| Each day my
wife and I wear a little pin called the "Precious Feet" as a
witness to the sanctity of life. Perhaps you have seen someone wearing
the little feet and you have wondered what it is all about. I wanted to
take this opportunity explain the significance of the "Precious Feet"
pin and why this particular symbol is so important to me.
"Precious Feet" pin represents the actual size and shape of
a pre-born child's tiny feet just ten weeks after conception. Most people
have no idea how well developed the unborn child is at this stage in
his or her new life. Even before implantation of the fertilized egg
in the mother's uterus at approximately 5-9 days after conception, the
sex of the new life can already be determined. Only twenty-four days
after fertilization the embryo has regular heartbeats or pulsations
(a legal sign of life). Six weeks after conception the mother has her
first physical signs that she is pregnant and the tests for pregnancy
are relatively reliable. By this time the unborn child's skeleton is
complete, electrical brain wave patterns can be recorded, and the reflexes
are present. At eight weeks the medical term for the unborn baby changes
from embryo to fetus (little one, child, baby). All organs such as stomach,
liver, kidney, and brain, are intact and functioning at this point.
It is absolutely amazing to ponder how beautiful this development of
life is as it takes place in the nurturing safety of the mother's womb.
From the moment of conception until full maturity is reached at around
twenty-three years of age, the only ingredients essential for normal
human development are nourishment and time.
The reality of how precious
that little life is never really affected me until it struck home in
my own family. On February 19th, 1994, my wife and I decided to undertake
a "Spiritual Adoption" of an unborn baby somewhere in the
world in danger of losing its life. We started saying a little prayer
each day for our adopted baby, asking God to protect it and allow it
to be born. Both of our daughters were grown and gone from home at the
time. Caroline, our oldest, was living in Orlando and working for Disney
Feature Animation. Jenny, our youngest, had moved to Texas at age sixteen
to live with her boyfriend. We said lots of prayers for her as well,
but that's another story.
A couple of months later we discovered who the baby was that we had
been praying for. She was our own granddaughter, Emily. Before we even
knew that Jenny was pregnant we had almost lost Emily on three different
Emily's first brush with
death occurred about five to nine days after she was conceived. Jenny
was taking birth control pills at the time. The "Pill" actually
acts as an abortifacient, meaning that it causes a hostile environment
to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting itself in the wall of
the uterus. Unlike contraceptives (contra, meaning opposed to, and concepto,
meaning to conceive), which prevent the union of sperm and egg, abortifacients
affect the developing human being after the sperm and egg have been
united. Somehow Emily managed to survive the odds against her and she
successfully implanted herself in her mommy's womb.
On April 1st, 1994, Jenny
and her boyfriend went to Planned Parenthood to verify the results of
the home pregnancy test she had performed after she missed her period.
Abortion was never an option for Jenny, but once the test came back
positive the folks at Planned Parenthood were bent on helping Jenny
to "fix" her problem. You can read about her experience with
Planned Parenthood by clicking HERE.
Had it not been for Jenny's determination to keep her baby, we surely
would have lost Emily to the abortionists at Planned Parenthood without
ever knowing that we were going to be grandparents.
The third attempt to terminate Emily's life occurred when the "concerned"
family of Jenny's boyfriend offered to pay for the abortion if Jenny
would agree to it. That's when she called us and told us the good news
that she was pregnant. We immediately drove to Texas and brought Jenny
back home to live with us. Emily was born on December 10th, 1994. We
consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have had Jenny and Emily live
with us for a couple of years. Jenny is now married to a wonderful man
here in Virginia and Emily has a little baby sister named Katherine.
Each time I look at my "Precious
Feet" pin I can't help but think of the 1.5 million unborn babies
each year in the United States who never have the chance to grow to
full-term like Emily did. I often wonder how many other potential grandparents
will never know the blessings that a grandchild can bring to their lives.
Unfortunately, the tragedy of abortion doesn't end there. There are
also millions of potential mothers who will bear the psychological,
and sometimes physical, scars inflicted by the abortion industry.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
gave a speech to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, on
February 3rd, 1994, just a few days before my wife and I started our
"Spiritual Adoption" of our granddaughter Emily. Mother Teresa
told the dignitaries present at the Prayer Breakfast, "I feel that
the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war
against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by
the mother herself." She went on to say, "Any country that
accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any
violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of
love and peace is abortion."
We should heed these words of wisdom by opposing the culture of death
and recognizing the absolute sanctity of life, from the first moment
of conception to the last moment of natural death. The Lord giveth and
the Lord taketh away. Ending the life of the unborn child is not a choice
that we are free to make. When we do not respect the right to life of
the unborn child, there is also going to be a corresponding loss of
respect for life in general. Thomas Jefferson once said, "The care
of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first
and only object of good government." I urge you to "choose
life, so that you and your children may live" (Deut. 30:19).
If you know of someone
who is pregnant or thinks they might be and is considering an abortion,
please tell them there are a variety of other options available that
are not harmful to the mother or deadly to the baby.
Some good starting points on the web are located at Crisis
Pregnancy Centers Online, Birthright,
Life League. For those who are suffering the effects of Post-Abortion
Syndrome, including grandparents, fathers, mothers, and others,
out the Project
Rachel and Safehaven
web sites. Other Pro-Life resources can be found at Human
Life International, the National
Right to Life Committee, and LifeNews.com.