What Would this Life Have Been?
Granted, this is a controversial subject with strong feelings on both sides. However, many people have developed their position simply because an abortion makes things more convenient for those involved. They do so without a real concern for the child-to-be and the goodness that child’s life might bring into the world someday. Here we provide a broader perspective to such circumstances and identify important factors that should be considered before such a choice is made.
There are more than one million abortions performed in the United States every year. It is my belief that such acts are an aborting of “the goodness” that God would have delivered into the world through those lives. The words that follow support this point and remind us, once again, that the development of our life—as well as the development of “new lives” waiting to be born—is dependent on the choices we make.
Unborn children do not have a voice, but they are young members of our human family.
It is time to look at the unborn child and recognize that it is really a young human.
The Start of Our Journey
Most of us would quickly agree that life is, in fact, a journey. On that journey we pass through many stages…a prenatal period in our mother’s womb, then as a little baby, a growing child, a rambunctious teen, a motivated young adult, a maturing family member, and ultimately a senior citizen. There’s little question about the fact that life has stages similar to these and is an extended process. The real question is: When does this process—our life—actually begin?
"The American College of Pediatricians concurs with the body of scientific evidence that human life begins at conception—fertilization. Scientific and medical discoveries over the past three decades have verified and solidified this age-old truth." -- When Human Life Begins / American College of Pediatricians
"Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female blend."
-- Human Embryology and Teratology / Ronan O'Rahilly and Fabiola Müller
There are hundreds of other scientific/medical studies that support the points made above…that our life—inclusive of many of the characteristics obtained from each of our parents—begins at conception. Further evidence of this fact is revealed approximately nine months later when “the little one” appears looking very much like their mom and dad.
In other words, it is my belief that our life journey begins when we are conceived. The prenatal time is, in fact, the first stage of our life. We launch our life’s journey in our mother’s womb and, many years later, hopefully go on to accomplish important and worthwhile things with the life we were given.
Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
But Many of these Journeys Are Aborted
As stated previously, over one million young lives are aborted in the US each year. There are many reasons why women agree to do this, but few reasons that actually justify such a choice. Human Life International, the world’s largest global pro-life organization with an active network in nearly 100 countries, explains it this way:
“Many people believe that the primary reasons women have abortions are…to save their lives, or to improve their physical health, or because of rape or incest, or to avoid birth defects. In reality, these are the reasons for less than 1% of all abortions.”
Human Life International, based on information from government surveys, research performed by various medical journals, and related medical surveys by independent organizations, estimates that out of the one million plus abortions performed in the United States each year, the real reasons for them are as follows:
Alan Guttmacher, founder of the organization that became the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, conducted surveys over the years to determine the reasons women had for making the abortion decision. He found that the “top five” reasons—which comprised 83% of the respondents—provided by these women were as follows.
You can draw your own conclusion from the information presented above. It supports our belief that almost all abortions are done for the convenience of the parties that were involved in creating this “new life” in the first place. In other words, “don’t bother me and my life with this child.” For the individuals who make such choices, there seems to be no concern whatsoever about what this child could one day become, or what the child might accomplish with his/her life, or what goodness the child’s life might someday deliver to people in need.
How many physicians, scientists, teachers, pastors, missionaries, statesmen, musicians, businessmen, and notable contributors to society have been murdered in the womb?
Where Is God in All of This?
I believe, as many people do, that every child is “a blessing from God” and that the life that was formed at conception was blessed by God with a special purpose or reason for being here. So, this brings us to an important question: When does God’s spirit enter our lives and begin to guide and be a part of us?
This one is more difficult to answer as it is dependent more on personal beliefs than on statistics or scientific facts. However, the answer is very important, so I have decided to explain my view here. Again, these are my beliefs about God’s spirit and how it “works” in our lives…you have to decide if they are yours as well.
I don’t believe that God works through lightning bolts or modern day miracles. Instead, I believe that God works though people and that each of us is here equipped with a purpose—that is reflected in our interests, skills and feelings—to help others in some special way. The doctor who helps us stay healthy, the teacher who helps us gain knowledge, the plumber who helps us have hot water, and the neighbor
who checks on us when we are older are all examples, in my view, of God working through people to help people in some way. As such, I believe that:
God’s Spirit is with us from moment one…
It just doesn’t make sense to me that we would have to do anything special to “request” God’s presence in our lives (as many religious denominations require). Given the abundant love that God’s spirit represents, I believe that the decision to enter our lives is God’s decision and takes place when we are conceived. This doesn’t mean that we will “come out” into the world absolutely perfect, but it does mean that God’s spirit is with us from “moment one” as we start our journey.
God has a purpose for our life…
Second, it is my belief that we are pre-equipped with a God-given “purpose” for our lives. As such, we develop special interests, abilities, and feelings to help us carry out that purpose and help others in some special way. If we pay close attention to these interests, abilities, and feelings, at some point our purpose will become clear to us. To “oversee” this process, I believe that God’s spirit is with us from the very beginning and will always be with us as we work to develop the life that has been given to us. Dr. Josiah Gilbert Holland, the physician and writer, explained these circumstances this way:
God puts special instruments into every person’s hands
by which to make themselves and achieve their mission.
But God Doesn’t Control Our Choices
As we live our lives, the results of our life-development process remain dependent upon the choices we make. In other words, we can enhance the interests, abilities, and feelings that God has given to us and actively engage with God’s spirit within us, or we can hinder that influence, slow things down significantly, or even block out God’s “intentions” for our life completely by the choices we make. We don’t seem to realize that our choices have the power to interfere with God’s spirit as well as our coming to understand the intended purpose for our life. But, in fact, they do.
In summary, it is my belief that we have a very important “partner” accompanying us on our life journey. I believe that God’s spirit is with us from the very beginning and continues to be with us…no matter what. We didn’t have to ask for it, we didn’t have to be a member of a certain group to “qualify” for it, we didn’t have to do something special to earn it. It has been a part of our lives from the moment we were conceived…and always will be.
Let's Be Honest about Fairness
The point I’m trying to make here is that an abortion is not simply the cleaning out of a “mass of flesh” from inside of someone. It is the curtailment of a life and the termination of a partnership between God and a developing human being. I believe that God has equipped this conceived child with the “seeds” of interests, skills, and feelings that will have the opportunity to develop further during their lifetime subject to the personal choices this individual makes.
I believe that, once conceived, everyone should have the opportunity to live out their lives and make the choices that will allow them to become the person they were intended to be.
We fight so hard for fairness and equal opportunity in the United States these days. But what could possibly be fairer than to give someone the opportunity to live their life? What could possibly be more important than to give a developing human being the opportunity to become the person that God intended them to be? It just doesn’t make sense to me why anyone would “fight for fairness and equal opportunities” for individuals who are already in this world and not do the same for those individuals who soon will be.
The Spirit of Goodness
I have talked about God’s spirit in this posting and the role I believe it plays in our lives. Clearly, it can be the most important “ingredient” in our lives if we acknowledge its presence and support it with good and effective choices.
I want to make one additional clarification concerning this perspective about God’s spirit. This may be obvious to most of our readers, but it is this: God’s Spirit leads us, influences us, and motivates us only to do good things. It is a loving influence that not only helps us “think our best way through” difficult times, but, equally as important, motivates us to do good and helpful things for others.
As such, God’s Spirit…
…never influences us to do something bad or marginal.
…never leads us to harm someone in any way.
…never leads us to take advantage of someone.
…never urges us to say bad or hurtful things.
…never influences us to mislead someone.
…never asks us to intentionally make someone feel bad.
…never calls us to withhold when we can help.
As a result of the way God’s spirit works in our lives, I have elected to refer to it as the Spirit of Goodness. We certainly need more goodness in our country and in the world right now. It’s important that each of us listens more closely to the Spirit of Goodness within us and as we work to do our part to help others have better and more enjoyable lives.
Live in such a way that if people should see you
they could see God’s goodness in you.
A “New Life” Brings New Responsibilities
It takes two people—a man and a woman—to create a new life.
If they want to be absolutely certain that they will not create a new life together, they should abstain from sexual activity. That’s a basic choice that every one of us can make. Additionally, there are literally hundreds of birth control options—including pills, shots, jells, and prophylactics to name a few—that can be used to prevent a pregnancy.
But, regardless of the circumstances, should a new life result from such activities, the two individuals involved must take 100% responsibility for bringing this new life into the world and doing everything within their power to give him/her the opportunity to live a meaningful and effective life. Anything less than that, in my opinion, is the absolute worst choice a person can make…one that they will likely remember and regret for the remainder of their lives.
So, Which Is Your Choice?
There have been more than 61 million abortion procedures performed in the United States since 1973. Not only did each one of these procedures end a human life, but it also curtailed an opportunity for that individual to fulfill their intended purpose and use their life to help others in some special way. Just think how much good could have been done by these 61 million individuals if their lives had not been taken from them.
So, which is your choice?
Will you be one who supports abortions and the right to terminate a developing life just because it’s going to inconvenience someone?
Or, will you be one who stands up for the unborn child and their right to live out the life they have been given…to realize how their future interests, skills, and feelings will potentially help others and make the world a better place?
Which choice will you make?
By Michael L. Nelson
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