Friday, October 21, 2016

Not a Political Talking Point

This photo is of me and my friend Bonnie. When you start talking about the issue of late-term abortion, I hope you will remember her name and face.

Bonnie's birth mother attempted to abort her several months into her pregnancy, but God had His hand on her life and she survived. When she was born, she weighed less than 3 pounds and because of the attempted abortion, she now has cerebral palsy. One day, her adoptive mom was looking through an adoption magazine and saw a picture of a little girl with big brown eyes. After showing it to her dad, they both knew that she was meant to be their daughter. That little girl was Bonnie. When she was 2 1/2, her dad flew to Bangkok, Thailand to bring Bonnie home to Alaska to live with her forever family. She is now 27-years-old and such a joy and light to everyone blessed enough to know her. I count it a great honor to be friends with her. She is living with the choice her birth mother made for her. She had no say in what happened and the consequences she will bare the rest of her life.

Bonnie is literally the face of the pre-born babies our country has so easily and flippantly made a political talking point, especially over the last few days, since the last debate.

My friends, this isn't politics. This is real, beautiful, precious, irreplaceable, unrepeatable life.

When we're talking late-term abortion, that far along into pregnancy, the baby will need to be born, regardless of how he/she comes out. According to Lawrence K. Koning MD, "As an ob/gyn physician for 31 years there is no medical situation that requires aborting the baby in the third trimester to "save the mother's life." Just deliver the baby by c-section and the baby has 95+% survival with readily available NICU care even at 28 weeks. C-section is quicker and safer than partial birth abortion for the mother."

I know that many people cite the extremely rare stories of babies with fetal abnormalities, who are unexpected to live, as a reason for having accessible late-term abortion.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, most late-term abortions are performed "for reasons similar to those given by first-trimester abortion patients: financial stressors, relationship problems, education concerns or parenting challenges."

I am not saying that the circumstances some families face are not tragic and heartbreaking. These families need to be loved on and supported, but late-term abortion is not how we do that. We need to teach people that as abortion survivor Gianna Jessen said, "some things we can only learn from the weakest among us." The weak, vulnerable, and those considered "less than perfect" by society are precious and do not need to be weeded out. Have you met a baby with Down-Syndrome or a child with Autism? They bring needed light to this world. Someone's value is not measured in accomplishing something remarkable in the eyes of the world. Each human life is precious because of being created in the image of God.

It is God who gives and God who takes away. My friend Stacy's daughter Rachel was born with anencephaly, a condition where a baby is born without a fully developed brain. She carried Rachel to term and allowed the Lord to have His will in her life and death. And in the process, taught their entire family, and many others, about love.

Another thought I have, is even if people have that "perfect" baby, who is to say they won't get in a car accident as a child, ending up paralyzed for life, or develop something unforeseen? Should children or adults be killed when we deem them less than perfect and we find that they aren't what we hoped they'd be and aren't contributing to society? Or when they end up suffering for some reason later in life? No! Of course not. So then why do we treat the pre-born with that logic?

When I think of late-term abortion, it makes my heart weep as I think of my little Lily, my cherished daughter, who passed away just before being born at term in 2010.

You see, these babies are Lily. Whether they are treasured like her (or your child) or not doesn't determine their worth or right to life. They are the same. They are her brothers and sisters of the womb. It makes my blood boil to think of their value being diminished, as if they aren't real, as if they don't matter.

Bonnie and I say we represent "both sides of the story," meaning she represents the face of the pre-born and I represent the face of the woman who has had an abortion (at 6 weeks, before I had my daughter, Lily). Our friendship displays the redemption God desires to work in both sides and how He has a heart of love and mercy for both and desires to reconcile the two sides. As all the world seems to be talking about abortion, may we not forget Bonnie's story and the stories of others like hers. May we not forget the mothers who regret their abortions. May we show the love and mercy of Christ and not condemn something the Lord forgave.

This is not a political talking point... for so, so many.

My Lily - I will spend my life sharing your value. Each one of your brothers and sisters in the womb are precious and irreplaceable and my heart aches for others to recognize this. I will never stop sharing... for Bonnie... for you... for them.


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