Sanctity of Human Life Day
It’s been forty-seven years since Roe v. Wade cleared the Supreme Court. Today is the day set aside to honor those babies whose lives have been lost since then.
The following is an article I wrote several years ago for an ezine “For the Unborn.”
“She’s beautiful.” My heartbroken patient gently caressed her stillborn daughter’s face. When her husband began weeping, I had to turn away, making a pretense of getting caught up on my paperwork as I blinked away tears of my own. As a labor and delivery nurse I usually deal with joyous families, welcoming their new little ones into the world.
I hate this part of my job. Grief is always heartbreaking, but it seems so mocking and scornful of the beauty of life on this unit of the hospital, where life is supposed to be beginning, not ending.
Later, as I head home after this tough twelve hour shift, I pass a local abortion provider and the sadness sweeps over me again. The same little life that was so grieved over today would be tossed into a “medical waste” bag here, with little thought for the preciousness of what is inside. “Lord, why? I know the women who enter those doors are panicky, broken people but if only they saw what I saw today.”
There is not one thing in all of creation that speaks of the wonder of God’s creation than a fragile, early-born baby. Whether the premature birth is due to death in utero or due to mom being unable to carry a child to term, they are still all so awe-inspiring to me. I confess that I get immune to the miracle that birth is sometimes, after 20-plus years of obstetrical nursing. These moments when moms caress their tiny bundles of joy remind me of the God who knits us together in our mothers’ wombs, who knows each hair on our heads.
I see their wee little fingers, sometimes already with fingerprints! I marvel at the veins that carry oxygen to every part of their body, more visible in the thin, fragile skin of preemies. I have listened as the neonate specialist explains to parents that their child’s in-utero circulation is different than their circulation after birth, due to the necessity of shunting nutrients through the placenta from mom to baby. Who is the One who orchestrated all of this? Why do we treat it as no significance when a pregnancy rocks our world? God forgive us, individually and as a nation, for allowing this, for condoning this, for treating it as a matter of “choice”.
Just as women change their minds regarding having an abortion when they see an ultrasound of their pre-born children, so they might change their mind if they lived through a miscarriage and grieved the loss of a young life. Not that I would wish that on anyone…
Just as Abby Johnson, director of a Planned Parenthood office, was appalled by what she saw when she had to assist with an abortion, I believe more women would reject this procedure if they could see what I see on a weekly basis in my job. Abby did a 360° turn by now fighting for the rights of unborn babies.
“Lord, for their to be more Abby Johnsons and less Wendy Davises, who (ran) for Texas governor and believes in unrestricted access to abortions for all women!”
This was (and still is) my prayer as I pulled into my driveway that evening after caring for that grieving family. That we all would have eyes to see the miracle of life!