Making Room: Why Being Pro-Life is Bigger Than Politics
This little guy is almost 10 years old. I can't be sure which is my son, but one of these pulsing, dividing zygotes most certainly is. He would not have been born without the help of medically gifted hands, 21st century technology, and a volunteer womb. Mark Westfield was every bit alive at 48 hours gestation and miraculously moving toward a life outside the petri dish. I marvel every time I look at this snapshot, a peek into God's handiwork.
Because my son's conception was coordinated with painstaking precision, my husband and I caught another ultrasound glimpse about four weeks later, solidly implanted in my friend, Johnna's, uterus, his beating heart the music we had waited 10 years to hear.
At 6 weeks gestation, we laid eyes on him again, our little turtle -- a champ at growing his arm buds and leg buds, ears, eyes, and nose, and on his way to an intricate, functioning brain.
Life! A bundle of cells transforming itself into thought and feeling and possibility.
Dictionary.com defines life in this way:
“the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead
organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and
the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally."
Human life is a powerful force that stretches toward its potential; namely, a fully formed person, made in God's own image.
Now, flash forward - or rather outward - from this small protected place to the larger world in which we all live and move and have our being. The people on the outside are not so appreciative of the complex processes occurring on the inside, unseen but for the fleeting glance at an ultrasound.
Rest assured, outsiders are safe. But this growing, metabolizing dynamo, not so much. We who have already staked our claim are compelled to protect our property rights. There is no space for a newcomer.
Too inconvenient, too demanding, too untimely, too expensive, too unplanned, too imperfect. This budding human being clearly demands too much. After all, we were here first and we don't take kindly to sharing.
Pro-choice rhetoric glosses over the reality that choosing to abort leaves no choice at all for the human in his earliest stages of development. Do we truly believe that our actions are somehow justified simply because they are undercover? That ending a life on the inside will leave us unscarred?
Regardless of circumstance, there is room in our world for every single human being conceived. There is help for the single mother and the families who can't afford another mouth to feed. There is support for the fearful teenage girl and even the victim of rape. We cannot make our compassion contingent upon our circumstances. We cannot so easily forget our own humanness and the fact that we were all once a dividing bundle of cells, entirely dependent on the selfless gift of another for our existence.
So an early Happy Birthday to my almost-10-year-old son, whose conception was planned from the start. And Happy March for Life Day to our daughters, whose birth mothers could have claimed their legal right to an abortion over a decade ago. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, these women refused to give into fear. Instead, each one relinquished entitlement to her own body to honor the vulnerable human on the inside. They traded expedience for inconvenience and witnessed how God showed up in the midst of their unexpected. They chose to make room for one more human, viewed by God as invaluable and irreplaceable. They chose...life.