Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Heartbeat

The Heartbeat

A baby is formed. From the moment of conception its genetic makeup is complete. It’s sex; eye, hair, and skin color; facial features, and body type are already decided. Though it starts out as a tiny single-celled entity, within days it grows into a multiple-celled organism almost resembling a tiny raspberry. Then, just three weeks after conception, its brain, spinal cord, heart, and other organs begin to form. It is as if a supernatural force is knitting it together, forming a wonderful being in the womb. On the fourth week after conception it begins to show human characteristics. It develops basic facial features, and tiny stubs soon become its legs and arms. Its heart is beating now, the tiny fluttering a testament to life.

The baby grows rapidly and takes human form. Remarkably, by the time of the eleventh week after conception, the baby is fully human in appearance . . . even down to the tiniest detail of its fingernails. All the while its heart is beating, now at a rhythmic pattern of more than two beats per second. The little pulsating muscle can be seen through an ultrasound, and if you are lucky, you can even hear the heartbeat with a fetal Doppler. The steady thrumming of the heartbeat, like the smooth clatter of a galloping horse, is a beautiful sound—the very song of life.

This living miracle flourishes in the place where it is safest: the womb of its mother.


The woman who carried this tiny, amazing life, conflicted up until a few days ago, had put the procedure off for far too long. She wondered why it had taken her this long to finally confirm the course of action she was now taking. The tissue inside her had been forming for about eleven weeks; her problem was becoming serious. Termination of the pregnancy was the only course of action she could take to fix this problem.

She remembered how angry her boyfriend had been when he learned she was pregnant. He had told her immediately that he wanted her to get an abortion, and though he left the decision up to her, the would-be mother knew what would happen if she decided to let the baby be born. She could not face raising a child alone. The only other option would be to carry the baby to term and put it up for adoption—an idea she had discounted immediately. She had a career to keep, after all, and being reduced to waddling around months before the birth date would be a serious nuisance, if not a debilitating blow, to that career. No, abortion was the only option that made sense.

Now she waited, alone, in the ward before the procedure. Her hand fell instinctively to her stomach, but just as quickly she removed it with something close to distain. For some reason, touching her now slightly bulging stomach gave her a strange sense of comfort, strange since that same bulge was the reason for all her troubles. Perhaps it was this weird sensation that had caused her to ask to see the ultrasound scans the doctor had taken to confirm her pregnancy. The pregnancy was confirmed, of course, but the nurse had refused to let her see the scans. “It would just disturb you unnecessarily” was the nurse’s explanation for this refusal. The would-be mother had let it go at that, though she wondered why she would be disturbed at seeing a bunch of tissue.

A bunch of tissue . . . that is what she had been told it was. It was not a baby, let alone a human life. The tissue would only become human when it could survive being born. Until then it was essentially just another part of her body and, as such, could be removed at her discretion. The would-be mother accepted this reasoning without question. It was much easier to carry out an abortion with this view, for sure, than the alternative.

The time came. The pregnant woman was moved down the hall to the surgery room by the doctor, who reassured her of the routineness and effectiveness of the procedure. As they shuffled along, a song of life still thrummed in steady rhythm from inside the woman, unaware that it would soon be snuffed out. They reached their destination, and the woman was readied for the termination of her pregnancy. Within minutes the doctor was cleared to begin, and he deftly did his work. This was a very quick and customary procedure; he had performed it a thousand times. The tissue was soon removed from its bearer, the little miracle sucked out like so much goop.

As the baby was ripped from the safe confines of its mother’s womb, its heart quivered and beat one last time before growing still. And where once a tiny chorus of life had played, there was only emptiness.
Friends and family, as Christians, we should be appalled by abortion. To think that such tiny, precious human lives could be so mercilessly ended should enrage us. Not only should we be appalled, but we should take action. That is why I am inviting all of you to join the 40 Days for Life national campaign that starts tomorrow. In their own words, "40 Days for Life is a focused pro-life campaign with a vision to access God’s power through prayer, fasting, and peaceful vigil to end abortion." From September 25 (tomorrow) through November 3, one of these forty-day campaigns will be set in motion. 
 For our family and to me personally abortion is a big deal. When it was learned that my mom was carrying quadruplets, a nurse was quick to hand my parents a business card to the nearest abortion clinic and said "here, they can take care of it." To most people the thought of actually having quads was horrifying. Who would want four "burdens" to deal with? If I did not have such wonderful, godly parents, it is quiet possible that I or any of my wombmates could have been murdered. I for one am committing myself at the very least to pray every day for the next forty days towards the end of abortion. Will you join me?
To learn more about 40 Days for Life, click this Link: http://40daysforlife.com/about.cfm

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