Now, I have never needed to be convinced that the right way to be is to be pro-life. I have simply always been pro-life. Still, it can’t hurt to hear some new insight or encouragement from others.
A few years ago, my father commented on one of his favorite pro-life bumper stickers. That bumper-sticker phrase has stuck with me. The phrase is very truthful: “if it’s not a baby, then you’re not pregnant.”
Not only is such a phrase truthful, but it is very commonsense and simple – or at least should be. Now, there are those who will disagree with me, and may even express such disagreement right here on this forum. So, for the people who disagree, I have to ask: if what is in the mother’s womb is not a baby, what is it?
I stand by this phrase because that’s what women become pregnant with: babies. Some may make an argument that I have heard before: that they believe the unborn child is merely a “potential” human being, and that “it” will become an actual human being when born.
I have a problem with that, though. I am in no way saying that women who menstruate an unfertilized egg, or men who ejaculate sperm, are wasting or destroying human life. I have been asked if I think that way before, and I always answer that I do not, and that it would be silly to think so. But to me, if we’re going to talk about “potential,” the only potential is for the sperm to fertilize an egg. Once the egg is fertilized, there’s no more potential. A new life has now been conceived.
Men and women have sex for reasons other than procreation – this I am aware of. Even when birth control is not used, the sperm does not always fertilize the egg. In fact, when you think about it, it does seem pretty miraculous how we come to be. I also am in no way saying that sex has to create babies to be meaningful. For the purpose of my main point in this article, however, from a purely reproductive level, if the sperm does not fertilize an egg, then nothing has happened. The potential was there, in that the act that creates babies occurred, but no baby was actually conceived if the sperm did not fertilize the egg to bring about a baby and continue the process.
Should the sperm actually make it to the egg, and should fertilization occur, something truly amazing happens, though. Whether I’m trying to have a debate or a simple conversation, my fascination with conception is best summed up by a statement from National Geographic‘s “In the Womb“:
Once within the egg wall, the sperm’s nucleus is drawn towards the egg’s. The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception, when an individual unique set of DNA is created. A human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.
Something so out of the ordinary has been created, and this new life is not just some parasite or “thing.” If a woman has sex, but she gets her period, well then she’s not pregnant. If she misses her period, though, and she has a positive pregnancy test, and she shows other signs of symptoms as her changing body prepares for pregnancy, well then in nine months she is going to give birth to the baby growing and developing inside her womb.
While in my senior year of college, when I was in choir, we had a guest conductor. He was a very interesting man who taught music at a Christian college. I was able to get the sense that he was Christian, and most likely pro-life.. He did make some statements about God, but being that we were many schools gathered to perform Mozart’s Requiem, it understandably was not the place for a guest conductor to get into a discussion about pro-life viewpoints. However, he did like to make an interesting and repeated comparison when he told us that pitch was like pregnancy: you either have the pitch/are pregnant, or you don’t/aren’t.
So let’s be real here. If this new creation is not a baby, what else is inside a mother’s womb? Elephants are pregnant with elephants, dogs are pregnant with dogs, and humans are pregnant with human babies. A mother either is pregnant with a baby or is not pregnant with anything at all. Let’s treat babies in the womb as they are and call them what they are. And another favorite pro-life phrase of mine applies here as well. An unborn baby is “not a potential life, but a life with potential.”