“There are two lines. Two pink lines. I stand in our tiny bathroom in stunned silence. Two lines—there have never been two lines. How many times have I rehearsed this moment in my mind during the last two years? I’ve lost count. I’ve pictured my reaction over and over. Will I scream? Jump up and down? Laugh? Cry? Instead, I stand in silence, studying the little strip again and again to make sure my eyes aren’t playing tricks on me. After all the tears, all the disappointments, all the prayers, is the moment really here?... The reality suddenly hits me like a wave…, and the tears pour down. Deep happy sobs erupt from the core of my being. We’re going to have a baby!”
The narrative above is an opening excerpt from my book Reflections from Holland: A New Mother’s Journey with Down Syndrome, and it lays a fitting backdrop for what I want to write about today. Why was it that those two little lines could cause such a reaction in me? Those two little lines told me that a miracle had taken place, and my life would never be the same again. They were the evidence that a human being, my baby, was growing inside of me! In this blog post I want to address an issue, a crisis of our times, that I have been passionate about for years, long before I was a mother myself. However, becoming a mother has definitely fueled the fire! I have never sought to use this blog as a platform for politics, but this issue goes far beyond politics. This is an issue of life vs. death. This is the issue of abortion.
In a matter of weeks our nation will be facing what I believe to be one of the most critical elections in our history. Regardless of what our individual opinions are of the candidates, the reality is that our next president will play a key role in shaping the trajectory of our nation for decades to come through the appointment of Supreme Court justices. The next president’s choices in this regard will no doubt affect countless lives yet to be conceived, either for good or for evil. Remember Roe vs. Wade? Since the fateful decision handed down by SCOTUS to legalize abortion an estimated 58,586,256 babies (nrlc.org) have been murdered in the womb, and the numbers grow daily. Let that number sink in…
According to the United States Census Bureau we entered 2016 with a national population of 322,762,018. That means that since the legalization of abortion, nearly 20% of our population has been eradicated in the womb! In fact, it is estimated that 21% of all US pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion (abort73.com). In 2012 the University of South Carolina published a review that 67-85% of pregnancies that have a pre-natal diagnosis of Down syndrome end in abortion. As I wrote above, I was overwhelmed with joy by my positive pregnancy test because I knew I was carrying a baby inside. The fact that he ended up having an extra chromosome did not change the fact that he was my child and deserving of life! In 2014, an estimated 954,000 babies were aborted (abort73.com). That’s greater than the population of Austin, TX! These are not just faceless numbers. These are boys and girls, sons and daughters, just like my children, and just like yours. I cannot be silent.
I know I will be stepping on some toes with what I am going to share next, but share I must. We have too long approached abortion as a political issue among a large field of other political issues, as though it somehow only held the same level of importance as tax reform, or healthcare, or foreign policy, or (fill in the blank). Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of important and critical issues that we are facing as a nation. I do not want to undermine the reality of some of the crises of our times. However, we have a literal genocide of innocents happening all around us, and I cannot be silent. I have heard so many share the sentiment that, though they don’t agree with abortion and even consider themselves to be pro-life, they set those sentiments aside in the voting booth and cast ballots for those who support abortion because they “like their stance on other important issues.” It’s almost as if they are saying, “We may not particularly like abortion, but it’s legal, and it’s just the way things are. Who are we to judge?” (On a side note, it was also legal in Nazi-controlled Germany to murder Jews). There seems to be such a disconnect in this way of thinking. Do we REALLY believe that abortion is the brutal murder of a living child? If so, how can we sweep it under the rug and treat it as simply one issue among many?
Let’s frame this another way. As mentioned above, the abortion statistics for 2014 surpassed the population of Austin, TX. Humor me for a moment if you will, and let’s pretend that, in the name of population control, it was legal for the population of a large US city to be eradicated each year. One political party was in favor of this method, and the other party was opposed. Do you think this would be a game-changer in the voting booth? “Well, I do feel sorry for those poor people in Austin, TX, but I sure like this party’s stance on health care, so they’ll still get my vote.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!
Or, let’s pretend another scenario. There is an argument from the pro-choice camp that a baby in the womb lacks personhood. Dictionary.com defines personhood as: “the state or fact of being a person,” and “the state or fact of being an individual or having human characteristics and feelings.” During a baby’s first year of life there is an incredible amount of dependency on the caregiver(s). It takes a while for a baby to even grasp the fact that he/she is separate from his/her primary caregiver, often the mother. One of our current candidates believes that an unborn person has no constitutional rights up to the moment of birth. So, let’s pretend that this was extended to the first year of life. That’s right. During that fragile first year before a child has really grasped his/her personhood, the parents could decide whether to keep their child or “terminate” their child (to use popular abortion terminology). Maybe they decide that they weren’t ready to be parents after all. Maybe they realize that they can’t actually afford to raise this child. Maybe a disability is discovered, and they do not feel up to the challenge. Whatever the reason, they have the legal right to kill their own child or pay someone else to do the grisly job. It is not required that the “termination” be a humane one. It can be painful and bloody, but it’s their “right,” and who are we to interfere or judge their “choice?” Maybe they will be virtuous and even donate their deceased child’s parts to medical research in order to “save lives!” This scenario sounds preposterous of course, but how is it really any different than the gruesome reality of abortion in which babies are murdered in the most barbaric of ways? If a political party stood for such an atrocity as murdering a child during their first year of life, would we even consider casting a vote for them, even if we agreed with their stance on other issues? Or would we be so horrified that we would stand and fight for change? 58,586,256 lives lost since Roe vs. Wade. Once again, these are not faceless statistics, these are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters…”
In 1999, our nation was devastated when two troubled teens opened fire in Columbine High School, killing thirteen people, wounding twenty more, and ultimately taking their own lives as well. We were shocked by the brutality, the senseless violence, the loss of young lives and potentials. Since that fateful day, at total of 141 lives have been lost in additional school shootings across the nation. Each incident shakes us. Each incident carries with it heartbreak and sorrow, indignation and rage. We mourn the loss of lives, and rightly we should. Every single life is unique and precious. Not a single one can be replaced. Yet, the number of lives lost in school shootings since that tragic day in Columbine is only 0.00000241% of the lives lost since the legalization of abortion. It is only 0.000147% of the lives lost in one year at the hands of abortionists. If we mourn for the young ones murdered in our schools, why don’t we mourn for the young ones murdered in the wombs? If we are enraged by the 141 lives that have been lost, why are we not enraged by the 58,586,256 lives that have been lost?!
We cannot afford to make abortion a merely political issue anymore. We cannot afford to allow the senseless murder of the next generation to continue. We must stand for life, and that includes our stance in the voting booth. In Matthew 12:30 Jesus stated “Whoever is not with me is against me…” I believe this is true concerning the lives of the unborn. Proverbs 6:17 shares seven things that the Lord hates, including “…hands that shed innocent blood.” There is no neutral ground on the issue of abortion. If I am not standing for the lives of the unborn, I am standing against them, and I will go as far to say that I am standing against the Lord of all creation, who knows and loves each of these children who remain nameless and faceless to the rest of us. I cannot claim to be pro-life and cast my ballot for those who support the shedding of innocent blood. The next generation is at stake. I cannot be silent.
WARNING: If you continue to scroll down you will see some very disturbing images of aborted babies. I really wrestled with whether or not to share these images. I wept the first time I saw them, and then I realized this is the very reason I must share them. When we look the other way, it's easier to remain passive; it's more comfortable for sure. If you are willing to be uncomfortable though, look at these horrific photos and allow your heart to be broken for the plight of the unborn. Allow a cry for justice to rise up inside of you. If we won't stand up for these precious babies, who will?
First Trimester Abortion
Second Trimester Abortion
Third Trimester Abortion
Aborted baby parts pulled from a dumpster behind an abortion clinic
I CANNOT BE SILENT!