I do my best to stay away from political issues. Most people have a hard time separating political opinion from Biblical truth, and I prefer to engage with people in a way that they can honestly evaluate the Truth of his Word. Even when I bring up the Travon Martin case or the motives of political candidates in trying to convince us they can relate to our way of life, my comments aren’t about what side of an issue I come down on but on a biblical principle involved. Not today.
The Texas law recently enacted and upheld by the 5th circuit of the U.S. court of appeals requires a doctor who will be performing an abortion to display an ultrasound on-screen and play audio of the heartbeat of the baby before the procedure can begin. If a woman chooses not the see or hear the ultrasound, the doctor is required to give a detail description of the baby to the mother.
To make it through tough events in life, we often convince people to view avoid the truth of the situation to make things easier. If someone is afraid of public speaking we tell them to imagine the audience in their underwear – or even nude. For someone escaping certain demise in some catastrophe by walking a thin line high above ground they’re told to avoid looking down. If they look down they’ll see the real danger and it will affect their ability to complete the task.
I am not happy about the emotional toll this takes on a mother struggling with a life and death decision. But that is precisely the issue at hand – life and death. The problem with seeing the baby and hearing the heartbeat is that is irrefutable evidence of the life that already exists within the mother. Whatever reasons a person may have for wanting to imagine the audience in their underwear or to ignore the danger of a slip high in the air, it pales in comparison to ending the life of the most innocent of people.
The fact is, the choice has not been taken from her; she’s just far more informed about the decision. There’s something about a heartbeat that makes the presence of life irrefutable. It is a powerful tool in clearing up confusion regarding the human status of the life inside her. If a child will be deprived of ever speaking in his or her words, at least let their hearts be heard in their own defense.
Many women have made the choice without having all the information. Some have decided to go ahead with termination despite hearing the heartbeats. The church’s proper response: grace. Let’s do what we can to save these children through reason, but be just as concerned with offering saving grace to their mothers no matter what decisions they’ve made.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13, NIV)