Life Theology

Roe v. Wade and the Ultrasound of Our Second Baby

January 22 was the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. As Joe Carter at TGC writes, “To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Center for Reproductive Rights released a creepy video in which actor Mehcad Brooks attempts to humorously sexualize and anthromorphize the abortion-on-demand law.”

January 22 was also the day that my wife and I went to see an ultrasound of our second child. (I’m proud to say that our baby is a girl—our second.) It was surreal to think we are celebrating the life of a little girl, one we get to see through the common grace of modern technology, on the same day others are celebrating the slaughter of millions of little girls and little boys.

Today, our daughter is just over nineteen weeks old. Did you know that according to the latest statistics, 1.8% of abortions kill babies that are between 18-19 weeks? That is almost 22,000 people.

That’s 22,000 people who have their heart beating about 155 beats per minute.

That’s 22,000 people who have a 3 cm-long femur.

That’s 22,000 people who have two fully-functioning kidneys.

That’s 22,000 people who start to grow hair.

That’s 22,000 people who can taste, see, smell, and touch.

That’s 22,000 people who can hear their mommy talk and sing.

That’s 22,000 people who have the ability to suck their thumb, cross their legs, and push back when the ultrasound tech presses in.

Of course, there are nearly 1.21 million total babies each year—3,700 each day—in the United States who are killed. The majority (nearly 90% of babies), however, never get the privilege to develop this far. This right is stolen from them. If we remember anything from our childhood days, it should not be so, for “a person’s a person, no matter how small.”

In light of that, consider these four simple arguments from Scott Klusendorf that prove true Dr. Seuss’s wisdom. You can remember these arguments with the acronym S.L.E.D.

Size: True, embryos are smaller than newborns and adults, but why is that relevant? Do we really want to say that large people are more human than small ones? Men are generally larger than women, but that doesn’t mean that they deserve more rights. Size doesn’t equal value.

Level of development: True, embryos and fetuses are less developed than the adults they’ll one day become. But again, why is this relevant? Four year-old girls are less developed than 14 year-old ones. Should older children have more rights than their younger siblings? Some people say that self-awareness makes one human. But if that is true, newborns do not qualify as valuable human beings. Six-week old infants lack the immediate capacity for performing human mental functions, as do the reversibly comatose, the sleeping, and those with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Environment: Where you are has no bearing on who you are. Does your value change when you cross the street or roll over in bed? If not, how can a journey of eight inches down the birth-canal suddenly change the essential nature of the unborn from non-human to human? If the unborn are not already human, merely changing their location can’t make them valuable.

Degree of Dependency: If viability makes us human, then all those who depend on insulin or kidney medication are not valuable and we may kill them. Conjoined twins who share blood type and bodily systems also have no right to life.

When the day is done, abortion is killing babies. Not tissue or cells. Babies. They will not turn out to be anything else. They will not be birthed as trucks or frogs or trees or laptops or dogs. They are human. Babies.

This is terribly bad news. But there is good news. Don’t you long for some good news? The good news of the gospel is that God saves sinners. Everyone is a sinner—including those who have had abortions, supported abortions, and made creepy abortion videos. Also hear me say, this includes Christians who have been unmerciful and even nasty toward those who have aborted babies. This also includes me, the Christian blog writer, who needs Jesus more than you can imagine! The gospel is the good news that Jesus lived the kind of life we should have lived, in perfect obedience to God, died on the cross to pay the penalty for all our sins, and rose from the grave as proof that God accepted his payment. This is for everyone. All who come to Jesus receive hope, forgiveness, healing, and new life. All who cry out for mercy and grace will be heard.

They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons;
they poured out innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus they became unclean by their acts,
and played the whore in their deeds.

Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
and he abhorred his heritage;
he gave them into the hand of the nations,
so that those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them,
and they were brought into subjection under their power.
Many times he delivered them,
but they were rebellious in their purposes
and were brought low through their iniquity.

Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress,
when he heard their cry.
For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
He caused them to be pitied
by all those who held them captive.

Save us, O Lord our God!

(Psalm 106:37-47)