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Points to Ponder: "When We Have to Eat Our Words..."

Points to Ponder
"When We Have to Eat Our Words..."

Will it make us sick? Perhaps it's all in how you say it and in how you hear it.
The Associated Press reported that Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill to ensure that women and girls seeking abortions in Kansas are allowed to see ultrasound images or hear their fetus' heartbeat before the procedure (Source: Hagerstown Herald Mail, 3/28/09). When we had the ultrasound procedure just 10 weeks into our first pregnancy, Elizabeth (the "fetus") had a loud, strong heartbeat of 141 beats per minute. The sound echoed off the walls it seemed. And we saw her moving around. We didn't call her a fetus; neither did the nurses. We called the little being a baby.
Imagine the young married couple, excited to report that the pregnancy test was positive. They call friends and family and declare: "We're having a fetus!" "Is this your first fetus?" someone asked them. "Yes!" Suppose they were so excited that they went on and had the test to determine gender. "He's a boy!" they report excitedly. "So we're naming him Fred; Fred the Fetus." "Well, what about when they call him an embryo?" someone asks. They'd considered that possibility so they said, "It was a toss up between Emil or Bryan. Maybe we'd call him Emil Bryan."
Of course, this is silly, but it's simply following the underlying rationale for the freedoms we covet and want to defend. The only way we can do that is by avoiding the reality of what we're talking about and the consequences of ignoring the plain truth.
Fred, the fetus or Emil Bryan, the embryo are babies. I hear the science pundits defending evolution, the Big Bang, etc. claiming that we must deal with issues from the enlightened perspective which "good science" provides. Really? Science has proven that the complete genetic blueprint for one unique human being is in place and construction is underway at conception. In about 18 days, the heart begins to beat (wonder how it gets "turned on"?). In about two months fingerprints, the external identity code (unique to each person), have formed. Calling this individual a fetus or an embryo helps quiet the conscience if "having a baby" is not what you want to say.
I began pondering Governor Sebelius' decision when, that same week, I was at Borders browsing through Julie B. Carr's book Countdown to My Birth. Ms. Carr provides a day-by-day report from within the womb, as the baby reports on each step of the process, from conception to delivery. For a woman expecting a baby, this is a fascinating resource. It's as if the baby is sending a day-by-day memo in preparation for the great homecoming when Mommy and child will meet. Be it Fred or Fredericka, Emil Bryan or Emily Brio, how we do we deal with the issue of so-called "choice"?
It's a constitutional right to call him or her a "fetus" and decide to end that life; or one can say this is a baby, a person and get ready for the big day. What's the difference between these two scenarios? Semantics. One person's fetus is another person's baby.
When we talk about "choice," what are we really talking about? Will we ever honestly face the facts and have these discussions?
"For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb...Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them" (Psalm 139:13,16).

Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship of Clear Spring, MD. These articles (and sermons) are also found at Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am.

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