Did you know that life itself will be celebrated this Sunday, January 17?
In 1984 President Reagan issued a proclamation designating Sanctity of Life Day to be the closest Sunday to the day in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme court ruled that abortion would be legal in all 50 states.
One might think that celebrating life would be based upon all the good things in life. But this particular day was established as a way to remind the nation that death had taken thousands of lives.
The day itself, for those on the pro-life side of the issue, is really a somber awakening that our nation would choose death over life. It is a reminder that pro-life work is not complete. What began as hundreds and thousands of lives soon grew to be millions each year — a heartbreaking reality.
For those reading who consider themselves pro-choice, thank you for still reading. I want to share my thoughts and I hope not to offend you in the process. Obviously, my work at New Life Clinic is a dead giveaway that I fall on the pro-life side of abortion, but make no mistake – I believe everyone has a right to choose.
If you’ll stick with me, I hope to enlighten you on this very heated issue. We may not agree at the end, but I will choose to respect you as a human being and I will be thankful that we live in a country where dialogue is OK even when we’re on different sides of an issue.
To begin, the basic science of embryology tells us that at the moment of conception every molecule, every DNA strand, every chromosome needed to make a human being comes together to form a new life. This new life isn’t just a part of the mother, or a part of the father. This new life is a unique, one-of-a-kind individual who, although miniscule, will grow and develop into a single person unlike any other.
To me, this is something to take note of! I have three biological sisters, but we are each very different and unique in our own ways. Even twins, triplets, and multiples have their own personalities, looks, and characteristics that were established at the time they were conceived.
We know without a doubt, thanks to the advancements of ultrasound technology, that a fertilized egg is a fully-equipped, albeit tiny, human being. We can no longer rely on the argument that a fertilized egg inside the woman is just a clump of cells.
Knowing this, I have difficulty when the very popular argument, a woman’s body/a woman’s choice, overreaches and gives the woman sole authority over a life that is not her own. Though the embryo is residing inside her womb, it is a separate and unique life altogether. It came about from the culmination of the mother and the father, and should be regarded as such.
I do believe everyone has a right to choose. The power of choice is something human beings are afforded simply because we are human.
We are not controlled by our instincts and left to exist without reason. On the contrary, as human beings we get to choose how we live, how we interact with others, and what impact we are going to make on our world.
Our nation itself is founded upon this principle… liberty and justice for all.
How and when did we decide that a man’s right to choose is useless? Similarly, how did we decide that a newly formed life itself would have no rights?
My point is, choice is certainly something to be celebrated, but not at the expense of ending a life.
When a life is formed, it happens not because a man and woman decide to make it happen. Rather, it is dependent on unseen, underlying factors that can only be explained by a divine Creator.
It is not up to me, nor can it be, to choose when a life begins or when it stops.
To that end, when a life is formed, it is not up to mother or father to end it. But mother and father can and should most certainly choose how to steward that life. Choices must be made to ensure that newly formed life will have a say and be afforded every opportunity other human beings are given.
Isn’t that the bedrock of our great nation after all?
When a man and woman learn that they are pregnant, they will have significant decisions to make. Who will raise and care for the child? What environment will be the best for this new life? What changes will have to be made to accommodate for it? What resources will they rely upon for help?
You see, there is no lack for choice to be made. But every decision rests upon the fact that new life has been formed and something must be done to ensure its welfare.
If you are reading this article, thank goodness your life was not ended prematurely.
At the New Life Clinic, we rest on the scientific truth that life begins at conception. Each of us are here because we were created uniquely and bear the image of God.
We value every client, male and female, and our passion is to share truth about the unplanned pregnancy our clients are facing.
We walk through every pregnancy option and we believe when all three possibilities are laid before them (parenting, adoption, abortion) they will come to understand that their decision-making as new parents is so much more than they ever expected.
And we trust that they will make a choice they can live with.
Sherry Weller is Executive Director of New Life Clinic in Wilmington.
This weekly column is provided to the News Journal by members of the Wilmington Area Ministerial Association.