Roe vs. Wade: A Human Rights Violation

January 23, 2008

Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court case ruling that sentenced millions of innocent American pre-born children to a cold, painful death.   As on all recent Roe vs. Wade anniversaries, I awoke with a deep sense of loss and agitation. On January 22, whether participating in the March for Life in DC or trying to focus on the daily demands of work, I feel like I could burst into tears, start screaming/preaching, or both at any moment.    Much to my dismay, I could not attend the March for Life yesterday due to obligations at work. I was comforted, however, by the fact that Caleb was able to attend the March and represent our little family.    

As I perused internet articles about the anniversary yesterday morning, I came across a blog written by a contributor to a website called RH Reality Check: Information and Analysis for Reproductive Health. The post, written by a woman named Susan Grossman, stirred me to the point of angry tears. Upon reading Ms. Grossman’s post, I took an early lunch break, at 9:30 AM, and responded to her post (although I did not post my response until today). To understand my response, you may wish to read Ms. Grossman’s original post.  I have since visited the site again and noticed that the author changed her post rather dramatically.  So if my reply seems misguided, it is because I am responding to her original post.  

 Ms. Grossman,    

You claim that Justice Blackmun and other “heroes” of the Pro-Choice movement were “brave enough to stand up to Pro-Life rhetoric.” I beg to differ. The arguments presented by your Pro-Choice heroes like Justice Blackmun are based on nothing more than pragmatic ideas void of any foundation in law, morality, or logic.    

You contend that the “right” for a woman to terminate her pregnancy is guaranteed and protected by the U.S. Constitution. Point me to the Article and Section, please. You cannot because, in reality, the so-called “right to privacy” cited as the basis for the Roe vs. Wade decision is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Now, if the right is not found in the Constitution—the law which you admit governs our land—then one must assume that the consenting Justices of the Roe vs. Wade decision simply created a new right. Where in the Constitution, which you herald as the bulwark of “reproductive rights,” or in any ancient, eternal, natural, or human law do we find any indication that Supreme Court Justices, or any human being, are granted the power to create rights? Nowhere.    

Human leaders have never and will never have the ability to create nor destroy a right. When African Americans were shamefully enslaved in our country, did their enslavement remove from them their natural right to be free? No! The slave’s rights were violated, not removed. To say otherwise is to suggest that the slave master’s treatment of his African slave actually defined the worth of the slave, the man.

It is not mankind’s recognition of a right that makes the right legitimate, for the African slave who bore cruelty at the hand of his master in the antebellum world was no less human, no less deserving of respect or justice than the African-American businessman today. Truly, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did not suddenly create rights for African-Americans in the United States; rather, in the Act, Congress supported and protected a right guaranteed to all mankind since the inception of the world—the right to freedom and equality under the law.    

If a judicial or legislative body is artificially granted the power to create “new rights,” do they not also consequentially have the power to destroy such rights? For this reason, many of America’s Founding Fathers were leery of ratifying the Bill of Rights because they feared the action would be viewed as the government bestowing rights. They understood that lawmakers and leaders of society are granted the crucial task of protecting and supporting the inalienable rights “endowed by [our] creator,” those rights so masterfully recorded by the greatest minds and spirits the world has yet seen (men like Moses, Aquinas, Locke, and Jefferson).  

 Neither the institution of the Supreme Court nor the individuals with whom you are so enamored are or were infallible. One must only look to the Dred Scott ruling to see a decision handed down from the Supreme Court which demonstrated its sheer human fallibility. Years later the Supreme Court reversed its decision, stating that the natural rights of African-Americans trumped the Supreme Court’s prior ruling.   

Why this long dissertation on rights, law, and the role of the Supreme Court and the public leaders? Pro-Life advocates are often accused of solely using emotionally-charged arguments and rhetoric. While I too become moved by the gruesome reality of abortion, I am driven by truth—the ethical, scientific, and lawful basis for a pre-born child’s right to life.   

Indeed, neither the Supreme Court nor any legislative body may create a right which transgresses on the right of another human being. And yes, pre-born children are, in fact, human beings. Just ask Harvard University Medical School Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, or Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni Professor of Obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, or Dr. Jerome LeJeune, the genetics professor at the University of Descartes in Paris who discovered the Down’s Syndrome chromosome. They all state the same fact: life begins at conception.   

So, if you praise the work of Pro-Choice activists, legislators, and judges next year, please do so while at least facing the facts. Be intellectually honest. If you do, you will realize that it is the Pro-Choice argument, not the Pro-Life argument, that is based entirely on emotion, convenience, and manipulation of the facts. Perhaps you will recognize that Roe vs. Wade strayed from the blind objectivity and protection of the law and instead relied on the feeble, inflated intellects of a few.

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Heaven’s Child

October 14, 2007

    At 12:10 this morning, I received the news that “Jane” had aborted her baby. It is now after 9PM and I still find myself wishing that there was a way that she meant something else by “I took care of it.” Those words are chilling.

     When I heard the news, I couldn’t speak so I started to write. I wrote things like, “I am numb yet I ache.” I asked, “How could she take this precious life when its fate was never rightly hers to decide?” The realization of what had been done made me ill…it still does.  I was completely overwhelmed by the pain—pain for the child, pain for the mother knowing that this fatal decision will haunt her throughout her life. I tried to push from my mind the images of aborted babies that I had seen during my Crisis Pregnancy Counselor training.    

      Then I cried out to God with written words: “God, where are you in all of this? You are THE Savior, you are the God who saves, yet you did not intervene to save this life. You know your reasons… not I. My mortal vision fails me.  Truly, your thoughts are higher than my thoughts and your ways higher than my ways. I trust that you are good. You never change.” 

       God began to comfort me and as He did the initial numbness faded a little.  He impressed on my heart so strongly that this child was real, it lived a life…a very short but profound life. I know my life was deeply touched by this child–I will never be the same. This child was so small but the loss of its life was so great.  Tears streamed down my face as I wrote, “This child’s life deserves to be recognized and mourned. “Jane’s” baby was no less real than I. This child cannot be forgotten–it is the face of the 42 million unborn children slain without a cause in our country.”   

      God also showed me that the prayers that we all prayed were not in vain. In this baby’s short life, it was not unloved. It had literally hundreds (if not thousands) of people seeking God on its behalf. In conversations with various people, I noticed that God had placed similar prayers on all of our hearts. One of the most common prayers was, “Oh God, let this baby feel loved.” If not for the faithful prayers of so many, this child would have lived its short life completely unloved by people on this earth. But such was not the case. My friend told me that every time she hugged “Jane” or she was around her, she prayed that the baby would sense her love.   

       As Caleb and I laid in bed at 3AM last night, dazed and hurting, Caleb said to me, “I feel like we lost our own child.” I identified with what he was said so deeply. We had sought God and offered wholeheartedly to adopt this baby if “Jane” would only carry it for the remaining seven months. I had envisioned myself with this child…a girl, I think. So many times during the unfolding of this situation, a little voice (not the “still small voice“) would ask me, “Are you sure you want to give your heart to this child? You don’t even know how this is going to end.” Then and more so now, I answer with a resounding “YES!” How could I withhold my heart and my prayers from a helpless, beautiful child whom God created just as He created my precious niece Zoe? I cannot. We cannot.      

       This child touched all of our hearts. We will never be the same …nor should we be.       

       As we mourn the tragic death of this baby and perhaps face the temptation to question God’s will in this situation, let us remember that the life we grieve was received with exuberant JOY in heaven. This child will never know pain or rejection or fear again. And some sweet day we will meet on the other side of eternity. Heaven never sounded so lovely…  

Waiting

October 12, 2007

     Waiting. There are about a million things I would rather do than wait…but that seems to be what God is asking of us in this situation with “Jane” and her baby.       

     I want to recognize the fact that if “Jane” had abided by her original plan, her baby would not be alive at this time.    She had planned to have an abortion last Saturday. From what I heard, she still has not taken that fatal action. Praise the Lord! He has intervened thus far and He is more than capable of doing so in a definitive way.     

     I do not have a very detailed update concerning the situation with “Jane” and her baby, but I do know some more details that I think will be helpful prayer information.     

     “Jane’s” ex-boyfriend, the “father” of the baby, has been a real adversary in this situation. In a conversation between “Jane” and her ex-boyfriend, he threatened her multiple times saying, “If you have this baby, I will shoot myself in the head.” When I heard this I must confess that my thoughts toward “Jane’s” ex-boyfriend were anything but loving. What a coward! What an irresponsible, selfish, gutless excuse for a man! Not only were his words disdainfully manipulative, they are grounds for a criminal offense. “Jane” was obviously devastated by his words and came away from the conversation only more confused and upset.  Pray that her ex-boyfriend stays far away from her. Even better, pray that she gets a restraining order against him! A “man”  who would make such a calculated threat is certainly capable of violent and compulsive behavior in order to get his way.       

     After having her ultrasound last Friday, “Jane” found out that her insurance would not cover an abortion. This was good news since it delayed the process even more; however, it means the “Jane” is again looking to Planned Parenthood for “assistance.” She has not been very forthcoming with her thoughts or feelings to my friend this past week. We have a suspicion, however, that she may have seen and heard the baby during the ultrasound because it seems as though the hospital conducted the ultrasound as it would for a woman who was planning to carry her baby to full term.     

     I am waiting for more information. I do not know what “Jane” is currently thinking or if she has set another appointment. I do know, however, that God is sovereign and He has heard all of our prayers. We do not need to know all of the details in order to ask for God’s intervention. I am still expecting a miracle.

     This is our God… “For HE delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper.    He has pity on the weak and the needy,  and saves the lives of the needy. From oppression and violence he redeems their life, and precious is their blood in his sight.”   ~Psalm 72:12-14

Oh Lord, come quickly…

October 5, 2007

      This morning I read Psalm 70 and I thought it was such a perfect prayer for “Jane’s” baby.

                                   Hasten, O God, to save me; 
                                   O LORD, come quickly to help me.

                                 2 May those who seek my life
                                    be put to shame and confusion;
                                    may all who desire my ruin
                                    be turned back in disgrace.

                                3 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
                                   turn back because of their shame.

                                 4 But may all who seek you
                                    rejoice and be glad in you;
                                    may those who love your salvation always say,
                                   “Let God be exalted!”

                                  5 Yet I am poor and needy; 
                                     come quickly to me, O God. 
                                     You are my help and my deliverer; 
                                    O LORD, do not delay.

      “Jane” is going to the doctor today for her ultrasound. My friend has had some long conversations with “Jane” and has asked some tough questions. “Jane” is conflicted but is still planning to have the abortion. Yesterday my friend said, “At this point I feel like I’ve said everything I can and I/we need to simply ask God for a miracle, ask Him to change her heart.” 

        Our God is THE God of salvation. May both “Jane” and her baby be saved! I will let you know when I hear about how “Jane” responded to her ultrasound.   

A little step…

October 3, 2007

     Hello, dear friends and family. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for “Jane” and her baby. I have a little update on the situation.

    “Jane” is still planning to have an abortion; however, my friend was able to convince her to not go to Planned Parenthood this Saturday to have the abortion. Instead, “Jane” is planning to go to her general physician for the abortion. (Note: Make sure your general physician does not also perform abortions “on the side.”) Because she is not going to Planned Parenthood, “Jane” will tentatively have an ultrasound this Friday and then set an appointment for the abortion.

      You may be wondering how this can possibly be considered even a small step. Let me explain. While volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center for two years I learned that the longer a woman waits to actually have an abortion, the more likely she is to not go through with the abortion. For this very reason, pro-life legislators around the country have lobbied for state-mandated waiting periods between the time a woman requests an abortion and the time it is actually conducted. Also, the fact that “Jane” is going to a regular hospital instead of “Planned Parenthood” increases the chance that they may actually let her see and/or hear the baby during the ultrasound. My friend is planning to go with “Jane” for the ultrasound so that she can strongly encourage her to look at the images of the baby and hear the baby’s heartbeat. Please pray specifically that “Jane” will look and listen on Friday. Also, please pray for astounding grace and boldness to sustain my friend. My friend said she can discern that “Jane” is very burdened and uneasy. This is actually a good sign since only a few days ago my friend described “Jane” as completely adamant. Oh Lord, please turn her heart!

      So, this is a small but potentially significant step. I read on the Concerned Women for America (CWA) website that September 26, 2007 marked the beginning of the nation-wide  “40 Days for Life,” a 40 day period of fasting and praying for “the beginning of the end of abortion.” Amen! How encouraging it is to know that this is taking place as we are all interceding for “Jane” and her baby specifically! In God’s master plan, there are no coincidences.      I have been so reminded of the importance and the power of prayer! CWA President Wendy Wright said the following in reference to the crucial importance and power of prayer in fighting for the unborn: 

 “A former abortion clinic manager told me, after she left the abortion business and became a Christian, that if even a few people were outside their clinic praying they would see a difference inside the clinic. Fewer women would keep their appointments and confusion would reign – equipment would not work, and workers would fight amongst themselves. The presence of humble Christians praying to a mighty God has an effect.”     

     Amen! Please continue in fervent prayer. I will keep you informed.

Plead the cause of the helpless…

October 1, 2007

     A friend of mine called Saturday and told me that a close friend of hers ( I will call her “Jane”) is planning to have an abortion this coming Saturday. To me, the phrase “have an abortion” sounds too removed and nice and clean. In reality, “Jane” is planning to painfully end the life of the baby growing in her womb. “Jane” is 6-8 weeks along which means that this baby’s heart has been beating wildly for weeks already, his hands are beginning to form, his nose and ears are taking shape, the lenses of his eyes have appeared, and his brain is growing. This is a baby. It is not, as Jane’s Planned Parenthood counselors have insisted, a “clump of cells” or a “blob of tissue.”  It is a human being and it ought to be treated and cared for as a human being.

     I could digress into a diatribe about abortion, the abortion industry itself, and the lies that are routinely told as truth, but that is not the point of this post. I want to ask you all to please pray that God will intervene in this situation and change this woman’s heart. Pray that God turns this woman’s heart toward her baby. My friend is trying desperately to convince “Jane” to not go through with this horrible decision, but “Jane” has been incredibly stubborn and claims there is “no way” she could possibly have this baby. My husband and I told my friend that we would adopt “Jane’s” baby if she didn’t have an abortion. At this point, however, “Jane” is convinced that “giving her child up for adoption would be so much worse than abortion.” I don’t even know where to begin with that statement.

     So, please, pray for a miracle. God has already given “Jane” a second chance–she took “the morning after pill” but the baby survived. Of course her Planned Parenthood counselors have convinced “Jane” that her baby would have severe physical defects because she took “the morning after pill.” Not only is that claim false, but it is based on the idea that a human being who is physically handicapped is somehow less human. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

     We are told in Scripture to plead the cause of the helpless. This baby is so very helpless. Please intercede for the life of this child and the salvation of the mother. Also, please pray for wisdom and discernment for my friend who understandably feels an incredible burden.

   I will keep you updated.

Words to Live By

September 20, 2007

       Hello family and friends! I have decided to start a blog. Yes, I know, blogging can become a black hole into which all “spare” time is consumed. However, living on the east coast when my family and childhood friends live on the west coast, I need a way to share thoughts, photos, memories, and sentiments in a semi-broad form. Perhaps our lives can be a little more connected this way.       

      The name of my blog, “In the Arena,” is part of a quote by President Theodore Roosevelt that never ceases to inspire, challenge, and encourage me. It reminds me that life is not about striving to survive unscathed by failure, disappointment, or pain. Rather, life is about learning to prevail precisely when our lives are touched by these very things. The reality of this world is that we will fail thousands of more times than we will succeed, we will feel the sting of disappointment ever more often than we will experience delight, and we will taste the bitterness of pain more times than we will savor the sweetness of sheer bliss. The success of one’s life seems to be defined by how one learns from failure, overcomes disappointment, and faces pain without allowing it to consume all joy. In the midst of life’s trails, we need not become discouraged, but rather ask, “Am I in the arena?”  Am I still pressing forward? Am I still fighting? Or to use a football analogy/phrase ,”Am I leaving it all on the field?”      

        If you are anything like me, you often find yourself “marred by dust and sweat and blood…[coming] up short again and again.” Even since I started writing this post a week ago, I have been met by a few unpleasant surprises which have tempted me to despair. I have thought of this quote often and have asked God to keep me in the arena. I know that my will is weak when compared to some of the cruelties of life. It is only the strength of our supremely powerful God that can infuse my will with steel.    

      So without further ado, here is my “quote to live by:”

      “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt in speech “Citizenship in a Republic”

    May we all stay in the arena, for it is only there that we risk our hearts on a dream, that we excel, and that we realize our weakness and are inspired to reach up for strength from above.  

   Staying in the arena by His grace, 

   Lauren (and Caleb) Q.