On Tuesday night one of my closest friends saved a child's life.
Well, assuming that the woman she talked to continues to go forward with her intent to parent or give her child up for adoption anyway. Either way, on Tuesday a girl came in to the pro-life clinic my friend works at with the intent to abort her unborn child, only to leave with the intent to carry her pregnancy through.
As my friend (a woman named "Jacque" - pronounced like "Jackie") told me the story, I was gripped. Jacque works in this clinic's offices for her regular job, but she got connected through her volunteering there on Tuesday nights, which she still does.
This last Tuesday it was the offer of a free ultrasound that even brought the pregnant woman in. For that matter the woman only called the clinic because she thought that it was an organization comparable to Planned Parenthood (i.e. one that could refer for or even perform an abortion). When the woman on the phone explained to her the importance of an ultrasound, she decided to come get her free one.
So here is this woman, intending to kill her unborn child, and she goes in for her ultrasound at Jacque's recommendation. The first thing she finds out is that she is actually eight weeks pregnant rather than the six that she came in thinking she was. Jacque explained to me that the significance is that at eight weeks a fetus has developed all of its organs. The only differences between an eight week fetus and a newborn baby? Size and time. I think this was explained to the pregnant woman. But what really pushed her to change her mind was a moment that could have only been stunning in its emotional power: this pregnant woman heard her eight week old fetus's heartbeat through the ultrasound.
Jacque said she saw the look on her face completely change. The woman cracked. Apparently it became clear that if this was not a real human baby, then real human babies don't exist.
On top of all of that, Jacque was able to counsel this woman who has undergone incredible personal pain that ultimately led to her pregnancy (I'd like to share the details, but I don't want to risk this woman's privacy or Jacque's ability to continue in her minitsry- just take my word for it). That is to say, Jacque met the woman personally, in the midst of her pain, without leading her to the all too easy (and all too pain-adding) cop out of abortion. The pain is real, but so is the baby.
Why share this story? Well, partly just to praise my friend Jacque. I felt like I was talking to a hero: Jacque saved the life of a real human being. She's the kind of person that gets interviewed on at least the local news for above-and-beyond heroism.
But Jacque won't be interviewed for any of this. Some would even sneer at her for her work. And that brings me to my second reason for sharing the story: sitting and listening to Jacque humbly recount the joy of what she had done that day reminded me of the ever so simple reality that the eight week old fetus who now will likely live is a human being made in the image of God.
Eight weeks old and already bearing the image of the Almighty God.
Stories like this are why I still think the abortion fight is worth fighting. Science and statistics can't substitute for a story like this for making us feel the weight of abortion. And at a time where I am beginning to notice more and more Christians finding this issue less and less important, my heart is deeply saddened.
This is one that we cannot give up on.