By Bob Orleck
Mom and Dad felt the time was right to break the good news to Jessica, their 5-year-old daughter, that there was going to be a new addition to the family. They couldn’t wait much longer for Mom was beginning to show, and they knew how observant Jessica was. So, that evening at bedtime, they told her that “Mommy is pregnant and will be having a baby by summertime.” Jessica’s eyes got big and she started shouting, “Oh Mommy, oh Mommy” as she jumped around in apparent great joy.
When asked what she would like, a brother or a sister, she took some time but finally looked up at them with pleading eyes and said: “Mommy, if it won’t put you too much out of shape, could you have a pony?” What a laugh they had, but then the parents began to realize she was serious and, try as hard as they could, they could not get her to understand. She cried and objected and insisted she wanted Mom to have a pony, and that is the way the evening ended, as exhausted she fell asleep in Dad’s arms.
Months passed and Jessica’s insistence on Mom having a pony would not go away, so the concerned parents decided to have an ultrasound so Jessica could see pictures of the unborn child. When all was accomplished, in the evening toward bedtime, they tried again to explain and tell Jessica she would soon have a brother. Jessica listened intently, cocked her head as if trying to understand, and when they showed her the ultrasound picture, without hesitation, she squealed in a joyful voice, “Oh Mommy, it’s a baby, it’s a baby!” That is all it took to convince this little child that what the mother was carrying was a human. She saw and she believed.
In ancient days stargazers wondered at the heavens and what they beheld. What did they think when they noticed that some of those small heavenly night lights moved across the sky? Did they know that there was something special about those wandering lights? Did they know they were planets, or did they make something up, like it’s just some insignificant something up there that really isn’t important? They had enough to know these were celestial bodies that they wished they could see and someday maybe even walk on.
Considering the debate raging today on the humanness of a “fetus,” how would the ancients see that? Surely they didn’t even question what was happening in the woman’s body following mating. They had no way to see inside, but they knew when they saw that “baby bump.” Never would it enter their minds that it was just a piece of insignificant tissue. Do you doubt that if they could see the ultrasound pictures, that they would have been as thrilled as Jessica?
Modern man has come so far in the exploration of the heavens. Medicine has advanced as well, and doctors can even show us where children are conceived and grow. Telescopes allow us to explore the surfaces of planets, and with computers they can plot and plan “to boldly go where no man has gone before.” Why is it that with all the brain power and tools man has developed to accomplish amazing things, he is unable to admit that what he sees on that ultrasound picture right before him is a dependent human being just beginning life’s journey?
So, while ancient man wondered and was amazed, modern man knows, but denies and fictionalizes. Some say the fetus is just a piece of insignificant tissue, the removal of which is no big deal — no big deal except that this is human life, with unique DNA, its own blood type, and fingerprints like no other person who has ever lived. No big deal even when the ultrasound reveals the fingers, toes, eyes, ears and other human parts growing in there. No big deal that reveals this is not insignificant tissue or a part of the mother, but is a new life housed within her. Many of those mothers and fathers that bought this tissue-and-lack-of-humanity lie are now facing the truth that this tissue is no less than their own child. And with that realization comes the pain and guilt that will become their life-long companion.
H.57 is being sponsored by many lawmakers who are, themselves, mothers, fathers and grandparents, yet they want to enshrine into our statutory law — and maybe later even the Constitution — the right to kill a vulnerable, even perfect unborn child at any point up to delivery, for any reason or no reason at all. At least 80 percent of the public opposes such late term abortions unless it is for the purpose of saving the life of the mother. If they only knew that there is no clinical evidence that terminating the life of the fetus could save the life of a mother, they would be even more outraged today than they are. Many of the 700 or more pro-lifers who came to the capital recently to testify against H.57 know that so well. That was the reason they came to bear witness.
When a child is viable, the quickest and best way to remove the child, if the pregnancy is creating this risk for the mother, is by doing induced live delivery, or by caesarean section (C-section). In an emergency, a C-section can be done in two minutes. The dangers to the woman are much greater in a late term abortion that can take three or four days to complete than induced live birth or C-section. Dr. Anthony Levantino, an abortionist who has done over 1,200 abortions, testified that “the procedure … a D&E (Dilation and Evacuation)” is where “the abortionist uses clamps and forceps to dismember the baby piece by piece. Once all the body parts are removed, the abortion is complete. Late term abortions have a high risk of hemorrhage, lacerations and uterine perforations, as well as a risk of maternal death. Future pregnancies are also at a risk for loss or premature delivery due to abortion related trauma and injury to the cervix.”
According to former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, “When a woman is pregnant, her obstetrician takes on the care of two patients — the mother-to-be and the unborn baby. If, toward the end of the pregnancy, complications arise that threaten the mother’s health, he will take the child by inducing labor or performing a Caesarian section. His intention is still to save the life of both the mother and the baby. The baby will be premature. The baby is never willfully destroyed because the mother’s life is in danger.” That does not mean the child might not be put in jeopardy in the attempt to save the life of the mother, and death might result, but as the surgeon general said, “intentional killing is not necessary to save lives.”
The policymakers who have the power to use our system to improve on our ability to diagnose and repair any medical issues for the unborn, instead advocate for profit-motivated people to enter the womb with deadly instruments, causing untold pain and suffering as they rip and tear at this vulnerable human, pulling off legs, arms and destroying the very life they swore to protect.
Many of these lawmakers have dreamed the dreams of greatness in finding many cures for many diseases — remedies for a damaged planet, or an ability to grow food to feed an entire world. But with elective abortion, they put the most gruesome nightmare in the forefront of their lawmaking endeavors in Montpelier, as it is the primary issue talked about and deliberated on.
The same technology that has allowed man to rise to new heights in the exploration of the heavens, to seek out and find new life out there, fails to enable man to see and recognize the new and precious life that is right before their eyes in an ultrasound image. These deceived humans have made a “choice” — that choice is to ignore what they really see. We have heard an axiom that describes them: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” They need to open their eyes in simple truth, as little Jessica did when she declared that what was in her mommy was indeed a baby and nothing else.
Bob Orleck is a retired pharmacist and former Vermont assistant attorney general. He lives in Randolph.