Like most toddlers, our three-year-old daughter, Sarah, loves stories. She particularly likes stories in which she is the star. Her favorite story of all is about how she came into this earth. The story has grown over the months, with details added at each telling. I’ll give you the short version.
"Once upon a time there was a daddy and a mommy who met each other in church. The daddy said, ’What a pretty mommy.’" Interruption: "You, Daddy? Was it MY Mommy?" "Yes, Sarah. Anyway, the daddy and mommy got married." "In a pretty white dress with lots of flowers?" "Yes, white dress and flowers. Anyway, they were very happy. But one day they were sad because they didn’t have a little girl. So after a while there was a baby growing in the mommy’s tummy." (I leave out the part about how this came to pass, and so far, thank the Lord, she hasn’t asked.) "Was I the baby, Papi?" "Yes, Sarah. You were the baby. One day when you got really big, we went to the hospital, and you came out." Her response the first time I told her this story is the reason I’m relating it to you. She grabbed my arm, kissed it, and said a heart-felt, "Thanks, Dad!"
Think about that for a moment. At her tender age, she realizes that we gave her a great gift- the gift of life. She doesn’t know yet that we had other alternatives. In this great nation, known throughout the world for protecting the helpless, we could legally have ended her life one minute before she was born. I’ll make sure she doesn’t learn about the horrible things that are done to unborn children until she is much older. I’ll let her believe the world is a safe place for children as long as possible. For now, she just understands that her Mommy and Papi loved her enough to let her be born. And that’s enough.
Not long ago a nineteen-year-old girl who lives an hour from us in Tamarac, Florida, made a very different decision. She gave birth to her baby, then wrapped Wal-Mart plastic bags around the baby’s head and suffocated it. She put the baby in a backpack, added a ten-pound weight, and tossed it in a canal behind her house. Later, a young boy fishing in the canal found the baby. The girl was arrested and charged with murder.
Naturally, people in the community were outraged. Many called for the death penalty. "What a horrible thing," they said. "She brutally murdered a living, breathing, helpless infant." What a difference a minute makes.
Had she gone to an abortionist, she could have murdered her baby legally. One minute before delivery, the "doctor" could have inserted sharp tools into her womb, and cut the infant into small pieces while it writhed in agony. After its heart had been brutally stopped, the abortionist could have taken its severed head and other body parts, and thrown them into a trashcan. And no one would have said a thing. What a difference a minute makes.
Please, please, will someone tell me why one minute a baby’s life is of no value, why it is a "fetus" not worthy of protection, and a minute later it takes a breath and magically becomes human? Why, in this warped, perverted nation is it legally and socially acceptable for a woman to kill at will an infant that God entrusted to her womb for safety, and a minute later the same murder is horrific because the child has exited her body? Can anyone please tell me why that minute makes such a difference, such a life and death difference?
Please indulge me while I tell another Sarah story. Our baby was delivered by caesarian section, so my beautiful wife entrusted Sarah to my care for her first hour of life, while Ana rested in the recovery room. There were a half dozen crying babies in the room, and lots of doctors, nurses, and parents roaming about. With all that noise, I was amazed to see Sarah turn her head in my direction whenever I spoke. She recognized my voice, and picked it out of all the other voices in the room. Later, for no reason that I could discern, she started crying inconsolably. The nurse and I tried everything we could think of, but she continued to wail. Inspiration hit me, and I started singing the worship songs that I had sung to her in the womb. She immediately stopped crying and started cooing.
What is my point? We learned in our Lamaze class that medical science has proved that at five months babies in the womb start to become aware of the world around them. They recognize voices, and remember music. They will often become very active when they hear the voice of someone they recognize. Medical scientists recommend reading to babies and playing classical music for them in the womb starting at this age. All this sounds very human to me.
If a baby’s heart is beating, and it can move around on its own, is it human? If its brain is well developed enough to recognize music and tell one voice from another, is it human? If it can feel pain, as has been proved scientifically, is it human? If the baby has been created in God’s image, and given the spark of life by Him, is it human? Or does a baby become human one minute after birth?
Radical feminists claim that a woman has a right to do whatever she wants to with her body. I’ll surprise you by agreeing, with the exceptions of self-mutilation and suicide. But the baby in her womb is NOT part of her body. It lives in and is protected by her body. It is nourished through her body. But medically, it is not part of her body. There are many proofs of this, but the simple fact that a baby can have a different blood type than its mother should suffice.
The law on the subject of abortion is full of conflicts. Mary Mostert, in an article published on Reagan.com, explores the fact that a mother’s "reproductive rights" include permission by the Supreme Court (NOT by any law passed by Congress) to kill her baby in the womb, while a father who only attempted to do the same thing will go to prison for 18 to 24 years. In brief, the father, NFL player Rae Carruth, hired a gunman to kill his child because he did not want to pay child support. He was convicted of conspiracy for "shooting into an occupied vehicle, and using an instrument with the intent to destroy an unborn child." This is insanity! The father will spend most of the rest of his life in prison for attempting to kill his child. If the mother had aborted it, society would have praised her for "exercising her reproductive rights."
In over twenty-five years of ministry I have spoken to dozens of people whose mothers considered aborting them at some point in their pregnancy. I never heard one say, "I wish she had gone through with it." We hear so much about the mother’s "right to choose." I wish there were some way we could communicate with the baby before every abortion, and ask him or her whether they "choose" to die.
I recently read about one of the most evil men of this century. It’s not an easy article to read, but you should go to www.family.org/cforum/citizenmag/coverstory/a0015398.html and read it. The article is about "Doctor" LeRoy Carhart of Bellevue, Nebraska. (I place quotes around the word "doctor" when I refers to abortionists, because real doctors honor their Hypocratic oath to protect life, not end it.) This horrible person has murdered over 30,000 defenseless infants, and brags about it. That is more than five times the number of soldiers who died on the beaches of Normandy. His two-story "clinic" in Bellevue has an eight by twenty-foot sign on its front that reads ABORTION & CONTRACEPTION CLINIC OF NEBRASKA. He regularly performs "partial-birth" abortions in which he allows the head of a healthy infant to be delivered, then suctions the brains out of its cranium. He then cuts the baby up and removes it for "disposal". This barbaric practice is legal, because it takes place one minute before the child’s ENTIRE body is out of the mother’s body. What a difference a minute makes.
Early in Ana’s pregnancy, her obstetrician suggested she undergo amniocentesis. Although we knew what his answer would be, we asked, "Why?" "Well, at Ana’s age, there is an increased risk of birth defects. For instance, she could be carrying a Down’s Syndrome baby." "And what if you discover a birth defect?" we asked. "Well, we could perform a, you know, ’procedure’ to take care of the ’problem.’" We gently explained to him that whatever kind of child God gave us, we would be grateful. We would not undergo the test, because regardless of the results we would never kill our baby. We didn’t yet know whether our child would be Sarah or Zachary, but we knew that we loved it. We had no way of knowing whether our child would take care of us in our old age, or whether he or she would need our care for a lifetime. We did know that if necessary, we would give our lives to protect our child’s life. We knew we would rejoice in God’s gift to us in that first minute of our baby’s life.
RESOURCES. If you would like to research the subject of abortion, I can’t think of a better place to start than the archives of www.BannerOfLiberty.com . At www.bannerofliberty.com/Abortion/AbortionTOC.html you will find 14 great articles on the subject.
Dr. James Dobson’s website has 8 articles on abortion that you should read. Links to them can be found at www.family.org/cforum/research/#Topic18.
Dennis Caldwell, the head elder of my church, suggested I give you a link to the full text of the Roe v Wade decision. He told me he read it in seminary, and found it very interesting. A quick search of the internet turned up www.roevwade.org. After you click "enter" on the first page, you will see a place to click for the text of the Supreme Court decision. Remember as you read it that abortion on demand is NOT "the law of the land", as pro-death advocates would have us believe. It is judicial activism of the worst kind, in which several Justices made up a new right that they SAID was based on the Constitution. Many Constitutional scholars say that the decision was flawed in many aspects. I was also excited to see that this site has a lot of other important information for people who want to really understand the abortion issue.
Finally, the website below explains and shows in graphic detail how abortions are done, as well as the results of abortion. WARNING: This site brought me to tears, even though I am a former Deputy Sheriff and a Fire Department Paramedic who has witnessed many terrible accidents. I offer this link because I can’t imagine any woman going forward with an abortion after learning what really happens to the child. An expectant mother seeing it might decide to spare her baby’s life. www.christiangallery.com/smdead.html
(NOTE: Tom is on vacation this week, so we re-published one of his most popular articles. This was fist published in April 2001.)
Dr. Tom Barrett is a pastor, teacher, author, conference keynote speaker, professor, certified executive coach, and marketplace minister. His teaching and coaching have blessed both church and business leaders. He has been ordained for over 40 years, and has pastored in seven churches over that time. Today he “pastors pastors” as he oversees ordained and licensed ministers in Florida for his ministerial fellowship.
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