The Lord Knew You When You Were in Your Mother's Womb By Rich Strange
Ten years ago next month our little girl, Bethany,came into this world. It hardly seems possible thatten years have passed, and yet her birth, and oneparticular event prior to her birth, remain vivid inmy mind. The day before Bethany was born by a prescheduledCaesarian delivery, we went in to our obstetrician'soffice to get an ultrasound done. Unlike the previousones we had taken, which showed the detail and energyof Bethany's life in the womb, this one gave usillumination in a far more sobering manner. In order to determine Bethany's lung maturity beforebirth and ensure a healthy delivery, our doctor hadordered an amniocentesis, with an accompanyingultrasound. During an amniocentesis, a long thinneedle is inserted through the woman's stomach andinto the amniotic sac surrounding the baby inside theuterus. The ultrasound is necessary to direct theneedle through the uterine wall to a safe locationnear the baby's mouth, with great care taken to avoidpiercing the baby with the needle.A small amount of amniotic fluid is extracted throughthe needle and then tested for various constituents todetermine lung maturity. Since the baby inhales andexhales the amniotic fluid before birth, thecomposition of the fluid helps to determine the baby'smaturity.So there we were, a little apprehensive because mywife had never undergone an amniocentesis before, andyet excited because the test would hopefully confirmthat we would be seeing our daughter the next day. Weknew, after more than a decade of making memories andenjoying God's goodness with two wonderful sons, thatthe daughter He had promised us would soon bearriving.Our excitement grew as the first ultrasound imagesbecame visible on the screen in front of us. Therewas Bethany, moving around with great energy, arms andlegs in unison like she was riding a bicycle. (Iremember many nights during that previous winter whenmy wife had great difficulty sleeping, and now I couldsee why!)Then we saw the needle appear in the picture on thescreen, and something very startling occurred that Iwill never forget. It became immediately apparent tomy wife and I that Bethany knew her once safeenvironment was not safe anymore, because she suddenlystopped all the relentless motion that her little bodywas engaging in. As the needle came near her, sheimmediately stopped moving, as if on cue, and withdrewto the far side of her mommy's womb. A foreign objecthad violated her safe domain, and she was doingeverything she could to protect herself from it. Fortunately for her, the long thin intruder left asquickly as it had arrived.All the way home that day, my wife and I couldn't helpbut think and grieve for the millions of little ones(35 million then, 47 million now), who like Bethany,had the safe sanctuary of their mother's wombviolated. Unfortunately for them, they were helplessagainst the violent invader that would snuff out theirlives. Our experience that day profoundly reminded usof an undeniable and sobering truth: pregnant womencarry within them not just a mere fetus, but a livingperson who reacts to outside stimuli just like we do.I'm talking, of course, about that unpleasant subjectthat many people don't want to talk about, the uglyblot on the American landscape that won't go away -abortion. As we recently observed the 33rdanniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decisionthat legalized abortion in this country, my heart isheavy for all the lost children, and for their mothersand fathers who suffer from the devastating emotionalturmoil that abortion produces.The grief that my wife and I experienced that day tenyears ago is the same grief I am experiencing now, asI reflect on this most awful of all Americantragedies, the deliberate wholesale killing ofinnocent preborn children. Consider these staggeringfacts: now missing from our society are 5 millioninfants and toddlers, 12 million elementary schoolchildren, 12 million junior high and high schoolstudents, and 18 million adults. From these adults,several million additional children would have beenborn. Careers would have been pursued. How manydoctors, teachers, musicians and missionaries wouldnow be contributing to the betterment of our world? And countless other lives would have been touchedthrough these adults who would now be living among us. We, as individuals and as a nation, must answer to Godfor this. Abortion is a moral and spiritual issuethat we cannot escape. It is a question of whether anentire class of living human beings can be deprived oftheir basic right to life, guaranteed by theDeclaration of Independence, simply on the basis ofage and place of residence. This group of people,preborn children, has been defined as less than humanand therefore expendable. As a result, we have beensystematically exterminating them for the last 33years. This American Holocaust of 47 million children, consumed on the altar of convenience andself-gratification, is a heinous crime againsthumanity, because the humanity of the little child inthe mother's womb has now become almost impossible todeny. The pro-choice movement's mantra of "my body,my choice" is becoming but a faint whisper, asscientific evidence has proven that a preborn child isnot just a glob of fetal tissue attached to theuterine wall, but a unique human being from the momentof conception. As a nation, we recently mourned the passing ofCoretta Scott King, the widow of the great civilrights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ipassionately believe that the issue of civil rightsmust apply to preborn children, who are the mostinnocent and defenseless of human beings among us. The greatest and most foundational civil right of allis the right to life, and if it is denied to theunborn, as it has been for the last 33 years, then weare only kidding ourselves when we talk aboutfulfilling Dr. King's dream of equality for all.As we enter the 34th year of abortion on demand inAmerica, I choose to embrace God's perspective aboutpreborn children. Listen to the words of Psalm 139:"You created every part of me; you put me together inmy mother's womb. I will praise you because you areto be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. Iknow it with all my heart. When my bones were beingformed, carefully put together in my mother's womb,when I was growing there in secret, you knew that Iwas there-you saw me before I was born. The daysallotted to me had all been recorded in your book,before any of them ever began." (verses 13-16, Today'sEnglish Version)Their blood, spilled in the name of reproductiverights and choice, cries out from the ground. Are we listening?
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