Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Saving Babies One by One

"Will I go to hell if I have an abortion?" the young woman sitting across from my wife asked. This was the woman's first question, and it was obvious she was leaning toward abortion. But she had some doubts, and she knew it wasn't right.

My wife shared the facts of fetal development with her and explained the abortion procedures along with their risks using the crisis pregnancy center's medically-accurate literature. At the end of the discussion, the young woman decided to make an appointment later in the week for an ultrasound. By the time she returned for the ultrasound, she had decided to keep the baby.

My wife and I are thrilled that she had a part in saving this precious child's life and guiding the mother away from the devastating decision to kill her child. But these life-giving decisions happen every day at crisis pregnancy centers across the country.

Legislative changes are crucial, but as we work for those changes, remember that minds are changed, hearts are won, and lives are saved one by one.

Wesley Wilson

Wesley Wilson is the President of Let Her Live, a tax exempt 501(c)(3) SC nonprofit corporation dedicated to saving babies by showing the beauty and value of life to women considering abortion. Please learn more about the Let Her Live targeted pro-life billboard campaign. Donations are tax deductible.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Value of Human Life Comes from Its Source

My wife and I recently had the privilege of attending the National Right to Life Convention in Kansas City. Wesley J. Smith explained some of the common lies and deceptions used to support embryonic experimentation, including embryonic stem cell research. (Read his blog to stay informed on these issues.)

Smith said that whenever pro-life people debate life issues, we always reach an irreconcilable difference with our opponents over the core question of what makes a human life valuable.

Does a human life have the same worth while a blastocyst (young embryo) as it does during later stages of development or in childhood? Does that human life deserve the same protection in a test tube or incubator as in its mother's womb. Is human life as precious when an injury prevents swallowing, requiring the person to be fed through a feeding tube?

In short, what is valuable about human life?

Although there may be pro-life atheists, the pro-life movement bases its view of human worth and dignity on the Bible's account of creation. God made humans as a unique creation, distinct from animals. He later gave commandments concerning the importance of human life--anyone who takes another's life forfeits his own. From the biblical perspective, all human life is sacred and worthy of protection from the moment of fertilization until natural death. This foundation unites Protestants, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims on the issue of life.

The anti-life crowd has no such standard. Life is worth protecting if it meets a certain level of "quality." The minimal quality of life is, of course, never defined, which suits moral relativists fine. To some, human worth depends on physical ability. A person who is substantially disabled consumes more than he produces, so he is expendable.

To others the quality of a person's life depends on his reasoning ability. Smart people are more valuable than dumb ones, and those below a certain IQ should be discarded.

To those who deny God, there is nothing better about human life than animal life. In a written debate on this subject, the person I debated wrote:
It is perfectly fine to terminate the life of a being without self-awareness. If the being had self-awareness beforehand, and is likely to attain it again then it is most ethical to keep the body alive until the self-awareness is reattained.
After further questioning he wrote:
I'm not versed enough in cognitive science or developmental science to determine at what point a human's mind is turned on.
So the value of a life depends on its mental abilities, whether human or animal. We've seen where this arbitrary valuation of life leads in the state-sponsored eugenic horrors of the twentieth century. But for centuries disabled and retarded people faced neglect and cruel abuse until Christians took them in and cared for them. Not surprisingly, the same people often took in abandoned infants.

We will never agree with our opponents on what makes life valuable. We have a consistent unwavering position. Theirs is subjective.

In the debate on the value of life, let's not get pulled into debating quality of life. If we abandon the sanctity of life and fight on their terms, we lose, because our arguments are not based on absolute truth.

Let's never be ashamed to declare that the value of human life comes from its Creator.

Wesley Wilson

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Book Review: Like Always

by Robert Elmer

(WaterBrook Press; 978-1-4000-7165-4; PB; 308 pages)

"You wish Will didn't have to worry so much, and that it was just like it always was when our kids played together and we had barbecues on the back patio and Easter egg hunts in the Abells' backyard." (p. 224)

For Merit Sullivan how can life ever be Like Always when her husband Will trades his secure job of a lifetime in the Bay area for a dream to operate a rundown resort in the wilderness of Idaho? When her son Michael returns from Iraq an emotionally wounded stranger? When she finds out in one day that she's pregnant and has an aggressive form of leukemia?

Suddenly Merit is alone in holding onto a tiny life that puts her own at greater risk. Never spiritually strong, Will is struggling to support her and leans on the pastor of the local church. Her estranged sister Sydney, a cat-loving vegetarian New Ager, attacks men in general, Will in particular, and the church for Merit's decision to keep the baby and put off treatment. Michael and her two young daughters seesaw between hope and despair.

Merit finds help and friendship in young Stephanie Unruh, the local pastor's daughter. So does Michael.

After someone leaks Merit's story, the national press descends on Kokanee Cove. Life is certainly not like it always was. But does God have something better in mind?

Rita Fedrizzi, a forty-one-year old Italian woman who found she was pregnant and had cancer at the same time, inspired Robert Elmer to write Like Always. Fedrizzi rejected cancer treatment in order to give life to her baby.

Elmer takes us through the emotions and thinking of Merit, Will, Sydney and those around them. He describes the conflict, the pain, the misunderstandings, and the passions aroused by Merit's decision in a moving tale of courage, love, and selflessness. The author portrays the characters so realistically in their challenges, hopes, and fears that I found thoughts of them pursuing me throughout the day. Readers will not want to put this story down until they complete the journey with Merit and Will.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book. However, I did have one problem. The story alludes to a time of intimacy between Will and Merit the end of April being responsible for her pregnancy. But the baby is not born until Easter. This makes an eleven-month pregnancy. Other than this timing problem, it's a thoughtful, tender love story of a woman for her unexpected child, a husband for his wife, and two estranged sisters for one another. The timing does not change the issues involved.

Readers of tender heart may expect to shed a few tears.

Reviewed by Debbie W. Wilson, a human rights advocate, speaker, and author of Christy Award-winning thriller Tiger in the Shadows. Her weekly prayer list for the persecuted church can be found on the home page of Bound Together Ministries.

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