerals after miscarriages”. Birthday’s are cultural not scientific. Some people do have funerals after miscarriages. There is nothing about birth that makes a baby different than he was before birth. An abortion can be attempted and if that baby is born alive and moved inches from the mother he is considered a person and now, what was attempted minutes before while he was still in the womb, would be considered murder if attempted on this child. His nature and value do not change just because he has been moved from inside to the outside of his mother’s womb.

Well that’s enough for today. I welcome your comments, questions, debate. Look for further discussion of this subject. It is my prayer that if you are in a difficult situation with a pregnancy that you will get all of the information available before you make a decision. A good source is http://www.care-net.org/. They are there to help and support you .

For Life,
Dana Andrews

6 comments:

Karen L. Brahs said...

This moved me beyond words! Praise God you are here to help those who may need guidance! Keep it coming!

Love,

Karen

Ali said...

Wow, Dana...that was just awesome. I can tell you have a heart for this, and I'm so happy you're doing this blog! I look forward to the next post. I'm going to add a link to yours from mine, if that's okay!

Em said...

I thank God everyday that I was raised in a supportive family who was always against abortion. Otherwise I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when I got pregnant with Avery that would have been the first thing that crossed my mind. The most wonderful feeling is having people around you who love you, so you know that no matter what happens, they'll be there for you. So I never even entertained the thought of an abortion. There are too many people out there who are so quick to jump on the sympathy bandwagon for the mother of an unplanned baby, but forget about the life growing inside of her. Thanks for this blog Mom!! I love you, and I most definitely love Charlie, and can't imagine life without him!

Katy said...

Well said Mom! Love ya!

Becky said...

I think it is great that you told your story first before answering the arguments. It moves me to think about some of the members of our family that I love so much who's parents could have chosen abortion instead of life. I'm so thankful they chose life.

Marlene said...

I cried when I read this,it really hit home. I was just 17 when I found out I was prenant. I was so scared,what would I do. There were people who insisted I have an abortion,not my parents,I want that to be perfectly clear,although they didn't approve of abortion they didn't tell me no.Consequently I caved in to the pressure and found myself in an abortionists office. I was told to come back the next morning. All I coild think about was that I was about to do away with my baby.Then God intervened..........in the middle of the night Roy called,he told me he loved me and our baby and not to go through with the abortion. Even now so many years since that day I still thank God with all my heart for saving our baby and giving us a wonderful life together and 2 more precious children. THANK YOU LORD JESUS