As you may have heard, the Institute of Medicine made a recommendation to the president yesterday that healthcare plans should include coverage for all FDA approved drugs which have been designated as “birth control.” Of course, as you will see, that designation is political in its definition concerning which drugs actually prevent pregnancy and those which destroy newly created life.
Some of the drugs that have been placed under the heading of “birth control” include several whose function is to prevent implantation of the human embryo in the uterine wall. These include such things as Plan B (or the Morning After Pill) and the new drug called Ella. Basically, these are medications are designed to be taken within 3-5 days after sex to prevent pregnancy. Just as with the birth control pill, one of the ways they do this is to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting itself in the uterine wall. To many (including myself) that constitutes an abortion.
We live in an age where definitions really don’t mean anything. As I mentioned yesterday, this is also an era where facts are changed if they are inconvenient, because, after all, there are no absolutes. Truth is a relative thing, open for debate.
Yesterday, Live Action (the awesome pro-life group headed up by Lila Rose and her team) highlighted an article which appeared in the magazine, Mother Jones. The author of the piece, Kate Sheppard, was quoted as saying: “Anti-abortion groups believe that (preventing implantation) constitutes abortion, even though medical organizations like the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have been clear that this is factually incorrect; pregnancy does not begin until a fertilized egg is implanted.” Please note that no mention is made of human life, they are contesting that it is not even a pregnancy until implantation begins. Since present law mandates that abortions cannot be paid for by our tax money, this is a vital point in their argument. However, the only basis that they are going by to make this declaration is that they decided (very conveniently I might add) that pregnancy doesn’t begin until implantation, and so, therefore, it must be true. After all, who can argue with such prestigious organizations?
So, I just wonder: are tubal pregnancies not, in reality, pregnancies? We have done ultrasounds at our Center in which we have seen well-developed babies, with beating hearts and recognizable shapes, growing in the fallopian tubes. Of course, these pregnancies are doomed, but does that mean that these babies have never been alive? And, I read recently about a woman who gave birth to a baby who grew to full development outside of her uterus. Since it never did implant in the uterine wall, was she never pregnant (or is her healthy child not a real baby?)
In order to justify abortion, researchers and scientists have been forced to re-define when life begins. Even further than that, since ultrasound technology has taken us into the world of the womb, making is so the life found there cannot be so easily dismissed, the debate has shifted to: when does life become a human being?
In order to find justification for supporting abortion, religious groups have chimed into the debate. In one article I found, Suzanne Holland, Ph.D, a biochemist and the chairman of the Religion department for the University of Puget Sound in Washington, spelled out 4 theories for determining when life begins. She declares that each can be said to be biologically accurate (again, how can 4 differing theories all be true?)
First, there is the genetic view which holds that life begins, in her words: with the acquisition of a novel genome. In other words, when the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm combine and become a unique being. Second is the embryologic view that thinks life begins about 14 days into development when the embryo undergoes something called gastrulation. The third stage happens at around 24-27 weeks when a distinct EKG pattern is discerned. This is the neurological view. The last is when the baby has reached a stage when it can live outside the womb, a stage which constantly changes as technology increases. (It has no fancy name!)
I have also heard people say that life begins when the heart begins to beat, which is around five weeks. Of course, the neurological view has become popular with proponents of transplantation, since if life begins with brain waves it must end when those waves cease (or greatly decrease.) Many of these theories have political motivations, which are mostly used to justify abortion. In order to persuade the public that abortion on demand is acceptable, they must also convince them that human life is not being destroyed.
It boggles my mind how a question of such vital importance can be randomly determined. The Bible never mentions stages of life, it just makes it clear that all existence, before and after birth is created and loved by God. In Psalms, it clearly states that we have all been created in our mother’s womb. John the Baptist was filled by the Spirit while still in-utero, and leapt for joy in recognition of the Messiah, who at an even earlier state in the womb, but was still clearly “God made flesh.” Life is life, and we are who we are, from the moment our first, unique cell was formed until the moment our heart stops beating. And, gloriously, it only stops then for our physical bodies: our spirits are eternal!
Just as with the Theory of Evolution, the indiscriminate designations of when life (not to mention our humanity) begins are irresponsible folly. Men decided that they did not want to worship God, so they came up with a far-fetched theory to explain their origins. Years later, we stripped the unborn of their humanity so that they could be ripped from the womb without guilt. There is no factual basis for either.
To those who call themselves Christians and attempt to use these rationales to justify abortion, shame on you! At least if you are going to expound such rhetoric, be honest about it! Admit that you know that there is human life in the womb but that you consider other things, such as tough circumstances and the inconvenience and embarrassment of an unplanned pregnancy, to be more important. Scriptural rationalizations for abortion don’t exist!
We all began life as a single, unique cell. We were survivors and made it through the stages of embryo, fetus, newborn, toddler, child, teen, and adult. Many of us are now entering the latter half of our lives. There was never a point in this continuum that we were anything other than the unique, amazing person that God created us to be. We were never in any danger of morphing into a fish or a toad, or even a flowering plant. We were either human from that first cell or we weren’t. Nothing else makes any sense.
Keeping it true! Barb