By Amanda Idleman, Crosswalk.com
You may have seen yard signs, t-shirts, or bumper stickers that proclaim a person's undying faith in science. As believers, we are truth seekers. The Bible teaches that he is the way, truth and life (John 14:6). Truth is of the utmost importance to God. He calls the Devil a liar (John 8:44), and God desires that we are protected from the lies of the enemy that seek to steal hope from our world.
Science is the careful study of God's creation. By definition, it is intended to be the unbiased pursuit of truth. I think this is why so many follow scientists with such passion. We all are looking for solid ground to build our lives on. Sadly, the media, political agendas, the scientific process, and human limitations make it hard to find a completely unbiased study of our world by scientists. The reality is that God is truth because he is the only one that holds the full knowledge of the nature of his creation. Trusting any other entity with our lives will inevitably fall short because every human invention has shortcomings, even science.
Nonetheless, science is valuable and can be something that adds to our wisdom. We can learn about God, his world, and his nature, and even ease some of the human suffering in our fallen world with the tools the science has given us.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the science that has unlocked many of the mysteries of human development that happens in the womb gets a win. The medicine, technology, and data just weren't the same when the arbitrary line of viability was determined to exist by the courts. When Roe v. Wade was implemented, judges and political figures decided to say they were the authority on when life began to count, with little science to back their political view. Now we know so much more, and taking power away from the central government and handing it back to states to look at the science to decide when life is worth protecting is a much more compassionate way to handle this complex issue.
Here are a few scientific facts we now know to be true about babies that are in utero:
At 5 weeks of pregnancy, just at the time you may discover you are with child, a heartbeat can often be heard with an ultrasound. At week six, a baby's head and spinal cord already begin to develop; at seven weeks, a baby's brain and limbs begin to form, and by the end of the first trimester, which ends at week 12, the baby has arms, fingers, toes, and all its organs. From this point on, it just continues to grow, but all the pieces that make them a person exist inside its mother.
As early as 16 weeks, babies can see light outside their mother's belly. Amazingly at 18 weeks, the baby can begin to hear sounds like it's mothers heartbeat. The connection between these lives is being built, as the baby will need its mother to survive long beyond those cozy months inside her body. At around 20 weeks or as early as potentially 12 weeks gestation, a baby can feel pain in utero. The bottom line is that life is thriving in utero.
The science clearly shows us that there is more than an unfeeling blob of flesh that makes up a fetus. Human life begins in the womb. Realistically an infant cannot survive inside or outside a womb without the loving care of others for a long time. While it is undoubtedly a sacrifice given by all mothers to be the vessel for life to be able to grow, it is a sacrifice we fully expect adults to make once a child is in the world. We spend endless resources as a culture on education and have laws in place that criminalize abuse and neglect.
No science says a growing life with all the parts that make humans intact does not deserve to be cared for by its parents. Just because the baby's pain is masked by the protective shield of a mother's skin, it does not make it any less real. Science tells us that the life growing inside is connected with its mother and outside world from just a few weeks into its gestational period.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we rejoice because science has taught us so much about the mysterious beginnings of life is realizing a victory. Science has given us a much greater appreciation of the tiny life that begins in the womb. It has given us the chance to marvel at God's creative power and divine touch that instructs these tiny cells to grow and grow into a person. This knowledge can help mothers see how vital their role is in caring for their offspring, even during the early months of pregnancy. Science has helped us learn how to be more compassionate to the unborn and find the truth that life, even at its beginning stages, is dynamic.
As a mother to three biological children and a soon-to-be adoptive mother of a boy whose story would inspire every pro-choice advocate to push his birth mother into aborting him, I know firsthand the sacrifice of carrying life into this world. With my three biological kids, I endured pain, sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, fear, alongside joy as I carried them into this world. I fully appreciate the sacrifices mothers make of themselves to bring children into this world. We learn in Genesis that the struggle of childbearing is part of the entrance of sin and death into this world. This knowledge helps us understand why abortion has gained cult-like support in our culture, despite the science that points to the existence of humanity in the womb.
In the case of my adoptive son, I am forever grateful for his mother's willingness to bring him into this world. I hope to one day share with her what a gift she has given the world through the sacrifice of 10 months of incredibly hard work of supporting life.
If these are the children we are chanting that abortion is the right choice for, I wholeheartedly disagree. He is perfection, joy in baby form, and our world is so much better with him in it - even with the trauma and sadness that will always be a part of his story. The better part of this could-be-tragedy is a story about redemption, joy, grace, mercy, and love that covers his life.
With this change in the law, I rejoice because there will be more stories like his of children sacrificially brought into this world by beautiful birth mothers that are then nurtured by a community. The bottom line is that each of these children will have a voice, a chance to tell their story. What is more precious in this life than the chance to be?
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/petrunjela
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.