In the early hours of June 25, 2013, I found myself doing something I could never have imagined. Lying back on my bed, I winced as a doctor inserted a catheter tube into my bladder. No, I wasn’t preparing for surgery. I was preparing for what I knew would be 13 hours on the Texas Senate floor in an attempt to kill a bill aimed at blocking women’s access to abortion.
But the story actually begins much earlier than that. It begins with my own abortion experiences: first in 1994, when I discovered I was carrying a pregnancy in one of my fallopian tubes, rather than my uterus, and again in 1996, when I faced the heartbreaking reality that my much wanted pre-born baby was suffering from an unsustainable neurological defect. These experiences settled somewhere deep in me, creating an even greater resolve than I’d had before that decisions about terminating a pregnancy belong to a woman, her partner, her doctor and her god. They do not belong to a bunch of politicians using women’s bodies as a wedge issue to gain votes.
Knowing that the 2013 bill before the Texas Senate would almost assuredly close off access to abortion for women in the rural and southern portions of my state, I gathered that resolve and headed to the Capitol, catheter in place. I was greeted there by signs my friends from Planned Parenthood had passed around that read “Stand With Wendy.” Two years and two months later, I proudly “stand with Planned Parenthood” and the women and men it serves, as it faces extremists in the U.S. Congress who are on a mission to defund it.
I am a physician. I have been trained to protect and preserve life. Since medical school, I have delivered many babies, though the bulk of my training and practice is in pediatrics - the care of babies and children. As one who loves children (my wife and I have six), I speak today on behalf of children - children of all ages: Toddlers, babies and especially those little pre-born humans who today reside inside their mothers or who later will be received and delivered (or murdered).
During the months leading to the Emancipation Proclamation, President Lincoln repeatedly discussed the matter with his cabinet. During one difficult discussion, he asked: “Gentlemen, how many legs does a sheep have?” Each man answered correctly, “Four, Mr. President.” He proceeded, “Let’s call his tail a leg. Now how many legs?” Each man replied, “Five, Mr. President.” Mr. Lincoln retorted, “Nope, still only four. Just because we call it a leg doesn’t make it one.”
Mr. Lincoln’s wit and wisdom speak to our present day confusion about abortion. Let me explain.
Abortion is murder. Each abortion snuffs out an innocent human life. Tragically, doctors have deceived the American public. Referring to unborn babies as “fetus,” “embryo,” or “zygote,” may be scientifically correct, but does not change the fact: These little ones are little human beings. Though called “parasite,” “blob,” or “tissue,” give each wee creature about 266 days after conception and see what emerges from his mother’s womb. It will be a human baby, not a zebra, a trout, frog or an orangutan.
Remember Mr. Lincoln. Don’t be deceived by folks (even doctors) who call a tail a leg - or humans anything but humans. When a human egg and a human sperm unite, the resulting individual is simply human. Given time, nutrition and protection, he or she will grow to maturity. Calling abortion a “termination” or “evacuating the uterus” doesn’t change its reality as murder-slaughtering a human being with premeditated malice.
Some Comments Comical
Were it not tragic, some abortion comments could be comical. A previous guest writer on this page, Dr. Harrison, said the unborn baby is “a parasite without feeling, thought, or experience… the fetus simply does not have the things required to feel pain…”
But nerves are in place by six to eight weeks after conception. The chemicals necessary to send messages over nerve pathways to the brain are present by 12 weeks. Ask yourself - if you were stuck, pinched, grabbed, cut or crushed, how would you react? You likely would squirm, thrash, try to escape or fight. Your blood pressure would go up; your pulse would speed up.
That’s how pre-born babies respond. Before being cut to pieces, sucked apart, chemically killed, or otherwise abused (to death), these little humans struggle, seeking to escape the destruction. In my opinion, abortionists have forfeited the privilege to be called “physicians”, for they have abandoned the responsibility of acting like physicians.
What about rape? What about incest? These horrors defy descriptive condemnation. They represent the least human and most selfish acts imaginable - along with murder - and they deserve swift and severe punishment. A woman or girl abused by rape or incest should be seen promptly, evaluated with compassion and treated appropriately to prevent conception. Should pregnancy occur, the tragedy should not be compounded by another crime: Murdering the baby.
Rape and incest deserve one further note: They (thank God) represent a relatively uncommon cause of pregnancy - and figure in less than 2 percent of abortions. The other 98 percent are done for the sake of convenience (not that of the baby). Abortion represents the most common surgical procedure performed in America today. Enough human lives are snuffed out each day to populate Mena, De Queen, or Fordyce. Each week, abortionists slaughter a group of babies equal in number to the population of Springdale or El Dorado.
One more tragedy - often delayed and overlooked - concerns the mother of the aborted baby. I have cared for and counseled such women - women who find it difficult to live with an awakened conscience. Though duped, squelched or ignored, a conscience awakened to reality may produce guilt, grief and pain. Even with the reality of forgiveness, the scars may produce long-standing consequences.
One last ‘leg-tail’ deserves comment. Can you remember folks saying, “Don’t push your morality on me!” when foes of abortion challenge its practise? Most folk appreciate our society’s restrictions on rape, robbery, assault and murder - and those restrictions are based on morality, as is every aspect of our lives, whether collectively or individually.
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I’m convinced that moral absolutes exist. My convictions as a Christian and as a physician include the sanctity of human life. If each individual human (including unborn babies) does not have worth, if we do not acknowledge our responsibility to care for the unwanted and the defenseless, we will find our collective path ending at the ovens of Auschwitz, the Gulags of Siberia, or the Abortion Chambers of America.
…a family of five, mom, dad, a 6-month-old, a 3-year-old, and a 10-year-old. The family has always been low-income, and has always had trouble making ends meet.
One day, the parents are both laid off from their jobs. Work is hard to come by in their town, and they know many well-qualified people who have been looking for work for months. They’re not sure how they’re going to pay their bills this month, much less for the next few until one or both of them can get a new job.
Which one of their children should we kill in order to make their money stretch until they can get new jobs?
Wait, what? It’s not okay to kill any of their children?
How, instead, should we help that family? By offering them support and helping the parents find jobs, right?
In that case, if you use financial reasons as a justification of abortion, you’re saying something about the nature of the pre-born baby that makes abortion okay, not about the woman’s situation.
So unless you think it’s okay for the family above to kill one of their children to make ends meet, let’s talk about whether the pre-born is a living member of the human race. That’s how we’ll decide whether abortion is okay.
Sorry, but you're a guy, and I'm assuming because of that you don't have a uterus. You will never carry a child. How DARE you dictate what people being put in that situation may or may not do with their bodies? God is ASHAMED of you for putting THEIR lives in danger. Pregnancy is not all sunshine and sparkles. Sometimes things don't go right that endanger the baby and/or the mother. The government does not adequately look after poor mothers. Think about those people, God help you.
I’m sorry, are you saying guys can’t look after or seek to protect pre-born humans? That babies are a women’s responsibility only? Men can absolutely stand up for innocent children who are in danger.
We’ve got an AMAZING Christian organization that set up shop right across the street from Planned Parenthood called “Alternatives.” They help new mothers with clothing, diapers, formula, ultrasounds, std screening, adoption, counseling and parenting classes.
Every city in America has a community of people that want to help women in crisis. There are options. Abortion isn’t a good idea.