02 Aug Am I Not Good Enough to Live?
by Jennifer Johnson
On a field trip bus ride I overheard some friends debate the controversial topic of abortion. One friend’s personal comment made the topic real for me. This friend is gifted, smart, one of the most capable people I have ever met. Yet before his birth his parents were told that he would be born with problems and they were counseled to abort him. After relating his story, my friend asked the others who were listening whether his parents should have taken his life because he was not expected to be “normal.” All of a sudden, this topic that before had been so abstract to me became almost a little too close for comfort. I realized I never would have met my friend if his parents had not decided against abortion.
Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, there have been over 50 million abortions in the United States. Those are 50 million children who could have helped care for their aging parents. Those are 50 million adults who could have earned and spent money to stimulate the economy. Those are 50 million minds who could have worked on ending world hunger or curing cancer. Those are 50 million futures that got cut short.
All the compelling arguments for and against abortion come down to one question: “When does life begin? When does a developing person have a right to life?”
Within days of conception the cells start replicating and dividing, and within weeks, the fetus looks like a miniature baby with miniature organs. Only 22 days after fertilization, when some women still do not know they are pregnant, the fetus’ little heart beats for the first time. If the baby is carried to term, its heart will have already beat somewhere in the ballpark of 54 million times. Should something that develops so quickly and so miraculously be written off as having no right to continue growing and living? This little miracle has so much potential!
In an era when we talk vehemently about equal rights for all, are we willing to take responsibility for denying the right to life for millions of unborn children? And even if we agree that aborting the lives of the unborn is wrong, are we doing anything about it? We have heard it said that “[t]he only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
What can we do?
1. We can run for public office and get into the middle of the pro-life/pro-choice legislation debate.
2. We can get involved with pro-life organizations such as National Right to Life or United Families International.
3. We can promote the right to life via social media. (The Radiance Foundation has great memes, factsheets, and videos to share.)
4. We can become informed so that we can defend the right to life in our daily interactions.
Regardless of how we choose to do so, it is vital that we take a stand for those unborn victims who cannot yet defend themselves. We always seem to be able to find time to watch Netflix or get involved in social media, so why not take ten or fifteen of those minutes and get educated on this important topic? You and I can make a difference! And we just might save our future friends’ lives in the process.
Babycenter. (2015). Fetal development week by week. Retrieved from http://www.babycenter.com/fetal-development-week-by-week
Bennett, C. M. (2014, Janurary 26). Abortion’s unanswerable question: Who are we missing? Retrieved from http://liveactionnews.org/abortions-unanswerable-question-who-are-we-missing/
The Endowment for Human Development. (2015). Little one heartbeat calculator. Retrieved from http://www.ehd.org/pregnancy-heartbeat-calculator.php
Klusendorf, S. (2014). How to defend your pro-life views in 5 minutes or less. Retrieved from http://prolifetraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/FiveMinute1.pdf
National Right to Life. (2010, July). The economic impact of abortion: What do 50 million+ lost lives mean? Retrieved from http://www.nrlc.org/archive/Factsheets/FS04_MissingPersons.pdf
National Right to Life. (n.d.). Abortion statistics: United States data & trends. Retrieved from http://www.nrlc.org/uploads/factsheets/FS01AbortionintheUS.pdf
Quote Investigator. (2012, May 9). The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Retrieved from http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/12/04/good-men-do/
Radiance Foundation. (2011, April 1). Our future. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBFy45CwcL0
Jennifer is a recent Brigham Young University-Idaho graduate in Marriage and Family Studies. She will be starting graduate work at Utah State University this fall. She is passionate about learning and helping strengthen relationships, especially marital and family relationships.