A dear friend sent the note below to me. It is a beautiful little story of a conversation between God and an unborn child. It is a great tribute to Moms everywhere. I cannot find the name of the original author , but if anyone knows. please let me know so I can give due credit. Continue reading
Thanks to Dr. Steiner and Kate for thoughtful and encouraging comments on Part 2 of Anastasha’s story. You can find their comments here. I’m hoping others of you will comment as Dr. DeLisi shares more in the future. I admire his courage in opening this painful door into his, Tonya’s, and their children’s lives. I hope you’ll keep them in your prayers. Here is the latest I have from Craig who is asking each of us (and society) some very important questions:
This week Anastasha is 24 weeks old in Tonya’s womb. This is (roughly) considered the time when a baby’s lungs are at the minimum maturity for her life to be sustained outside the womb. Anytime before 22/23 weeks is considered incompatible with survival if an infant is born. In medicine, we call milestone this “viability”.
It may seem arbitrary, but this is when many people, including many ethicists and physicians, consider an unborn child a “person.” To kill a baby before this time, many argue, is morally acceptable because it could not otherwise survive. To do it after this point is morally objectionable because he or she could live.
Does this seem subjective to you? It should because it is.
This is despite the fact that the baby’s heart has been beating for 4 months, she has fingernails and toenails, feels and withdraws from pain, can suck her thumb, hear noises, and even hiccup. Sound alive? Yeah, she does to me too.
A very important and related question is this: “When is an unborn child truly human or alive?”
Or, another way, “What makes a child’s (or man’s) life have value?”
If not mature lungs, how about when the heart starts beating? Anastasha’s heart has been beating since 25 days post conception. This is about the time most women realize they are pregnant. Is a beating heart what gives life?
If not the heart, how about brain activity? This higher level thinking is one thing that separates us from animals Maybe this is what gives a child or man his/her worth.
Anastasha doesn’t have higher brain activity. So is she “dead” for all intents and purposes? If it is higher level thinking, then what about someone who is severely mentally retarded? Or someone in a coma? Or an eighty year old man in a nursing home with end stage Alzheimer’s disease. Are they alive? Do their lives have value?
What about the ability to love? This is obviously a progressive thing. Newborns certainly can’t. And children learn this over time. And some people chose to never love.
What about the first breath? This is when children begin to have protection under the law and are considered citizens. Killing them in the womb is legal, even at term in many states, up to this point. But once the first breath is taken, they are considered a human being, and killing them is murder. So is inhaling oxygen for the first time what makes us human?
As you can see, there are many different answers that many people consider. And these principles don’t just apply to babies. They apply to the elderly, those in comas, and those who are severely mentally handicapped.
My point is that these are all arbitrary, man-made attempts at defining something endowed to us by our Creator – life. He made it, so He defines it. Not us. And what is His definition of when Anastasha’s, and every other child ever created, life began?
- From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Psalm 22:10
- For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13-14
- Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. Jeremiah 1:5
- Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Psalm 51:5
- When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:41 (John the Baptist responding while in the womb to Jesus in Mary’s womb, shortly after Jesus was conceived)
I think there is only one consistent answer in this world with so many subjective, seemingly arbitrary alternatives. We are FULLY HUMAN and ALIVE, at the moment of conception when our Creator endows us with an eternal soul. I think this is really the only Biblical answer to the question.
I agree that a two week old, microscopic baby that is known only by the faint “positive” line on the pregnancy test doesn’t “feel” as human or alive as a baby in our arms after birth, but I believe that he or she is.
The difference is really only in our subjective experience of the child at that point. This experience changes radically over time, but our perception of how much we love the child DOES NOT CHANGE HIS OR HER INATE WORTH.
Just as the fact that a child in one family is unloved by his/her parents doesn’t make him or her any less valuable than one who is deeply loved by other parents.
So what changes from that time when a baby is conceived to when he or she is born?
Our experience of loving him or her changes. Just as it changes from when they are a helpless infant to when they are an older child who can relate and reciprocate love. Over time our love naturally deepens and the character of that love changes. But does the value of person we love change? Is their worth greater because we love them more or differently?
No, it isn’t.
I believe that we wrongly interpret that deepening love as defining a greater worth on the life we are loving. But it is all subjective, based on our experiences or emotions. I believe this is NOT God the Father’s perspective.
So are babies that are miscarried early in pregnancy of the same worth, in God’s eyes, as a life lived fully for Him for 80 or 90 years?
Is a mentally retarded child’s life of the same worth in God’s eyes as that of Albert Einstein?
Is a person in a vegetative state (like a coma) for months or years have the same worth to the Father as the President of the United States?
Does Anastasha, although she will probably never ride a bike, speak a word, hold our hand, think a thought, or love in this world have the same worth to God Almighty as my life or Tonya’s or any of our children’s lives?
Our value isn’t based on what we do, but rather who we are and by Whom we were created. Just like a painting by Picasso isn’t valued by what it does (nothing) or how beautiful it is (let’s be honest), but is valued because of who the artist is.
Our Artist, God Almighty, puts His signature in our souls. And because of that, we are each worth more than all the riches in the world.
Even Anastasha. Especially Anastasha.
So when many of you wonder why (few have asked us directly) we are carrying Anastasha to term rather than ending her life now, this is the reason. The truth is that her life is just as valuable as that of all of our other children, or my life, or yours. She is right now FULLY HUMAN and ALIVE. She is created in the image of God Almighty. And she is our daughter.
Will she live when she is born? Most probably not. But that does not, IN ANY WAY, change who she is right now. We feel no more like we have the right to kill her than we have the right to kill Charis or Ariana. I know that is a terrible mental image, but the repulsiveness of it is the same in our mind as aborting Anastasha.
Heavy duty stuff, I know. But we believe it to be God’s perspective and, as such, to be true.
We are challenged to love Anastasha deeply despite the fact that she will never love us back on this earth. And maybe many of you will be challenged to see ALL LIFE as created by God, for both His temporal and eternal purposes, and NOT ONE of those lives as being more valuable than another. And NOT ONE of those lives is a mistake.
Bless you all.
Craig and Tonya
Thanks, Craig and Tonya.You have blessed me. Anastasha has blessed me. And, I bet her special life and you all’s testimony will continue to do so. Know I’m praying for you all.
Here’s the entire series of amazing stories:
- The Story of Anastasha – Part 1 (It will bless you!)
- The Amazing Story of Anastasha – Part 2
- The Amazing Story of Anastasha – Part 3
- The Amazing Story of Anastasha – Part 4
- The Amazing Story of Anastasha – Part 5
- The Amazing Story of Anastasha – Part 6
- The Amazing Story of Anastasha – Part 7
- The Amazing Story of Anastasha – Part 8
- The Amazing Story of Anastasha – Part 9
- The Blessing of Anastasha – Part 10 – Day of Life 200
- The Blessing of Anastasha – Part 11
- The Blessing of Anastasha – Part 12 – Day of Life 214
- The Blessing of Anastasha – Part 13 – Day of Life 221
- The Blessing of Anastasha – Part 14 – Day of Life 228
- The Blessing of Anastasha Kalil – Part 15 – Day of Life 235
- The Blessing of Anastasha Kalil – Part 16 – Day of Life 241
- The Blessing of Anastasha Kalil – Part 17 – Birth Day
- Anastasha is in Heaven – Part 18
- Anastasha’s Birth and Death – Video – Part 19
- Anastasha’s New Blog – Part 20
- Update on Anastasha – Part 21 – 1 month after birth and death
- Update On Anastasha’s Family – Part 22 – 3 months after birth and death
The controversy over the coming Super Bowl ad from Focus on the Family about pro-life University of Florida football star Tim Tebow is generating as much, if not more, attention than it will when it runs before and during the championship game. Now, pro-abortion and pro-life groups are clashing on the ad with both sides lobbying CBS to allow or disallow the commercial.
Here’s LifeNews.com’s full report on the story:
LifeNews.com has reported on the ad several times and how the ad will likely feature the story of how Tebow’s mom refused to abort him.
The New York-based Women’s Media Center has coordinated an attack on the ad — launching a campaign with the pro-abortion National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups to persuade CBS not to run it.
Today, in an email to its supporters that LifeNews.com obtained, NARAL is also urging its members to lobby CBS and, surprisingly, used the term “pro-life” to refer to it.
“CBS has cleared the way to subject nearly 100 million people to Focus on the Family’s extreme agenda by agreeing to air its new pro-life ad during the Super Bowl,” the group’s president Nancy Kenen said.
“Focus on the Family has an unmistakable anti-choice … agenda,” Keenan continued. “If that isn’t bad enough, its views on women are just plain insulting and dangerous.”
NARAL cited as an example its referring women to pregnancy centers to find abortion alternatives and tangible help and assistance during pregnancy.
“We can’t just sit by while CBS lets Focus on the Family place a political ad during the Super Bowl, when millions of people are watching ads,” Keenan said. “Ask CBS to drop the ad and stick with its original ‘no advocacy in advertising’ policy.”
Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America, a pro-life women’s group, has a different take.
“NOW’s outcry over Tebow’s pro-life ad is nothing less than hypocritical. Where were they when CBS has aired programs like Dexter, in which the protagonist is a serial killer?” she asked.
“I find it laughable that NOW has a problem with Tim Tebow sharing his own story. If NOW really cared about women they would stop flacking for the abortion industry and start working on behalf of women and resolving our concerns about real problems such as sexually exploitative and violent content on television,” she told LifeNews.com.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the Susan B. Anthony List, another pro-life women’s group, also weighed in on the debate.
“NOW and company are losing their grip as their pro- abortion position sinks in public opinion,” she said.
“What is real here is their desperation to keep full information from women,” Dannenfelser continued. “Shouldn’t the ‘pro-choice’ position respect Pam Tebow’s decision to choose Life?”
“What is the worst case scenario in allowing the ad to air? Women are exposed to an example of sacrifice for the sake of an unborn child. NOW needs to explain where the harm and threat to women and children is here,” she told LifeNews.com. In an interview with reporters on Sunday, Tebow defended the ad.
“I know some people won’t agree with it, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe,” Tebow said. “I’ve always been very convicted of it (his views on abortion) because that’s the reason I’m here, because my mom was a very courageous woman. So any way that I could help, I would do it.”
The Super Bowl ad would be costly — as a spot during the game and three 30-second commercials before it would reportedly run about $2-3 million — but provides a unique exposure to a large national and international audience.
The ad could feature the story of Tebow’s birth. Pam Tebow and her husband were Christian missionaries in the Philippines in 1985 and they prayed for “Timmy” before she became pregnant.
Unfortunately, Pam entered into a coma after she contracted amoebic dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in a contaminated food or drink. The treatment for the medical condition would require strong medications that doctors told Pam had caused irreversible damage to Tim — so they advised her to have an abortion.
Tebow refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born without the devastating disabilities physicians predicted. She ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and, eventually, gave birth to a health baby boy in August 1987.
Tim Tebow would win the Heisman in 2007 and then lead the Florida Gators football team to the national championship a year later and he is likely a top draft pick for 2010.
Whether CBS would allow the potential Focus pro-life ad to air was a question when news of the ad first came up earlier this month.
Last year, NBC rejected a television commercial the pro-life Catholic group Fidelis and its CatholicVote web site hoped to run. The ad showed a beautiful picture of an unborn child during an ultrasound and asks what would happen if President Barack Obama had been a victim of abortion. After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told the group that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving “political advocacy or issues.” You can see the video and read my blog about it here.
ACTION: I’d encourage my readers to support the Focus on the Family ad by contacting Sean J. McManus, President CBS News and Sports, at email@example.com or 212-975-4321.
A two-hour National Geographic documentary ‘In the Womb’ is now available on YouTube in 9 parts. Originally aired in 2005, the documentary used revolutionary techniques in computer imaging and 4-D ultrasounds to present stunning images of the developing embryo, taking viewers through the amazing journey of the unborn baby from conception to birth.
More Information: Continue reading
A fertilized human egg at the moment of conception looks like a simple, single-celled blob no bigger than a pinhead. How can anyone actually consider this invaluable human life?
More Information: Continue reading
Super Bowl ads can be more fun than the game. And what’s more fun than a Super Bowl ad? A banned Super Bowl ad, of course. And what’s more exciting than that? A Super Bowl ad banned for celebrating life. You can see the banned ad here and read more about how the banning may actually lead to more people watching it.
More Information: Continue reading