Let me introduce you to my daughter Mae; born 11 years ago at 37 weeks old to protect her life. Just a few days before this picture was taken I was at a stoplight and had a “white out” episode. I did not lose consciousness but knew I was in trouble. I put my car in park and waited to move until I could see well enough to pull into a parking lot and call for help.
My husband Ricardo rushed to where I was and phoned the OB/GYN who sent us to the hospital to monitor the baby. Thankfully her vitals were fine but because we were unsure what it was that caused the white out episode it was decided to put me on bed rest for three days and induce labor when Mae hit the 37 week mark. This is her at birth, weighing in at 6.0 pounds. Praise God!
The reason I share this with you is because I know from not only Mae’s birth story but also from the birth of our other two children and the six babies we lost in early pregnancy (3 ectopic & 3 miscarriages) that life is delicate and there are at times some really hard choices that need to be made.
The 3 ectopic pregnancies truly put my life at risk resulting in each of those pregnancies being terminated through medication or surgical removal of the fallopian tube. The tube is not a viable place to sustain life and once the baby gets to a certain size the tube will burst, cause hemorrhaging putting the mother’s life at risk and also ending the baby’s life.
Each time I found out about one of the ectopics I sobbed and pleaded with the doctor to somehow move the baby from the tube to the womb but it simply is not possible. You can probably imagine my joy of hearing and seeing the heartbeat of our baby growing inside of me and the devastation of being rushed to surgery only to awaken an hour later to the deafening silence in the surgical recovery room. There are no words.
I share this story in light of New York’s Reproductive Health Act which states, “The proposed law erases the current limitation on abortion in the state which is set at 24 weeks.” It goes on to say, “Every individual who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to choose to carry a pregnancy to term, to give birth to a child or to have an abortion.” From my perspective, the law is broad and is not based on aborting due to the mother’s life being at risk, but rather her emotional and mental state.
I simply cannot fathom how quickly things have shifted in the 12 years since my daughter was born. Delivering a baby at 37 weeks to protect its life to ending a baby’s life up to 37 weeks in order to preserve individualism.
As a follower of Jesus I can’t help but cry out to God and ask what can I can do. Each time I am pointed back to Scripture, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Isaiah 1:17
Brothers and sisters of the faith (myself included), let us not only fight for justice for these babies inside the womb, but let us also ask how we can do our part in caring for the orphan, for the birth families, for the foster and adoptive families, for the widow and the oppressed.
It’s easy to shout from the sidelines without skin in the game but the harder thing is to live out love, truth, justice and mercy from the trenches. Lord help us. What will we choose?