This post began as a facebook status update, but graduated to a blog when I realized I had too much on my heart to say in a single posting. I write with tears in my eyes and a swelling ache in my chest.
My baby watches me with such soul-filled, trusting eyes when I hold up his little body in the bathtub. He greets me every morning with a gummy smile and a giggle of delight. I often smile at the way he puts his entire torso into breathing when he falls into a deep sleep; at the feeling of his soft, round head pressed against my cheek as he wobbles at my shoulder; at his sweet, baby-smell; at the vigor with which he sometimes attaches his mouth to my chin and tries to nurse. I am a mother, and I have been blessed with the safekeeping of a three-month-old someone who, at this point, only knows how to love and to trust me. I am exhausted, overwhelmed, sometimes angry, delighted–in short, a bewildering jumble of emotions, offering God what is best named “distracted devotion” and humbled that He continues to meet me where I am.
A dear aunt warned me early in my pregnancy that my heart would never react to hypotheticals in the same way again–that every story about a child would make me want to rush home and hold my baby. More and more I’m discovering that she was right. Today, I saw the photo of Baby Choice for the first time [warning, some may find this graphic or offensive], and I cannot quit weeping. She is tiny, curled up on one side, downy hair sprouting across her head, legs drawn up to her navel and one hand resting just below the beginnings of a double-chin. She’s the image of my own precious baby cuddled against my side in the middle of a nap, with a glaring difference–saline burns cover her tiny bare skin.
Simply put, the abortion argument has gotten a little more personal this year. Every story I hear or post-abortive picture I see conjures images of the chubby little hands that grab my arm when I try to change in Baby I’s diaper. My heart is grieving, and my thoughts are with the 39 women currently walking to Dallas for the Esther Call next weekend.
Advances in technology prove that unborn children feel pain. Videos of the abortion procedure have shown an unborn baby frantically pushing away from surgical tools coming to in its life. This is not about women’s rights–it’s about the willful sacrifice of the most precious, most innocent gift we have on the altar of self promotion. Every pro-choice argument advocating a woman’s right to an abortion is self-seeking at the core. “What about in the case of rape?” = The woman doesn’t want to have to carry and raise a child she did not consent to making. “What about if the mother’s life is in danger?” = The mother prefers her health and safety over that of the baby’s. “What if something’s wrong with the baby?” = The parents don’t want the burden of raising a special needs child.
Am I judging? No. Rape is traumatic, memories are haunting, disease is horrible, and life isn’t fair. But we cannot ignore the fact that an abortion always “benefits” the stronger at the cost of the weaker. It is injustice, and it is morally, ethically, and unconscionably wrong.
I confess, the pro-life movement was always somewhat abstract to me before now. While I’ve given myself to bound4life silent sieges at the abortion clinic, life marches and prayers via thecall, and harbored dreams of adopting a child rescued from an abortion, I’ve never fully embraced the sorrow that pierces God’s heart on this issue. These are babies. Let me repeat. These. Are. Babies. They are helpless. They know nothing but trust. They have no recourse but trust. And they are dying, while we argue about women’s rights to privacy and self-autonomy.
We have to end this.