The Gift of Life is the Gift of Freedom: How I Came to Value Both

My baby boy - then and now

“I’m pro-life but I don’t think the government has any right to tell a woman what to do with her body.”  This was my abortion argument, oft-repeated during my college years.  As a born-again Christian (I guess we’re called Evangelicals these days) I had a basic understanding of the sanctity of life. I believed God loves everyone, even fetuses in the womb. I considered my evolution to a reasoned pro-life college student an extension of that belief.  If God loves everyone, then surely he wouldn’t want a young woman who made a bad decision- or who was the victim of another human’s bad decision- to be saddled with a child she did not want or could not raise for the rest of her life.  I felt I was compassionate.  I understood the nuances of the situation. Only hardcore right wingers (I was staunchly liberal at this time) were so cruel and thoughtless as to whine about the rights of a baby until it is born, then leave it to suffer in poverty or neglect.  I felt comfortable in my assessment of life.  I could remain a believer while still being open-minded… not like those awful conservatives that kept making the rest of us Christians look so bad. Then I became pregnant with our first child.  At the age of 28 my husband and I were thrilled to discover we were going to be parents for the first time.  My first ultrasound came at about 12 weeks.  We both went to the appointment and held hands tightly as we waited for the image of our little “blob” of cells to appear on the monitor. I did not expect to see what I saw next.  This was no blob. It was a real baby. Tiny, but still obviously a baby.  We did not want to know the sex (delivery day brought us a healthy boy!), but we could see everything else – his head, eyes, a beating heart, feet, hands and he was sucking his thumb.  I asked the technician if that was very common to see, and if the baby was really sucking the thumb or was it just a trick of the eye, so to speak.  She responded that it was quite common. I was blown away.   We left the appointment with the obligatory grainy snapshots and headed home.  I couldn’t stop staring at the image of my baby.  I was so happy, but something about the picture was disturbing to me.  I couldn’t totally settle into the bliss of impending motherhood.  Then it hit me.  I looked at my husband and said “You know, if we wanted to we could drive this car right over to Planned Parenthood (we lived in the inner city, of COURSE there was one nearby) and have an abortion right now.  We could be rid of this baby today if we wanted.”  That was the moment abortion became more than a word to me.  That was the moment I realized exactly what that word encompassed.  Even at a mere 12 weeks into my pregnancy my mother’s instincts had kicked in, and the thought of laying down, opening my legs, and letting someone vacuum out our baby – who was sucking his thumb- was unbearable. I’ve been staunchly pro-life ever since.  Perhaps my 3-day-old embryo couldn’t suck his thumb, but he wouldn’t be a thumb-sucking 12-week-old fetus if he hadn’t first been that 3-day-old embryo.  Life has to begin at the moment of conception, because no human being has ever been born that wasn’t first a fertilized egg.  Its science.  I cannot condone the murder of a 3-day old baby in the womb any more than I could condone the murder of a 3-year-old child.  The poverty argument does not sway me. Who are we to decide whose life is worth living, and who would be better off dead?  How many of us would never have been born if our own parents had taken their station in life into account before giving birth? If I can rid myself of my fetus because I can’t provide for a child, why can’t I rid myself of my 4-year-old when I’ve lost everything and no longer have the means to properly support a family?  It turns out I hadn’t been as thoughtful about this issue as I had always considered myself to be. The Declaration of Independence declares “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  There can be no liberty and no happiness if there is not, at the first, Life.  Life is the basic building block of freedom.  Abortion devalues Life, and when Life is devalued, the collapse of freedom is not far behind.  Our Founding Fathers understood that only God can grant the ultimate right to Life.  They built an entire society based on that premise; that society has grown to become the most free, most prosperous nation in the history of this planet.  If only God can grant freedom (Life), than only God can take it away.  It may sound like religious gobbly-gook to some, but it is extremely important. Once you place that freedom in the hands of men, who change their minds and hearts as the wind blows, you give those men the power to decide who deserves freedom and who does not. Abortion is not a “privacy” issue.  What we decide on the issue of our unborn has extreme ramifications for the whole of society.  If we do not value the life of a person with no voice, we will soon find ourselves devaluing the life of a person who has a voice that we don’t like, or a body we don’t like, or a philosophy we don’t like.  Its a rottenness that strikes at the heart of liberty; and yes, even capitalism – which is the principle of freedom applied to economics.   It is a rottenness that is protected by lies and misinformation. Over the years I have known many close friends who aborted their children, only to face anger, heartbreak and devastation afterward.  MTV will tell you abortion is nothing but a choice and hurts no one; a woman’s body tells her it is murder.  Abortion is the deliberate destruction of Life.  Abortion is the deliberate destruction of freedom.  If we do not end this twisted practice it will ultimately spell the destruction of the home of Freedom in this world – America.  Too dramatic? When I look back at that ultrasound picture of my sweet baby boy from years ago, I think not.    

3 Comments

  1. Kimberly Rothman says:

    What a wonderful post, Kira! It’s like your words came from my experience and my heart.
    Am sharing on Facebook. Thank you.

  2. Michael Cook says:

    Powerful and sobering reflections!

Trackbacks for this post

  1. […] they are broken people.  I don’t mean just a little off, or people who struggle with the ups and downs of life the way we all do.  I mean these are severely broken people.  I’ve been a trained actress […]

Leave a Comment